様々な分野でグローバルに活躍する「普通の人々」が体験を語り、次世代の普通の人々のお役に立てればと思っているサイトです。

日本在住歴約40年のRon McFarlandと外資系勤務が長い齋藤信幸が、それぞれの海外体験を語ります。

Ron McFarlandのPersonal Journey (31) : 中近東のクエートへ。

2021-12-05 00:27:11 | Ron's Life Story
Ronさんの最初の中近東への旅は、クエート。

FactFullnessのデータでは、現在のクエートは、日本やアメリカと同じレベル4。
所得は日本やアメリカよりも高いとのこと。さて、1986年のクエートは?中近東は?

それにしてもトラックの営業先は幅広い。世界中だ。
私のように半導体の検査装置だと行き先は限られる。
ちょっと羨ましくもある。

From Turkey on my way back to Japan I traveled to Kuwait to give a seminar to the General Motors GMC dealer there. That was my first time to the Middle East, and it was before the ’91 Gulf War. Here again, the General Motors consultant to the Middle East wanted training for his dealers too.

中近東の地域内のコンフリクト。
The Middle East is a region as you know, but each country has its own character. In those days, there are the oil/natural gas rich countries with low populations, the oil/natural gas rich countries with large populations, the countries with a small amount of oil, the countries with little oil but an educated labor force, etc. That is still pretty true today I would guess, but the conflicts in the region make everything very complicated.

クエートは多くの国から労働者やセールスパーソンを受入れ。
Well, Kuwait is in the first group, an oil/natural gas rich, and low population country. They import labor for almost everything. In an automotive dealership, the service technicians were usually from Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and The Philippines. The sales people were usually from Palestine (or Israel/Jordan/Lebanon or whatever you want to call them), Egypt, Sudan, India or Pakistan. I have no idea why, but I am very comfortable training the Palestinian’s or Egyptian’s in that region. They seem to be the most interested in expanding their skills and knowledge.

母国を離れて仕事をするということ。
I have a strong feeling that anyone who leaves his home country to make a better life in a different country is very special and not completely like his average countryman. For some strange reason, the Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, Palestinian, Indian, Korean and Egyptian have been able to be successful anywhere they go. Well, the people I train are those very special people, and I’ve enjoyed training them. I guess it is because I am one of them, being an American living outside of the United States over half my life. I left my country at the age of 28 years old and have not returned to live up to this writing.



Sales Training Group, Kuwait, April 1986      



Salesman-customer role playing



A life of leisure on the Persian Gulf
with two General Motors Consultants and the Kuwaiti dealer
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Ron McFarlandのPersonal Journey (30) : 東西文明の十字路トルコへ。

2021-11-28 16:10:52 | Ron's Life Story
さて、今回はトルコ訪問を掲載します。

私自身はトルコとは縁がありませんでしたが、トルコ料理が大好きで、
新宿三丁目のトルコ料理店「ボスボラス」でセミナーを開催したこともありました。

<Ron-sanのセミナー@ボスボラス>


Ron-sanの豊富なビジネストリップにまつわる旅行談や日本も含めた異文化体験談のセミナーを随時実施しております。

コロナも落ち着いてきましたので、ご興味がありましたらお知らせいただければと思います。

さて、本題に戻ります。

Ronさんはトルコをかなり気に入ったようです。そのあたりの表現も参考になります。

Turkey

Toward the end of 1985, around November, I was asked to go to Turkey. Isuzu set up a new distributor and assembly operation there independent of General Motors and wanted to build its own international operation. My function here again was to develop their very fragmented sales operation. What I mean by fragmented, is that vehicles sales are sold to a sales dealer. Parts (for new vehicles) were sold to parts retail stores, and service was done by outside garages. That was known as the “THREE ‘S’s”. That is Sales, Service and Spare parts in one dealership. On that first trip, I only went around the country and interviewed the current dealers. I was to return to give the seminar on the next trip.

Turkey is a wonderful and historic country. That first trip was a real eye opener for me, and I fell in love with the country. I think they fell in love with me too, as I was asked back many times over my 20-year career in Isuzu Motors. I will talk about Turkey in detail later.



The Bosporus, March, 1986



Mosques of Istanbul, November 1985


Turkey training

Two months after the Middle East trip, in June, 1986 I gave my first seminar in Turkey. I learned they had very old person-to-person sales techniques. There was very little product presentation or feature explanation. With my presentation and contests among the salesmen, I was able to create a complete new selling step for them which greatly made negotiating easier.
It was a booming success, and I received an open door to provide seminars there anytime I had material I thought would be helpful.



Turkey Sales Training, June 1987



Yes, he is trying to kiss me. なかなか面白いシーンですね。
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Ron McFarlandのPersonal Journey (29) : インドへ。そしてTATAとの戦い。

2021-11-21 22:57:59 | Ron's Life Story
今日のインドは、『Fact Fullness』(Hans Rosling他著、日経BP出版)のデータではレベル2の国です。

アジアのフィリピンやベトナムと同じ所得グループに入っています。

「しかし」と言っては失礼ですが、インドは近年、世界的な経営者を輩出しています。

その代表が、Googleのサンダー・ピチャイ(Sundar Pichai)やMicrosoft CEOのサティア・ナデラ(Satya Nadella)です。

サンダーは1972年、サティアは1967年にインドに生まれています。

Ron-san訪問時(1985年)には、彼らはそれぞれ13歳と18歳。

そんな彼らが、どうやってグローバルの舞台で大活躍できるようになったのでしょうか。

大変、興味深いですね。

さて、1985年当時のインドはどのようなところだったのでしょうか。

インドのトラックプロジェクト。
In late 1985 and 1986, I went twice to India. There was a new and huge heavy-duty truck project with Hindustan Motors, and I was to develop the sales network and train the dealers throughout the country.

