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The HR Agenda

Original article (untranslated version)

     Connection, creativity and collaboration are critical to turning corporate strategies into positive action. This was the message from the fourth GOLD Symposium, a collaborative Japan-U.S. Leadership Initiative, supported by The Japan HR Society (JHRS) and held at the Tokyo American Club on Oct. 28.

      “The entire world is connected,” said Michiko Achilles, corporate officer of Shiseido Co., Ltd., referring to the diversity of people living and working together.

      “Conventional wisdom may not be valid any more. We are not alone; we are connected,” Achilles said, giving Toyota as an example when it stopped operations in seven countries due to the flooding in Thailand.

     Anthony S. Marino, chief human resources officer and general manager of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., added a “C” to the list: Courage. “It’s going to take courage to significantly move from where we are to where we need to go,” Marino said. We are “in the beginning stages of developing a global talent pool to lead in a new, different way.” He recognised that the typical leadership model must change.

      “The key skills and competencies we needed previously must be much more nuanced now. We need the ability to bend the system, to change without breaking the system. We need the ability to be comfortable in many regions, to influence without controlling,” he said. Marino noted that The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. is committed to increasing diversity. “Yesterday we had our first global diversity inclusion forum, to discuss what we can do in our own right.”

     For Debra Nakatomi, president and CEO of Nakatomi & Associates, gender diversity is critical because a successful company must reflect the demographics of its customers and clients. “In Asian countries, women have to be encouraged more. They have skills and acumen, but may not seek out leadership in the same way as in the U.S.” Nakatomi, who is International Commissioner of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, recommended employee resource groups and mentors to help more women move into leadership positions.

     Meanwhile, Kakutaro Kitashiro, senior advisor of IBM Japan, Ltd., shared wise words from his experience in helping establish work-life balance policies in the company. He is known for recognizing people by their actual contributions rather than time at the desk: “Develop your own leadership style – be yourself, smile, don’t get angry. You can learn from other people, but you need to be yourself or you will burn out,” Kitashiro said.

     Success in a world of interconnectedness and collaboration requires building strong social networks. “Be a joiner,” urged Merle Aiko Okawara, chairman of JC Comsa Corporation. She encouraged building up contacts within the company and joining groups such as business and industry associations for ideas and support.

     For Leslie Grossman, president of Leslie Grossman Leadership and co-founder of the Women’s Leadership Exchange, it is important to “commit to join at least one organization and make the time” to make connections work. “We need to do it for ourselves. It is about fulfillment and social capital. Make the commitment to go to the meeting and meet two people at that meeting. Multiply that every month, or every year. It will begin to explode, you need to just start. Then you will end up with the career of your dreams…Just begin.”


     企業戦略を積極的行動に移す上で、人との「繋がり」 (Connection)、「創造力」 (Creativity)、「協力」 (Collaboration)の三つのCが是非とも必要となる。これが2011年10月28日、東京アメリカン・クラブで開催された第4回ゴールド・シンポジウム(日米リーダーシップ・イニシアティブ共催、Japan HR Society (JHRS)協賛)が出した結論だ。





     ガールガイド・ガールスカウト世界連盟の国際コミッショナーも務める中富氏は、Employee Resource Group(ERG、「様々な多様性に基づく社員グループ」)や人材に関する助言を提供する立場にいる人達が、これまで以上に女性が指導的立場につけるよう、支援すべきだと提唱した。




     レスリー・グロスマン・リーダーシップ社長で、6万5千人のビジネス・ウーマンが参加する団体、Womenʼs Leadership Exchangeの共同創設者であるレスリー・グロスマンは、コネクションを役立てるためには、「最低でも一つはこうした組織に参加することを決め、そのための時間を作るべきだ」と主張する。「自己充足とソーシャル・キャピタル構築への道だから、自分自身のために是非ともやった方がいい。こうした組織のミーティングには極力行くようにし、その度に、新しい知り合いを二人は作るよう、心掛けよう。これを毎月、毎年繰り返せば、その内、この結びつきが爆発的に増えることになる。ただ始めさえすれば、その内、夢のキャリアを手に入れることも夢ではなくなる。」と提唱した。



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