January 5, 2016 New Year Greeting

Masashi Takahashi
Chairman & CEO

I humbly extend New Year's greetings to all. I would like to say thank you for your continued support throughout the past year.

As a company, we have surpassed a quarter century since establishment, and now, in our 26th year, we are entering the first stage of our next quarter century. I would like to express deep gratitude to all stakeholders that have contributed to our growth. Upon entering into a new era, last July I promoted Kazuhito Kidachi to the position of company president with the intention of creating a fresh corporate environment. Together, with a young group of employees, we are striving towards further service development and quality advancement.

We are now embarking on medium-term organizational change that will see us undertake reforms related to both company culture and organizational structure. The three points below are the main themes.

  1. from the perspective of creators and engineers, provision of a more creative environment
  2. create an environment that ensures we continue to remain a creative and exciting organization
  3. have the highest level technical skill and service provision in upstream roles, including producers and directors

As a basis to achieving this objective, last autumn we announced internally the concept of "Mitsue-Links 2.0" and we have now started to make efforts toward organizational change. The keywords related to this concept are:

  1. Simple
  2. Flat
  3. Team Commitment
  4. Visualization
  5. Lean

We seek to simplify complicated systems and processes, in order to create an organization that everyone can understand and, consequently, fulfill their potential. We seek to move away from a hierarchical organization to one that is flat and centered on teams granted autonomy and empowered to manage themselves. We are also converting all the wall space within the office to whiteboards, this will allow teams to visualize their assignments and work-in-progress, as well as display technical level information in a manner in which all team members will be able to understand. Furthermore, we will become an efficient and lean organization. Based on these objectives, we will implement improvement activities.

Regarding “Mitsue-Links 2.0”, in order to achieve our objectives we have established support tools and devised philosophies that are based on the following three items.

First Item: “Management 3.0”. When on a business trip to Berlin, Germany, last year, I had the opportunity to visit our partner company movingIMAGE24's offices. The organization was very flat in terms of structure, and all the staff worked with a sparkle in their eyes – it was very impressive. Whilst on a tour of the company, I strongly felt that I wanted Mitsue-Links to become such an organization. movingIMAGE24 introduced agile methods as well as Management 3.0 three years ago to such a degree of success that the company is often declared one of Germany`s most famous examples of an agile organization.

Second Item: “Generation Y”. During my visit to movingIMAGE24, I was introduced to “ausculto” the consulting firm that assisted movingIMAGE24 in implementing “management 3.0”, then during discussions with ausculto an important phrase cropped up. According to ausculto founder Ilker Demirel, “the context for agile methodologies and management 3.0 implementation is organizations seeking to accommodate the new sense of values that the so-called Generation Y possesses”. The term "Generation Y" refers to the generation born since around 1980, they are therefore around the age of 36 or younger. It is said that this young generation has a different value system toward work from previous generations based on the following 3 points.

  • Autonomy (want to advance work based on their own thinking and decisions)
  • Mastery (want to develop skills through their work)
  • Purpose (want to work with a clear objective)

Already, a specialist team of three has undergone training in Germany and commenced activities back here in Japan.

Third Item: Employee-Centered Thinking. Rainor Strack, a Boston Consulting Group senior partner and management director mentioned, on the "ideas worth spreading" video site TED, that implementing employee-centered thinking is essential for “people advantage” and the continuous development of companies. Furthermore, according to the results of a survey that Strack et al. conducted with 200,000 job seekers in 189 countries on what they regard as important when looking for a company - the top 4 in terms of relative priority, from 26 options, are cited below.

  1. No.1 being appreciated for your work
  2. No.2 having great relationships with colleagues
  3. No.3 enjoying a great work-life balance
  4. No.4 having great relationships with superiors
  5. No.8 earning an attractive fixed salary

Based on this global perspective, remuneration only reaches eighth position, whereas the top four to are related to corporate culture and human relationships.

We will take these three items into account whilst advancing the implementation of “Mitsue-Links 3.0”.

Mitsue-Links is beginning its journey toward a new company culture.

Under the slogan of Mitsue-Links 2.0, we seek to become a company and brand that is not only technology and creative idea focused but one that facilitates the flourishing of a new culture in which employee eyes sparkle and clients receive the highest levels of satisfaction.

For more information on our services, timeframes and estimates, as well as examples of our work, please feel free to be in touch.