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From Lifetime Employment to Lifetime Employability: How L&D Can Help You Make that Change


Jun Kabigting, mba/ms/hrmp JHRS COMMUNITY NEWS

Women Connect at Japan's Spring 2014 WIN Conference


Elizabeth Handover F E AT U R E S TO RY

The Ripple Effect of Kaizen Culture: From Manufacturing to HR with Love


Asako Hongo

Three Cascading Keys and Kaizen Concepts



The Chief Learning Officer Around the Globe: The General Electric Model and India's Competence Architecture COUNTRY FOCUS

Filipino Workforce Attracts Global Attention

12 14

Hiroshi Okamoto ASK HR

What Makes a Leader?


Andrew Manterfield & Yoshiharu Matsui HR LEGAL CLINIC

Disaster Reponse Measures in Japan


01 l2





Applying Military Principles to a Business Context



Using Coaching as a Route to Reach Potential & Achieve Goals How Much Value can Coaching Bring to the Organization?


Yumiko Shito O R G A N I Z AT I O N A L D E S I G N & D E V E L O P M E N T

The Legacy and Lessons of Organizational Learning


Hilda Rosca Nartea EDITORIAL


Organizational Development & Learning: The Age of Iteration & Integration


Annette Karseras

As Japan’s first and only bilingual HR magazine, The HR Agenda offers an incredibly unique platform. By sourcing material written in both English and Japanese, funding translation and encouraging bilingual submissions from contributors, we offer a genuinely two-way exchange. For a century and a half Japan has been translating Western knowledge into Japanese. We create a forum where Japanese voices can also be heard in international circles. Our aim is to understand both sides of the coin; all facets of an 1 issue. We want to encourage collegiality through open-minded and sincere dialogue amongst our readers in Japan and overseas, and amongst HR professionals, researchers, and key opinion leaders throughout the world.

To facilitate the exchange of up-to-date and relevant knowledge, information and resources affecting and influencing human resources (HR) professionals in Japan, and to become a bridge between Japanese and non-Japanese HR management systems so that we can facilitate the exchange of information and HR best practices, standards, and HR body of knowledge.

The HR Agenda magazine is Japan’s first and only bilingual human resources (HR)-focused magazine, published quarterly by The Japan HR Society (JHRS) and produced by the HR Learning & Publishing Division of HR Central K.K. (The JHRS Secretariat). Publisher The Japan HR Society (JHRS) HRAgenda@jhrs.org www.jhrs.org www.jhrs.org/hr_agenda

Magazine Subscription Looking for PDFs of past issues? Magazine subscribers and JHRS members get access to PDF downloads of all previous issues. In response to readers' feedback, PDF versions of the magazine effective from Vol. 4, Issue 1 are no longer available for public download.

Managing Editor Jun Kabigting, MBA/MS/HRMP managing_editor@jhrs.org

Want to read current issues for FREE? To view current articles for a 3-month period, visit www.jhrs.org/hr_agenda. Download for FREE the magazine app at AppStore (iOS) and Google Play (Android).

Editor in Chief Annette Karseras editor-in-chief@jhrs.org

Subscribe today! Support the JHRS mission. Subscribe online at http://www.jhrs.org/hr_agenda/subscribe

Editing Team Hilda Rosca Nartea, Hiroshi Okamoto, Stephenie Overman Translators Syra Morii, Hiroshi Okamoto, Norio Okawa, Masanobu Sawada, Shoko Noguchi Design and Boon Prints Production Design Director

Annette Karseras

Ad Sales, Marketing, HR Central K.K. and Distribution advertising@jhrs.org Editorial Assistants Marc Cillo, Emiko Suyehiro and Researchers

Japan Domestic Subscription • Single Print (Anniversary) Issue: ¥1,620 (tax & postage included) • Single Print (Anniversary) Issue + Digital Versions (current & past issues): ¥3,240 per year (tax & postage included) • Digital-only Version (current & past issues): ¥1,620 per year (tax included) • Multiple/bulk orders: Email HRAgenda@jhrs.org with your name/company, postal address, number of copies required and preferred method of payment. We will send you an estimate of price including postage before confirming your order. International Subscription • Digital-only version (current & past issues): ¥1,620 per year (tax included) • Multiple/bulk orders: Email HRAgenda@jhrs.org with your name/company, postal address, number of copies required, and preferred method of payment. We will send you an estimate of price including postage before confirming your order. Advertising Please contact us for a media kit advertising@jhrs.org International Distribution Agents Wanted: Email us at HRAgenda@jhrs.org


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The HR Agenda and JHRS logos are registered trademarks and properties of The Japan HR Society (JHRS). © 2014 The Japan HR Society (JHRS). All rights reserved. Cover Image Concept by Annette Karseras, Learning & Development by Ives Lira and Ardie Coloma, compilation and design by Boon Prints

Disclaimer The opinions expressed by contributors in this magazine are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position or views of The Japan HR Society (JHRS), its general membership, its Secretariat, advertisers, friends, or supporters. We are not liable, in whole or in part, for the accuracy or truthfulness of any data, statistics, or information found in any of the published articles or advertisements herein. Further, any advice, opinions, or views found herein should be considered for informational purposes only and are not meant to substitute for competent legal and/or financial advice from qualified legal and financial professionals.

