For sure I had to read the news on Nikkei Shimbun twice, because I could not believe my eyes. One of the most traditional, slow-moving company that I know in Japan is opening up and welcoming the opinions of non-Japanese decision makers. Based on the Nikkei article it seems that Hitachi is planning to incorporate the opinions of non-Japanese executives in the decision-making process for high level headquarters decisions. For sure I had never expected that in my wildest dreams. The planned foreign input is so far based on intra-company feedback. I wonder whether bigger Japanese companies become serious to open up to the global market, or whether it might be just a response to all the events that occurred at Olympus?
Starting this month Hitachi will hold quarterly sessions where non-Japanese executives from overseas subsidiaries will offer suggestions on how the company should change to achieve global growth. Soon the first Global Session will take place and feature Jack Domme the CEO of U.S. data storage subsidiary Hitachi Data Systems Corp. Based on the article of Nikkei Shimbun the goal is to increase their international sales from 41% (2012) with a modest increase to 50% in fiscal 2015. From the figure provided by Nikkei Shimbun the growth in sales does not seem aggressive to me, but we do not know how actually this year’s sales trend for Hitachi is.
Personally I hope this opinion sharing and opening up for new ideas will help Hitachi or then other companies in Japan to refocus on their strength. These days only a few companies can survive with solely selling into a local market. Let’s see whether other leading Japanese companies will follow the lead from Hitachi.
Brought to you by an excited Sibylle Ito (伊藤シビル)