「 What do you mean by intuition? 」
Kaan-san asks in return.
「 It’s ‘inspiration. It’s much more precious than any economics theory or business knowledge 」
「 What can develop the company for the better? What can do worse? Do you back off from the deal because it’s dangerous, or would you go sink or swim? In the end, it all depends on the manager’s inspiration 」
Minaho-neesan tells Kaan-san.
「 Then, that intuition is something you’ll acquire if you aren’t on-site to face people during the transactions. You can’t sharpen your own perception if you can’t sense what makes people’s thoughts burst. Even if you have superior management sense, if you’re far from the scene, then your intuition will dull. That’s crucial in business world 」
「 Oh, I get that 」
「 I bake pastries every day and sell them, and the customers’ reactions convey directly 」
Kaan-san looks at me.
「 Like, which products do the customers prefer and which ones they don’t like. Also, if there’s a product not loved, but a little bit of improvement will make it popular, and I can sense the minor details like that 」
「 When I started up my bakery, I had a bit of misunderstanding 」
「 Misunderstanding? 」
「 Yes. A misunderstanding. “I purchase bread for my consumption, too, don’t I?” So I thought that I knew what the customers want. Thinking that I’m also a customer 」
「 So you looked from the perspective of the customer? 」
Kaan-san asks me.
「 No, it’s nothing that bothersome. Anyway, I just thought that I know it all. Even though I don’t know anything 」
I’m desperately trying to speak out my thoughts.
「 In reality, after I opened up my shop, everything I thought and expected was different 」
I’m just a first-year high-school student.
Therefore, I thought that “if I make this, I’m sure everyone will like it.” I made such plans.
「 Those I expected to sell well weren’t that popular a tall. I was wrong. My expectations were different from reality 」
「 Reality? 」
「 That’s right. Different from what the customers really want. When I found that out, I adapted to reality and made products that will sell 」
I said. Kaan-san.
「 I wonder? Shouldn’t you persist with your preference instead? Sell what you think is delicious. Sooner or later, the buyers will understand your taste… 」
「 It would be too late by then. My shop will close down. It can’t sustain as a business 」
「 Customers aren’t people you raise by yourself. Right now, the customers living in this moment are the people who buy my products. If I don’t keep them company, I won’t make money 」
I need to offer the students in school what they want to eat.
「 Well, in pastry, there are cases where the bread with slightly more yeast, or products that should taste better, but; But you shouldn’t think “what I want to make and sell,” but “what the customers want to buy” 」
I said. Kaan-san.
「 That differs from my thoughts. For me, the business needs to be my ideal. The idea of “I want to make this,” or “I want to sell this” is much more necessary. I want to spread out my “sense” and what I see as beautiful. Call it my “ideal.” I want the world to accept what I see as attractive if they look closely. That is why I want to start a business like that 」
Oh, I see.
「 I can understand your view, but… 」
Her business has nothing but herself.
「 Kaan-san’s business will never support your family 」
「 Family? 」
「 You need to earn daily for your family. If not, they can’t eat. They won’t have clothes. Going to school also needs money, and you have to give them pocket money, don’t you? 」
「 What are you talking about? 」
Kaan-san’s eyes opened wide.
I knew it, she doesn’t think about that.
She thinks that managing a company is nothing but a game.
「 Danna-sama is talking about all the employees working for the company 」
「 “Ideals” are precious, but the employees have their life. They have a family. Managers mustn’t forget about the workers 」
「 I know that. I too… 」
「 If that’s the case, you do understand that constant profits take priority over the manager’s “ideals,” right? 」
「 I-I do. That view, yes 」
「 But, recently, most companies stray off because their manager wants to pursue their ideals 」
「 “We should’ve offered this service,” or “I’m sure that if you do this, the customers will be pleased, we will earn profits!” And pushing their own “ideals,” messing up the whole place. Giving orders to do only that kind of work and not confirm if it works or not, bankrupting the company in the process. Forcing such action when there are not enough employees because they don’t know the ropes in business. Forcing everything to the employees 」
Managers who never faced their customers.
If such people force their ideals, of course, it will collapse.
Oh, so that’s what creates a business that exploits its employees.
