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。

Nobie SaitoとRon McFarlandが、それぞれの海外体験を語り、たまに、グローバル人材育成の堅い話も。

"Filipino single mom in Japan" - 1

2018-09-09 17:59:43 | Duffy's Life Story
これは日本で暮らすフィリピン人からの投稿です。日本には約24万人のフィリピン人がおり、その大半は女性です。日本人と結婚している人、日本人と結婚し離婚した人が多いかと思います。この投稿も、日本人と結婚し、離婚、そしてシングルマザーとして異国の地、日本で生き抜いている女性の40年あまりのライフ・ストーリーです。名前は彼女の好きなディズニーのキャラクターからMs.Duffy(ミズ・ダフィー)としておきましょう。日本人でも生活が大変なシングルマザーとして、どう子供を育て、生き抜いているのか、そこから我々日本人が異国で暮らす場合の覚悟、知恵のようなものが学べればと思います。このシリーズは不定期にアップロードする予定です。

I am one of the thousands of Filipinos living here in Japan. Most of the Filipinos particularly women are seeking job here. But, as you stay longer, you’ll find out that it’s not that easy living in a foreign country because of our culture differences.

I came here November 19, 2000. It was winter season that was my very first time to experience the winter. It was freezing. My visa was an artist visa, but actually we were working as entertainers. During that time, I didn’t really care about the value of money. Since everything were provided by our company, other things were gifts from our guests.

I had difficulties with the language. Nihongo is one of the difficult languages around the world. It driven me crazy. Really. Coz I knew nothing but ohayou gozaimasu, konnichiwa, konbanwa and arigatou gozaimasu. I felt so awkward when the Japanese guest laughed I laughed with them too. But then I realized that I need to learn the language as soon as possible. So, I won’t look idiot, so what I did was I had

A note and a pen then I took memos every single word that the guest had spoken. Japanese people
are so kind and patient in teaching their language to foreigners whom they knew are willing and eager to learn. I practiced it to every guest I’ve spoken everyday and I mean everyday over and over I used the same phrases and studied the tenses. And it took me almost two months, by then on I can communicate well with the Japanese people. Some of my colleagues thought that I was here for a year or more.

The other thing that I amazed me was the sushi and some rare meat and how to use chopsticks it took me some time to learned. As entertainers we were obliged to do showtime 4times a day. We only have one day holiday every month we were not allowed to go out alone and not allowed to drink alcohol but I liked it that way because I don’t like drinking alcohol.

After two years. I went back to the Philippines and got married to a Japanese national I stayed there for four years and came back to Japan together with my son February 2006.

< To be continued >

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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.24 何を提案すべきか?

2018-09-02 22:48:15 | Ron's Life Story
STEP #4 SELECTING A PRODUCT: 

何を顧客に提案するのか?
Before you can satisfy a person’s needs, you have got to know what you have to offer. You have got to know the features and user benefits of your product, service or value of your ideas. Therefore, before you can select a product (or make a suggestion on an issue) you have to have the appropriate knowledge. Product knowledge (or appropriate product information) is vital. Also, clearly knowing the requirements of the customer as explained above is vital.

顧客のニーズを把握
You can never select the right product for a customer if you do not thoroughly know the products' features and user benefits. Studying the product is essential. Knowing the customer through good qualifying and counseling is also vital to make a good product selection. A bad salesman/customer relationship is often created when a salesman selects a product and gets into a presentation before the buyer’s needs, wants and ability to buy is determined.

自分の会社の実情を知る
Knowing the company’s ability to supply the product is also important. This includes knowing what specifications the company is ordering, knowing what is in the company now, knowing what is being delivered soon, and knowing what has been ordered. This is also necessary. Armed with that information you can select the correct product and the features that should be important to the buyer.



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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.23 営業のあるべき姿は?

2018-08-20 22:47:17 | Ron's Life Story
STEP #3 QUALIFYING & COUNSELLING:営業のあるべき姿は?

質問力と傾聴
Asking questions and listening is extremely powerful! People often think talking, presenting and persuading is power. I think the opposite. We all have opinions we love to talk about. There is always the new theory that someone wants to kick around.

But if a person has the discipline to hold back on his own opinions and theories and get the other person (friend, customer, family member, whatever) talking, it can be very powerful. It gives you the data you need to know to learn what to say, when and how to say it.

