Belief of the General Manager:
"Be a Good Listener"
The basis of Kajima's "Client First" principle is “be a good listener”. What this means is that first of all, we should make our best efforts to genuinely understand the desires and expectations of clients by listening with an open and sincere mind as well as being thoroughly prepared. Based on this principle, we endeavor to deliver value to new markets by creating the best team to make effective use of the land, space or opportunity.
“We shall be a consistently good listener!"
I worked at the London headquarters of KE from 1997 to 2007 and was in charge of establishing and launching our PFI business in the United Kingdom. I would like to tell you about an event from that time.
We won a packaged PFI contract to reconstruct multiple elementary and middle schools through a procurement process which included “competitive dialogue”*.
* In the PFI procurement process in the United Kingdom, opportunities for pre-tender, competitive dialogues for public sector projects are often given to shortlisted, private sector bidders. These dialogues take place over a specified period so bidders can accurately understand the needs of stakeholders. This process is designed to encourage bespoke proposals that deliver the highest “Value for Money” for the public.
Later, when I asked the principal of one of the elementary schools who was on the selection panel why Kajima was chosen, she told me the following story.
During the dialogue process to select a partner for the project, we met with several companies with track records in developing elementary schools in the United Kingdom. All of them began their presentation with examples of school facilities they had completed and lectured about “how the elementary school should be”.
In contrast, Kajima opened a brand-new notebook and began with one question: "What kind of elementary school do you want to build?" After that, they listened carefully to our ideas, wishes and concerns.
Then, the next time we met, Kajima gave us several proposals to confirm if they accurately understood what we wanted, and they asked us again, "Is our understanding correct?" It was at that time I knew I wanted Kajima to build our school.
The environments around elementary schools and the expectations of the children’s parents vary from school to school. We know our school best. Having understood that, Kajima carefully listened to what we considered to be most important, and finally brought us the most wonderful plan for the children.
When the school principal told me this, it reinforced the notion in my mind that “Client-first” means being a “Good listener” with an open mind and with nothing more than a blank notebook. So, when we have a meeting with a new client in a new country for the first time, to truly gain their trust and have them believe we sincerely wish to build what they would like to have, we maintain this same approach and build our team on this principle. Also, hypothetically speaking, should a client be unaware of their own potential, it would give us great pleasure if we could be a “Good listener” and discover an opportunity to accomplish it together.
Various proposals using "Integrated Diversity"
─ Basic strategies for opening new markets ─
The essence of Kajima’s business is to create a unique structure on a prized, one-of-a-kind, designated site irrespective of whether it is a construction project or a real estate development project. Therefore, I would like to engage in business while being fully aware of providing “Absolute Competitiveness”.
What this means is that we must be relentless in our efforts to continuously commit Kajima’s technologies, knowledge and networks in an integrated manner to create a proposal that is best for the unique site (or space) which is based on a precise understanding of the unique qualities of the opportunity and environment.
To achieve “Absolute Competitiveness”, we believe it’s necessary for us to continuously discuss and confirm the client’s wishes throughout every stage, from the design and construction to the maintenance and operation. It is a crucial responsibility of team members with a diverse range of knowledge and experiences throughout the organization to pay keen attention to the needs of each project from their respective positions, carefully listen to a variety of opinions, and think about possible ways for Kajima to contribute from the client's point of view. In other words, while sharing the common goal of formulating the best proposals for clients, we will assemble a team to gather the elements necessary for the success of the project from both inside and outside the company and collaborate to assemble the various elements together to bring it fruition. This is what I refer to as "Integrated Diversity" or "Diversified Integration".