My first trip was to visit the dealers, Hindustan Motors had assigned in the south, west and north. Because of all the political problems in the north, I could only visit dealers in the Delhi area. I started my trip in Delhi, where the head office of the commercial vehicle division was.

おなじみTATAとの戦い。どう攻めるか。
Hindustan Motors is mostly a car company and wanted to compete with TATA, the powerhouse in the truck business (as well as many industries) in India. TATA exports trucks throughout the region as well as dominates the Indian domestic market with 80% of the market share. It is based on old Mercedes Benz technology.

The idea was to start selling our truck in the south where TATA was weakest. There was another company in India called Ashok Lealand based on old British Lealand trucks. They were head quartered in Madras (now Chennai), in the south. So, at that time, they had 25% of the market share in that region, and we wanted to take some of their business with a superior truck. Therefore, I started my market study in Madras and Bangalore in the south. The south of India is like the southern States in the United States. Businesses are small. Families are large, or I should say larger than the average large family in India. They are not as industrial as the mighty north or west. In recent years, Bangalore has become the “Silicone Valley” of India. They have an expanding computer and software industry. As a matter of fact, they were vital support for their American counterparts during the “YK2” problem, as they worked when the Americans were sleeping to solve all the computer problems. The people in the south are wonderful, warm and open.

From there I went to Bombay, now called Mumbai. That is the main commercial center of the country. Like many large cities in the developing world, Mumbai is a city that draws people from the countryside.

India is a very complicated and historic country. Most of the Eastern religions came out of India in some form. Hindi is the national language, but there are hundreds of dialects, which prevent people from traveling around the country for work and a better life. The literate population, when I was there, was 24% in any language. In English, possibly 10% of the population speak it fluently. In spite of that small percentage, with a population of over 800 million (at that time), that is a lot of literate people, and the middle class is very large. Unfortunately, the lower classes (in both wealth and status) are even larger.

貧しいが平和な国。
In spite of its poor education and living standards, I found the country very safe and felt the people were very peaceful in their hearts.

In the mid-1980’s, India was a tiring country to travel through though, and one always has to worry about bad food, water and facilities. It’s not all that fun to be stuck in an elevator for a few hours while it is being repaired. With the lack of foreign exchange at that time, India could not buy replacement parts for the imported industrial goods they buy. Therefore, even parts are repaired instead of replaced, but it is very time consuming and usually needs repair again in a very short time. In the more recent times, I think the country has improved greatly with its export drives and the opening of the domestic market in sales and investment.

様々な規制。
As for my seminars, the dealers loved the sales concepts and the new truck they were getting. But, here again, production equipment could not be imported at that time, and the Bank of India would not allow us to get foreign exchange to import production parts and components regularly. Therefore, an average dealer would have to wait years before it would get one truck to sell. That was a real heart breaker for me, as the country really needed better transportation, and people were literally dying on the roads with truck breakdowns.

At the time I did not know it, but I would go to India several times more on personal visits.


 
Bombay, Feb, 1986



Training Group in Delhi, India
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Ron McFarlandのPersonal Journey (28) : マレーシアから隣のインドネシアに。

2021-11-13 12:42:36 | Ron's Life Story
コロナが落ち着いてきたので、1年ぶりでしょうか、久しぶりにRon-sanと飲み会。

場所は「六本木」のパブでなく、昭和臭漂う「蒲田」の居酒屋。

なんたって、「普通のグローバル人材」がテーマの会ですので、

空の玄関口、羽田空港に近い中小企業の町、蒲田が一番相応しいし、Ron-sanも私も好きな町なのです。

来年、蒲田でセミナーを開くことを肴に「カンパイ」。



さて、今回の記事はインドネシア。

インドネシアは私がいたハードディスク業界や半導体業界に関わる企業が極めて少ない国でした。

私が行ったのは、バタム島のみ。シンガポールから船で1時間ほどのところであったと記憶しています。

1994年当時、そこには松下寿㈱(現在はパナソニックに吸収)の工場があり、ハードディスクの部品を製造していました。

入国審査に長蛇の列ができていましたが、我々の一団は別の入り口から入って並ばずに審査。

毎回、袖の下でも渡していたのでしょうか。

松下寿での昼食時に「水は絶対に飲まないように」と何度も注意されたことを覚えています。アメーバ赤痢対策でしょうか。

現在、バタム島はリゾート。水質も良くなっているはずです。

最近読んだ『FACT FULNESS』(ハンス・ロスリング他著、日経BP社)によると、マレーシアは日本と同じレベル4、インドネシアはレベル3の国と位置づけられています。

さて、Ron-sanが訪問した当時(1985年)のIndonesiaはどのような国だったのでしょうか。

Indonesia

After those four seminars in West Malaysia, I was asked to go down to Indonesia to study if we could help them develop their dealership network.
It turned out that the country had very strict local content laws and imported assembled vehicles were very heavily taxed.

Like Malaysia, a manufacturer had to not only have local assembly, but required a great deal of local parts in the vehicle, some parts of which were in low supply and of low quality.
So, the problem was not the dealership network, it was supply.