「 Most idiotic managers like that turn over to politicians, right? It’s the same. They dream of their “ideals,” give orders from above, and change things to their liking. They hardly have an interest in what the ordinary people wish for 」
Minaho-neesan said. Kaan-san gasps.
「 Be careful that your company doesn’t become like that 」
「 T-Thank you for the advice 」
Kaan-san replies discontentedly.
「 Anyway, I understand now why Kouzuki Kakka was guiding Kuromori-sama gently 」
Jii-chan’s guiding me?
『 That’s not the case 』
Suddenly, a voice comes from the speakers.
This voice…It’s Jii-chan.
『 That was a fascinating conversation. I thought that it would be impolite of me to Kaan house and their young lady if I don’t talk now 』
The girls in the courtyard got nervous.
It implies that the head of Kouzuki house is watching the whole situation.
『 I sent over Minaho-kun as a cushion to give you a test 』
Minaho-neesan’s appearance was a test?
『 I wanted to see what kind of attitude you will have with Minaho-kun 』
Kaan-san looks at Minaho-neesan, startled.
『 Would you listen to a woman who suddenly appears and says that she’s there because I told her to? Would you listen to what she has to say? Or would you ignore her and refuse to listen to her? 』
『 For me, I think that one should listen to what others have to say earnestly, regardless of their status. Naturally, liars exist. People who will try to deceive you. However, as members of the nobility, you must stay gentlemanly and ladylike. Maintaining your refined attitude is a must, isn’t it? 』
「 I-I’m very sorry 」
Right, Kaan-san listened to Minaho-neesan, but her attitude isn’t nice.
Kanou-san was at least listening properly.
『 You didn’t see the merit of Minaho-kun’s talk, do you? You didn’t sense that it would be a beneficial lesson in your management and in your life, did you?\ 』
「 T-That’s not true. It’s just that…her views are different than mine, so I found out that they exist too 」
『 You should value the opinions of others! 』
『 That’s the greater problem in current Japan. They’re intolerant of people who have a different opinion than them 』
People who have a different opinion than them
『 Japanese people nowadays look down on people who think differently than themselves. It’s wrong to believe that people who have a different view than yourself are inferior, that they must think the same way as themselves 』
Oh. I see.
“I think A, that guy thinks B. He must be an idiot for not understanding something so easy,” so many people think that way now.
『 People see differently from their position. If we’re to use your conversation, managers and the end-employees have a different place. They have different worries. They have different things to do, and various thoughts 』
『 There is the pressure where you have to pay all of your employees their salary. There are shareholders for companies. If it’s a long-standing company, then I cannot break it. Companies have retired people who worked for them for years. If I destroy that company, it won’t affect just the employees and shareholders. It will also disrupt the elderly who worked for that company long ago. Naturally, it will cause trouble with transactions. If my company were to create chain bankruptcy, then multiple lives will collapse 』
「 I have never thought of that before 」
『 Of course you don’t. If you’re playing with three companies, then your family will deal with it if you reached your limits 』
Kaan-san’s family has a large industrial enterprise, Memoru Group.
『 However, that won’t work with most companies in this society. Hiring a person means that you have to defend that person and their family’s livelihood. Naturally, it applies to your own family as well. If it’s just a small trade where you manage it by yourself, you can do whatever you please. However, if you involve another person, then you have responsibilities. You mustn’t forget that 』
「 Y-Yes! Kakka! 」
『 Hmm, now that I’m the one talking, you listen enthusiastically 』
「 I-I’m sorry 」
『 Oh well. Let’s return to the topic 』
『 Managers do have responsibilities and worries. That also applies to administrative posts. Executives, officer, section manager, section chief, subsection head, the officer in charge, each position has its own worries. They’re not wasting their time playing around. Work isn’t all fun and games, it has hardships as well. Frustrations. Irritations. Even I experience that every day 』
Jii-chan, the head of Kouzuki house, can’t do anything as he sees fit.
