When I was a rookie by Christine Edman - “Early morning practice for presentation.”
- Tell us your early career and your rookie moments.
I was always eager, and full of curiosity about work. I was the earliest at the office every morning, and took notes of every tiny thing to know “how to work” because I wanted to stand on my own feet as quickly as possible.
I still remember I used to lock myself in a meeting room in the early morning, and speak in a mirror to practice for my upcoming presentation.
I believe I had my own belief and style to enjoy working anytime, and always chased after something in which no one else but I had to work on, no matter how many times I faced obstacles.
Now there has been a huge change in my attitude towards “ownership” since my rookie age. The turning point was when I joined my father’s company. I was overwhelmingly pressured more than ever, as I was assigned to start a new business from scratch.
I have been through days with heavy duties but all of those are parts of the opportunities I learned that working with authentic ownership is fun and makes my day.
- Tell us your motto for work gained through your career.
First, it’s Work-Life Integration.
Unlike Work-Life Balance, which aparts work and life, I would like to integrate work and life in a good way and pursue my ideal with no compromising.
I remember when the CEO of H&M visited Japan from the headquarters while I was the CEO of H&M Japan, I expected and was ready to attend her throughout her stay here.
However, she suggested me to go home right after work. She knew I had a small kid to look after, and advised me to choose family over her.
For her, there were no choices other than integrating work and life and I was utterly inspired by her style and how she deals with it. It made me think of Work-Life Integration, and I have been chasing after this since then.
The second motto is the idea of being a bus driver.
To fulfill duties as a leader, you need to hire the appropriate stafffor the company, assign them the appropriate position, and if the staff who are not taking advantage of their abilities to the fullest, tell them so.
The bus driver is a nice example to paraphrase this. He judges passengers on board, carefully chooses the right seat for each one of them, and sometimes he may have to consider moving them aside, in respect for him/her and the organization. Managers must be aware that they are responsible for maximizing members’ potential abilities and capabilities.
Joining one and only ZOZO Family
- Tell us your unforgettable day at ZOZO
That was the first day at ZOZO, when I met the staff for the first time. I was so fascinated by the way they work, like they call each other by nicknames. They seemed to be open up and even bonded as if they were a real family.
I saw their mindset in them, to embrace the staff they work with and there were no words needed for me to understand this. And at this moment, I was convinced and pretty sure that this company has done a lot of successful projects that could change the industry norm, because they have this mindset.
On our radio aired only internally, it introduces some episodes of the staff, and we also have some opportunities that the staff can communicate directly to our CEO, SAWADA.
We also have a department named “Friendship Management Department,” which promotes our unique culture internally and externally.
I believe we will overcome any obstacles and challenges with this strongly bonded team.
I am honored and proud to be a part of this amazing family.
- In 2022, ZOZO added the statement “Explore your style. Make you delighted.” to its strategy. How do you describe “style” in your words?
I think fashion is a tool that enables you to express yourself with no rules and no limits. You can spice it up in your style, mix up luxury brands and fast-fashion, or whatever you feel like to because there is no guideline for fashion.
But, you might need a little bit of confidence for this. Because self-expression can require you to take some guts sometimes.
And in order to have confidence, you need to face what you are into, then re-recognize and embody it. By repeating this process, you will find your “style” for sure.
ZOZOTOWN To be “Generation Z Hub”
- How would you envision ZOZO in 10 years?
We need to look at “Generation Z Hub.”
ZOZOTOWN is mainly a platform for fashion so far, however, it will be a place where young people hang out in the context of fashion-tech but for games, travels and dating so not only for fashion. We aim to make ZOZOTOWN such an essential infrastructure for daily life that people will open ZOZOTOWN first thing when they wake up in the morning.
And we have to keep in mind that we will always be sustainable anytime, anywhere. My vision of ZOZOTOWN in 10 years is that it will be a platform contributes to society while delivering smiles as the platform with sustainable products and high-awareness of diversity.
The way I can contribute to this goal is to motivate the staff, push them forward for challenges and tell them not to be afraid of failures.
We are stepping into unexplored territories. New challenges always come with failures. I want to find value in the facts they tried, and support their personal growth.
Teamwork comes from the way you think of your peers.
- Tell us your essential piece for work.
Hand cream, lotion, and scented candles are my essentials, to care for my body and mind.
When I was first appointed for a management position, I had worked and taken care of my children literally non stop every single day.
My colleagues of that time left some items on my desk, to care for my physical condition concerning my situation. It was such a heartwarming moment, and it made me think that there is no organization hierarchy in the way people love each other.
Since then, I embrace and appreciate a moment to take a breath. Those items are essentials for Work-Life Integration, and are also reminiscent of the significance of teamwork.
Executive Officers Christine EDMAN Sales Division / EC Promotion Division / ZOZOVILLA Division
Aug 2022 Director of ZOZO NEXT, Inc.