With little business to do, I decided to do market research while I was there. I studied the bus market on the beautiful island of Bali.



Bali, Indonesia, July 1985
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Ron McFarlandのPersonal Journey (27) : Ron-san、マレーの虎に!それはないか。でも、燃えていました。

2021-11-07 09:54:41 | Ron's Life Story
私がマレーシアに行くようになったのは1997年頃。ペナン島近くの日本企業への半導体製造装置の売り込みでした。仕事の中身は全く覚えていませんが、蝦蛄(シャコ)がたっぷり入った野菜炒めがやたら美味しかったことを記憶しています。

一番の思い出はボルネオ島のクチン。クチンは猫の意味で、町中には猫のモニュメントがありました。1998年、アジア通貨危機の後、日本企業のシャープとマレイシア政府が現地に半導体の工場を建てることになり、シンガポールの代理店の営業と半導体製造装置の売り込みに行きました。準備のための現地事務所にいたのは韓国人のエンジニア達。工場の建設予定地は、まだ、ジャングルでした。

約二年通い受注が決定。最終的な価格調整のためにクチンに行きました。その頃には会社名が1st Siliconと決まり、社員も増えているようで、購買の担当者はシンガポール人でした。この購買の方が用意してくれたホテルはクチンの端を流れる川の前にあり、朝、手漕ぎの小さな船で通勤する人の姿が見えました。川の反対側はジャングル、どこに住んでいるのだろうか。そののんびりした様子に、そのゆったりとした生活ぶりに感動したのを覚えています。

Googleで調べてみると、その会社があった場所には「ATM - Rhb Bank 1st Silicon 閉鎖」とあります。現在、日本企業の太陽誘電の工場が近くにあり、1st Siliconのあった工場(建て替えたかどうかは分からないが、おそらくクリーンルームをそのまま使用)は、HGST Malaysisに代わっていました。これも奇遇です。HGSTは私がいたIBMのハードディスク部門が日立の同部門と合併してできた会社でした。先日亡くなった、経団連会長の中西氏がCEOを務めた会社でもあります。そのHGSTも実際にはWestern Digitalに買収されました。

さて、Ronさんのマレーシア訪問は、以上の話よりも更に10年以上前、つくづく凄いなと思います。

West Malaysia
With the success in Singapore, I was soon commissioned to give four seminars in West Malaysia on pretty much the same subject but for different vehicles. Armed with the experience in Singapore, I improved and streamlined the seminar. That was in mid-June, 1985.

Malaysia is a very complicated country. It is divided into East Malaysia and West Malaysia, West Malaysia or Peninsula Malaysia being about 80% of the economy, but with East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo having a wealth of natural resources.

Around 50% of the population are Malay. The Malay people have their own language and are mostly Muslim. Their population is spread all around the country, particularly in the countryside.

Around 35% of the population are Chinese. They are either Buddhist or Christian and live mostly in the major cities along the west coast of West Malaysia.

The third group of people are Indian, from India. They are about 11% of the population. They are mostly Hindu in religion.

All the groups pretty much keep to their own group, but share one thing. They all feel they are Malaysian. Interestingly the Chinese and Indian population own or operated most of the major companies in the country, but the Malay population controls the government. There has been many government owned companies just for Malay management, and there has been mixed successes with them.

It is amazing how peaceful the country is, in spite of their very different ethnic groups.

I have enjoyed training all of the groups and always felt that they put a high level of importance on manpower development. I always drew large crowds when I gave seminars in Malaysia.



Sales Seminar, June, 1985



Large Training Group
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Ron McFarlandのPersonal Journey (26) : Ron-sanのビジネストリップ物語の始まり - シンガポール

2021-10-30 21:49:15 | グローバル人材育成
ここからはRonさんのビジネストリップ物語、80か国以上を訪問、の話です。

目的はもちろん海外の営業拠点での営業のトレーニング。

それまでのいすゞ自動車にはないRonさんならではのトレーニングを行いました。

最初のトレーニングは1985年のシンガポール。

私がアジアに初めて目を向けたのは、1994年、米系のコンサル会社にいるときでした。

その後、半導体装置の会社の海外営業に移り、シンガポール初訪問は1997年でした。

中国系がビジネスの実権を握り、マレー系、インド系が安価な労働力を提供といった構造でした。

では、Ronさんのビジネストリップ物語の始まりです。

Chapter #9: TRAVELING & TEACHING IN THE 1980’S

Singapore

As I mention earlier, my first training business trip was in Singapore on April 26-29, 1985. That is where 20 years of international travel to give seminars started.

As I look back, that was not a particularly good seminar, but it was far better than what Isuzu Motors ever did before, to develop its sales network international. So, simply put, I had an easy act to follow. In some cases, previous training was not even understandable, not to mention helpful. So, that is where the rocket took off.

Singapore is a city-state, a country of one city at the south of Peninsula Malaysia. It is a major trading port because of its location. It used to be a colony of England and therefore English (British English) is the most commonly used language. About 80% of the population are Chinese with a small percent of Malay and a smaller population from Indian.

Historically, being a British Colony, it was the ideal place to import machinery and finished goods from England and export raw materials, mostly natural rubber, tin and palm oil from Malaysia to England.

In recent years, as it is on the oil route from the Middle East to the United States, it is a major stop-over for tankers and has developed its own petro-chemical industry. With its extremely high level of education and being multi-lingual, it also is very involve in the computer and electronic industry.

It is very close to the equator, and therefore is very tropical with a lot of rain.