『 Nevertheless, the Japanese people today have been in a different position, and so they see from a different perspective. Their worries are different. Their thoughts are different. For me, I think that one has to discern that different from others and accept it 』
『 Superiors are under the impression that subordinates who don’t understand them are idiots. “Why can’t they follow simple instructions?” And then think that the subordinates who can’t do their orders properly are lacking in skill. “The young ones today are useless,” and such 』
『 But, the subordinates think, “Why do I have to do something so trivial? I could do this better,” it’s the impression where those who think differently are idiots. Thinking “that person doesn’t understand it at all” 』
Oh. I get that.
『 However, if the superior and subordinate are together, they will look down on someone else. “The higher-ups don’t understand,” “business partners are worthless,” “The other department only has stupid people,” “the newcomers this year are all useless,” “our company president is helpless” and such 』
The superior and subordinate mutually look down on each other, and yet…
But when they’re together, they look down on someone else.
『 They think that they are correct. That they’re the clever ones. Therefore, they see people who think differently than them as idiots 』
Jii-chan’s voice gently echoes.
『 And people like that are increasing. “I’m the one who knows. I’m the right one. Therefore, people who think differently than me are idiots” 』
「 I think it is as you say 」
「 I give advice on my subordinates in the company, and yet, they don’t pay attention, thinking “She doesn’t understand, I’m the right one here” 」
『 The directors in your company are yes-men who just accept everything you tell them, don’t they? 』
Jii-chan asks. Kaan-san…
「 T-That’s… 」
『 They do exist. “This young lady of Kaan house is looking down on us. It’s much better if I just went Yes-man if she won’t accept whatever we say. Kaan house won’t have to glare at me. Let’s just think that this young lady is the start of my success,” and such. Naturally, they hardly care about you or your company 』
Boot lickers only think about how they can succeed in life.
『 And yes-man like them act recklessly as the manager. Earlier, you all were talking about the company president using the profits for gambling… 』
Oh, the guy who used a 100 million yen in a casino in Macau.
『 If he didn’t have a yes-man subordinate, then it wouldn’t have happened. If it’s a proper business, someone will notice it and will not let that happen. Illegal use of money shouldn’t go unnoticed. Furthermore, the related party in the company should be aware that it’s illegal to use that money that way. Yes-man will only say, “It’s okay. We can just adjust the story to fit with the situation” and so the founder and relatives 』
Without cooperative workers, or people who push from behind…
One can’t selfishly use the money of group business.
「 I might’ve been leading myself to failure 」
She happens to know the yes-man in her company.
『 It’s the age where people see each other as idiots. Where “Everyone other than me is an idiot,” And usually, they shout their dissatisfaction that they are right to people with a higher standing than them. They think of that inside their mind, but they can’t complain except to his group. But in big companies, there’s hardly anyone hiding their dissatisfaction. Worse, the yes-man boosts their ego, and so they see that everyone in the world is inferior to himself. All the customers, clients, and employees are idiots. Recently, such managers are increasing 』
『 Let me give you a fun example. After the war, there’s only one prime minister that graduated from the University of Tokyo 』
「 Oh, that one 」
Misuzu noticed it right away.
I don’t know about it, though.
『 The prime minister is…I feel sorry to say, but it’s better if they should graduate from the third-ranked university. They’re people with high academic achievement, so they should listen to people. Be it explaining to bureaucrats, or listening to various people’s opinions, then they make a decision. They know that they’re not that smart. However, when politicians have high academic achievement, they think; “I don’t have to listen to your opinion, I already know,” and despite not being a specialist, they make their own decision for themselves, move, and misguide the whole country 』
If one thinks they’re smart, they don’t listen to other people’s opinions.
『 Government officials have plenty of knowledge and experience in their field. Therefore, they shouldn’t become yes-man, but instead, they should use their skill and expertise. If the specialist has a different opinion, then put it to use. Listening to diverse views will never go to waste 』
「 It is painfully true 」
『 I know that I’m a man who can’t do anything. I’m not smart, and I don’t have the sense 』
「 K-Kouzuki Kakka!!! 」
『 No, that’s the truth. 』 I do not have that management intuition that a young man had acquired. I’m born heir of the Kouzuki house, and so I never started a business where I stood in front of my customers 』
『 What do the ordinary customers want? What products do I create? I don’t know those. I also know well that I live very far apart from the ordinary citizens 』
He’s the head of Kouzuki house, a family that has the lineage and assets.
