The Heart of Management(日本語書名『経営のものさし』)

This book is a translation and adaptation of the original Japanese, “Matsushita Konosuke: Keiei no monosashi” [Matushista Konosuke: Yardsticks for Management], published by PHP Institute in 1994. It consists of brief passages on a variety of topics relating to corporate management compiled by the institute in response to lots of various questions from businesspeople and company executives over many years. The passages are excerpted from records of his speeches, talks, discussions, interviews and meetings with the press ranging throughout the founder’s long career. Dealing primarily with issues of management, they also cover all aspects of his ideas and views of humanity, society, and the world.
While nearly a century has passed since Konosuke Matsushita began his career, and the business environment has changed radically since the founder was actively involved in management, the fundamental wisdom, keen insight, and business acumen recorded here will still provide hints of enduring value for managers and businesspeople.

Heart of Management


1.  Principles and Objectives
What Are We Managing For?
From governing a country to regulating yourself ・Articulating a philosophy ・Start with the laws of nature ・Part of a never-ending cycle ・An abundance of good products at reasonable prices ・Responsibility to society ・The true mission and ethic of the entrepreneur ・Awareness of the public dimension ・Profit is a form of reward ・The duty to make a profit ・Adaptation to the local community ・Build plants even in depopulated areas
How Do We Go About It?
We put up an umbrella in the rain ・Coexistence and coprosperity lead the way to true growth ・No enterprise prospers alone ・Coexistence and coprosperity with all ・Capital should be under control ・Competition that is just and does not violate order ・Clean competition ・Management that nurtures human resource ・Always set a goal for yourself and focus effort on it ・Independent and autonomous management ・Independent management is the first step toward coprosperity ・Management is strengthened by the wisdom of all ・A one-man show that is not really just one-man ・Transparent management fosters a sense of participation ・”Appropriate management” to match company capacity ・Building leeway into the management scheme ・”Dam” building is the manager’s responsibility ・The multi-faceted art of management ・The source of living management skills ・Society has aspects of the divine
2.  Qualities of Responsible Management
What Are the Requirements of Your Job?
A correct understanding of business ・Self-awareness of a mission ・A sense of mission makes a vigorous enterprise ・Correct decisions depend on managerial insight ・Managerial intuition is indispensable ・Decisions make the manager ・The indispensable quality of foresight ・Follow through with courage and action ・Assume full and complete responsibility ・You have to like management ・Complete devotion brings a sense of fulfillment
What Should Be Your Frame of Mind?
Social justice is your guide ・True courage arises from a sense of social justice ・Business is in earnest ・A company’s success of failure is the boss’s responsibility ・Let no one surpass you in passion ・Take the initiative in setting a good example ・Be accurate in judging yourself ・An open mind makes you strong, noble, and wise ・Be open and absorb all you can ・The president’s salary includes “worry pay” ・Know when to retreat ・Those not suited to the job should withdraw
How to Deal with Recession and Other Adversity
Bad times are not a natural phenomenon ・Good in good times, better in bad ・Bad business cannot be blamed on bad times ・Recession offers a prime opportunity to advance ・New challenges are in infinite supply ・Aspiration unwavering even in adversity ・A new perspective to find a breakthrough ・Forced rest as the opportunity to recharge ・Get ready to get a bit wet ・Confidence born of recession ・In peace be ever-mindful of war
3.  Organizations and Systems 
How to Assemble a Dynamic Organization
Put people before the organization ・Bureaucratization is the greatest enemy of management ・Where even a new recruit can talk to the president ・Section performance is the section chief’s responsibility ・Each person should think of a job as a business in itself ・The awakening of one can lead to the awakening of many ・Finding the right combinations of people ・Large and small gears are all needed
The Matsushita Electric Division System
How the division system got started ・The vision system as a way of pooling know-how ・The division system cultivated managers ・An enterprise that brings together individual “enterprises” ・Masters of management ・The heads are those who know company policy best ・A rigid division is a dead division ・The joy of working on your own initiative
The Strengths of Small Enterprises
Small-scale enterprises form the foundations of human society ・Human potential thrives in a small-scale organization ・Ideal environment for savoring management challenges ・A reputation worldwide with one product ・Aim for best in the country with a product that suits you ・Monthly wages are naturally higher
4.  Product Development and Production
How to Enhance Technology
Take a proactive, independent approach ・Technicians have to polish their skills ・Constantly in basic training ・The practice of making good products quickly ・Regard every new products as a rival ・Take a realistic look at your own technology ・Those in charge of technology need to have open, flexible minds ・People should not be alienated by technological innovation
Points on Product Development
Why we manufacture things ・Better products for cheaper prices ・Be concerned with the public assessment of your products ・Readiness to respond to the changing times ・Hints for invention may be anywhere ・Putting a product on the market quickly ・Keep track of new products ・Make a black-belt product into a grand champion ・Designs should take ease of repair into account