Uploaded by Nobi Saito
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Ron McFarlandのPersonal Journey (25) : Ron-sanのセールス・トレーニング(さわりだけですが)

2021-10-24 22:31:45 | Ron's Life Story
Ronさんのライフワークとなった海外営業。Ronさんの自伝の中では、いすゞのトラック販売向けに開発したセールス・トレーニングの説明が続きますが、ここではさわりだけをご紹介します。

Chapter #8: WHAT SALES TRAINING IS

Ronさんが20年間言い続けてきたこと。

When I look back, I wonder why my training carried the value it did and was as durable as it was. A song is only on the charts for a few weeks, and here I am saying the same thing for almost 20 years.

”ゴール自体が大事なのではない”
After doing all the studies on selling and writing on the subject, I came up with ten steps to selling. Each step is an activity or series of activities. We have all heard the expression, “We are goal oriented, not activity oriented.” Well, I can’t disagree with that statement, but it is not compete. It ignores the activities required to achieve the goal you want to achieve. I believe once the goal is set, all the attention should be on the activities required to achieve the goal. 90% of one’s attention should be on the activities required to achieve the goal, not the goal itself. The goal should be set initially and occasionally evaluated to confirm its value. Other than that, all the attention should be on the activities as I see it. If highly successful activities have been developed, evaluated and proven, one should use them as much as possible. An example is Toyota’s production system. The production lines are set up so the production worker does not have to think. They just follow very precisely determined activities. Well, I developed selling activities with that same belief in mind.

”自分でどうにもならないことを嘆いても”
Too often I hear sales managers pressuring sales people about making their sales target and to make their assigned quotas. They talk about the competition. They talk about inflation and pricing concerns. They talk about new technology challenging the current product range. They talk about the strength and/or weakness in the economy. They talk about supplies and importing problems. Discussions on these subjects can go on for hours to no conclusion. For a retail sales person, all of these factors are totally out of his control, and he walks out of the room with a sales goal but feels completely helpless.

誰もが実施できるセールスプロセス
So, I tried to write a sales training seminar on activities that will be most helpful to produce the sales goals set. I wanted to write activities, I as a sales manager could order someone to do. I cannot order someone to sell because of the factors above, which are out of a salesman’s control. Each of my 11 steps is within the person’s control.



Ronさんは、このセールス・トレーニング・プログラムを世界各地で展開していきました。
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Ron McFarlandのPersonal Journey (24) : 残りの人生の目標が明確に!

2021-10-17 01:14:51 | Ron's Life Story
Ron-sanは、いすゞ自動車にて海外営業トレーニングプログラムの開発に従事し、また、川崎に引っ越し、地域のコミュニティに加わることにより、残りの人生のゴールを見つけたと記しています。30代後半です。

営業トレーニングでの気付き
Over the years, although vehicle models have changed, basic sales techniques, sales management and general management have changed very little. Also, those principles are very universal and can apply in many countries and cultures. There are modifications required, but they are very slight considering the total concept.

Furthermore, as I studied how sales were made in many markets, I learned there is never one best way. What is best in one region might not be in another. Obviously a salesman would not telephone his customer if none of the customers had telephones. He would not send out advertisement if the customers could not read.

営業トレーニング成功の要因
I had no idea to this day why my presentations and seminars were so popular. I would guess it has something to do with my personality and the ability to communicate with people who have a wide range of education levels. Also, for some reason, my sense of humor seems to be successful in many wide and diverse groups. I guess that was just a gift from God. I know that my goals of globally interacting and understanding people were on the right track.

Moving to Shinkawasaki Park City いすゞの社宅からマンションへ引っ越し。
Also, during those years we moved out of Isuzu Motors’ company housing and bought our own condominium. Finally we were in the position to create a nice neighborhood environment. We had a sport club and tennis courts in the complex. Also, there a full range of activities we could get involved in like Japanese summer festivals.



Summer Festivals in Shinkawasaki Park City

残りの人生のゴールが明確に。
Finally, my life’s purpose was showing itself, and I was overjoyed with both personally and professionally, as I had finally clarified my goals and activities for the rest of my life.
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Ron McFarlandのPersonal Journey (23) : 初舞台はシンガポール。大切なのは学ぶ姿勢!

2021-10-10 00:22:14 | グローバル人材育成
RonさんはGMのコンサルタントやトレーニングから多くを学び、いすゞのトラック販売用の営業トレーニング・プログラムを開発。
1985年、ついにシンガポールで最初のセールスセミナーを開催。Ronさんのグローバルな仕事の始まりです。

当時、私も念願叶い1983年の末から米国IBMサンノゼ研究所に家族と共に赴任。
米国人の向上心、独立心の高さに感銘を受け、その後の人生に大きな影響を受けました。

GMのコンサルタントと関係者からの学び
There was a Japanese domestic market GM Consultant from Chevrolet, Gardner Glenn, who was trying to improve Isuzu’s sales in Japan and spent time in Chevrolet’s training operation in the United States. When I approached him, he thought we could complement each other very well, as I was a Japanese speaker, and he had just arrived from the US with little background about Japan. Through our many discussions, he provided me a wealth of material from GM’s old training programs. That was just the raw material I needed to write my own international commercial vehicle and car sales training program.



Also, Gardner had recruited the John Williamson Company to provide seminars in Japan. John Williamson owned a group of dealerships in the southern part of the United States. At that time, they had 22 dealerships and an in-group training center in Birmingham, Alabama. Now, there are mega-dealers owning hundreds of dealerships, but in those days dealership groups were rare.

