The world of management is abuzz about the idea of "quiet quitting” — the Gen Z, TikTok-boosted term for doing nothing more at work than the job description demands.

Of course, there’s nothing new about this phenomenon — if Gen Z knew how to dial a call, they would understand the age-old concept of "phoning it in.” The inability to inspire worker buy-in has been a challenge for organizations for decades.

One man who dedicated his life to solving this puzzle was Kazuo Inamori, one of the giants of postwar Japanese industry, who died last month at the age of 90. He founded electronics maker Kyocera Corp. and what would later become KDDI Corp. — currently Japan’s 48th and fifth biggest companies by market value — and was utterly obsessed with improving management, boosting engagement and making workers happier.