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Giving Constant Outcomes Requires No Magic

Partly due to Covid-19, the # of bankruptcies had increased in March and April.
(Based on Tokyo Commerce Research’s data, the number has kept increasing over last 8 months, so there must be other critical reasons behind this. Ref: Japan Bankruptcies for Apr-2020:743—https://www.tsr-net.co.jp/news/status/monthly/202004.html)

As a startup in Nagano City, Nagano which has entered into the 3rd year,
– Typhoon 19th;
– Covid-19;
– Hiring Difficulty: Super High;
– Retention Difficulty: Relatively High;
– Difficulty of Meeting with A Reliable Business Partner/Building A Business Relationship: Super High;
etc, I can come up with many reasons for not riding on a nice biz growth curve or not performing well as a business. Yet, under any tough circumstance, the know-how of constantly delivering results is one of the biggest learnings from the CEO of my previous workplace. Thanks to the learning, I do not have any doubt at all about getting positive results under this Covid-19 situation.

As a matter of fact, the approach has been repeatedly touched upon in my past blog posts. In details,
Step 1: Set the company KGI/KPI as well as the qualitative goals;
Step 2: Break the KGI/KPI/qualitative goals into small-to-mid-sized units/individuals;
Step 3: Visualize the current situation with the up-to-date figures, identify issues, and make the countermeasures;
Step 4: Execute the countermeasures;
are the 4 steps of the approach. For most of the business readers of this blog, “I know this improvement cycle idea. It is written in any ordinary business book.” However, the reason why the previous company could always produce the results (i.e. hitting the annual target revenue/profit) is that the seriousness, accurateness of issue-identifying and making countermeasures, and execution speed are kept on an extremely high level. For instance, in Step1-3, the managers discuss the ideas with each other for a few nights before each weekly manager meeting. At a manager training camp, a very intensive discussion is carried out even on the bus. Then, once the decisions/countermeasures are drawn, each manager needs to make sure to monitor the group/individual’s action items. How often? EVERY morning and afternoon! lol *All the attendees are really serious in these steps, so we sometimes heat up in the discussions. Still, I really liked the heat. lol

For the first few months, to be honest, this company culture gave me a big cultural shock, though I could understand that no magic is required for delivering the expected results after working as a vice-department manager. By actually executing the 4 steps as instructed, the entire company and my departments could always bring the results.

Therefore, even when an unexpected event occurs and things do not go well, what I will do won’t change. All I will continue to do is to work on the above approach better than any company and any CEO I know. As a result, we will make our dream come true in Nagano, and expand our business to other local prefectures. Your continued support is much appreciated.

Masaki “Mark” Iino
Founder & CEO
SOPHOLA, Inc

P.S. The pic is the rose my wife gave to my mom on Mother’s Day. I was very much moved by the beauty of the flower as well as the beauty of her warm heart. (I’m not saying this because it’s before dinner time;))