米国のトレーニングに参加し大きな収穫
John Williamson invited me to his training center to attend one of his normal US domestic 2-week salesmen courses and spend a week observing a dealership of my choice. That was very productive three weeks, as I then had all the material and techniques I needed to do it all myself. Also, I received, for free, great material for a dealership sales manager seminar, my second program.

Over and above that, I read a dozen books on basic salesmanship.

As I had worked in Isuzu’s overseas sales promotion department and was a pretty good Japanese speaker at that time, I had a pretty good understanding of the Isuzu products, particularly the trucks. What I did not know, I could learn very easily by going into Isuzu’s Engineering and asking about it. One of the functions of sales seminars is to help the retail salesmen sell and to do that, they had to know the features and user benefits of buying the vehicle. Therefore, teaching about the product was critical and not just teaching basic salesmanship.

シンガポールで最初のセールスセミナーを開催
After a year of study and writing, I conducted my first sales seminar in Singapore, in 1985. It was not the best seminar I ever gave, but I learned a great deal from that program and from that point the seminars improved and improved. While I was teaching, I was probing the best salesmen as to what made them so successful. I not only shared their thoughts with the whole group, I took that knowledge and used it to improve the future seminar.




First sales seminar, April 1985

世界各地でセミナー開催
From that first seminar, my training activities exploded, and I started traveling worldwide, particularly in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. I gave seminars in Europe only a few times and a couple of times in Canada. But, most of the time I was working in the jungles and desserts of the world. As of this writing, I have traveled to over 80 countries worldwide.

それにしても、何故、GMをはじめとして米国のメーカーは、日本市場で生き残れなかったのでしょうか。
ヨーロッパのメーカーであるメルセデスやBMW、フォルックスワーゲンなどは一定のマーケットとステータスを築いてていますね。
ブランド戦略の違いでしょうか。気になり始めました。
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Ron McFarlandのPersonal Journey (22) : 人事部で燻っていたRon-san、自ら道を拓きます。

2021-10-02 14:20:48 | グローバル人材育成
いすゞ自動車の人事部に配属されたが、今一つハッピーではないRonさん。
そんなとき、セールスプロモーション部門から英文資料の作成を頼まれます。

この仕事を通じて、いすゞ自動車の海外営業を分析し、弱点を発見します。さらに、・・・

I was not happy with my assignment in the Isuzu Motors Personnel Department and was always looking for ways to get more into the international business. It came first when I was asked to help with English written material in the Overseas Sales Promotion Department.

I was asked to spend every Friday in that department to rewriting English speeches, slide presentations, corporate catalogues, product presentations and video narrations. So, I had two desks and two bosses with very different assignments coming at me.

Through all the English rewriting, I learned the features on all of the overseas cars, trucks and other products. Armed with what I learned in business school, I could see some of the things that were lacking in Isuzu’s overseas sales promotional activities and the weaknesses in many of their overseas sales activities. Furthermore, learned most of the people in the overseas sales departments had weak selling skills. They were only able to process orders as the purchases came in from customers around the world. This was a source of friction between Engineering and the Overseas Sales Departments. The sales organization was separated by regions of the world and sales channels.

There were three main overseas sales channels, the IMODC channel, the GM channel, and the Isuzu channel. This is not counting domestic Japan, which in those days was about half the business.

The IMODC channel stands for Isuzu Motors Overseas Distribution Corporation. It basically distributed to the smaller countries of the world and was a joint venture with GM with Isuzu owning 51% of the shares and having management responsibility. The GM channel was made up mostly of GM’s overseas assembly plants in which Isuzu sold to in the CKD (completely knocked down) form. The Isuzu channel was its own network, mostly in Asia. Some of the countries had assembly operations; some only had dealers that imported completely built up vehicles.

いよいよ国際ビジネスのチャンスが。
After being with the company for about three years, my chance to get into international business came. I was asked to go over to the Isuzu Training Center and help them write an English training manual about 1-2 days a week, as they were asked by top management to provide training to dealers around the world in the same fashion as they did for Japanese domestic dealers. So, I then had three desks to work from on different days of the week.

When I got to the Training Department, I learned that not only did they not have a training program for me to improve on. What they did have would not be acceptable in overseas markets. On top of that, even if they could use the material no one wanted to or was qualified to teach overseas. What they were trying to do was to build a case that overseas sales training could not be done in Isuzu Motors.

As the English training job in the Personnel Department was pretty well established, I only went there occasionally to set up classes. Also, the Overseas Sales Promotion job was changed to an as need be basis. That left me open to spend all my time to develop sales training program for overseas dealers’ salesmen.

そしてGMのコンサルへアプローチ。この積極性が大切。
For me though, that was a job I wanted very badly. I had the teaching background and experience. Also, I had a business education and experience. What I needed was a good sales program for vehicles. So, I approached the GM consultants within Isuzu.



Uploaded by Nobi Saito
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Ron McFarlandのPersonal Journey (21) : Ron-sanが大いに苛立った問題とは?

