The following "New Year Message 2019" was addressed to all officers and employees by President Tatsuo Yasunaga.
Happy New Year. It is my pleasure to be greeting you again, looking ahead to another interesting year.
Today I want to discuss three topics: business creation, reforming our working environment, and our HR strategy.
Our existing businesses are the backbone of Mitsui group, and we must never lose sight of how important they are to our ongoing success. At the same time, we have to create new earnings pillars in growth areas, and the best place to plant seeds for growth is in areas close to your current work.
We can only drive this growth through innovation. This means playing a central role in building and reinforcing businesses in a virtuous cycle of growth. As you may know, we have established a creative laboratory called "Moon", so please keep your innovation antennae closely tuned to the environment around you, and use Moon as a catalyst for business creativity.
Reforming our working environment to cultivate strong individuals
One of our management goals is to reform the way we work. For example, in the new Tokyo head office, we're considering adopting unassigned seating for each department. Mitsui Tokyo is also looking at flexibility in working hours, surroundings and business attire, so that everyone can operate with more enthusiasm, creativity and collaboration.
I'm a great believer in making big gains in efficiency through changes in daily work habits, such as by going paperless at meetings. The aim is always to improve the way we do business and create more time for front line business development.
My final point is about HR. As a global company, our aspiration is to integrate and engage our local and global people ever more closely, and I'm excited about the initiatives in place for the year ahead. I firmly believe that our people should be trained and promoted not on the basis of where they are hired, but on other factors such as whether they work globally or locally and whether they are managers or specialists.
We are also making progress on a robust appraisal system. Our highest performers help energize and activate our entire organization, so please take every opportunity to increase your skills and achieve high level results.
In closing, let me say that one of our great strengths is the way we respond to the voices of our people. If you identify the need for change, Mitsui group can act on those needs. We're introducing important reforms at the management level but even more important are the standards we set for ourselves. By lifting our individual performance, we can each play a worthwhile and satisfying role in lifting the whole group.
Thank you again for joining me today. I wish you the very best for the year ahead.