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Last week on March 19, I was given the opportunity to participate in two seminars back to back.  The first one was Diamond Management Forum   entitled “What we need to globalize management?” held at Kokuyo Hall in Shinagawa.  Dr. Ken Ohmae gave a key note speech, followed by special lecture by Mr.Yasunori Nagami of Cross Face.  Then talk show by Mr. Hideki Aida, former Vice President in charge of Human Resource at P & G, and Mr. Yosuke Yagi, Executive Vice President of Lixil  Corporation, followed.

Then the panel entitled “Requirement for being Global Professionals” which I moderated began. Panelists included Mr. Masaki Miwa of Teva Corporation, Mr. Masataka Yoshino of American Express International and Mr. Paul Dupuis, Japan representative of Randstat corporation.     As I had a board meeting in the afternoon, I rushed to the venue just in time for the panel discussion.  (i.e. missed the other key note speech etc. )

I began the panel by introducing how this topic of  global leaders and global professionals has been addressed by many Japanese companies  for some time,  probably without  much progress.  Panelists explained  the status of the companies they are familiar with and the initiatives  companies have taken.  It was interesting  as I became aware of two things–increased interest and need for global leaders and global professionals at the companies, and yet the difficulty they have encountered in addressing the issue and taking specific actions.

I asked for questions and comments from the floor twice and managed to get some.  It was a good experience for me as I became aware of the fact that people I tend to spend time  with these days do NOT necessarily represent Japanese business people. I hope participants got some takeaway from the panel.

Then I rushed to Roppongi Academy Hills for the  Global Agenda Seminar with Kathy Matsui of Goldman Sachs.  The topic was the status and outlook of Abenomics (Economy in Japan).  Kathy is a good friend of mine and is one of the best known and respected economist about Japanese economy, in particular, Japanese stocks.     She pointed out two things which I did not know well as promising actions to make the capital market more transparent and efficient–“my number” system (each person given one single number like social security number in the US, I believe)  and new rules regarding corporate governance .   Many questions were asked by the participants (which is usually the case at the Global Agenda Seminar series).  As she had to leave a bit early,  I took over at the end, but could not answer one of the questions.  I am happy to report that the person who asked the question and  I communicated and Kathy’s response was communicated via me!

It was a busy day, but with  many findings and learning.  (After the GAS seminar, Academy staff took me out to dinner to celebrate my birthday!)

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