YKK Stories

Fundamental Behavior 5: Embrace Diversity

January 29, 2021
Author: YKK
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Since joining YKK Japan in 2004, I have worked in various countries and regions, starting in China in 2007, Vietnam and Cambodia in 2012, India in 2016, and the United States in 2018. I have come into contact with a wide variety of people of different races, cultures, and ideas. It has repeatedly made me realize how wonderful it is that each of us is different and that the discussions that arise because of these differences create new values and ways of thinking that lead to further development. Also, paradoxically, even within the same country or region, each person with a different background is completely different, and in that sense, we are all the same no matter where we go. The important thing is to listen to each other and respect other’s thoughts and actions without stereotyping.

YKK has a concept called “forest management” passed on to us by our founder, Tadao Yoshida. In a forest, there are thick trees with experience and age, and there are also young and thin trees. Just like the trees in a forest, we each have our own unique characteristics and grow independently inside a vibrant organization. Forest management is a way of working together, without being controlled by anyone, by exercising the abilities of each individual. At present, YKK has companies in 109 regions in 72 countries/regions, employing about 46,000 people around the world. In this large forest, I hope to contribute to the company both internally and externally by demonstrating my own strengths, just as you do.

Diversity also includes the aspect of diversity in work styles. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Marketing Group has continued to promote work-from-home. As a parent of three children, ages 6, 2, and 0, I was reminded of the importance of managing “work” and “life” to achieve fulfillment in both. I’m sure you are also experiencing some big changes, such as the change from face-to-face meetings with customers to online meetings, the elimination of frequent business trips, and the development of online tools that make it easier than ever to communicate with distant customers and colleagues. In this context, I would like you all to think about how you can maintain a good work-life balance and contribute more to the company both internally and externally.

Zach Noto
YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. Global Marketing Group