The following "New Year Message 2014" was addressed to all officers and employees by President Masami Iijima.
Happy New Year, everyone.
As we welcome the new year here in Japan, for some reason I feel an even greater sense of anticipation than usual. This is probably because we have had such positive news recently, including the summer Olympics and Paralympics coming to Tokyo in 2020, but in any case it is a good feeling for the start of a new year.
Delivering on expectations
The global economy is showing a gradual overall recovery, even though there are still many uncertainties. Meanwhile, at home here in Japan, the bold economic policies of Abenomics have generated real expectations for economic revival. The challenge now is for Japan to implement a growth strategy that turns these expectations into reality.
This is the same challenge we face at Mitsui. In the year ahead, we need to get real results from all our projects, new and existing, and grow Mitsui by creating and delivering on expectations.
However, delivering on expectations is not easy. As you know, our corporate mission is to use diverse business models to contribute to global development. Today, I want to talk about two important things that will help us make that happen.
Developing 'Personal Power'
The first is what I call 'personal power'. This is the individual competitiveness that each of us uses for the benefit of the company. I need all of you to take on the challenge of continuously improving your own ability.
Personal power is a simple term, but it means a lot. It means developing specialist knowledge about your industry. It means having the initiative and courage to approach and convince other people. It means being tenacious; and having a constant desire to improve rather than accept the status quo. It means having the imagination to see new possibilities in an uncertain world, and to respond with agility as things around you change. Personal power is also the ability to see the big picture and pursue long term goals.
This is what enables us to perform our task of providing people around the world with essential products and services.
It's a fine line between success and failure. We all need to make the effort to step up to the next level, because this is what will lift the competitiveness of our entire company. If we want to succeed globally and achieve our business goals, we need to understand the importance of personal power.
My second point is about making connections.
Since the very beginning of Mitsui, we have built our business by connecting countries and customers, people and products, and of course projects and ideas.
Our ability to make connections is one of our key strengths. This leads to progress and innovation in ways that only Mitsui can achieve.
Connections happen at many levels. By connecting businesses, we build value chains. By connecting ideas and trying new approaches we find opportunities for new and innovative business models. By connecting information, we find new perspectives and directions.
We all need to develop our ability to discover things around us that can be connected in new ways. We need to realize possibilities that others have not yet seen, so please put your imagination and creativity to work.
At the same time, it's important to have a foundation on which to anchor our activity. Mitsui is a network of people with immense experience and expertise, working in a huge variety of businesses. By sharing our ideas and by making use of our external network, we can find new ways to make connections. But to get the best results, sometimes we have to look outside silos and form cross-organizational teams. I encourage you to think freely about what kind of team structure will be most effective for Mitsui.
It is now nearly five years since we announced our Long-term Management Vision in March 2009, so we are now entering the second half of our ten-year vision. Our blueprint for this period will be contained in our new Medium-term Management Plan.
I am determined to create the best possible new Plan, and will build buy-in throughout Mitsui by facilitating discussion and agreement between our business units, business support units and corporate staff divisions.
I began this message with the concept of delivering on expectations. The surest way to meet the expectations of our stakeholders is to get strong results from existing and new projects.
By using the power of teamwork, I am sure we can create further growth and deliver our long-term vision for Mitsui.
Thank you for your efforts over the past year. I wish you and your families health and happiness for the year ahead.