『 I only experienced the life of ordinary people was when I was in Kyoto university for four years. Furthermore, in those four years, I understood that I am different, that I do not have the same sense as the ordinary people 』
I hear Jii-chan’s sigh from the speakers.
『 Therefore, I always employ someone who is smarter than myself and is rich in a management sense. Currently, that is Shiba-kun 』
Shiba-san, the one who replaced Jii-chan as the manager of the Kouzuki group.
『 He’s someone with a better skill than myself. Knowing that I hired him. I respect his opinions, and he also wants my respect. All I could do is to be watchful to that he doesn’t split the Kouzuki group and become self-supporting. That is why I satisfy his desires when it comes to treatment and salary 』
Shiba-san’s careful with Jii-chan. Jii-chan’s careful with Shiba-san as well.
『 And other top management are like that. They all are people who are much smarter and skilled than me. Without those people, I couldn’t protect Kouzuki group 』
「 And that’s what’s splendid about Kouzuki-sama 」
Minaho-neesan tells me.
「 Most managers don’t hire people that are much more capable than themselves 」
「 Huh? Why? 」
「 If you hire someone much more skilled than yourself, they might take away that company from you, right? That you might not be able to reject anything that person wants to do 」
「 No, but that’s such a dull reason? 」
「 That’s right. They hire people with lower skill because of such a dull reason, making a mountain of the reason why the business isn’t growing 」
『 The reason for why I like this young man… 』
Jii-chan suddenly speaks.
『 Boy, do you think that you’re smart? 』
「 No. I’m dumb. Quite dumb 」
It’s embarrassing, but I replied honestly.
『 He knows that he’s not smart. He knows that there are many people much brighter than him 』
Well, everyone around me is all smart.
Edie’s even a child prodigy.
『 So, if you can’t find out what to do alone, what do you do? 』
「 I consult everyone 」
『 Do you not consider dealing with it alone? 』
「 I mean, everyone’s much smarter than me, so it’s better if I listen to their opinion 」
『 However, if their opinion differs, what do you do? 』
Oh, for example, Misuzu and Nei not agreeing with each other.
「 I think about it 」
「 First, I take my time to think. I ask other people’s opinions. If it splits, then I will have them explain their reason, and listen to which is better 」
『 So you’re going to listen to them all? 』
「 Yeah. Fortunately, I have a lot of people to talk to 」
Minaho-neesan, Margo-san, Katsuko-nee, Nagisa, also…
「 Then, I give my final answer, commit to it and take responsibility 」
『 You will? Despite it being an opinion you took from someone else? 』
「 It’s irrelevant. It doesn’t matter who gave that opinion, I’m the one who made the conclusion. Then that means that I have all the responsibility for that 」
『 Hmm. I see. Then what will you do if you have no one to consult with? Where there is a problem, and you have to deal with it right away? 』
「 Then I will use my intuition to decide 」
I replied immediately.
「 I will feel out what I should do an act based on that 」
『 Are you sure about that? What will you do if your intuition was wrong? 』
「 Then that’s it. If it results in my death, then it can’t be helped. I decided for that myself 」
『 Would you not regret that you didn’t have the time to consult others? 』
「 I can’t do anything even if I do. It’s a time where I had to make a quick decision after all 」
『 That’s simple of you 』
I can somehow feel that Jii-chan’s showing a wry smile while looking at the monitor.
『 That’s how he is. He thinks that he’s dumber than others and so he never looks down on them. If you look down on others, you don’t listen to their opinion. Furthermore, you can prepare yourself and make conclusions. He has decisiveness. It’s simple, but an unbreakable spirit 』
Ugh, it doesn’t feel great when Jii-chan’s praising me.
Look? You said something so strange that the girls are now looking at me.
『 Therefore, I need him as Misuzu’s partner. My granddaughters are quite the clever girls after all 』
「 I’m sorry 」
Misuzu bows her head.
『 It’s reassuring to have a man who listens to people with her. Furthermore, if he learned intuition from management, I couldn’t ask for more 』
『 It’s okay to stay as yourself. You don’t have to be smart. You don’t need an academic background. Stay like that. And I request for you to stay by Misuzu’s side forever 』