Building a society
To understand Cybozuʼs vision, you first have to understand a little bit of our history. In 2005, we were fighting to survive. Our stock lost half its value, and turnover reached an all-time high of 27%. Every week, we held another goodbye party. Morale was at its lowest.
We needed radical change. Our company goal was to “build a society brimming with teamwork,” but we hadnʼt even succeeded internally.
We decided that change needed to start from within. We spent years of trial-and-error trying to figure out what principles our company should adopt in order to build internal teamwork. Not everyone was on board, and many quit along the way.
After a while, our focus and efforts started to pay off. We settled on four, easy-to-understand teamwork principles that everyone within the company was able to get behind. We developed our products in line with those principles, to ensure that our vision permeated through every endeavour.
The results were staggering. Our stock recovered and then some. Our turnover has been below 5% for the last decade. We still have goodbye parties, but far more welcome parties.
The four principles guiding Cybozu's teamwork are...
Share a common vision理想への共感
To get anywhere as a team, you first have to agree to move in the same direction. For Cybozu, that direction is toward a society brimming with teamwork. Our overarching vision is not only what guides our projects and corporate strategy, but also the defining factor we use in problem solving and conflict arbitration.
Be yourself and take responsibility自立と議論
Once you know where you’re going, the next step is to efficiently share roles and responsibilities. Dividing tasks requires a team of individuals who take responsibility for their actions. But true responsibility isn’t blindly following orders — it’s being true to ourselves, recognizing what we can contribute, and delivering on the promises we make. This confluence of self-evaluation and autonomy is what we decided to group together as “be yourself and take responsibility.”
After roles are divided, itʼs important that we all coordinate our efforts. This coordination requires from every member what is known in Japanese as koumeiseidai. It translates to public (公), clear (明), honest (正), and big (⼤). In other words, we must strive to make our thoughts and actions public, clear enough for anyone to understand, honest to the truth of the matter, and convey them with a loud enough voice so that all those concerned can hear.
A big part of teamwork in the modern knowledge economy is recognizing that team members know best how to do their own work. At Cybozu, we call this process “100 people, 100 workstyles.” But policies are only truly flexible if people feel comfortable using them. To support team members and allow customized workstyles, it’s important we not judge one another based on personal preferences. As long as we are working toward a common vision, our stance is always to embrace individuality.
...and they work!
Consolidated revenue over time
Company growth and turnover