Matsushita's 7 Principles of Management
10 Corporate Management Lessons
Creating Customer Value:
10 Lessons from Matsushita
Put Values First
Matsushita kept saying, “We produce people,
and we also produce electrical goods."
believed that the measure of a company was
the people who worked for it, that no
enterprise could succeed if its employees
did not grow as human beings, and that
business, first and foremost, was about
cultivating human potential. No matter how
much capital, technology or equipment an
enterprise boasts, it is bound to fail if
its human resources are not developed. And
Matsushita did not mean merely improving
employees' technical know-how, management,
or sales skills, though these are certainly
part of the concept. For him, the true aim
of personnel development was to cultivate
individual self-reliance and responsibility,
to guide employees to an understanding of
the value and significance of their own work
and of the obligation of the company to
contribute to society.
Employee Is a "Client"
Matsushita avoided thinking in terms of
labor versus management. He preferred to
deal with his staff and employees as
co-workers, in fact, as people whom he
Diamonds in The Rough
Right from the
very early days of the company, Konosuke
Matsushita put immense effort into personnel
training and development. "However much you
rub it," he reflected later, "you can't make
a diamond from an ordinary stone. But if you
have a diamond in the rough, you can draw
out its gleam with careful polishing. And
depending on how you polish it and cut it,
you can make it sparkle and shine in various
different ways. People are just like uncut
diamonds; they each have the potential for
various kinds of brilliance, qualities
which, if polished right, will shine
radiantly. It is very important for
personnel managers to have a proper grasp of
this concept, and to attempt to draw out the
special strengths of each employee."
Matsushita used to say that, as a manager,
focusing on people's shortcomings quickly
gave him a headache. When you only look at
weaknesses, every person you encounter
appears inadequate in one way or another,
and you end up vacillating about assigning
anyone to the job or task you have at hand.
Subordinates, too, are bound to be unhappy
if all you ever notice is their failings. "I
always tried," Matsushita said, "to notice
people's strong points seven times out of 10
and their weaknesses the remaining three."
By paying more attention to employees'
strengths, he believed, he would be more
likely to think of ways to put those
strengths to good use. The important thing
is to keep your assessment of others'
strengths and weaknesses in proper
Firm Grip on Loose Reins
delegated work and
authority to others, he did not thereby
abdicate responsibility for what was going
on under him. He expected to receive reports
about projects at appropriate intervals.