Now the last cold snap has come and gone, and it is finally April with the air of spring. January is the beginning of a year on calendar, but spring is the season that really makes us feel as if we are getting started. I hope you polish up the insufficiencies in the first quarter and welcome the new April when you can brace your energies and strive for the goal.
Early March, Hyundai Motor Company’s concept car exhibited in the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland had adopted a frame made of our company’s carbon fiber, which received great attention. As energy-saving measures by lightening machinery are emerging as the key issues in various industrial fields, the use of carbon fiber is likely to increase. I look forward to seeing various new businesses such as carbon fiber as well as polyketone and optical film get back as much as we invested, and position themselves as the new growth engines of our company as soon as possible.
People say that the young generation today has many problems in building social relations as they are engrossed in the internet or smartphones. That accusation might be reasonable, as wel see the way they all look down into their cell phones in restaurants instead of talking. But on the contrary, this generation is the most skilled in communication. They can interact with one another anytime and anywhere via phone, text messages and video calling, and they naturally share their recent events and thoughts using the SNS on a real-time basis. In short, this generation has never experienced the “communication breakdown”. Then why do people say that there are so many problems in building a social network?
The problem is not the means or the number of communication but the attitude of mind. Many youths bully their friends on SNS or post vicious comments, abusing the fact that they do not communicate face to face. While they may be familiar with expressing their ideas, it seems they lack the ability to listen to others and understand them. The basics of communication are respect and consideration, and if they are excluded, then that communication cannot be considered proper.
King Sejong the Great, who is considered the wisest king of our people, ascended the throne at the age of 22 which is, in today’s age, merely a college student. As most retainers were at least 20 years older than young Sejong, it was at first difficult for him to appeal to the old and experienced retainers. What Sejong did to win their hearts was to “ask and listen diligently.” According to Sejong Sillok (The Annals of Sejong), he frequently uses the expression “shall always discuss,” such as when he declared that he would discuss with wise retainers before presenting a public post upon his own decision. He also tended to ask serious questions frequently, and listen attentively to the advice of retainers. This enabled him to win their trust, and as a result, they could make many great achievements together.
As such, good communication means building mutual trust and a bond among people. You would not be able to really “connect” with one another if you keep your ears closed and only your mouth open, no matter how often you meet and talk with one another.
This year, our company is laying more stress on responsibility management than any other business policies. Smooth communication is the first gateway to a good responsibility management practice. Employees can build trust and delegate jobs to others only when communication is properly done, and that is when they can also put their responsible attitude into action as they work. We cannot work with employees who just confidently ask for responsibility without the attitude to communicate with an open mind. For our company to sustain growth and development by overcoming the tough business environment, we must habituate active communication and fulfill responsibility management.
Andrew Carnegie, steel king of the U.S., said teamwork is “is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results,” which is “made by communication.” I look forward to seeing each individual employee gather competences to produce a synergy effect and settle the active and positive culture of communication.