For a Better Future for Our Children
Cabin/Interior Innovation office
Toshihiro Miyamichi has consistently worked in embedded software development since graduating from college, joining Automotive mid-career in 2016. After working in the in-car navigation development department, Miyamichi transferred to the Vehicle Interior Solutions Office in 2021, taking part in their mission to create business ideas and new value for the next 10-20 years. Diverse perspectives are crucial in creating the future of the company and society. Miyamichi continues to take on the challenges of the future, working in unity with people from all walks of life while demonstrating his innate communication skills and everything he has built through his career until now.
Focus On Producing Results as a Team Based on Your Role
—— What prompted you to move to Automotive?
My last job was at a company with 1,000 employees, where my task was to take on management roles while concurrently working in the sales field and even software development. I began to lose sight of my future, so I decided to change jobs. I didn't particularly have a specific task I wanted to do in mind. I chose Automotive because I had always loved cars and wanted to work in a field where my work was tangible and visible.
—— After joining the company, you transferred and became involved in launching a new business. Can you share your thoughts with us?
Aside from the company's high expectations, nothing is in shape yet. We are still finding things out, including what goals we should set and what would be considered good results. Although there are difficulties in this sense, I feel that deciding my goals while moving forward is more suitable for me than a job where everything is predetermined.
I belong to the Vehicle Interior Solutions office, a flat organization of people with three specialties: Business, Technology, and Creative. Many of them possess skills I do not have. Therefore, rather than trying to handle everything myself, I focus on producing results as an organization while being aware of what I can do and what the team can do. This approach is based on my past leadership experience. As the organization grows, the way I worked as an engineer where every single line of source code was in my head is naturally becoming more time-consuming and inefficient.
Creating New Value Demands Diverse Perspectives That Generate Awareness
—— Is there anything you keep in mind when working with a team?
I never impose my views or common sense. I first listen to and understand others' opinions, then think about what suggestions I can make. Sometimes I give my answer and find a point of compromise, while sometimes, I intentionally stay silent to develop them as employees. As a result, sometimes we go along with my solution, sometimes we take a detour, and sometimes we come up with a better one. As a section manager, I share my goals and vision but keep in mind that each person should be allowed to choose their own means and path to get there.
I used to travel overseas a lot for work and was not really conscious of diversity since it was the norm in my environment. However, after coming to my current department and adding marketing and design to my technical perspective, I am now more conscious of diversity, despite all of us being Japanese. We place great importance on communication because we need a variety of perspectives to recognize failures in the early stages and create new value while correcting our course of action. Although there are more opportunities to work from home due to the pandemic, I still feel the appeal and necessity of face-to-face communication in some areas. I look forward to the days when I can set up face-to-face situations without hesitation.
—— So, diversity is also a means to an end. This is exactly the kind of organization capable of leading DEI.
You may be right. It is easier to work in an environment that recognizes diversity and allows people to voice their opinions. And beyond that, it also optimizes the organization by drawing out the thoughts and ideas of every individual and discovering their unique traits. On top of that, it is also important to have an environment where people can act on what they say and challenge themselves. I am grateful to my current workplace for providing such an environment. On the other hand, precisely because I can do anything, my goals are high and difficult to give shape to.
Challenge Yourself to Do What You Want to Do While Updating Your Knowledge
—— What does "work" mean for you?
When I was younger, I felt that a job was only something you get after graduating from college because you needed money to make a living. However, my way of thinking changed when I had children. Now that I am a father of three, I have a stronger desire to create a better future for my children through my work.
—— You now have the opportunity to make a better future a reality. What are some of the things you are consciously working on to create results?
There definitely is a difference between browsing products on the internet and seeing the actual thing with your own eyes, so I actively visit exhibitions of unrelated genres to keep myself updated with the world's latest trends. I do not have any work experience related to the new business, hence the need to update myself.
—— While you bear important responsibilities for the future of Automotive, it looks like there is a challenge you have always wanted to take on since you first joined the company.
That would be the service business. My ambition is to create services that make our lives more convenient by utilizing Panasonic's assets and hardware and joining them together. Since I happened to transfer to a department where I can take on the challenges I want, I would like to seize this opportunity and try my hand at service development. The fact that the work I have been involved in is taking shape will always be one of my driving factors.