Quality Goods and Quality Improvement
・Enhance quality and lower prices ・Reappraise your products like your customer’s chief clerk ・Product quality control begins with “worker quality control” ・What can you tell the moment you enter the factory? ・The product speaks if one but listens ・Double-check what you’ve double-checked ・Don’t sell products you don’t feel confident about ・Try using a product from the layperson’s point of view
The Significance of Good Design
Make utility the basic principle of design ・Create new product value with design ・An artistic design for all products ・Designs that speak for the product
5.  Marketing and Sales
Putting the Customer First
Appreciate your regular customers ・Every passerby is a customer ・Think like a buyer working for your customers ・The product is your daughter; the customers are your relatives ・Cultivating fans ・Looking after one customer gains you one hundred ・Hard-to-please customers may be your most loyal ・Conflict and harmony with customers
The Key to Success in Marketing
Marketing is a creative process ・Mutual trust is the foundation of sales ・Buying and selling is an exchange of feelings, not just goods ・Marketing with added enthusiasm ・Give the customer happiness and peace of mind ・Fulfilling unspoken contracts ・The strength of companies with sales networks ・Sales must be able to rely on good products
The Basics of Service
Everything starts with service ・Service is good manners ・True service is reflected in the satisfied customer ・Service starts with a smile ・Think first of what you can do for them ・Service must be rewarded ・Reduce the workload; get the service right
The Significance of Advertising and Promotion
Put your heart into your advertising ・The meaning of advertising benefits ・Advertising must be truthful ・Businesses have a duty to advertise ・Your spirit must be in the advertising ・Advertise the ethos of the enterprise ・Advertising is a form of philosophy ・Lightening people’s hearts and advancing human culture
6.  Buying and Stock Management
Profits Depend on Supply
Buy cheap yet win suppliers’ respect ・The buyer represents the company president ・Become a purchasing president ・You need enthusiasm to get the suppliers on your side ・For business, supply is top priority ・Management of subcontractors
7.  Accounting
Role of the Accounting Department
Management through accounting ・Accounting stimulates manufacturing and sales ・Better accounting raises credibility ・Budget as guide, not straitjacket ・Optimal use of expenses
Why Profit is Necessary
Profit and your mission ・Profits are a public request for more products ・The results of your labor should more than break even ・Managerial efforts should be encouraged ・Business should be profitable ・Sound judgment sets a reasonable price ・Profit based on social justice ・A company that does not make a profit should be made liable
Taking Good Advantage of Capital
Money to oil the wheels ・Hard-earned money wins support and trust ・Appreciate the value of funds ・Solid management without loans ・Build a funds reservoir ・Carelessness about money leads to carelessness about everything
8.  Personnel Management
Attracting Good Employees
Good workers come where they are wanted ・Look for the reliable and conscientious ・Choose luckier people ・Outstanding talent and real work ability ・Those you do not employ may be future customers ・More good workers should seek out small businesses
How to Cultivate People
Human potential is limitless ・Create an environment where people can display their ability ・Employing people is a public responsibility ・People before products ・Be generous in your treatment of workers ・Grasp the working of the human heart ・Right person in the right job ・Establish appropriate goals ・Managers should demand a lot ・The president should have the spirit of serving tea ・Give people work and train them on the job ・The best way to learn is to learn on the job ・Trust them and let them do it ・Delegate work, but keep tabs on it ・Be gentle when there is a serious failure ・Neither too severe not too lenient ・Make rewards and punishments fair and reasonable ・Promotion by seniority and by merit ・Asking for help is asking for trouble ・Make use of people’s strengths in management ・Consider your subordinates superior to you ・Put personal sentiments aside; be fair ・Listen to your workers ・Let your subordinates know your faults ・Issue orders with feeling ・Luck plays an important part
Points in Setting Salaries
Salaries must be fair and appropriate ・High performance can be achieved by paying higher salaries ・Aiming for the highest acceptable salaries ・Salaries are determined by society’s fair recognition
Handling of Labor-Management Relations
Benefits for labor and for management are shared ・Development of labor unions as the foundation of prosperity ・Conflict resolution through coordination of interests ・Both sides need to be able to say what they have to say ・Considering problems from different perspectives ・Labor and management are too wheels of a cart ・Start each new day afresh ・Drawing the line that must by all means be defended
9.  Offshore Development
Doing Business Abroad
The spirit of overseas expansion is coexistence and coprosperity ・Economic exchange with precedence for the host country ・The satisfaction of contributing to cultural advancement ・Toward improved living standards through history ・Three conditions for successful offshore development ・Satisfy the domestic market before going offshore ・Understanding not just of products but of philosophy ・We are all human



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