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2019-05-13 Issue 96 – Fundamental Behavior 19 – Be proactive
Suppose that you are going to Japan for the first time. Do you go with no plan? Or do you do solid research in advance? When you want to get a fresh viewpoint or give priority to the impression of encounters, you may go with no plan. You can enjoy the risk and face some troubles. However, most people will investigate in advance. “Where is Japan?” “How long does it take to arrive?” “Is English useful?” “How about security?” “What is the currency?” “How is the climate?” “How long is the time difference?” etc. Many questions come to mind.
And you will find basic information on these questions using the internet and guidebooks. Also, just in case, you will book a hotel in Japan in advance, check out the transportation, and research the sights. If you want to enjoy Japan more, you may learn its history, watch movies, read novels and search for locations. I believe that such advance preparation promises safety and security, and makes the trip enjoyable.
Now let’s replace Japan with a company. Of course the desired behavior in a company is the latter. Advance preparation is very important in work. In order to do a better job, it is important to simulate the process with the goal in mind. In other words, planning makes work more efficient and easier. “It took longer than I thought” because preparation was not sufficient. Furthermore, “I have to start over” is the worst case.
Preparation is absolutely essential to avoid these problems. Keep in mind that preparation is more important than anything else. In English, there is the phrase, “Preparation is half the battle.” In Japanese, the phrase, “Setup 80%, work 20%” is often used. It seems that both the United States and Japan regard advance preparation as important.
Do you like baseball? I think people who like baseball know him, but there is a Japanese player named Ichiro who retired from the Mariners this March at the age of 45. He achieved 200+ hits for 10 seasons. This is the same record as Pete Rose. He said, “Preparing is about excluding excuses.”
In other words, “perfect preparation” leads to confidence in production and results. Big achievement results from “perfect preparation.”
I think you already have a lot of experience. These experiences vary, and include failures and successes. These will help you to be proactive. It’s always better to avoid or prevent a problem, rather than have to fix it later.
Senior Vice President of Manufacturing
YKK AP America Inc.