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10thanniv.5Yesterday, March 27, was a big day for ICS. We had the 10th anniversary event held at Hitotsubashi Hall, followed by reception at Josui Kaikan.  The event had another significance than the 10th anniversary.  It was a farewell for Dean Hiro Takeuchi who created and shaped the ICS in the first decade with vision, passion and exemplary leadership.  He is leaving at the end of this month, to take up a position at Harvard Business School where he taught until early 1980s.

The Part I (which consisted of two sections) of the 10th anniversary was Hiro T’s reflection of the past 10 years.  He told us about memorable, but hidden stories he encountered in making ICS a reality and what it is today.  He also reflected on various events at ICS including auction, team building, etc. etc. He is such a great presenter and a story teller.  It was Hiro Takeuchi at his best!    He talked close to 2 hours.  It was HIS STORY of making his dream come true.  It was very impressive and showed what a great person and performer he is.  Hearing him, my mind went back all the way to the first meeting we had even before I joined ICS.  I feel that Harvard is very fortunate to have Hiro on their faculty.

The Part II was dialogue between Ikujiro Nonaka and Hiro Takeuchi on the future.  It was again the dialogue by the two greats at their best.  Jiro Nonaka is an incredible person with ever-increasing curiosity and with incessant pursuit after truth.  He came up with a new concept very few of us (including H.Takeuchi who has challenged and interpreted J. Nonaka’s theory, as his co-author for many of their best seller books and articles) understand.   I loved the fact that Jiro Nonaka presents a new concept for the first time yesterday at the 10th anniversary, while expressing he does not quite understand what it is, but he is on to something new.

We had Chris Ahmadjian, our new Dean, addressing the alumni at the end.  I fully agree that now that our first decade is over, we are onto the new decade led by a new group and new students, while building on the foundation that Hiro T and our alumni have built so far. It will be a new era for ICS.  It is always good to have new faces taking over.

I personally felt so fortunate to have been involved in building an institution like ICS and to have been given the opportunity to work with such great people like Hiro, Jiro and others.

10thanniv.4The event ended with flowers for Hiro presented by alumni and he showed off his athletic ability by making the perfect balance on the board (I do not know how it is called,  but it is the board you practice to get the balance, for skiing etc.)(Photo or link to be posted soon.)

Then we moved to the reception at Josui Kaikan. It looked like Chuo Line during the rush hour as many more people showed up, including staff, families and friends.  It was fun 10thanniv.1event as Sherman Abe organized the session to “roast” Hiro by faculty members.  What a talent we have!

I saw many alumni who looked great and so professional.  Some I had not seen since they graduated (i.e. 2002!)  I hear quite a few came all the way from Asian and European countries just for this event!  It was such a nice occasion for all of us to get together, reflecting on how far we have come.

Whenever I see these alumni full of energy and enthusiasm, I get very optimistic. I think the young generation is the one that creates and shapes the future, as leaders.      The world is ready for them!

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    • Hiroshi Hatano
    • March 30th, 2010

    Good morning.

    I am still deeply honored to attend the presentations of Dr. Hiro Takeuchi in two occasions a couple of years ago. I remember him talking a little bit about his experience of starting ICS. It was not easy as most innovations, but he DID it! He created a lot of positions for the faculty and produced a lot of people with cool minds and warm hearts.

    The world is ready for social ventures. The social sector is in deep trouble. I often meet a lot of people who start her or his own. All of them start NPO. Even MBA’s start NPOs. One good example is leader of Table for Two. There are a lot of supporters. I gladly learned that Columbia University and an university of Arizona (not sure which, ASU or U. of Arizona) decided to introduce TFT. This is truely global initiative. What a work!

    • yishikura
    • April 2nd, 2010

    Dear Hiroshi, this is Yoko Ishikura. Thank you very much for your comment. Yes, ICS is an innovation created and led by Hiro Takeuchi.
    For Table for Two, we are making several new attempts to scale up its activities. I am also working on another initiatives with participants of Global Agenda Seminar.

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