The strong intrinsic which Japanese manufacturing industry has 6
I took a business trip to Nanjing for three days. I was stimulated by the speed of change there, such as taxi dispatch, train booking, payment for buying things, etc., even senior people are using smartphones. And the bicycle lane that was not there a year ago was there.
I got an opportunity to visit two companies in San Francisco in December 2015, company A and company B. From the fact that the two companies are the top IT companies in the world, I imagined that there are many doctors who obtained doctorate degrees at famous universities and are studying in their own laboratory. However, at the inside of the company reality was completely different from my expectation. There were no individual laboratories in the office, the arrangement of desks was ordered with ordinary square desks arranged side by side, there were no partitions, just like the old Japanese offices. But the big difference was that there were not many people on the desk where they were located, but many people were talking here and there, at the walls, including the corridor, which were all white boards, with a lot of notes remaining.
Two women and one man were talking in the aisle of company B. I was interested in the conversation of those people and I interrupted them. One of the two women was the vice president, the other woman was a marketer, and the man was an engineer.
As the three people were from different departments, I asked a question if they got the permission to meet from their bosses. Because in Japan, it is often necessary to have a stiff process such as “needing permission from the boss”, such as “Do you let me go over?” When it comes across discussions across departments.
But they did not understand my question at all. So I explained that in Japan, it is often needed permission from our boss when we meet with other department people. Then they answered to me that if they did such an awkward thing, they would never match the speed of change in the present era.
Question: I think it is a very effective to use white boards to get good solutions. How do you use the whiteboards at your company?