Monday, July 23, 2007

Removing the ladder by Matsuki san

This is a second article in the series of highly appreciated essays by Matsuki san of Tata Consultancy.


Topic for Chapter 2 is “removing the ladder”.

A company works as an organization, but for the company to work more efficiently, empowerment is crucial. If there is no empowerment, then a lot of burden of work is concentrated on a few managers and a big organization cannot be run efficiently.

Empowerment means that a manager in the higher position transfers the authority to a person in lower position. However, if any one uses that given authority complacently and indiscreetly, it may cause a trouble. When the communication with the people who gave the authority isn’t enough, even when s/he negotiates with the third party as a plenary representative, his/her “ladder may be removed” at last.

“Remove the ladder” means that when someone is working on a high roof AND THE LADDER IS REMOVED, THEN S/HE CANT GET DOWN. It is one of the metaphoric expressions meaning that a person who came up to a high place such as a roof (in other words, a place where surrounding conditions differ) with supports and agreements from many people who backed him/her notices that there is no one who let him/her go there and even a ladder for going back to the original place has been removed. That is, s/he is left in a situation where only s/he cannot get back.

This means that without assessing all the surrounding conditions and circumstances (without consulting with others) and work according to old conditions/circumstances, we cannot judge the needs of the present condition/situation and when we notice that, even the supervisor and colleagues have changed the policy and then things become difficult. There may not be many cases where others do so ill-willingly. However, when you are working under circumstances where authority has been transferred to you, it becomes necessary for you to be careful about such a case. You must proceed the job by regularly communicating and reporting to your supervisor who transferred the authority and must not work by your self.

A fine and capable supervisor would not “remove the ladder” but protects and supports his men even when there are some mistakes. However, since your supervisor is also an employee, s/he might at times “remove the ladder” to defend him/herself. In Japan, we often hear that “hourensou (spinach)” is important. Here, "hourensou” does not mean “spinach”. It teaches the value of this communication. “Hou” is for “houkoku”, which means “reporting”, “ren” is for “renraku”, meaning “communication” and “sou” is for “soudan”, which means consultation. Reports of the present situation should be submitted without failure, and conditions should be understood well by your supervisor. They say that it is also very important that if any problem occurs, you should consult the issue with your supervisor so that you can “use” your supervisor in a smart manner. Always remember and follow the rules of “hourensou” so that your “ladder will not be removed”.

※ 尊敬できる人や信頼できる人を、人徳がある、とか人物ができている、等と表現します

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Japanese PM to address Indian parliament

This article from MSN highlights the highest honour for the visiting Japanese Prime Minister and underlines the growing strength in the Indo-Japan relationship


Thursday, July 19, 2007

New Delhi: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will address a joint session of the Indian parliament on Aug 22 - a special gesture that will underline warming ties between the two countries.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi made the announcement here recently.

In a way, India is reciprocating the Japanese gesture of letting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh address Diet during his visit to Tokyo last year.

The monsoon session of parliament is likely to begin on Aug 6.

Abe will come here on Aug 20 on a three-day state visit that is set to impart more economic and political substance to the growing ties between the two Asian powers.

India and Japan also held their first strategic dialogue on economic issues and discussed steps needed to conclude an economic partnership agreement before the end of next year.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Origami - over 350 designs!!!

Origami (Japanese: 折り紙 ori, to fold, and kami, paper lit. "folding paper") is the art of paper folding. The goal of this art is to create a given result using geometric folds and crease patterns. Origami refers to all types of paper folding, even those of non-Japanese origin.

Origami only uses a small number of different folds, but they can be combined in a variety of ways to make intricate designs. In general, these designs begin with a square sheet of paper, whose sides may be different colors, and usually proceed without cutting the paper.

ORIG1: Origami designs letters A-J
ORIG2: Origami designs letters J-Z
ORIG3: Extra origami designs (HTML and images)
ORIG4: Origami design books: John Montroll (Animals, Birds/Bugs), Origami Fun, Origami Theory and Rare origami design book: Robert Harbin

Links to Download the files