Friday, May 10, 2013

Words of Advice from the Founder of Sony

If you are in business, small, medium or large, and have never visited Addicted 2 Success, you are missing out on some excellent articles. On April 12th, Joel Brown, CEO and Founder of, wrote a piece on Japanese businessman and co-founder of Sony Akio Morita. In 1966 Mr. Morita wrote a book titled Gakureki Muyō Ron, translated means “Never Mind School Records". How many times have we heard just how important getting good grades are, or getting a good college degree is however, Mr. Morita emphasizes that success or one’s business skills is not a direct result of one’s school record.

Akio Morita’s Success Advice? Here is Joel's breakdown for us:

Why Akio Morita Believes Sony Succeeded:

  1. "Established the rule that once we hire an employee, his schools records are a matter of the past, and are no longer used to evaluate his work or decide on his promotion.”
  2. “My solution to the problem of unleashing creativity is always to set up a target.”
  3. “I believe one of the reasons we went through such a remarkable growth period was that we had this atmosphere of free discussion. A company will get nowhere if all of the thinking is left to management.”
  4. “I have always made it a point to know our employees, to visit every facility of our company, and to try to meet and know every single employee.”
  5. “The company must not throw money away on huge bonuses for executives or other frivolities but must share its fate with the workers.”

Akio Morita’s Business Advice:

  1. “Advertising and promotion alone will not sustain a bad product or a product that is not right for the times.”
  2. “From a management standpoint, it is very important to know how to unleash people’s inborn creativity. My concept is that anybody has creative ability, but very few people know how to use it.”
  3. “I believe people work for satisfaction. I believe it is a big mistake to think that money is the only way to compensate a person for his work. People need money, but they also want to be happy in their work and proud of it.”
  4. “There is no secret ingredient or hidden formula responsible for the success of the best Japanese companies.”
  5. “There are three creativities: creativity in technology, in product planning, and in marketing. To have any one of these without the others is self defeating in business.”

On Being Humble:

If you go through life convinced that your way is always best, all the new ideas in the world will pass you by.

Thoughts On Innovation:

Carefully watch how people live, get an intuitive sense as to what they might want and then go with it. Don’t do market research. I knew we needed a weapon to break through to the U.S. market, and it had to be something different, something that nobody else was making.

Do’s & Don’ts:

Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. But make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.

Thoughts On Success:

We all learn by imitating, as children, as students, as novices in the world of business. And then we grow up and learn to blend our innate abilities with the rules or principles we have learned.

What are some takeaways? 

First, and probably the most obvious, a person’s scholastic abilities should not be used as “the” benchmark in determining their abilities. I personally have seen college students having extremely high grade averages lack common sense, unable to work autonomously at the simplest of tasks. And then I have experienced people who never even graduate high school run circles around college graduates. Creative abilities cannot be taught at any school; as a matter of fact schools often stifle creativity. Mr. Morita’s approach in identifying and encouraging this natural ability was certainly ahead of its time, and it is too bad it is not used by most companies.

Then there are the challenges in finding jobs. Why do so many focus only on finding a job? Why not take those years of experience in developing their own job or profession? I highly encourage people to take advantage of their natural capabilities however people often believe they either do not have creative abilities, or just don’t have the drive. For those who don’t believe they have abilities, simply plug into an organization or a business having intern programs in order to build confidence before going out on their own. Don’t look at the past, focus on the future, set goals and reach for the stars.

In the wisdom of Mr. Morita “Never Mind School Records”! 
You can achieve anything you put your mind and heart into. 

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