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lifenetIn the past 10 days or so, I had the opportunity to run the workshop for the young (“at heart” included) people of the companies I serve as non-executive director. The first was at Lifenet Insurance where I ran two back-to-back workshops- one for those in the 20s and the other for 30s and up. The topic was “career in the fast-changing world.” and I talked about 30-40 min. on how job and employment has changed and will change even more. As I did not want to do the same thing twice in a row, I talked about different examples etc. for the second group. I gave more time to Q & A to the second group, too. It was a great opportunity for me to get to know people.
Few days ago, I gave a talk at Shiseido. This time, the group was bigger and the session lasted two hours. The topic I was asked to cove was diversity, global, innovation. I attended the kick off meeting held few days before with smaller group and changed the content and format of my talk accordingly. (I wanted participants to feel that it is “THEIR” issue and also wanted to focus on “solutions” and “actions” rather than listing/defining the problem.
IMG_0046It was great on both occasions to have top management join us. D. Iwase sat for a while at one of the group’s session at Life net, and M. Uotani stayed for the whole session of two hours! He did not want to give a speech per se, but wanted to observe. In the course of the session, he volunteered to help us listing the items the participants mentioned. (It was a happy surprise, as I usually ask staff to do that.)
I enjoyed both times very much as it was good opportunity to meet with people who will create the oraanizations. My exposure to people of the companies usually are limited to those I see at the board meetings or for the preparation. So it was nice to see others and work with them even for a short while. I also felt that “visible” commitment of the top management goes a long way to make this type of initiatives accomplish something tangible.. I realize time is the most scarce resources for top management, and thus I appreciate their taking time to be there and help. Creating the environment where people can express ideas and take actions is, I believe, is a role of leader and the type of leadership I want to pursue myself, and NOT necessarily making speeches at the big conferences.

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