我在英國發表的『松下領導書評、 感言』，備受喜愛， 法國戴明協會會長Jean-Marie，馬上來信恭喜。
I read your comments about Mr Matsushida in the UK Deming Newsletter No5. I like them very much. I always appreciate your large culture and your great wisdom.
『松下領導書評（Some notes on Matsushita Leadership: Lessons from the Twentieth Century's Most Remarkable Entrepreneur）』中， 可再補充說明 。
三洋電機公司（Sanyo）創始人後藤清一的著作中， 屢屢報導（His old-time style of 'leading by scolding' to his close relatives is very difficult for people with different culture background to understand.）
關於 改善故事，請參考拙譯『品質洞識力』第一章。這次並附摘要數據。（J. M. Juran The Quality Improvement Process, (p. 5.9), 1999, in Juran’s Quality Handbook, 5th edition. Mc-Graw-Hill, 1999.）
In Newsletter 1#1 I asked:
>Do you have:
>>In Newsletter 1#1 I asked:
>Do you have:
>>Matsushita Leadership: Lessons from the Twentieth Century's MostRemarkable Entrepreneur, by John P. Kotter (NY: Free Press, 1997).
>would you be prepared to give us a review ?
Hanching Chung responded vigorously:
Why select this book for review? This is my first impression to know the 'challenging task' ahead. I didn't care it much so I like to wait to read other people's contributions.
[no one else has contributed, and as to "why this book ?" -- I was curious about the combination of Kotter and Matsushita. Ed.]
So, this is a friendship thanks-giving.
I read John P. Kotter's book about two years ago. Like his most books, I got very little from them. But I knew his contributions as a bridge of culture gaps in mutual understanding. In fact, the author's position in writing a book he didn't understand much is interesting for me. In Japan, hundreds or thousands of books on Matsushita, a very 'rich', 'powerful' and 'visionary' 'self-made' leader.
In certain way, if we contrast the founders of both Matsushita and Sony, we might learned that leadership studies must follow the first rule of Deming's psychology, that is, everybody is different.
But the principles might be very similar, although we can find many dramatized cases of Matsushita's leadership stories.( His old-time style of 'leading by scolding' to his close relatives is very difficult for people with different culture background to understand. The author writes about this side of characters of Matsushita very skillfully since he also 'run' a chair of leadership of Matsushita in HBS.
Matsushita is a very practical man, so he wrote his own "Republic" in Japanese. He knew the importance and essence of education but he hated the wastefulness (he advised to cut Tokyo University to half size to the benefit of most Japanese) and ineffectiveness of existing Japanese systems, hence he made ministry of education(and culture) as a key function of his Republic and donated a significant part of his asset to have his own version of School of Politics and Economics. (I think using Greek's academy is a better word.)
For western people, particular Americans, I like to conclude this mail with a true story. Panasonic bought Quasar* and turned it around in '70 is a famous case that Japanese manufacturing and quality control is excellent. Very few people know the 'sad story of the end of this story. In fact, Matsushita's people also made the same mistakes as Americans in 'running (or screw-up) a business', so the triumph is very short-termed. In the funeral of Matsushita, one reporter asked what did people in Matsushita learned from this case. The reply is, for Japanese to understand the westerners, it might take another 50 years at least. So did most westerners.
One example for your reference. Like we need to understand the Bible and the man called W. E. Deming to know his 14 points in leadership. How do you know Matsushita without knowing the 'books' he wrote (the learning history of this self-made man is as challenge as amazing to most of us).
For followers of Deming's SoPK, the story of Matsushita leadership is interesting in many aspects. Only the imagination is the limit of it. One subject is both giants learned and studied the subject of leadership in very different ways. They might be in different worlds but they might tell us some common stories of Lives.
*Some summary of improvements
Fall-off rate, i.e. defects of assembled set 150 per 100 sets 4 per 100 sets
Number of repair and inspection personnel 120 15
Failure rate during the warranty period 70% 10%
Costs of service calls $22 million $4 million
(Source. J. M. Juran The Quality Improvement Process, (pp. 5.-9), 1999, in Juran’s Quality Handbook, 5th edition. McGraw-Hill, 1999.