Presentation Zen: Fall down seven times, get up eight: The power of Japanese resilience

by Scott Smith

Construction-destruction-construction
Evacuationcenter2 Over twenty years ago when I first started working in Japan, I noticed that transferring many people to different parts of he company was a common practice. It seemed disruptive and a bit of an upheaval to me then, but my boss explained that this kind of change was important for people to learn all aspects of the business. And besides, he said, this kind of tearing down and building up again is all apart of life in Japan. I remember he called it “construction and destruction…and then construction again.” He reminded me that Japan is an island nation with a history of calamities including volcanoes, typhoons, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis, and in recent history, the horrible consequences of war, including two atomic bombings. No matter the crisis, however, Japan always bounces back. This ability recover and grow stronger has much to do with a culture that values personal responsibility and hard work but also humility and a sense of belonging to and contributing to a community.

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