The untrapped mind is open enough to
see many possibilities, humble enough to learn from anyone and
anything, forbearing enough to forgive all, perceptive enough to see
things as they really are, and reasonable enough to judge their true
Anything worth doing is worth 100%.
Business is people.
A natural response to a natural phenomenon – that is the secret of
success in business and management. You will always win if you rely
on common sense.
No matter how deep a study you make.
What you really have to rely on is your own
intuition and when it
comes down to it, you really don't know what's going to happen until
you do it.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then
determination is its father.
Even when everyone
around you say it's impossible, if you step back and rethink your
task in the simplest possible terms, free of the noise of
over-erudite and preconceived notions, often the solutions will come
to you, out of the blue, so to speak.
Recognizing our responsibilities as industrialists, we will devote
ourselves to the progress and development of society and the
well-being of people through our business activities, thereby
enhancing the quality of life throughout the world.
Possessing material comforts in no way
Only spiritual wealth can bring
true happiness. If that is correct,
should business be concerned only with the material aspect of life
and leave the care of the human spirit to religion or ethics? I do
not think so. Businessmen too should be able to share in creating a
society that is spiritually rich and materially affluent.
If we cannot
make a profit, that means we are committing a sort of crime
against society. We take society's capital, we take their people, we
take their materials, yet without a good profit, we are using
precious resources that could be better used elsewhere.
Konosuke Matsushita was born into a well-off
landowning family in 1894. A decline in the family's fortunes during his
childhood meant that Matsushita's education was cut short. At age 9 he
became a brazier's apprentice, then a year later a bicycle shop apprentice.
He stayed five years at the bicycle shop, picking up basic metalworking
skills. At age 16 he went to work in the Osaka Electric Light Company.
Konosuke Matsushita began the Panasonic’s
journey by inventing a two-socket light fixture. This very important, yet
elegantly simple, breakthrough led to what is now one of the world's largest
electronics companies. Since its founding in 1918, Panasonic Corporation
grew to become the largest Japanese electronics producer.
One of the traits that followed Matsushita
throughout his career was a willingness to take risks. When Konosuke
Matsushita began working for himself, in 1918, at the age of 23, he
had almost nothing: no money, no real formal education, no connections. Yet,
his small firm Matsushita Electric Appliance Factory flourished under the
guiding hand of a clever, wise, and
In the late 1980s, Matsushita’s revenues hit a
whopping $42 billion. With nearly 20,000 employees, Matsushita grew such
household brand names as National, Panasonic and Technics.
Matsushita's success has made him Japan's
biggest yen billionaire. He has also made himself the most widely admired
businessman in Japan.
Matsushita Basic Business
The Matsushita Basic Business Philosophy
consists of three elements.
Basic Management Objective –
expresses the corporate goals of the company: " Recognizing our
responsibilities as industrialist, we will devote ourselves to the
progress and development of society and the well being of people through
our business activities, thereby enhancing the quality of life
throughout the world."
Company Creed – expresses the basic
attitude of employees to their daily work: " Progress and development
can only be realized through the combined efforts and cooperation of
each employee of our company. United in spirit, we pledge to perform our
corporate duties with dedication, diligence and integrity."
The Seven Principles – set the
standard for the employees' proper mental attitude for their daily work:
Contribution to society; Fairness and Honesty; Cooperation and Team
Spirit; Untiring Effort for Improvement; Courtesy and Humility;
Matsushita believed that a company should
create wealth for society as well as for shareholders, and should always
work to alleviate poverty. His business philosophy led to the Japanese
"paternal management" tradition, whereby employees are viewed as being part
of a "family" within the company, and are assured of lifetime employment,
without fear of layoffs.
Devising a New Management
In 1933, Matsushita devised a
system, dividing the company into three autonomous
business units: radios, lighting & batteries, and synthetic
Enriching the Society
To Matsushita, his mission of manufacture was
to overcome poverty, to relieve society as a whole from misery, and bring in
wealth. Business and production, to Matsushita, were not meant to enrich
only the business owners, investors, employees or shops, but all the rest of
the society as well. Matsushita never talked narrowly about maximizing
shareholder value as the proper goal of an enterprise. Although he did speak
often about generating wealth, his emphasized the psychological and
spiritual aspects of being – for the good of all people. “Big idealistic /
humanistic goals and beliefs are not incompatible with success in business.
They may even foster achievement, at least in a rapidly changing context, by
supporting those habits, which encourage growth,” Matsushita said.
7 Core Principles
of Panasonic Management Philosophy
Panasonic's standards are still firmly grounded
in the philosophy of the company founder. The Seven Core Principles of
Panasonic were established by Konosuke Matsushita back in the 1930s. These
principles, which are also called the seven objectives, comprise the
foundation of Panasonic’s management philosophy. Matsushita’s powerful ideas
are about the roots of
learning. One can, he often told people, learn from any experience, and
at any age. With ideals that are big and humanistic, Matsushita emphasized,
one could conquer
failure, learn from both, and continue
a changing environment,
life-long learning maybe more related to great success or unusual
achievements than IQ, parental socio-economic status, charisma, and formal
education… Life-long learning is closely associated with humility, an open
mind, a willingness to take risks, a capacity to listen, and honest
self-reflection,” Matsushita said.
One piece of advice Konosuke Matsushita gave to
his employees in the early days of the company was: You may be a
well-educated, clever and virtuous person, but those qualities will not
necessarily make you a successful businessman. In addition, you must acquire
the knack for business. This is to be done “by
giving your best to each and
every task you take on, and by reflecting on your performance with an honest
and unprejudiced eye. If you do this constantly, day after day, eventually
you will be able to do your job unerringly." In other words, you acquire the
secret to business success gradually by applying yourself with conscious
effort from day to day.