Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas

January 5, 2013

Matsushita's Secret of Success in Business and Management

My reference is "Not for Bread Alone" column in "Japan Close-up" magazine, June 2010.

A young news reporter: "What, in your opinion, is the secret of such successful growth [of his company] ?"

Konosuke Matsushita: "What would you do if you were caught in a rainstorm?"

The young news reporter: "I would take out an umbrella, of course."

Konosuke Matsushita: "Right. When it rains, you put up an umbrella. That is the secret of success in business and management."

Matsushita went on to explain his idea using words like "commonsense," "simple," "natural," "unforced," and "ordinary". He insists that we all can achieve success by taking actions that are "natural" and "simple" to us.

How Messed Up We've Become

Here, the trouble begins. We've become so messed up that we don't understand most of his terms or have to debate about their real meanings, except "unforced," and "ordinary".

We've become really messed up: what is "common sense" for some isn't no "common sense" at all to us. e.g. Some presidents think it is common sense to ignore hurricanes and oil spills for the first few weeks. Maybe it is, may be not.

What is "simple" for some is not so simple for us. e.g. Java programmers think it is simple for non-programmers to download a few jar files (don't ask me what a jar is!), to untar them (again don't ask me what "tar," "untar" means), to place them on a proper classpath (again, don't ask me what a "classpath" is) and to configure and integrate them properly.

What is "natural" for others is not natural at all for us. e.g. Java programmers think it is natural for people to take hours to set up an insignificant, inconsequential application whereas lawyers, teachers, doctors, shopkeepers, bankers find that unnatural.

I am trying my best to be "simple," "natural," "commonsensical," and "ordinary" again.

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