Today manufacturing relies upon state-of-the-art technology, data and highly skilled engineers. However, the ancient Japanese principle of chowa still has a key part to play.
In the 1980’s, concepts like "kaizen" caught on. Now there's a new word for English speakers to adopt. Japanese businesses use the word “chowa” -harmonious partnership- to encompass a way of doing business. As with all untranslatable words, it is best understood through examples.
Speaking at WEF Davos 2018, the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries chairman stressed the importance of chowa by highlighting the company's partnership with Siemens to create Primetals Technologies, an example of competing global engineering companies working together harmoniously.
As the world becomes more interconnected, it also becomes fragmented in many ways. The digital age is rapidly transforming the workplace and work itself in the manufacturing sector, so the business world may need a new approach. Chowa - a spirit of harmonious partnership, may be an answer.
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