Greetings by President Keiichi Kobayashi at the FY2021 Entrance Ceremony
- Passing our baton of trust since our founding and bringing the Furukawa Electric Group to the next stage -
- We will demonstrate our ability to take the Furukawa Electric Group to the next stage with empathy through dialogue
- We will help society by thinking from the other person's point of view, protecting the health of people and social infrastructure, and supporting growth
- Each of us will not fear failure and will increase what we “can” do to find the “will” to do what we want
Congratulations to you all on joining our company. I am Keiichi Kobayashi, President of Furukawa Electric. Although it is very unfortunate that we cannot all meet together to hold a ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am extremely pleased to welcome to the Furukawa Electric Group our 172 new colleagues, who are participating today from here in our HQ and from each of our works.
As you all know, we are experiencing an unprecedented severe situation in which the global outbreak of the COVID-19 infection has restricted movement, including with city lockdowns, and economic activity has stagnated around the world. Our life as individuals has also greatly changed, for example, with consideration for infection prevention. Under these circumstances, as people all over the world have experienced the risk of infection with the COVID-19, this has further heightened awareness of the importance of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Rather than just being idealism, it is now taken for granted that the SDGs should be goals to be realized in corporate activities.
The Corporate Philosophy of the Furukawa Electric Group is that “Drawing on more than a century of expertise in the development and fabrication of advanced materials, we will contribute to the realization of a sustainable society through continuous technological innovation.” The “contribute to the realization of a sustainable society” part of this is precisely what the SDGs are. This philosophy, culture and tradition has been passed on from our predecessors and the Furukawa Electric Group has continued to respond to changes in society and to meet the demands and expectations of society and our customers. This baton of trust will be passed to you all from today as you have become members of the Group. Let us all work together with “passion, persistence, and pride” to raise the Furukawa Electric Group to the next stage.
Three requests for our new employees
Before making these three requests, let me tell you something that is more important than anything else. That is the fact that, "Safety takes priority over everything else". The prerequisite for business continuity is "safety". The prerequisites for the continued growth of the Furukawa Electric Group are that every employee can remain free from accidents from their entry into the company until their retirement, and that safety is ensured. This is always our top priority in any situation. In Furukawa Electric, people greet each other by saying, "Go-anzen-ni! (Be safe)!". From today, you have also become members of the Furukawa Electric Group, so please take the initiative in cheerfully saying, "Go-anzen-ni!" as a greeting.
For some time, I have stated an aim to achieve "empathetic management". As communication has been restricted due to the coronavirus crisis, I have again realized the importance of "empathy" through dialogue. I have experienced how not having "empathy" means becoming unable to do what was previously possible, and how having "empathy" makes it possible to demonstrate unexpected power. From now on, you will take on the challenge of various work operations. Of course, they won’t all be things that you can handle well. When you don’t understand something, you should communicate that you don’t understand it. When something is not going well, you should communicate that it is not going well. When you are having a hard time, you should be honest and say that things are hard. There is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about in this. If you don't understand something, or you can't deal with something by yourself, then you should use the help of your superior or the more experienced employees. It is important to have relationships where people can tell each other what they need to say when they need to say it. Repeating dialogue in active communication such as this will lead to the creation of a good work environment where people can share their own ideas openly. Continuing to do this will lead to the construction of relationships of trust and a sense of unity, and will eventually bring about great momentum. As a member of the Furukawa Electric Group, I want you to aim to create such an ironclad organization through dialogue for mutual empathy.
Think about things from the other person’s point of view
On a daily basis, we "visualize the quality expected by customers" and strive to provide "things" that delight our customers through our products, services and technologies. From there, our stance is "Let's do something useful for society.". What this means is that we should think about things from the perspective of our customers and society. Furukawa Electric has only been able to continue to exist and develop over the last 137 years because we have gained the trust of customers and society by thinking from their perspective and solving problems. From today, this baton of trust will be passed to you all as our new colleagues. As you go on to spin a new history for the company, I would like you to keep in mind the desire of the company that has been unchanged for over 100 years, which is to “protect the health of people and social infrastructure, and support growth to help society”.
Do not fear failure; increase what you “can” do to find the “will” to do what you want
I use “can” here in the sense of “what you can do,” and “will” in the sense of “the will to do what you want.” As you do your jobs, you will start to develop your own perception and opinions of things, and then you will have a chance to actually try out and apply your ideas. When that chance comes, you might stop yourself out of concern over what others might say or what problems you might cause if you fail. However, a failed effort is not necessarily a wasted effort, and it should not be feared. Think of failure as proof that you were brave enough to try something. It will connect to your next efforts as a source of growth. Please have curiosity and take on various challenges. No experience is a waste. If you have passion and approach things proactively, then you will master a lot of things you “can” do. These things you “can” do represent your professional growth. Corporate growth is the sum total of the growth of each individual employee. A company cannot grow if its employees do not grow. The things you “can” do all add up to things that Furukawa Electric “can” do. I want to ask all of you to increase what you “can” do as you work each day, and to increase your potential while widening your perspectives. I want you to grow so that you become truly needed by people and society. Once you get to that point, you should arrive at the “will” to do what you truly want to do. Something that you "can do" becomes what you "want to do" and what you want to do becomes useful for many people and society. I would definitely like you to experience this wonderful way of working.
“Three valuables” in the words of Furukawa Electric founder, Ichibei Furukawa
Ichibei Furukawa described three things to value, stating, “Value employees. Value customers. Value new technology. Then contribute to society.” I believe that Furukawa Electric has been able to grow over the 137 years since our founding in 1884 due to valuing his words as part of our corporate DNA. I would like all of you to keep these “three valuables” in mind as we work together to benefit society as participants building the coming world.
Welcome to the Furukawa Electric Group. I have high expectations for your future.
Furukawa Electric Group’s efforts towards the SDGs
Based on the “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” adopted by the United Nations, the Furukawa Electric Group has formulated the “Furukawa Electric Group Vision 2030” which sets the year 2030 as its target and is advancing efforts with the aim to “Build a sustainable world and make people’s life safe, peaceful and rewarding, Furukawa Electric Group will create solutions for the new generation of global infrastructure combining information, energy and mobility.” Toward the achievement of our Vision 2030, we will take open, agile, and innovative approaches to promote ESG management that that aims to increase corporate value over the medium to long term and will contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.