YKK Stories

Fundamental Behavior 11 – Innovate

September 3, 2021
Author: YKK
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I have the opportunity to write about one of the values that today has become a Fundamental Behavior for all companies that want to recover, maintain or grow in their market.

The world trade situation we are living requires every business to focus on the word “innovate,” which means “to change or alter something created.” I think that today it is easier for every YKK employee to understand this need because we have been working on this culture of Core Values for some time and I think this will give us an advantage to face the current situation. It is time to once again push our teams to internalize this Fundamental Behavior, put it into practice, and recognize the importance of our culture in dealing with future situations. For many companies it is just beginning; for YKK, it is a road we have already started to travel.

How to do it? I would like to share a phrase that I heard many times from a professor while I was studying engineering. He said, “Engineers should invest 50% of their time in creating problems and the other 50% in solving them.” Applying this phrase to all processes is to encourage innovation in them, simulate problems and solutions, think about market needs and look for alternatives in our products to make sure our processes and products are constantly innovating and moving at the pace of market needs.

Promoting and generating spaces for our work teams with the sole purpose of dedicating time to think about innovation can be another way to insist and persist in continuing to create the culture of this value in our company.

This does not have to be difficult, however. Every challenge or invitation to change brings with it obstacles such as resistance to change, moving from the comfort of always doing what we have learned, loading ourselves with more tasks, investing more time. These may be some of the many excuses we find to block the innovation process, but if we understand and propose innovation as a better way of doing things, taking as an investment everything we do that will give us as a return or better or more satisfactory work, surely our team will be willing to face it.

I would like to leave with you a phrase of David Cánovas to reflect on how to start facing the obstacles to innovation: “Our past is enemy N° 1 of innovation.”

I think the difference between all of us in general and the great innovators is that they program their brain to think and be aware that people are innovating all the time. This is why they are able to see at all times an opportunity to innovate and innovation in everything they do. They understand that little things like changing the route to work, changing our work style, changing the Excel table, changing the chair position to be more comfortable, placing our work tools closer to us…and a thousand other things is to innovate. All these “little things” lead us to a systemic development of improvement of which sometimes we are not aware.

The challenge is to be aware of everything we innovate.

Ivan Perez
Operations Manager