2021-09-26 01:05:48 | Ron's Life Story
1980年にいすゞ自動車の人事部に配属されたRonさんは、言葉の壁がある中、二つ大きな問題を感じました。

その一つは、結論が出ない長すぎる非効率な会議です。

関係する部署(それとあまり関係のない部署)から沢山の人が出席して、延々と会議し、結論が先延ばしになる会議。

Ronさんは、かなりいら立ちを覚えたようです。

コロナウイルス対策としての給付金問題、ロックダウン問題。
緊急課題でも結論まで大変時間がかかっている現状を見ると、今も残る日本の組織の弱点としか言えません。

もう一つが「たばこ」。昔は、会議室の中に靄がかかたようになることもありました。
幸い、これはオリンピックもあり、禁煙、分煙が行き届いてきました。この状態に至るまで40年ですね。

The atmosphere in the personnel department was something new for me. We had our own tennis team that competed in head office and in company-wide tournaments. We went to baseball games together. In the evenings, I would from time to time go out with other members of our group for a drink and dinner. This was all company paid as it came under the heading of building teamwork. In most Japanese companies even today, being able to get along and work as a team member is sometimes more important than your actual job performance. If taken to the extreme, this concept can become a liability for many companies, as they cannot make the difficult decisions as to how to be more efficient, who is needed and who is not needed. Just getting along is not enough.


  
Gatherings in Isuzu Motors with my family

In those early months in the company, I suffered with language problems again. I didn’t know the financial and managerial terms required in internal business discussions. Also,the offices and meeting rooms were filled with heavy smokers that left me with a headache at the end of each day.

The meetings were twice as long as I thought they could have been and with three to four times more people than was necessary. Decisions were slow in coming and not made without a lot of research. One troublesome area about decisions by committee is that with the continual interaction of a large number of people no one will be finally responsible. Even top management would rubber-stamp what these committees decide and not even know what they are approving. Even if they did, they would not be able to stand up and strongly support the committees’ position.

I would listen to rambling and rambling on subjects of which no one had the required information to make a decision. So, the talking just kept going. Rarely did a meeting end on time. A one-hour meeting could very easily go for three hours. Also, there were people in the room saying nothing and doing nothing. No note taking, nothing. Some, believe it or not, some attendees were sleeping in the meetings. Although, improvements have been made, that characteristic about Isuzu was there even when I left. It unfortunately is a very common problem in many large Japanese companies but to a lesser degree today. The good side is a lot of information comes out. The bad side is that with management by committee no one will take responsibility for the decision and stand behind it.

It was becoming clearer that my goals and dreams for life would start to material greatly working in Isuzu Motors through their international activities. I still had to find out exactly what role I would play in that regard. That started to be answered in the years that followed.
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Ron McFarlandのPersonal Journey (20) : Ron-sanこりゃ凄いよ!

2021-09-19 15:30:14 | Ron's Life Story
Ronさんと私の奇妙なつながりの一つは、以前お話ししましたカリフォルニア州サンノゼ。
ロンさんはサンノゼ州立大学で学び、私はIBMサンノゼ研究所で仕事。

もう一つのつながりはこのいすゞ自動車。
IBM藤沢工場・研究所があった桐原工業団地にいすゞ自動車とその関連会社があり、
また、同じマンションにいすゞ117クーペをデザインした社員もおり、当時の状況はよく耳にしました。
117クーペは、いすゞの個性的なデザインの乗用車。
今でも中古市場では人気のようです。ピアッツアの登場により1981年に生産終了。

さて、翌1982年、Ronさんに凄いことが起きます。

In those days, it was extremely rare for a foreign person to work full-time in a large Japanese company. Because of the language, corporate culture and business style, there seemed to be little value. In my case, I was one of a growing number of people taking this career path. It was so rare that along with four other people, I was interview for an article in FORTUNE MAGAZINE. It was in the July 12, 1982 issue. I am still in close contact with one of those people today.



FORTUNE MAGAZINE interview

確かに当時、日本企業で働く外国人は少なかったですね。
IBMのような外資系企業でも私の知る限りではおりませんでした。
今ほど、海外からの出張者もいなかったと思います。

さて、当時のいすゞ自動車の経営状態は?

Even in those days, Isuzu Motors was in financial difficulties and had a debt to equity ratio of 85% to 15%. Also, its working capital (current assets to current liabilities) was mostly in the red. Simply, they lived off of bank borrowing. As there were a lot of land and other long-term assets that were heavily undervalued on the books, the banks were always willing to continue to lend to Isuzu.

Most of the shareholders were institutional investors, like GM. Their main concern was related to working with Isuzu more than Isuzu’s profit making. The banks wanted to lend. The trading companies wanted to process overseas sales and lend short-term. GM wanted cheap and good vehicles, which they could not produce themselves. The financial health of Isuzu Motors was a minor concern to almost of the major shareholders. When the company did lose a great deal of money during a business term or because of a product failed, no one at the top management level would be held responsible. There was always a reason other than bad management decisions. That lack of attention and accountability is one of several reasons the company continued to deteriorate during my 21 years in the company.

From the job interview and throughout my career in Isuzu Motors, I had always been able to get agreement on proposals if I said I could do it cheaper than the way it is currently done. There was always a cost cutting program in place, and that got attention.

During the job interview, I said I would bring all language training programs in-house. I would hire teachers directly and set up an in-house testing system. That alone saved millions of Japanese Yen per year. No one was interested in improvements, only how to do the same thing cheaper.
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Ron McFarlandのPersonal Journey (19) : いすゞ自動車に就職

2021-09-11 17:15:59 | Ron's Life Story
ここから第六章です。代表的な日本企業いすゞ自動車の社員としての生活が始まります。さて、入社までの経緯は?

