LiB is the developer of “LiBz CAREER,” a job change support service for career women in Japan. They develop a service that supports women who wish to continue working after life events such as marriage or child birth. The firm creates organizations within the company, tackles new issues and promotes various ways of working. This time we talked with CEO Yosuke Matsumoto and Ichiro Sadahira of the Management Section about the issues they are tackling at their company.
We Challenge Ourselves with Various Ways of Working
Your company promotes “various ways of working.” Can you tell me the story behind that?
Matsumoto: Our company develops a service that supports women around the world to continue working with vitality, true to themselves, based on the vision of “making ‘living’ more positive.” Because of a decreasing birthrate and aging population, the labor force is decreasing, and how much we can maintain that labor force has become a social issue. On the other hand, there are many cases of women who worked hard before not continuing their careers due to life events, which results in big missed opportunities.
To solve this problem, we aim to create an environment where women can choose the way they work, such as, of course, changing to a better job for their careers, changing jobs to work at a slower pace for a time or a way of working that can be better balanced with their home life. Because we are pushing this vision, first we are challenging ourselves to create an environment where we can work with vitality while having the choice of various ways of working. This was decided from before our company was founded.
The Freedom is Birthed by Responsibility, and The Variety Brought About by Individuality
What ways of working are people actually adopting at your company?
Matsumoto: At our company, we have colleagues working in various ways, such as mothers working shortened hours while raising children, customer support people working almost remotely and designers who take part in the planning of LiB while managing their own companies. We’re making an environment where a wide variety of personnel can challenge themselves at LiB, regardless of time or location constraints.
By putting into practice various ways of working ourselves, besides realizing our vision, when we hire new applicants it makes them think “I have a chance to challenge myself at LiB!” and we can increase their options as well.
In addition to promoting various ways of working, what ways of thinking do you value at your company?
Matsumoto: In order to put into practice various ways of working, we think it is necessary for responsibility and freedom to be a set. Because each individual is a professional and has responsibility for their own work, they have the freedom to choose the way they work. In “LiBz PRIDE,” which puts into words the thinking we value at our company, it says “the freedom birthed by responsibility, and the variety brought about by individuality.” Each individual puts these words into practice, and chooses their way of working for their own purpose.
The Important Thing for Team Building is Knowing Each Other
How do you approach team building?
Matsumoto: About one and a half years have passed since we were founded, but especially this year our team has rapidly expanded. The point we are making most important concerning team building is getting to know each other deeply. New discoveries are born by focusing on each individual’s interests, way of thinking and background. When you discover a new side to the person, the distance between you becomes closer, right? As a result, the amount of communication is increased and the inside of the company becomes more active.
In order to create an environment where we could “know each other,” we can check the “disposition” of our colleagues anytime online. Thus, in addition to existing team building, it also creates a smooth beginning for new recruits who can know the “dispositions” of their team members.
Sadahira: In addition to carrying out team building while accepting various ways of working, we believe it’s extremely important to meet and discuss things. As a specific way of tackling things, once every month the whole team gathers and talks about the future of the business at LiBz CAMP, and do an overnight camp once a year. By meeting and talking, we create a chance to understand each other, which connects to team building.
Complete Information Sharing Online or Offline
How do you coordinate information within your company?
Sadahira: Information coordination is completely open in our company, whether online or offline. Primarily, if people have the correct information, they can work independently and actively. Each team can share information online in real time using chat tools and bulletin boards. And offline, by sharing information at regular meetings held once a week, we’ve established a place where we can praise each other and occasionally exchange frank opinions.
Matsumoto: It is knowing each other and coordinating information that creates the culture in which we are responsible for our own work and able to choose how to work on our own. As a result, we have various ways of working by nature.