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   When I was checking the mail a few days ago, great news showed up.  It was the news that Michael Porter of Harvard University, my mentor whom I respect very much, received the first Lifetime Achievement Award in Economic Development from the Department of Commerce.

   I was so happy to hear the news because he was my Dissertation chairman who constantly encouraged and supported me when I was at the Harvard Business School, struggling to finish the Doctoral dissertation.  We kept in touch while I worked for McKinsey & Co., as my boss (then) Ken Ohmae and MEP(Michael E. Porter) were “gurus” in strategy area, often with contrasting views. 

  Since several years ago, my involvement and contact with MEP has intensified, as I began teaching the Competitiveness Course which he originally designed. I still remember the impact he made on me when we invited him to talk about clusters and competitiveness during the early years of Cluster initiatives in Japan. I realized after his talk that what he embarked to do was not just clusters and competitiveness in the narrow sense of the term, but a completely different view to economic development. I was so impressed with his passion and his pursuit of new concepts despite the fact that he was known to be one of the most respected strategy scholars then.  (This passion of his for exploring new areas for contribution has not changed, as he is now into Health Care Reform which comes with many new issues) 

  I am so delighted that the award was given, to recognize his new approach to economic development and his emphasis on the private sector as effective wealth creating entity.  It was great that the Department of Commerce recognized the real value of his thought leadership as well as his action orientation to make it happen. (He has been helping not only many cities and states of the U.S., but also many countries throughout the world, by actually working with the leaders there.)  It is great that the U.S. government appreciated ACTION and not just CONCEPT. 

  I sent a congratulatory note to MEP immediately and also informed many friends in Japan of the great news. I made a point that students who took the Competitiveness course at ICS were informed. 

  It is always nice to hear a great news. When it is something great happening to people close to you, it is even better.

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  • Comments (2)

  1. Hello Yoko,

    Thank you for posting the news about Michael E. Porter. Since hearing and reading about Porter in 1986 I have been a huge fan; and I (and everyone at where we are totally focused on leveraging Porter’s ideas) rejoice in the news that he won the Lifetime Achievement Award in Economic Development from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

    • yishikura
    • June 2nd, 2008

    Dear Alan and the team, this is Yoko Ishikura. Thanks for your comments. It is always nice to hear a great news!

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