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Inamori: our goal is not the best, but the perfect


Seeing the finished state ahead of time will ensure success

Want to achieve a cause, should always describe the ideal state of the cause. At the same time, think about the process of realizing the ideal until it is "visible". This is important.

This was the case when second power (now KDDI) started its mobile communications business. This is a fact I have experienced at various times in my life.

"The age of the mobile phone is coming." When I make a prediction, people around me either doubt or deny that it is impossible. But I've clearly "seen" what the future holds for mobile phones.

The mobile phone is a product that hides infinite possibilities. The answer to the question of how fast it will develop, how popular it will be, at what price and what size it will be distributed in the market, has been clearly presented in my mind before the beginning of the business of the second electric power.

Why is that? Through kyocera's semiconductor components business, I had been informed of the progress and speed of mobile phone technology innovation, and I was already well informed and knowledgeable.

At first, mobile phones were very large and had to be carried over a shoulder. They were called shoulder phones. Later, mobile phones became rapidly miniaturized as the various integrated circuits that make up them were compressed into small semiconductors.

Therefore, the mobile phone this new commodity is bound to be popularized with surprising speed. I had a pretty good prediction for all this. At the same time, "how much is the contract fee?" "how much is the basic monthly rental fee?

At that time, one cadre recorded my data in his notebook. By the time the mobile business officially began, he was leafing through his notes and discovering that the actual cost system was almost identical to what I had predicted at the time.

This is what is called "seeing" beforehand. Think it over and over in your head, do simulations over and over again, and you can see the future.

"Want to be this way" describes the ideal, elevates the initial idea to a strong desire, thinks continuously 24 hours, causes the successful image to emerge vividly in front of the eye. This is very important. When you have a clear impression of the details of the matter, the final result must be success.

At first it's just an ideal, then it gets closer to reality, and finally the boundary between ideal and reality disappears, as if the ideal has been realized. This state of actualization, the finished image, is vividly presented in the mind, or before the eyes: not in black and white, but in vivid colors. As soon as you think about it again and again, this phenomenon will appear in practice.

On the other hand, without a strong desire and deep thinking, and without the results in advance, success in business and life can be said to be unreliable.


Take every opportunity to hone your "acuity"

At the production site, the machine is sometimes heard to emit strange sounds. Then I would say, "don't you hear the machine crying?" I would criticize those responsible for the scene.

When there is a mechanical fault, it is usually the first to give out a different sound. Previously the sound had been normal and pleasant, when suddenly a different sound, must be a sign of mechanical problems. However, because the mechanical action may still be the same as usual, the problem is often overlooked.

I took the poor "acuity" of the field personnel as a problem, and seriously pointed out to them "to sharpen their acuity".

I almost formed a habit. When I am in a car, whenever I hear a slight change in the sound of the car, I will say to the driver, "there is something wrong with the car. There seems to be something wrong with the car." But basically the driver says, "same as usual, no problem." Doesn't seem to care.

This is the difference in acuity.

People say, "no change, no problem." I say, "no problem." The result drives the car to the repair shop to check, discovered that the bearing is missing a marble, such examples are numerous.

Such a delicate "acuity" is essential to "implementing perfectionism" at work. "Alertness" is so poor that even if the product has alerted you to a problem and suggested a solution to the problem, you may not pay attention and miss the best way and time to solve the problem.

Similarly, I will take pains to remind the staff to pay attention to the work site. It's a matter of acuity, so to speak.

Perhaps learning my habit of paying attention, now even when I pop into work, it's usually neat. However, sometimes when I see the untidy data on the desk or examination table, some facing east and some facing west, I will feel very awkward, because the table and paper are rectangular in shape, while the data will appear untidy when placed diagonally or horizontally.

"Since the table top is rectangular, the data placement should be consistent with it to appear harmonious, otherwise, it feels uncomfortable. Data should be aligned with the table." After I said so, they adjusted all the materials, pen holders, etc., to make them parallel to the table.

Even when things are so small, there is a sense of order and harmony, and it's the same at work.

Things on the table are not in order, the lack of balance, the heart can not calm down, only with such a delicate "sensitivity", can quickly realize "wrong" when problems occur, and then quickly take measures to do things perfectly.


Not "best," but "perfect."

About the 20th anniversary of kyocera's founding, Mr. Jain reeve, chairman of hurembert, a large French enterprise, visited Japan.

Huilanbaer is an excellent enterprise with excellent technology in the field of oil exploration. It can use radio waves to determine formation conditions and determine the appropriate location of the drill bit near the oil layer.

Chairman reeve was born in the noble family of France, was a good friend of French socialist politicians at that time, and once became a candidate for the French government cabinet, he was a very outstanding figure.

President reeve paid a visit to kyocera during his busy schedule. "It's a completely different industry. Why did the chairman call me?" I wonder. Only after asking did I know that he wanted to talk about business philosophy with me.

At that time, I didn't know much about hurembert and chairman reeve, but when I met with him, I found out that it was really extraordinary and made the company become one of the largest companies in the world. This man had an excellent business philosophy.

Although we met for the first time, we hit it off. Later, accepting his invitation, I met him again in America, talking late into the night.

At the time, reeve said, "hurembert's mantra is to do the best job possible." While appreciating his words, I said the following:

The word "best" means to be the best in comparison with others. This is a relative value, so there is "best" in groups with very low levels. Therefore, kyocera's goal is not "best", but "perfect". "Perfect" is not the same as "best". It is absolute, not compared with others, but has reliable value in itself. Therefore, no matter how others are, nothing in the world can surpass "perfect".

That's my argument.

That night, chairman reeve and I continued our discussion of "best" and "perfect" well into the night. Finally, chairman reeve agreed with me. He said, "you're right. We at huembert no longer believe in the best, but in the perfect."

The "perfectionism" I think of is not "better," but "supreme." That's what I keep pursuing in my work.


Let reflection put an end to perfection

"Try your best, work hard", plus "reflect every day", can be the best full stop for your perfectionism. Suppress "ego", release "true self", let his heart become active, such operation is "introspection".

In this way, our soul will be purified and become more beautiful and noble. (end of chapter 5 of the dry code)

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