The Eternal Venture Spirit
IN THIS SUMMARY
Big-business syndrome can be recognized by a highly centralized and bloated bureaucracy, an increasing number of meetings merely to reach decisions, and interdepartmental transference of problems. Tateisi first noticed these symptoms at Omron in the fall of 1981. Internal response had slowed measurably, as well as the company's ability to respond quickly to the customer. He realized that an inflexible and unrespon-sive system is often based on a false need for unanimity. To address this particular problem, Tateisi advocates the 70/30 rule: If there is 70 percent confidence in a venture, the company should proceed, and the 30 percent who doubt should stimulate thinking about alternative measures in case the original plan goes awry. Occasionally, there might even be a need for a 30/70 rule.Tateisi's cure for big-business syndrome was for Omron to op-erate as if it were once again a small business. In order to revolu-tionize consciousness and revive the venture spirit that marked the company's early high-growth years, he sought to bring top man-agement closer to actual working conditions, and created appropriately sized and autonomous divisions. Every aspect of this restruc-turing was based on the "theory of provided conditions." By the end of fiscal year 1984 the company had increased sales by 127 percent and net income by 149 percent.