2. The IKEA® spirit – a strong and living reality
You have certainly experienced it. You may even have given it our own interpretation on it. Obviously it was easier to keep alive in the old days when there were not so many of us, when we were all within reach of each other and could talk to each other. It is naturally harder now that the individual has gradually been lost in the grey conformity of collective bargaining and the numbered files of the personnel department.
Things were more concrete in those days – the readiness to give each other a helping hand with everything; the art of managing on small means, of making the best of what we had; cost-consciousness to the point of being stingy; humbleness, undying enthusiasm and the wonderful sense of community through thick and thin. But both IKEA and society have changed since then.
But the spirit is still to be found in every one of our workplaces. Among old co-workers and new ones. Heroic efforts are still being made – daily – and there are many, many people who still feel the same way. Not everybody in a large group like ours can feel the same sense of responsibility and enthusiasm. Some undoubtedly regard the job simply as a means of livelihood – a job like any other. Sometimes you and I must share the blame for failing to keep the flame alight, maybe for faltering in our own commitment at times, for simply not having the energy to infuse life and warmth into an apparently monotonous task.
The true IKEA spirit is still built on our enthusiasm, from our constant striving for renewal, from our cost-consciousness, from our readiness to take responsibility and help out, from our
humbleness in approaching our task and from the simplicity of our way of doing things. We must look after each other and inspire each other. Those who cannot or will not join us are to be pitied.
A job must never be just a livelihood. If you are not enthusiastic about your job, a third of your life goes to waste, and a magazine in your desk drawer can never make up for that.
For those of you who bear any kind of leadership responsibility, it is crucially important to motivate and develop your co-workers. A team spirit is a fine thing, but it requires everybody in the team to be dedicated to their tasks. You, as the captain, make the decisions after consulting the team. There is no time for argument afterwards. Take a football team as your model!
Be thankful to those who are the pillars of our society! Those simple, quiet, taken-for-granted people who always are willing to lend a helping hand. They do their duty and shoulder their
responsibility without being noticed. To them, a defined area of responsibility is a necessary but distasteful word. To them, the whole is just as self-evident as always helping and always sharing. I call them stalwarts simply because every system needs them. They are to be found everywhere – in our warehouses, in our offices, among our sales force. They are the very embodiment of the IKEA spirit.
Yes, the IKEA spirit still lives, but it too must be cultivated and developed to keep pace with the times. Development is not always the same thing as progress. It is often up to you, as the
leader and bearer of responsibility, to make development progressive.
宜家精神 – 强大真实、与时俱进
当然宜家精神依然存在，无论是老员工还是新员工。我们中间仍有很多很多人能感受到这种相同的方式，并用这种方式努力奉献 – 日复一日、一如既往。然而在我们这样大的集团里，并非每个人都能有同样的热情和责任感。有些人仅仅把他们的工作看成一张饭票，和别的工作没什么两样。
感谢所有保持企业活力的人！那些总是乐于帮助他人、朴实、稳重、值得尊敬的员工。他们默默无闻地尽职尽责；对他们来说，明确的职责范围是必要的，但却远远不够；对他们来说，不断帮助他人，不断与他人分享是理所应当的。他们对公司的关心和奉献远远超出了他们本身的责任范围。我称他们为企业的栋梁。因为有了他们，整个系统才得以运转。这样的员工无处不在 – 在仓库、在办公室、在销售人员中……他们才是宜家精神的体现。