Chapter #6: BECOMING AN EMPLOYEE OF A LARGE JAPANESE CORPORATION

One of the English students I had was my next-door neighbor’s daughter. The father was to top executive in Isuzu Motors Limited. That was one of the major truck manufacturers in the country. It was one of the three oldest automotive companies in the country along with Toyota and Nissan. During and after World War II, Isuzu decided to devote most of its strength in building and marketing trucks instead of passenger cars, which Toyota and Nissan did. All three produced both cars and trucks, but Isuzu put most of its effort into trucks. The truck industry is very cyclical and is affected by economic shifts, and Isuzu suffered greatly during periods of recession. In order to survive, it had to sell off one of its plants (later to become Hino Motors) and affiliated several times with other manufacturers through product cross badging. Nothing seemed to work until in 1971 General Motors (GM) bought 34% of the company.



The family to got me into Isuzu Motors

With the very different corporate cultures and approaches to business between GM and Isuzu, there were always areas of friction and pro-GM/anti-GM camps within Isuzu Motors. The pro-GM camp was basically saying that Isuzu could not survive without GM, and to prosper, Isuzu needed all the help it could get from GM including management support. The anti-GM camp was saying that Isuzu and GM are equal partners with different strengths and GM need not participate within Isuzu’s management at all. Interestingly, I didn’t know it at the time, but the person that brought me into the company was more in the anti-GM camp. His feeling is that he could build Isuzu into an international organization without GM’s help. Anyway, he was my gateway into the company.

最初の仕事は人事の研修部。
My first position was to work in the training section within the Personnel Department. My first function was to set up a range of English classes for the entire company, as well as test staff on their English ability.

一方で、結婚に向けて準備。
While I was adjusting to working in a large Japanese company, I was also adjusting to married life. I had been with Taeko most of my time through graduate school. She’s a Tokyo girl, born and raised right in the center of the city.

The first time she brought me over to her house, I met the whole family, father, mother, two brothers and sister. Taeko is the youngest of the four children.

Taeko’s father ran a carpenter business but was pretty much retired when I met him. The two sons ran the business with the older of the two managing the company, the mother doing the accounting and the other brother doing a lot of the carpentry work.

Uploaded by Nobi Saito

以上は1980年の話です。日本の自動車の生産台数が世界一になり、モスクワオリンピックをボイコットし、竹の子族が出現し、ルービックキューブとチョロQが流行った年です。

この頃、読者の皆様はどうされていましたか。まだ、生まれていない!?

私は1977年に日本IBMに入り、入社時から狙っていた海外出張(初めての海外)で1979年12月から1980年5月までサンノゼで過ごしました。Ronさんは、サンノゼ州立大学を卒業して日本に、私はサンノゼのIBMに長期出張となりました。Ronさんと知り合ったのは30年後ですが、縁を感じます。

そして、今も、海外と関わる仕事を行い、それなりの生活を続けていられることに感謝し、自分の人生の選択が間違っていなかったことを実感しています。
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Ron McFarlandのPersonal Journey (18) : 上智大学で勉強開始。人生最高の出会いが。

2021-09-04 23:59:52 | Ron's Life Story
菅さんが総裁選不出馬を宣言。コロナ対策では批判が多いが、高齢者から先にワクチンを打ち、国全体として重傷者リスクを減らしたのは大きな功績。
本人や政府は、もっと胸を張ってもいいのに、そうしないのは何故か。トランプさんだったら100倍くらいに誇張して言うであろうに。
余裕がなくなっていた?発信力の問題?!

以下、
株式会社 日本総合研究所 主席研究員、株式会社 日本政策投資銀行 地域企画部 特任顧問
藻谷浩介氏、2021年8月30日の講演「オリンピックと第五波の決算 ~ データから見た第五波の真実 ~」より抜粋。
詳しく知りたい方は是非、藻谷氏の講演をどうぞ。資料はいただけます。

<日本はかなり良い方では?>


<ワクチンの効果は?>


<ピークは過ぎた>


<死者数は少ない>


*****************************************************************************************************************************
さて、Ron-sanのLife Storyに戻ります。

チャレンジし、努力する。そして、初めて道が開ける。私にそのことを教えてくれたのはシリコンバレーの人たちでした。

Ron-sanは文化の異なる日本の大学院(上智大学)で勉強を開始、このチャレンジがその後の大きな展開につながりました。

仕事でもプライベートでも。

As the subjects in graduate school became more interesting and demanding on my time, after the first year I decided to reverse the process. I changed from a working visa to a student visa. In order to do that, I had to leave the country and process the visa outside Japan. So, I spend two weeks in the Philippines with several of the other students I studied with. We traveled from Baguio City in the north on Luzon Island to Cebu Island in the center of the Philippines all by bus or jeepney, which was a form of taxi in the Philippines.

At that time, my Japanese was good enough so I could go out and generate my own English classes to support myself. Although I only stuck to the business community, my heart was not into teaching English. I always found myself teaching more business in English to businessmen than just English itself. Also, I learned a great deal about how business was run in the respective companies I taught at. I even wrote several papers for graduate school based on what I learned teaching English. So, teaching English achieved several goals.

Much like my undergraduate studies, about 10% of the material learned was helpful throughout my professional career, but that 10% paid for itself hundreds of times over. My studies evolved around the rapidly developing economies in Asia, foreign exchange, foreign investment and different management styles between western businesses and Japanese businesses. Those management differences learned in graduate school were very helpful when I started working for a large, old-fashion, traditional Japanese company.

