2019-09-09 Issue 113 – Fundamental Behavior 11 – Innovate
Innovation and change are the forces that move society forward and allow us to overcome the challenges of everyday living. Just think of all the advancements in the medical field, housing construction methods, agriculture and food distribution methods, transportation, clothing manufacturing methods, IT advancements and all the other products and services that affect our daily life. None of what we enjoy today and maybe take for granted would exist if someone did not innovate by discovering something new or improving on what currently exists.
This desire to contribute to the well being for all mankind is evident in Tadao Yoshida’s explanation of the corporate philosophy when he says “no one can prosper in business if they seek for their own profit only and do not endeavor to contribute to community and mankind.” In his explanation of the Core Value, “Do not fear failure: experience builds success. Create opportunities for employees,” he says, “It’s about making a huge effort to achieve something no one has done. It’s the doing that’s important. There’s nothing worse than doing nothing.”
Innovation in any field may come suddenly as a simple idea or take years of trial and error, but in any case, it requires persistence and the knowledge that the only person who does not fail is the person who does nothing at all. Thomas Edison was once asked, “Why do you persist in trying to create an incandescent light bulb, you have failed more than 10,000 times?” To this he answered, “I have not failed. I have successfully discovered 10,000 ways that will not work.”
I believe this is the kind of dedication and purpose Tadao Yoshida wanted to communicate to all of us at YKK so that we can continually be helpful to society with our products and services and thereby ensure the success and sustainability of the company for the benefit of the employees and their families who depend on a steady income to live comfortably and be able to give back their creativity and innovative ideas to the company.
Shortly after I was asked to write a message for this behavior, I had the privilege to attend this year’s regional strategy meeting. As I reflected on what was presented by each business or department leader, I realized that everyone was working on ways to improve processes or find solutions to specific customer requests. On that day the TFM group’s presentation highlighted YKK’s “can do” spirit as they explained how they planned to respond to the demanding new requirements from the customers in this industry. Hearing the efforts being made by everyone at YKK confirmed that the need to innovate was embraced by all and would allow YKK to contribute to community and mankind for many years to come as our founder had hoped.
Director, Finance & Administration
YKK Canada Inc.