Qualifying and counselling is all about determining what the other person wants. In a sales situation, it is determining his needs, wants and ability to buy. This step in the selling process is the most important and where most mistakes are made.

Too many people go right into their product presentation having no idea what the person is looking for, needs or if the person has the ability to pay for it. Sales people love to talk and at this stage, that is the last thing the salesmen should be doing. It does take discipline.

営業のタイプ
I know of three types of salesmen, the ORDER TAKER, the HARD SELLER and the CONSULTANT. 

The ORDER TAKER(御用聞き営業)treats people like shoppers and will process a purchase if requested. He does not know the customer, his own products that he sells or what the customer’s concerns are. In this case, for a very expensive product, the customer feels insecure. With a lack of information, there is fear that the wrong product is selected, which will badly affect his life or business.

The HARD SELLER(押しの強い営業) treats people like opponents and tries to win the sale at all cost. His only interest is making the sale, not solving the customer’s problem. In this case, the customer feels defensive. When pressure is felt, the customer responds with pressure. Both attack each other instead of solving the given problem.

The CONSULTANT(押しの弱い営業??) treats people like clients, learns their needs and application. The salesman “qualifies” the person as a customer. Then he selects and presents the product, which will satisfy those needs. The result is satisfaction, even if the sale is not made. All effort is placed on solving the problem. This puts the customer at ease and his confidence builds with the information and advice received.

Before making any recommendation or giving a product presentation, first the salesman has to determine the customer’s needs wants and ability to buy.

He determines the customer’s dominant buying motives (the real reason he is there to purchase something). The dominant buying motive is the first response the customer gives when the salesman asks what he is looking for in the product. He may give several reasons, but his first response is usually the most important reason to buy for him.

顧客に語らせる。そのための質問を設計するのが『理詰めの営業』
The sales person should ask open-ended questions (questions which require an explanation to answer, not with a simple “yes” or “no”). By using open-ended questions, he keeps the buyer talking about 80% of the time.

顧客を知る
He should listen intently by trying to reduce all internal (other things he’s thinking about) and external distractions (noise, music, view of others, etc.). He should seek the person’s underlying attitudes and hidden motives, avoid premature judgements, give full attention to the person, and look for non-verbal clues to his feelings.

The sales person should determine what the buyer is mentally focused on. Does the person focus on great details or does he/she just want to know the overall concept of the subject at hand (your product, service or simple ideas)?

Armed with the information the sales person gets, he can determine in detail what to suggest or recommend.

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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.22 第一印象を良くするには

2018-08-18 00:30:13 | Ron's Life Story
STEP #2 MEETING & GREETING:

How do you make a good first impression? That is what this step is all about. Here are some things to think about:
1. Before you meet someone for the first time, drive all other thoughts, worries, or ideas from your mind. We are all thinking all the time. When we approach a stranger (or customer), or when someone approaches us, we should drop our own thoughts for a few seconds.
2. Pinpoint the concentration on the person (or customer). Doesn’t it feel good when someone gives you his or her undivided attention? That is the feeling you want to create in the people you meet.
3. Try to observe the person’s gestures, voice, posture, expressions and behaviour and determine if he is a talkative person or quiet person.
4. Then, match your behaviour to that person and make him feel comfortable.
5. Smile, hold eye contact, and listen to how he is feeling.
6. Determine the impression you want to make by your clothing, posture, what you say and how you say it.
7. Learn the person’s name and use it often.

Those are the things I recommended to salesmen when visiting customers. We all like to be free to act, talk and dress the way we like, but when it is business and someone is paying us to be there, it might be better to follow the above steps. You’ll be more successful.



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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.21 見込み客を見つける

2018-08-08 21:51:55 | Ron's Life Story
STEP #1 FINDING PEOPLE:

見込客を見つける
No matter what the product is, if a sales person meets or makes contact in some form (telephone, email, visiting, whatever), with a lot of people with a need for that particular product his chances of selling will increase. He must have a steady schedule of contacting a lot of targeted people.

生まれながらのセールスマン
We have all heard the expression “a salesman is not made, he is born”, meaning a person has to be born with certain talent or character to be a good salesmen. In some ways that is true. I have run into many people, which do not have the personality to continually meet strangers every day. When they try, it simply exhausts them.

“Order Taker“と営業の相違
Most sales people just respond to customer requests and don’t seek business. They put up a false front and take sales orders when they come in. They are only order takers and not sales people. These people only process orders as they come in. They do not seek sales or people who have needs for a particular product. They rely on advertising, showroom traffic, product reputation, etc.

