At first I saw it as unwelcome interference, but as we worked together, and Mr. Nevins helped me succeed at the difficult challenges facing me, I came to see him as a great ally who helped me increase my effectiveness.
I learned a lot from Tom Nevins. At first it seems to be quite unbelievable that he can be as useful and effective as he is. It is not that he is surprisingly effective in spite of being a foreigner.
It is fairer to say that he is probably much better and more effective than any Japanese operating in his field. He is a unique, one of a kind person, with fresh perspectives, a clear vision of how to do things, and an absolute dogged commitment and determination to put himself on the line and help implement and execute the problem at hand.
Mr. Tom Nevins has developed some unique know-how, and communication skills, whether it be one-on-one “termination” talks (except he’s never fired a single person in 22 years since incorporating TMT), smaller group staff reductions, “negotiations” and handling of unions, or seminars in front of mass audiences.
Mr. Nevins knows when to withdraw, making the points that need to be made without inflicting damage on people’s self esteem.
Tom is a good team player, and knew where to compromise and be flexible in his more detailed dealings with the managers below me. Throughout it all, he helps us maintain composure, and our sense of humor.
He can also be very low key and accommodating. Mr. Nevins provides good, quick responsive service, and turns out his pieces of the project in a timely way.
I also genuinely believe that he is a fair-minded person. Even though my initial reaction was one of resistance to bringing a powerful American consultant into this American company, I think Tom soon believed in me, and did what he could to further improve communications and understanding between myself and my superiors outside Japan.
Mr. Nevins also seemed to be genuinely interested in above-all-else, trying to keep Japan as a major supplier, and integral part of our global operations. He also genuinely wants to keep as many people employed in Japan as possible. He offers and does the things that save enough money, and make being in Japan a more attractive option, such that foreign firms will want to be here, and can stay here.
I wish TMT and Tom all the best. He is a helpful and effective resource that could make a big difference to any major domestic maker, and of course also to these foreign capitalized firms. Here he plays a useful role by getting home office or regional management to better understand the needs of the Japan operation and its people.
Thanks to TMT and Tom Nevins we were able to accomplish more things, and at a faster pace than would have been possible without him. My superiors outside Japan were also very pleased with his work for us.
Nippon Donaldson, Ltd.