Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer For Bureaucrats

While still in university, in 1989, I visited Japan for three months on an AIESEC traineeship. I was very impressed with Japan!

While I was there, I heard a number of different Japanese people spontaneously tell me, “Japan has no resources excepts its people”. Japanese companies put a lot of effort into developing their human resources and capital. And, they were beating the Americans in so many industries: steel, electronics, television, cars.

When I returned to university, I noted how Western companies essentially did no investment in their people. They wanted fully educated workers. And fully trained. But at the expense of another company. So they could just hire them away. Quite the contrast in HR policy.

This summer, I started watching a TV series on Japan’s NHK network, called “Summer For Bureaucrats”. It’s a docudrama about the history of the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry – MITI.

It starts about 1955, ten years after WWII. Each episode is a different drama, not only about MITI, but about Japan also.