乗用車販売とトラック販売の相違
Over my career, I have noticed a great deal of difference between car sales people and truck sales people. The car people are in the showroom waiting for the customer to come in. The truck people are out wondering around truck repair shops, delivery areas, and goods receiving spots, along major truck routes and in restaurants when truck operators eat. As I would present to groups as large as 25-30, I would always have a mixture of both in the room. Both are successful if they are meeting a lot of people. If they are not, some different action plan must be put in place. As my selling has always been international, with long distances between my customers and me, after learning who to contact from the Internet or other sources, my initial contact method has been through email or FAX. From there I followed up with a telephone call and then a personal visit.

顧客リストの作成・活用
So, my sales action plan was built on what I had taught for many years beforehand. It involves, finding a prospect list, using direct mail, telephone prospecting, building a referral source, setting up prospect planner files and setting up current customer files.
Setting up customer files has been a powerful activity. It sets the stage for activities from getting a prospect list right through maintaining contact with the customer long after he has bought the product. It has really made me organized, motivated and active every working day. In the early days, I used and taught a customer card system, but today there are excellent computer programs that can really do all the work for you. All you have to do is put in the data. It’s beautiful.

My prospecting activities (finding customers) have been so successful that I have at least twice outsold the production capacity available of Unika Company Limited which is the company I worked for after I left Isuzu Motors which I will talk about later in the book. On those occasions, my activities had to change from finding customers to apologizing to customers for delays in deliveries.



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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.20 Ronさんのセールストレーニング。大切なのは。。。。。

2018-08-01 22:13:37 | Ron's Life Story
Ronさんのライフワークとなった海外営業。この章では、いすゞのトラック販売で開発したセールス・トレーニングを説明します。

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.



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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.19 人生の目標が明確に

2018-07-28 06:46:24 | Ron's Life Story
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.

営業トレーニング大成功
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

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

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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次回は「What Sales Training Is」。
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MANGAを置かない銀座蔦屋が『死都調布』を何故?

2018-07-28 05:51:33 | お知らせ
海外の書店にいくとMANGAのコーナーがあり、様々な日本の漫画の訳本が置いてあります。

MANGAを置かない銀座蔦屋が、『死都調布』を展示した理由は?


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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.18 いよいよグローバルに活躍

2018-07-21 17:36:30 | Ron's Life Story
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.



Gardner Glenn consulting me

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.

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<1985年Ronさんは念願叶い海外の仕事に着手。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。(齋藤)>
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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.17 いよいよ海外の仕事が

2018-07-09 06:25:08 | Ron's Life Story
いよいよ第7章です。Ronさんに海外関係の仕事のチャンスがきます。

Chapter #7: MAKING THE INTERNATIONAL MOVE

マーケットコミュニケーションの手伝いを開始
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.

ビジネススキルを活かしいすゞ自動車の海外営業を分析、弱点を発見
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。
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.


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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.16 当時、問題点と感じたことは?

2018-07-02 20:55:52 | Ron's Life Story
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.

「タバコと非効率な会議」がロンさんを困惑させました。タバコに関してはようやく禁煙・分煙が当たり前になってきました。さて、会議はどうでしょうか。

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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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.15 フォーチューンマガジンに載る!

2018-06-24 05:43:14 | Ron's Life Story
フォーチューンマガジンに載る!
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

いすゞ自動車の経営危機
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.

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関連会社があり、また、同じマンションにいすゞの社員もおり、当時の状況はよく耳にしました。

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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.14 日本企業でのサラリーマン生活開始

2018-06-17 01:30:14 | Ron's Life Story
ここから第六章です。日本企業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。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(齋藤)は1977年に日本IBMに入り、入社時から狙っていた海外出張(海外旅行)に初めて行った時期でした。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、65歳になった今も、海外と関わる仕事を続け、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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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.13 上智大学で勉強開始。人生最高の出会いが。

2018-06-10 01:32:07 | Ron's Life Story
国際ビジネスへの興味はますます増えるものの迫られる日本語力の向上。そして奥様との出会い。

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

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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Global Interaction & Understanding - A Personal Journey : No.12  次のステップを目指し大学院に進学!

2018-06-01 02:42:13 | Ron's Life Story
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し国際ビジネスのチケットを得るべく大学院に進学するために東京に引っ越し。

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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