When we talk about the Fundamental Behavior “Be proactive,” we always refer to all the daily or planned activities where we finish on time or before the agreed deadlines. We also anticipate situations that we know from experience can happen to us, and we feel proud of this achievement.
However, when the situation is not in our hands, when one of the variables is not what we expected, we become reactive, even if we want to solve the problem; it becomes a critical situation that generates a lot of stress.
So, when could this happen to us? At what point does a variable change all plans? At YKK, we are used to working according to processes. We like to establish work plans and we adjust what varies from day to day. If a result at the end of a period came out less than our expectation, we look for the root cause and make a correction plan. This works for situations that are under our control. But when the situation does not depend on us, things can turn to chaos if we cannot solve it in a short period of time.
Everyone remembers what happened on September 11, 2001, and as things changed after that date, we understand that there was a before and an after. It affected our way of traveling by plane, such as taking many hours to enter the airport, stronger measures at check points, among other changes. Another example was the real estate crisis of 2008 and 2009 that affected the economy on a global scale. These were situations beyond our control but that affected our environment, sales dropped, jobs were lost and the economy took longer to recover than expected.
Now we have the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to a paralysis in daily activities. Today we still do not know the economic and social consequences or how long will it take us to recover from it. Again it has revealed how little we are prepared to face a situation of this magnitude. We have become reactive and we are only looking to solve the situation as it arises. Governments never prepared for such a situation, even when there were several calls for attention such as H1N1 influenza in 2009. Today the health systems in several countries have become saturated and in some have collapsed. Millions of jobs have been lost. This allows us to see how unprepared, how we are not proactive in dealing with this type of situation.
For this reason it is very important to always to try to see beyond the problem, to see what other things can be affected and what alternative plans we have. If we apply this situation to YKK, we must try to have a Plan A, a Plan B and if both fail, a Plan C. The severity will not be less or easy to overcome, but being proactive will provide everyone with less damage that leads to a less slow recovery. It is clear that this variable was not experienced by anyone, that this situation did not depend on YKK, but the world is full of risks, which at any time can affect us, so we need to be prepared and attentive and thereby overcome any situation.
This is when we must be proactive and see the future differently.