Konica Minolta’s Shoei Yamana on challenging the status quo

The following appears on ft.com

By Leo Lewis, On a Saturday morning in late 2014, a small team of Konica Minolta staff, acting without the say-so of senior managers, arrived at a hospital in Yotsukaido City and set up a mobile planetarium so that the oldest patients could see digital stars.

That was also the moment, seven months and one week into his leadership of Konica Minolta, that Shoei Yamana began to believe it might be possible to reboot the corporate traditions of a 140-year old Japanese industrial giant. “It showed people taking initiative,” he says, noting the rarity of unscripted moves within the choreography of corporate Japan. “I really needed to convey that this was my style. People need to believe in the right thing and take action. I wanted to expand this small story and get that message to [the company’s] 45,000 people.”


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