Fujifilm CEO pens book on ‘innovating out of crisis’

Healthcare managers challenged to adjust to the foundational changes transforming their industry might do well to take a page—literally—from a titan of the consumer business world.

In a new book, Shigetaka Komori, chairman and CEO of Fujifilm, tells how he guided his company through the collapse of the photographic-products industry that had been its comfortable domain for decades. This fiscal year the corporation achieved record profits serving multiple industries. And an important component in its business portfolio is, of course, healthcare technology.

In Innovating Out of Crisis: How Fujifilm Survived (and Thrived) As Its Core Business Was Vanishing, Komori describes his strategies and leadership philosophies as they developed during one of the most highly successful turnarounds in recent business history.

The book recounts how, as recently as 2000, photographic products made up 60% of Fujifilm’s sales and two–thirds of its profit. The digital revolution combined with the world financial crisis of 2008 to end that run, taking as a very visible casualty Fujifilm’s perennial competitor Kodak, which famously filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and then exited several businesses to recover.

“The transformation was coming, and it would be profound,” Komori writes to introduce the new book’s first chapter. “It would disrupt our industry in the way that word processing disrupted typewriting, music CDs displaced records and email dispatched the handwritten letter. Growing and accelerating like a snowball swelling to an avalanche, it was aimed right at us. In fact, our name put us in the crosshairs. The transformation was digital photography, and we were Fujifilm.”

Published by Stone Bridge Press in Berkeley, Calif., the book is available through online retail outlets in both print and e-book formats.