Swift change

Years ago I was working at a junior high school here in Japan and they changed the designated textbooks for the students. I was surprised because they didn’t let the older students continue with the old series, they changed all three levels at once.

Perhaps this is the Japanese way, when an outcome is known, the change is swift. Which is ironic because for better or worse, Japan takes a long time to come to change. But we live in times where rapid change is required for survival.

One such area is with the use of stamps for certifying official documents. I’ve heard of people visiting the office, which in this day and age is literally risking life, to simply stamp a document that can’t be signed, because that’s the way it is. Needless to say, this needs to change, but I still think it can be phased in, rather than rapidly making the switch.

How? Easy. Make it possible to do both signing and stamping for as long as it takes for people to get used to the signing (which shouldn’t take that long, right?).

I remember working in the bank and they were really pushing customers to internet banking. This is over 10 years ago now, but the bank rightly felt it was in their best interests to do so.

Well, to avoid problems with those unable to deal with the change, they left it as is and phased the changes in slowly. It worked great! Now you only have very few people unable to cope with the change, who would have struggled anyway, rather than a whole bunch who were able to learn in the end.

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

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