Nearly 100 local business leaders joined a lively “BMI Presents…” public lecture on Japanese culture and management practices which BMI organized together with the Embassy of Japan to help mark 25 years since Japan renewed diplomatic relations with Lithuania.
The distinguished speaker was Mr. Katsuoki Numata, former managing director of Japan’s Citizen Holdings Co., Ltd., one of the world's largest manufacturers of watches and precision equipment.
The Bushido moral code of the legendary samurai warriors has heavily influenced management practices in Japan, Mr. Numata explained. He then detailed his own successful experience applying Bushido principles to turn around a failing subsidiary of Citizen. In less than 1 year the factory, which had suffered losses for decades, paid off its debts and returned to stable profitability.
A cornerstone of the effort was “making clear to everyone what was good and what was bad,” who was working well and who was not, which process were working and which ones were not. Such openness, sincerity and calls for responsibility resonated with values deep in employees’ hearts and minds. It sparked a healthy peer competition and sense of honour which led to major improvements.
Mr. Numata also shared numerous specific examples of international and intercultural management challenges which he dealt with while running a Citizen watch factory in Hong Kong.