What is Morale Exercise?

morale exercise in Japan

Have you ever seen those videos of Japanese factories where the worker do morning exercises together? Before you dismiss something like that as a cultural quirk, it might be worthwhile to look at it with an open mind. A lot of useful ideas can seem silly at first, simply because they are new and unfamiliar. If there is one thing we have learned on our Japan Trips, it is the value of trying new things. You can’t improve if you don’t change, and you can’t change without an open mind. In his most recent LinkedIn article, Enna’s own Jun Nakamuro covered an excellent example of this. In the article he provides a detailed explanation of a Japanese method known as morale exercise. At first, this just looks like a motivational chant, but Jun shows that there are many layers of meaning below the surface, and a lot of history to understand. Past participants have experienced this practice, and brought it back with them to their home companies. It might seem bizarre at first, but in many ways that is the point. It’s all about breaking people out of their comfort zones. If you want your team to break the status-quo and make meaningful improvement in their jobs, they should get accustomed to trying new things. As the morale training chant goes, “Do it first, then think!”

For an up-close look at the successful business cultures of Japan, join us on our Lean Japan Trip this October! Seats are limited, so get them while you can.