Now that the winter with a record snowfall has passed, the season has arrived for us to welcome our new members. Training sessions await our new employees, although they are not the only ones to receive training at Sumitomo Electric. With the motto of “All-Employee Education,” we offer a wide variety of training programs, including a session for staff members newly promoted to general manager or manager. Every time such a session is held, I serve as a lecturer.
While those in the positions of general manager and manager play a major role in promoting our businesses, they occupy a difficult position sandwiched between their superiors and subordinates. In this age of frequent paradigm shifts, there are increasing cases where past experience cannot solve a problem completely. Some people say that now is a difficult time for middle managers. At a training session held the other day for staff members newly promoted to general manager or manager, I encouraged them to demonstrate excellent leadership in managing their organizations and members and to contribute to the prosperity of the company. I also explained once again this year’s requests, the perspective which I have been repeatedly asserting regarding human resource development since my inauguration as president, and the Sumitomo Spirit.
In a social economy, a deep lineup of sound middle managers is the mainstay for a safe and secure society and serves as essential infrastructure for a company’s extended reproduction. This theory also applies to company management. Sound middle managers can fully understand their companies’ management policy, vitalize the people around them, including their subordinates, and ensure that a direction toward a target is shared among those concerned. It is no exaggeration to say that future development and growth depends on them.
I still clearly remember that when I was a middle manager, the then president insisted that a company was never allowed to lose. He implied that, even after the people working at a company or its business contents changed, the company needed to exist permanently, continue its extended reproduction, and play various roles as a public entity of society.
I concluded the training session at that time by stating that although employees would face various difficulties mainly due to the rapid changes in the business environment, I hoped that they would demonstrate the mentality adopted during the years when Japan’s status was raised from utter ruin after the end of the Second World War to that of the world’s second largest economy, and to demonstrate their genuine wisdom.