As I did a lot of the research by interviewing companies in Japanese, I went through the second time of the exhaustion in using daily the Japanese language, as the subject matter was so different from basic living and daily subjects of conversation. I was now talking about growth industries, management decisions and investment strategies. I really had to develop my Japanese vocabulary to discuss those topics.

As the school was graduate school, many of the students were well into their careers and worked full-time. Therefore, most of the classes were in the evenings. After our classes we would quite often go out for a couple of beers with one of the professors, Professor Hirono from Seikei University. He even published one of my papers in his school’s economic journal. It was on the development of Malaysia, and I was very proud of that 50-page paper. At the time, I had no idea that I would be traveling to the countries repeatedly once I got into my career.



Professor Hirono, Petra Fujiwara

Other people from those beer parties that I still maintain contact with today are Petra Fujiwara and Wayne Toyomura. Petra eventually went back to Germany, her native country and spent many years working for Canon of Germany as their PR Manager. At the time of this writing she’s working for Fuji-Film in Duesseldorf. She married a Japanese guy who lived a great deal of his life in Germany. Wayne was from Hawaii and eventually moved back there.

Both Petra and Wayne are excellent in Japanese and started learning the language about the way I did, but both of them were more serious about it than I was, particularly on the writing side. They have very great depth in the language. I’m more a talker and negotiator.



Early days dating <いいね!!「昭和」の外国人感があるね!>

When in graduate school I met my wife Taeko. She was working at the time and had no connection with the school, but I just loved her personality. It was, and still is, very light and happy. She was the perfect match for a serious worrywart like me.

Coming to Japan, studying the language, getting to know the way the Japanese lived and attending graduate school in international business all contributed toward my dream of contributing to the world through working in the international community. A pathway to my goals of global interaction and understanding was starting to become clearer.
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Ron McFarlandのPersonal Journey (17) : 宇都宮から東京に。

2021-08-28 22:45:00 | Ron's Life Story
自衛隊機によるアフガニスタンからの退避、日本人一名のみ。
大使館員はとっくに脱出。それ以外の日本人と大使館に協力してきたアフガニスタン人は見捨てられました。
映画「シン・ゴジラ」で描かれたこの国の脆弱性が再現された思いです。
この大事件をテレビはほとんど報道していません。野党議員も騒がない。
この国は本当に大丈夫だろうか。
*******************************************************************************************************************************************


Ron-san、以前悔しい思いをしたバンク・オブ・アメリカの採用条件を満たすべく国際ビジネスの大学院に進学するために東京に引っ越し。1977年のお話です。

私はIBMに入社して1年目、ハードディスクの開発に携わっていました。磁気記録はもちろんのこと、ファームウェア、論理回路設計など「意外と」大学での知識が役立ちました。論理回路設計では社内勉強会の講師もしました。

時間とお金をつぎ込んだのが英語。社内の勉強会に加え、横浜元町にあったベルリッツに週2回通いました。また、米国出張には車の免許が必須とのことでしたので、藤沢の自動車学校に通学。貯金はできませんでした。でも、自分に投資しないとね。

Graduate school in Tokyo

While in Utsunomiya, I learned of an international graduate business school in English in Tokyo and decided to apply. I think my entrance exam scores were one of the poorest on record, but because they needed students, I was accepted. It was a 3-year MA degree in International Business. So, I was back to school again. If I could get this degree, I will have achieved what was recommended to me in the Bank of America job interview many years earlier to learn a second language and earn a graduate degree to get into international business. I thought that would be my ticket into international business.

渋い赤羽に住み、銭湯通いの日々。近所のちょっとした有名人に。
I got an apartment in Akabane, which is just on the northern tip of Tokyo. That would give me good access to the school as well as enable me to get to Utsunomiya to teach on the weekends.

I got a 2-room apartment, which had no bath. So, I had to use the local Japanese public bath, the “Sento”. Although in recent years they have become rare, public baths were very common, as some houses had no baths. In the evening, a person would take a wash pot, towel, soap, shampoo, change of clothes and go to the public bath. In those days, it cost about 155 yen (about US$1.00 or so) to enter. There were two baths, one for women and one for men. Between the two baths was a wall about eight feet high and a door between the two with a curtain, so you could not see into the other bath. Whole families would go to the bath at once and grandma and grandpa would bath their grandchildren respectively. The younger kids (up to about 5-6) would run between the two baths. The bath really generated a community spirit, as you could talk to the person washing next to you about how your day went, etc. I became famous in Iwabuchi-machi, Akabane, Tokyo very quickly, being a guy from California who could communicate in Japanese. The locals had a lot of questions about me, and I about them. The bath was open from 3:00 PM in the afternoon until mid-night, and I could easily be spotted with my pot on the way to the bath.

Also, I often would telephone a take-out restaurant a block or so away, and did my laundry at the coin laundry right next to the bathhouse. So, I was very visible in the neighborhood. I was there for three years and built a nice community for myself. It is often said that Tokyo is not a large city. It is simply thousands of small villages all packed together. If fully understood what they were referring to. Everything evolved around the bathhouse, coin laundry and a few restaurants or bars. Also, the summer festivals and portable shine celebrations were wonderful and further added to the spirit of the community.



Festivals in Iwabuchi-machi

I decided to try to maintain the working visa by working for an English teaching company full-time and go to school part-time. Then, I could ease my way into the studies without much stress. The company that I worked for sent me to companies all over the Tokyo area to teach their employees English.
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