Every little thing we do is magic (MOTW31)

02 Aug 2019

Amoebas, although single-cell organisms, are complex and highly organised, executing a range of cellular functions. Indeed, if amoeba are multiplied, they form the cellular building blocks of all living matter. KYOCERA’s founder, Dr Inamori, saw the wisdom and the power of small things. In fact, his management philosophy, known as Amoeba Management, divides an organisation into smaller parts (known as amoebas) and ensures these units run independently. In this way, leaders are developed, and all employees are drawn into the day-to-day operations of the business. Amoeba management is essentially “Management by All.”

Amoebas work as follows: an amoeba “leader” is responsible for drafting plans and goals; all amoeba members must collaborate in equal measure to achieve goals; all amoeba members manage the unit, achieving management by all.

To this end, every amoeba must:

  1. Communicate its plan and goal in a vision that can be shared with all members;
  2. 2. Create a fiscal-year plan known as the "Master Plan," based on the strategies and goals of the entire company; and
  3. 3. Create monthly plans based on the Master Plan, and achieve the plan without fail.

Dr Inamori’s excellent insight is mirrored in this article. It is becoming critical to change traditional management practices in light of the fourth industrial revolution. While the article highlights five ways a manager’s role should change, I’d like to hone in on two: managers must shift from being restrictive to expansive, and from exclusive to inclusive. An expansive manager never micromanages. Instead they draw out everyone’s best attributes and encourage new ways to think about how the marketplace is unfolding. An inclusive manager creates a “leadership circle”, encouraging staff across the firm to solve problems and consider solutions.

Here’s to building an organism with our single cell wisdom!


Sharon Peché

Marketing and Communications Manager

KYOCERA Document Solutions South Africa

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