April 3, 2011

The Road to Surround – Part 3: The relationship of a workplace and self-polishing "An extraordinary nail will not be hammered"

By. Mick Sawaguchi

Recognition examples of remarkable achievements – Special Award of the Chief of Broadcast Center

Why is the nail that sticks out hammered?
Those who do a superior job in the workplace are sometimes criticized for the reason to "be impertinent". This may be constitution peculiar to Japanese corporate culture, but some of you may have such an experience. When one is particularly excellent and young, the surrounding is apt to twist his talent only in a simple law of their experience saying "years too early". What makes such a climate? For one, there would be a large factor in the way of handling duties wirh groupism, or uniformism. In other words, it is because achieving a result as the team by supplementing each other is given higher priority over a personal skill here. Therefore when an individual stands out, such sentiment arises as "we joined the project which wasn't done by him alone, so why only him!"
Whether it is an inexperienced junior staff or a totally new face, once the working organization recognizes some distinguished ability or high potential in comparison with others, the office should make an effort to offer opportunities to such staff to expand their ability and recognize their achievements, and steer the working climate toward praising straightforward efforts and results, then you will eventually build an environment that is open and competing each other for the better mutually.
In the office where too many such words go around from full of peak-limited human as "don't do unnecessary things" or "if you do it, it will eventually bother others because they are expected to do the same" or "you may try it 10 years later", emerging air to challenge new things is difficult to be seen, capable younger staff will lose the opportunity to flower their ability, ending up with changing the jobs or even worse it could cause a mental damage.
Then what would you do?
Such a topic may be talked often in the workplace. "He (or she) only does his favorite work and it's totally unacceptable". With that alone, it is seriously tough to find a work that you find interesting and favorably suits you, too. Besides, it should be regarded as a potentially significant driving force of promoting duties, if you have someone who already finds the job interesting. Isn't it partly because of confusing two totally different thinking: "a favorite work" and "I wants to do only this job"? There is a big gap between the selfishness in "wanting to do only this" and the enthusiasm "in doing a favorite job with 120% effort". At first if you find what is your favorite, you should drive it thoroughly, and raise your ability to the utmost level that is not possible with other people, and display an overwhelming difference. On that account, it is without saying that the efforts I already discussed are essential.
As a result, if you achieve certain evaluation in and around your working environment, you have transformed yourself from a nail that sticks out into one that is exceedingly far out here. It is a dynamo of the magnificent self-refinement to find a favorite job and to continue pushing it on.

Workplace climate even rivals praise a superior job
In the same industry, you may easily count a number of rivals and competitors. The professionals of sound all around the world that gather in AES are exact rivals if I pick an example around us. Similarly, other examples would be music mixing engineers, movie sound designers, engineers for live sport broadcast or location recording, researchers and even manufacturers. When they argue with their own claims on one theme, they compete boiling their spirit of rivalry and argue focusing on how to win the debate. However, when one is recognized by a superior achievement or contribution, they behave as a gentleman to accept it to greet with words of "congratulations". There will be no hitting the nail that sticks out by spreading this character in the workplace of ours in Japan.
It may be said that the workplace in which people prefer saying "congratulations" to a person recognized for an achievement than uttering "why not me" will form a company of adults.

The seniors called veterans
It is the consciousness of seniors who claim themselves to be so-called veterans that play a very important role when you form a mature climate in the workplace. It is said that it takes a decade to become full-fledged for anything, and it may not be wrong. But you do not misunderstand the important thing because of the recognition of being an expert yourself here like an expert means to just follow conventional approaches and customs adversely.
In order to make further use of the skill that a veteran carries, you should excavate people with the talent to shine in the workplace if polished by following your sensitivity and experience that you have accumulated, and make efforts to share a chance. As you and others see you as a veteran, interests will guide you to trends, skills and people outside your own company automatically when you keep trying to run in the front of the field. If you increase your antenna sensitivity and give yourself a theme with a feeling to always run in the front line, you won't be easily content with the present conditions and thus tend to be able to find the buds of nail that sticks out.

The direct boss is the pivot of the workplace climate
When the words like "those kids recently ..." come out of you, it is the seal of the oldster, but such words as "the company does not understand" or "the future is not visible" are sometimes outspoken by young staff. "The company" when they say, where or which part is in their mind conceptually? They often try to relate it with the imminent boss, probably more so than expected. That means, many of their doubts will be wiped out, if the imminent boss has the spirit of building a forward-looking working climate. Such boss stands between the management top and the working staff, and carries, so to speak, a role of bi-directional bridge.

+ The duty to apply management philosophy (this is such a noble idea hence a philosophy) to each workplace in charge as conceived by the management top, and to carry it out in a form of concrete activity
+ Administration to find rough stones in the workplace, and to turn them into jewels.
+ The effort to positively evaluate and to honor the staff of the workplace who did a superior job.

In particular, by performing the third activity diligently, I believe that the workplace climate will be born where straightforward congratulations to "the nail that sticks out" are heartfully expressed.
The boss of the workplace has a lot of important duties.

The attention to the young staff
In this occasion, I want to discuss the viewpoint about the attention to the young staff. I seem to hear the voice saying "indulging attention only helps generating idle people", but I believe that it is very important lubrication oil for the generations with PC-keyboard-email.
I praised overseas corporate culture earlier, but on the other hand it is a fact that the way of individualistic business handling could cause worries with the sense of isolation. Anxiety of "am I really needed" may occupy your mind. In such an occasion, an attentative word from the veteran or supervisor is important in the workplace. From the side to care the staff, you need to routinely pay attention to job details and individual evaluation in order to pick up a proper topic, and it is your continued daily effort.

The network with friends and colleagues outside the workplace
I talked about the spirit to always run in the front line with regard to veteran's own challenge, and it depends on how wide the network has been formed covering the friends beyond the workplace. If you carry it out, it is not a difficult task at all. They may say "I don't know what to do" or "no such time to do", but people from other companies in the same industry are the closest neighbors that you can find most easy to talk to. It is important in this case to consider expressing a feeling of respect in your conversation and communication with the partner. We sometimes deal with a partner based on the misconception that we are always superior, but this is unsuitable for making relations to last long. I believe that it lasts long when you deal with others with a sense of willingly exchanging each other's asset in "give & take" style. When you begin with guiding your facilities, sending a drawing, sending a channel plan, sending a list of equipment and the like, next comes your take. On the other hand, because you cannot spare so much time for building such acquaintances, the most important is the sense of capturing the timing quickly for limited number of chances. Accumulation of the everyday knowledge will help in order to enjoy positiveness to act capturing seldom-encountered chances or to realize how you make friends in limited time.
I heard about the president of a global appliance manufacturer who investigates the local information of popular movies and music in advance when he goes to foreign countries to enjoy smooth conversations using them as ice-melting topics.
In order to get a trigger of conversation besides the job topics, it helps if you have some specific hobbies or interests, and it is even better if you can find a common friend, and then the mutual confidence is established by an instant. If possible, you should acquire anything which can put you in a superior position than equal relations sooner. The more subjects you put on that you can "take" something from others, the wider your channel of acquaintances gets.

In this section, I discussed about the climate of the workplace and self-polishing to turn yourself from a nail that sticks out to the nail that extraordinarily sticks out.

2006.3 Broadcast technology

Part 4: Efforts to tell the genuineness - A flog out of pond >>>

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