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Corporate restructuring under the slogan "Creativity and Daring"
In early 1991, after a record-setting period of economic expansion, the Japanese economy showed signs of a slowdown. Financial warning signals in the second half heralded a collapse of the economic bubble. The continuing fall of stock and property values caused the recession to deepen in 1992, while the government was paralyzed by the commotion surrounding revelations of illicit campaign donations to major politicians.
The electronics industry also registered a steep drop in sales. In February 1993, with no end to the slowdown in sight, President Akio Tanii stepped down, surrendering the reins of the company to Yoichi Morishita. At a Special Management Meeting following his appointment, Morishita announced a four-point strategy to deal with the difficult economic situation, instructing employees to: 1) continue to focus on the company's corporate mission and responsibilities to society; 2) base management innovation on "creativity and daring"; 3) further the Panasonic tradition of autonomous management; and 4) rebuild Panasonic into a healthy, dynamic entity.
In explaining the concept of "creativity and daring," Morishita began by quoting lines from a poem by Samuel Ullman:
"'...(Youth) is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions...Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, for adventure over the love of ease...'
"The exercise of creativity and daring brings problems to the surface, but it also imbues us with the vigor to confront them.
Daring always implies a risk of failure, from which we must be willing to stand up and try again. Yet even failures can empower us. To do the pedestrian, the obvious, accomplishes nothing. We will create a bright future for our company when each employee sits down and asks him or herself about what he or she should be doing."
As the centennial of its founding nears, Panasonic made a new beginning under a new president.
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