Conditions where all employees can work with enthusiasm, hope, and security are essential to corporate and social sustainability. One group within Fuji Xerox is pursuing the goal of reviving Japanese firms by maximizing the knowledge creation capacity inherent in human beings-Fuji Xerox Global Services' Knowledge Dynamics Initiative, or KDI. KDI's office has done away with traditional work desks and strict personnel hierarchy. It is a group of “social entrepreneurs” who all create knowledge with the aim of realizing a society in which people can work with energy and joy.
KDI's original proponent, Kazue Kikawada (currently a professor at Osaka University), approached Fuji Xerox's top management with the argument that, given the forthcoming knowledge society, a major gambit was needed to transform the 21st century management paradigm. Companies had to serve as a sound social infrastructure and create a society in which everyone could enjoy their work and experience happiness.
Kikawada wanted to create a frontline group to serve as a driving force for society, making Japan a joyfull, happy place. KDI's basic concept is to realize dynamic individuals and dynamic spaces known as “ba.”
“The last decade or so has seen the spread of a management style that prioritizes means and ends with immediate effects even where this is recognized as only partial optimization,” says Takahiko Nomura, senior manager of KDI. “As a consequence, many employees have been buried in routine tasks, unable to engage in knowledge creation that transforms work. At KDI, we believe this is one cause of organizational lethargy. If all staff approach the continually changing social and business environment with greater sensitivity and flexibility and create new value, utilizing knowledge across organizational boundaries, the joy of sharing thoughts and ideas through work will spread throughout the organization, almost invariably energizing it.”