Innovating Out of Crisis
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Innovating Out of Crisis

How Fujifilm Survived (and Thrived) As Its Core Business Was Vanishing
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Shigetaka Komori
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CEO Shigetaka Komori's own story of why Fujifilm succeeded where Kodak failed, with hard-won lessons for managers and employees everywhere

In 2000, photographic film products made up 60% of Fujifilm’s sales and up to 70% of its profit. Within ten years, digital cameras had destroyed that business. In 2012, Kodak filed for bankruptcy. Yet Fujifilm has boasted record profits and continues strong. What happened? What did Fujifilm do? What do businesses today need from their leaders? What kinds of employees can help businesses thrive in the future? Here, the CEO who brought Fujifilm back from the brink explains how he engineered transformative organizational innovation and product diversification, with observations on his management philosophy.

Shigetaka Komori is Chairman and CEO of Fujifilm Holdings Corporation. Mr. Komori was appointed CEO in 2003 and chairman in 2012.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Lost Core: What Happened at Fujifilm?

Technology-oriented Fujifilm
Giant Kodak
First Attempts at Diversification
Overseas Development and Foreign Encroachment
The Approaching Digital Era
Three Strategies for the Digital Age
Brave Enough to Recognize Reality?
The Coming Crisis

Column #1
Digital Minilabs: A Godsend for Photo Shops

Chapter 2 A New Start: Fujifilm’s Challenges and Reforms: The Complete Story

My Return from Europe
Not Just Survive, but Survive as a First-Rate Enterprise
Global Factory Reorganization and Consolidation of Developing Sites
With Greatest Consideration for All, Pushing Relentless Reform
Fujifilm Protects the Photographic Legacy
Fujitac Contributes to the Spread of Liquid Crystal TV
Needs and Technology: Searching for New Markets
Not Just Success, but Long-term Success
Healthcare’s Importance in the Twenty-first Century
The Rationale behind Going into Cosmetics
A Full-Scale Entry into Pharmaceuticals
Mergers and Acquisitions Provide a Head Start
Creating a New Research Center for Interdisciplinary Research
Ongoing R&D Investment of 200 Billion a Year
Transition to a Holding Company System for Greater Consolidation
Renamed “Fujifilm”
Best Performance in History and the Lehman Shock
A Second Companywide Downsizing
One Misfortune Followed by Another: The Strong Yen
Fujifilm Back on the Path to Growth
After the Trunk and Limbs Come Branches and Leaves
Creating a Company that Can Create Change
The Difference between Kodak and Fujifilm

Column 2
Disaster Reconfirms the Cultural Value of Photography

Chapter 3 What Managers Should Do in Time of Crisis: Reading, Planning, Communicating, Acting

Consensus Leaders are Useless in Times of Crisis
Four Rules for Managers in Times of Crisis
Understanding the Present Situation with Limited Information
Reading the Flow of Events and Predicting the Future
The Universal Laws Apply Outside Your Field of Expertise
Three Factors Leading to Misjudgment
Deciding Priorities and Drawing Up Realistic Plans
Being Aware of Dynamism and Speed
The Need for Muscle Intelligence in Managers
Even When You Hesitate, Make It a Success
Keeping Refreshed and Invigorated: Another Leader’s Job
Without Communication from the Top, the Organization Won’t Budge
Something More Important than Taking the Lead

Column 3
Number Two Uses a Bamboo Sword, Number One Steel

Chapter 4 All Is a Battle Which Cannot be Lost: The Rule of the World and Coming Out on Top

All Life Is a Battle to be Won or Lost
Postwar Japan Teaches the Wretchedness of Losing
Building the Bedrock Strength to Escape Defeat
My Theory of the Total Business Person
Without Gentleness and a Cause, “Winning” and “Strength” Are Meaningless
Understanding International Behavior to Win in the World
Not Just Winning but Doing It Intelligently, Honestly, and with Spirit

Column 4
Books I Have Read to Build a Foundation of Strength

Chapter 5 People Who Feel Strongly about Their Work Will Grow: How to be Successful at Work and Continue to Grow

The Company Is Not an Educational Institution for Your Benefit
Creating a Positive Spiral by Learning from Whatever Comes Your Way
Working with a Sense of Ownership
Take Whatever You Do Seriously and See It Through
Before Relying on Others, Ask Yourself What You Have Done
Without Changing Reality, There Is No Progress
The Reason Some Upper Managers Don’t Grow

Column 5
Not Plan-Do-Check-Action, but See-Think-Plan-Do

Chapter 6 The Way Forward in a Global Age: Corporate and National Strengths

Japan’s Manufacturing Sector Is Not Losing Ground
The Slow Economy due to a Strong Yen
Separating TPP and Agricultural Issues
Issues for Japan: The High Cost of Corporate SGA
Issues for Japan: Deterioration in the Ability to Execute
Issues for Japan: The Tendency to Blur Responsibility
Japanese Technology: Still a Source of Pride
Teaching Children the Importance of Competition
From Backward, Inward, and Downward to Forward, Outward, and Upward

Conclusion Challenging with Courage