“HoRenSo” for non-Japanese employees (8) Sodan: Information Sharing Management
Q: I was advised by my senior colleague that although I am not able to do it now, I should aim to do my job well by engaging those around me. Those around me will be my superiors, seniors, other colleagues, our clients etc. But as I am a new staff, I have no idea at all how to get people around me involved.
A: There are possible three answers below. The point is to share information.
This happened at a human resource dispatch company. A lady staff named Matsumoto was dispatched to Company A. The dispatch company was glad to hear the feedback that she was quick-thinking and it was very helpful to have her around.
The same Matsumoto was dispatched to Company B but there were complaints that she was slow. Why is it?
It is easy for the dispatch company to guess that it was due to the difference in the management of Company A and B. In Company A, even if a worker is a temporary one that came in today, the objective of the job, the background, the entire situation, etc will be explained when the instructions are given. When information is available, judgment can be made and thus the person can perform his or her job well.
On the other hand, Company B gave instructions without proper explanation. It was just “do this before this deadline.” When information is unavailable, the staff cannot make a judgment. Therefore it is natural that they can only do what they were told.
If you hold back giving information, of course the job will not go smoothly. “Involving people around you” means to get people around you to help you. To do this, it is important to share information frequently.
What the third father did is information management.
In the book Team Management written by Shigeru Kobayashi, there were three fathers. I will briefly introduce the story.
It happened at an outdoor school that gathered children for outdoor learning. Children were grouped into “homes” (mock families) of 10 members each to stay in a tent. At the assembly venue, the groups were divided into homes. In the process, sometimes shoes get lost. A child put on someone else’s shoes. The child who lost his shoes was on the verge of tears.
There are 3 ways fathers who are the leaders of the homes handle the situation
“The first father” started to look for the shoes himself. As there were hundreds of children, of course he did not manage to find the shoes.
“The second father” panicked and gave detailed instructions to get the children to start looking for the shoes. The children were not interested in looking for someone else’s shoes and simply said that they couldn’t find it even though they didn’t really search.
Here comes the third father. First off, he calmly gathered all the children. Then he let the child who lost the shoes explain about the characteristics of his shoes. The rest of the children were also free to ask questions. By asking about the characteristics of the lost shoes, and by looking at the shoes that were left behind, the children shared the information. Next the father asked, “So what should we do?”
It was decided that they would go search suspected homes, or all would split up and do a thorough search. Then the father gave the order to start searching, “Get ready, go!” All the children ran out to search. As the information was shared, their interest was aroused and they were enthusiastic. As a result soon the shoes were found.
The children had a sense of satisfaction and were happy. The child who lost his shoes also thanked everyone. The teamwork of the home was raised at one go owing to this incident.
What the third father did was management through information. Management is about motivating others to realize your intention. Management is not only for those who have subordinates. By providing information properly, you have the power to motivate people.
It is important for young staff to share information by conversing directly with others, so as to “involve people around him or her.” All humans seek to make sense. We all want to make sense. When we can make sense and understand, then we will get moving.