by Noriyuki Morimoto
A company, in whatever form or nature of business, is a group of people organized according to some principle, and is defined by its people and principle of organization.
A nation is also composed by its people and the principles of organization. Now, what are the organizing principles that make the nation? Whether it be a founding myth or the historical facts of a founding battle, without some shared memory – if we call it culture, without cultural unity – there can be no nation.
Culture comprises not only a time axis of history, but also a spatial axis of region. It is impossible to conceive of a nation that lacks a geographical scope. The physical scope of the nation is defined by the range where memories of the long history of the people living in a certain region, along with memories that have been shared as a result of living together in the same region, extend.
Now, in a company, there is no limitation of space. Hence, companies have a great potential for growth and development. This is extremely important. Someday, human wisdom, as a result of continuous progress, will abolish the institution of the state and arrive at a world civil society called Earth. The path of change leading to this point will not be the result of the adjustment of interests among nations, but rather the activities of global corporations that are beginning to perceive borders as restrictions.
What are, or should be, the principles of organizing a company with these possibilities? Like a nation, there must be a common memory of culture, a memory that lives and reproduces, but it is not limited by geographies. Because they are not limited, companies have too much freedom, which makes it difficult to maintain a commonality of culture. Without a physical and concrete territory, the culture would be abstract and lack centripetal force.
The concrete alternative to land for a company is vision. However, a vision would lack visibility without specificity, failing its definition of a vision, while something that is so specific as to be visible can be too specific to be a source of transformational power for a company. So, what is a vision, and what should it be?
Chief Executive Officer, HC Asset Management Co.,Ltd. Noriyuki Morimoto founded HC Asset Management in November 2002. As a pioneer investment consultant in Japan, he established the investment consulting business of Watson Wyatt K.K. (now Willis Towers Watson) in 1990.