Date of implementation: April 17, 2015
As a global corporation of which about 90% of our employees are non-Japanese nationals, the question of how to transform the diversity of our human resources into a strength is an urgent issue for TDK. As the newly compiled TDK Value places emphasis on diversity, TDK invited an expert and held a study meeting in Japan in April 2015 aiming to deepen understanding of the essence of diversity.
In the study meeting, after a talk by Ms. Joanna Sook Ja Park, the representative of Appassionata, Inc., which provides consulting support for the utilization of diverse human resources and other matters, a discussion took place with the six TDK participants. Various comments were made during the discussion, such as “TDK should clarify how it defines diversity and where it will place emphasis” and “Through practice it is important to keep thinking and making necessary revisions.” In particular, a lively discussion took place on the issue of not simply gathering diverse human resources together but clarifying scales of evaluation for the utilization of different opinions and values to achieve results. Ms. Park also stressed the precondition that “organizations place importance on respect for diversity precisely because it improves their performance.”
Ms. Park’s Main Opinions and Proposals
Utilizing Differences to Strengthen Competitiveness in the Market
Joanna Sook Ja Park
Representative, Appassionata, Inc.
Generally speaking, when we talk about “diversity,” we tend to focus only on the utilization of women and overseas human resources. But actually no two people are exactly the same. If you have two or more people, you have diversity. So it is extremely important to understand the matter as something that concerns you yourself. TDK must not only build a personnel system for the promotion of diversity but also foster a corporate culture in which all employees, under the leadership of senior and mid-level management, think and act with respect for diversity. In addition, it is essential to have a perspective of “diversity and inclusion” enabling all diverse human resources to participate fairly in the organization’s activities and fully display their abilities.
At present, against the background of globalization and changes in the demography, the types of people working in companies are diversifying, and customer needs are continuing to spread in many directions as well. That is to say, the need for diversity is arising from both employment and the market. In the workplace, if diversity is being properly respected, the clash of different opinions will lead to innovation and creativity, which in turn will speed up the company’s response to the ever-changing business environment and lay the foundations for enhancing market competitiveness. In the process of promoting diversity, various discord and friction can be expected to arise. But even with that cost, the benefits that the company gains from diversity are immeasurable. The important thing is to move forward step by step with a medium- to long-term perspective.
Reflecting on the Study Meeting
Aiming to Transform the Diversity of Human Resources into Strength to Enhance Corporate Value
Senior Vice President and General Manager,
Corporate Strategy, TDK Corporation
Respect for the diversity of its human resources is essential for TDK to realize its corporate principles and vision, in other words, its DNA. I realized once again that two elements are necessary: the building of a corporate culture in which the diversity of the more than 80,000 TDK Group employees around the world is respected and mutually recognized and strong management that points all of these employees in the same direction. This cannot be achieved overnight, but in order to respond to the continually diversifying needs of the market, we need to make steady efforts to build an organization that continues to generate innovative creativity by displaying the abilities of its diverse human resources to the fullest.