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Living in Japan

1.       My work has to be perfect and on time.  The first 3 months I worked at this company, was entirely filled with training to deliver perfect work. I had recently graduated from college, I thought there was nothing I couldn’t do and that I could do wrong.  I learned the truth pretty fast, that making mistakes and learning from them, can be good for business and my career.  I learned that creating perfect excel charts and graphs, where every bold letter or the thickness of each cell’s line, was important to producing the end result.

2.       Learn from mistakes.  Why did the promotion fail? Find the depth of the root problem and ask “why” until you turn blue in the face.  This is not a light analysis or a search for who to blame, but a serious issue to be solved immediately.

3.       Once the root cause is found, a permanent solution has to be implemented; a new process or a new procedure, whatever is needed. Making the same mistake twice is not an option. This applies to business and my career.

4.       Constant improvement.  Learn from mistakes, improve, and learn again.  As perfect as everything is supposed to be, it is understood that things can go wrong.  At the same time, my expectations are to keep an eye on how to prevent problems and to constantly improve.

5.       Zero waste.  I came to understand that mistakes cost money and hurt reputations, we are not meant to be perfect, but striving to be perfect and continuous improvement reduces waste which makes everything more efficient. Efficiency means improved profitability.

Working for a Japanese company with a strong Japanese culture, was challenging.  Although joining the company right out of college may have made it easier for me, it took years after I became a business owner to realize that it taught me to expect my team to adapt and work in accordance to these standards.  Go figure!

I still expect these standards to be followed; they are part of our organizational culture.  It is our way of life.  I think we have a great formula, a warm Latin Customer Service with a Japanese work ethic.  I hope everyone who’s been in touch with us can see the difference

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About the author, Ilyana Benson

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