The Basic Business Philosophy of the Panasonic Group 9. Participative Management through Collective Wisdom
To ensure that autonomous responsible management is implemented thoroughly, the Panasonic Group stresses the importance of practicing employee entrepreneurship, through which employees develop a mindset of responsibility for managing their own work, as well as the importance of carrying out management by gathering the wisdom of every individual. The founder once stated that "the best management is management based on collective wisdom."
It is essential that we each have a mindset of autonomous responsibility in our work, and we each must continue to improve ourselves to achieve unrivalled work. However, no matter how capable a person may be, there is a limit to the wisdom of one person. Self-satisfied management may work for a while, but will eventually lead to the negative effects of self-righteousness and will not last.
Instead, gathering extensive wisdom and making high-quality decisions quickly will help us continue making contributions to society faster than other companies.
To gather collective wisdom, it is important that superiors collaborate with subordinates to make the best use of their individual strengths. To maximize the benefit of everyone's talents, superiors must trust their subordinates, delegate responsibility and authority as much as possible, provide appropriate guidance on an ongoing basis, and encourage subordinates to be proactive and inventive.
Superiors should approach their subordinates' recommendations and proposals with an open mind and sincerity, and make efforts to adopt them as much as possible. If a suggestion cannot be adopted, superiors must explain fully, so the subordinates will not lose their motivation and initiative, and will be able to work more actively.
To disseminate corporate and organizational policies, superiors must communicate them to their subordinates in a top-down manner. However, if superiors only give instructions and subordinates only follow them, the organization will fail to progress. In addition, it is essential to have a corporate culture of open discussion, where subordinates can communicate everything they need to say to their superiors from the bottom up.
Even those newly employed should regard themselves as their own manager of an independent business entity, and they are required to adopt the employee entrepreneurship mindset and participate in management proactively, for example by suggesting needed improvements.
It is also important to gather diverse opinions and insights. The Panasonic Group has addressed customers in every corner of the world. Then, for us to continue to be chosen by customers in a global market that is evolving and developing at an accelerating pace, we must incorporate diverse views and perspectives in our work. Our individual diversity generates diverse opinions and insights, and it is essential that we accept and respect the individuality of each and every one of us.
By taking advantage of personal diversity, wisdom can be gathered and the organization can continue to evolve. In other words, diversity leads to enhanced competitiveness. To make the most of diversity, superiors should break down barriers that stand in the way of individual personalities, and support those individuals so they can have opportunities to set challenges for themselves.
For bottom-up communication and diversity to flourish in an organization, individuals should feel that they can always say what needs to be said. Rather than simply implementing management directives even by holding back what needs to be said, this bottom-up approach will encourage employees to share problems in the workplace autonomously regardless of rank, discuss openly what the organization should become, and exchange ideas concerning the direction to take going forward. This is the essence of gathering collective wisdom.
The prerequisite for utilizing collective wisdom is for both superiors and subordinates to approach situations objectively, as they are, without becoming trapped by personal feelings or assumptions. That is, it is important to approach work with a sunao (untrapped) mind.
To always be chosen by customers, let's join hands to achieve unparalleled quality, cost, and service, by implementing participative management based on genuine collective wisdom in all divisions of the Panasonic Group.