As a Konica Minolta Philosophy Ambassador I was fortunate to attend the Transform Award and Business Contribution Award (TA/BCA) ceremony in Hachioji, Japan this summer. The TA/BCA ceremony is held annually and serves to recognize teams within our 44,000+ employees who showcase transformational and innovative thinking. My role, as a Philosophy Ambassador is to witness and advocate for our six core values, which are clearly exemplified by each of these teams. Open and honest. Customer-centric. Innovative. Passionate. Inclusive and collaborative. Accountable.
Before I even get into the amazing projects I saw, I wanted to touch on our Hachioji building. The building itself has won a number of different awards from design institutes. It truly showcases the “Workplace of the Future” concept with its innovative design, open atrium and environmental focus. There’s even a row of sleeping pods with relaxing massage chairs if you just need a quick snooze. I was proud to see our company embracing and bringing this type of modern workplace concept to life.
The TA and BCA projects do truly exemplify our tagline “Giving Shape to Ideas”. Employees from throughout our entire global network submitted applications for a rigorous round of judging at the local subsidiary level as well as a secondary round of judging at the global level. This narrowed it down to 10 TA projects and 11 BCA projects.
As I watched individual presentations by each team, one of the main themes across all projects was collaboration. Collaboration across departmental groups and the collaboration across subsidiaries. The team work and camaraderie among the individual team members and between groups was contagious. Despite language barriers and differences in culture the unity stood out and our corporate value, inclusive and collaborative, was clearly achieved.
The projects spanned a multitude of technology solutions across all different types of industries. The BIC in Japan developed a solution that was able to measure the degradation of reinforced steel used under bridges. They are able to gather data from a magnetic device, send it to the cloud for calculation and determine if a bridge needed to be repaired through a non-destructive inspection method. This technology could eventually grow to support various infrastructure assessment challenges across multiple types of structures. They are currently working with the Japanese government to see how far they could utilize this. Wow. Not only would it save inspection costs but implementing countermeasures to reinforce aging infrastructure could make a dramatic social impact by saving lives!
The team from Australia utilized the design thinking methodology to educate an internal team to attack various challenges to the delivery of an exceptional customer experience. The 12 week program incorporated various stakeholders throughout their organization and landed on 4 projects that improved internal processes, 1) Sales Magician, an on-line proposal builder 2) KUMO, a customer portal 3) Sales Buddy, a single point of contact concierge and 4) KM Transform, an innovation space for hosting customers. A few of the projects will be launched later this year but ultimately they were all initiated to focus on achieving employee benefits that would in turn reshape the customer experience.
These projects clearly embodied the values the TC/BCA sought in assigning this prestigious level of recognition. In addition, these projects ignite a fire within to look for opportunities for greatness. They bring inspiration to look for different ways to change and innovate within our own individual roles and responsibilities. It’s already happening across our organization. Let’s get in the middle of it. Both the organization and our future lies in searching for disruptive innovation. In the words of our president, Shoei Yamana… we have “the power to create new innovation through people.”