Official Website of Kazuo Inamori


What is the Purpose of Life? Ehime Civic Forum (August 6, 2014)

The true factors behind reconstruction of Japan Airlines

There is another example. During my involvement in the reconstruction of Japan Airlines, the pure and single-minded desire to show “compassion for others” wielded tremendous power. Not only did it rescue a failed corporation, it transformed that corporation into a high-profit enterprise. I cannot help thinking that the reconstruction of Japan Airlines, too, is a result of efforts to contemplate virtue and do good deeds accordingly.

Shortly after I took the post of JAL chairman, I announced to all employees, “The purpose of management at the newly reborn Japan Airlines is to provide opportunities for the material and intellectual growth of all our employees.” I pushed this point repeatedly, and presented my unshakeable conviction to employees: “From here on, the corporation known as Japan Airlines exists not for the benefit of shareholders, and certainly not for the self-interest of its managers, but for the growth of all employees who comprise this company.” My personal belief, my management philosophy, was subsequently woven into the management philosophy of the newborn Japan Airlines. Furthermore, I explained to JAL's management and employees the thinking underlying my philosophy of life and business, the Kyocera Philosophy.

Meanwhile, to break down the established bureaucracy of Japan Airlines, I implemented a reorganization to clarify a system of responsibility. This was followed by constructing a management accounting system to raise profit awareness.

Certainly, these various reforms contributed greatly to JAL's reconstruction. However, I feel the true factor behind the dramatic revival of Japan Airlines comes from my earnest desire to “do good.” Picking myself up and shaking out these old bones, I undertook the reconstruction of Japan Airlines with no salary, to support the revival of Japan's economy, to safeguard the employment of the remaining JAL employees, and for the Japanese people. Similarly, JAL employees developed a similar mindset and put all they had into the reconstruction. Perhaps, seeing this ongoing effort, driven solely by altruistic thinking, the Divine or heaven took pity and stretched out a helping hand.

While this is not the Law of Cause & Effect as such, I cannot help but think we received a helping hand from a source of universal compassion. I doubt whether such a miraculous recovery and transformation could have been achieved without “Divine intervention.”

Ehime Civic Forum (August 6, 2014) Summary

What is the Purpose of Life?
Why Do We Need Philosophy in Management?
What Guides People and Enterprises Toward Growth and Development?
Learning about the Ideal State of a Leader from Nanshu Saigo
Reflections on Kazuo Inamori's Practical Study
Amoeba Management Brings Sustainable Corporate Growth