YKK Stories

2019-07-01 Issue 103 – Fundamental Behavior 1- Do the right thing always

July 1, 2019
YKK
Author: YKK
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I am responsible for kicking off the 5th round of the NCA Group’s 25 Fundamental Behaviors, and I thought about what kind of message I can share with you from my experiences.

With nearly 20 years of experience with YKK, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work in 7 companies in 6 countries in 4 regions. I have been blessed with environments where I could work with a variety of staff with different nationalities, backgrounds, etc., and I have been studying every day. In all of these different environments, the most basic action/principle of “Do the right thing, always” has always been present. It is a simple and straightforward teaching that everyone is taught as a child by parents and teachers, is familiar, and should naturally be protected as a human being. In everyday decisions and actions, we learn from various places that we must make judgments, based on this teaching, on what is universally correct as a human being, not on what is convenient for oneself.

However, I have also learned that to “Do the right thing, always,” while seemingly easy, is not so easy. In the customs clearance procedure, I was requested by an important customer to engage in unlawful conduct in order to escape customs duties. I refused to engage in this conduct both as a person in charge of the company and as a human being. As a result, YKK lost their business, and there were times when we struggled to fill the gap. The staff sometimes asked me to “protect the business” and “why do other companies offer to do it?” I realized it is necessary and important to have the courage to say something is “incorrect” and to take appropriate action.

Whatever the outcome is, even if it is difficult, we must always keep in mind the attitude of doing the right thing and making the right decision because this is the mission given to us, and it is the “right thing.”

Alex Iwamura
Vice President, Business Development
YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.