Article Image Sources Cherry Blossom Trees in Waterfront Park by Thye Gn , World oil by Vladimir Yudin, Ripple by Jin Yamada, Opening the gate by Nomadsoul1, Sun beams over Earth horizon by Paulpaladin, Success of a woman by Ardie Coloma, Rescuer search victims in smoke by Tatiana Belova, Portrait of a young man with split careers businessman and soldier by Elswarro, Chris Argyris portrait by Ives Lira, Great Wave Illustrate by Ives Lira.

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From Life Employment to Lifetime Employability How L&D Can Help You Make That Change Jun Kabigting, mba/ms/hrmp Chief Community Officer, The Japan HR Society (JHRS) Originally written in English

Love for learning and the passion to keep moving forward are two key elements when you look at the growth journey of most successful people. When you make yourself "lifetime employable," the possibilities for success become infinite. A couple of weeks ago, I was at my dentist’s clinic

F I C ofAlifetime T I Oemployment: as Fujitsu’s slogan says, “The N infinite…” Think about it. Doesn’t it make possibilities are • C ing dental education that hung on the sense? E • walls of the lobby X and inner walls of his clinic. N lifetime employable rather than clinging to the concept


waiting for my turn to have a root canal. During the wait,

Curious, I went closer to these walls and realized that




zations’ employees to develop a “culture of learning” by committing ourselves to continuously learn and improve our profession through continuing HR education, certifica-

"Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival."– W. Edwards Deming



hit me.

tion to lead and set an example for the rest of our organi-




tions from the U.S., Europe and Japan. Then suddenly it

As HR professionals, we are again in a unique posi-


every year and from very prestigious academic institu-

Setting the Example


he had accumulated certificates one after another almost



I couldn’t help but notice the many certificates of continu-

tion, networking and connecting with our HR peers inside and outside of Japan.

For Japan-based HR professionals, The JHRS Acad-


emy, the continuing HR education and certification arm of

My dentist is in his late 50s (if not early 60s) but his

clinic is buzzing with business and clients (old and young). I don’t see him retiring even at the age of 65 (Japan’s

The Japan HR Society (JHRS), offers various opportunities to make this happen. Since 2009, the Academy has partnered with world-

compulsory retirement age) and obviously he’s not wor-

class institutions such as eCornell, Temple University

ried about lifetime employment because he has made

Japan and most recently with the Society for Human

himself quite simply “lifetime employable.”

Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest HR

How? Answer: Through continuous learning and de-

organization, to provide continuing HR education both

velopment. He has made a lifelong commitment to learn

online and classroom based. In addition, the Academy

and constantly improve his craft by keeping abreast with

also offers HR courses designed in-house covering


various HR disciplines such as employment law, talent .t . 2 0 0 acquisition, 9 A . Dtraining and development, compensation and

the latest in dental technology and practices, connecting with his professional peers and expanding his network, and getting professional certifications.

Now imagine if employees or salarymen and salarywomen could develop that mindset of making themselves

benefits, performance management, and many more.

In 2013, the Academy strategically partnered with the HR Certification Institute to help Japan-focused HR pro3

t. 2009 A.D.













Kudos to the organizers and participants of the 4th WIN Conference Japan held at the Shangri-la Tokyo Hotel April 18-19, 2014. The HR Agenda Magazine is proud to be a media partner to this well-organized and successful conference. Read the related article about this conference at the JHRS Community News section. Hope to see you at the 5th WIN Conference Japan next year. If you are interested in having The HR Agenda be your media partner for your HR event/conference, contact us at events@jhrs.org. Japan’s first and only bilingual HR magazine, The HR Agenda, just turned three years old! Thank you very much to all of our readers, contributors, advertisers, sponsors, friends and supporters for being part of this pioneering and one-of-akind publication. It has been an amazing three years so far but we are just beginning. We ask for your continued support and patronage in the years to come to help us fulfill our editorial mission of providing up-to-date and relevant sources of HR information and resources affecting and influencing the HR profession in Japan. JHRS and The HR Agenda Magazine wish to express our deepest gratitude and thanks to Ms. Annette Karseras for having been the magazine’s editor in chief for the past three years (read her last Editorial in this issue). Annette C I AT I O F RTI N • CE E • X N has been very instrumental in putting The HR Agenda on the global HR publication map and in the process The helped advance HR journalism in Japan. She has set high editorial standards for the magazine and its editorial team to live up to and improve upon moving forward. We commend her passion, dedication and the ACADEMY commitment she put into the magazine through all these years and wish her all the best as she focuses more on her other passion of coaching and teaching. O-tsukaresamadeshita お疲れ様でした! (Job very well done!) -

fessional gain business-relevant and globally-recognized

questions, feel free to email me at jun@jhrs.org and I am

HR credentials such as HRMP, HRBP and GPHR and be

happy to help you in any way I can. Happy learning!

at par with our global HR counterparts. Both certification preparation and recertification courses are now offered by the Academy as well. If you are like me (or my dentist for that matter), passionate about learning and being lifetime employable, I highly encourage you to visit the aforementioned links to learn more about the many options of courses and sched-

Jun Kabigting is managing director of HR Central K.K. and an adjunct professor with Temple University Japan Campus. He has more than 20 years of experience across the entire HR value chain, most of them Japan-focused. He passionately believes in advancing the HR agenda in Japan through continuing HR education, knowledge sharing and use of HR best practices.

ules you can choose from. And as usual, if you have any

How many faces can you name?!

Each issue, The HR Agenda invites contributors to be our special guests at a JHRS event.

Join us! Get published!

To continue the dialogue, The HR Agenda regularly invites contributors to share their ideas at JHRS networking events as our special guests. If you have an idea for an article we look forward to hearing from you. Please send your articles to HRAgenda@jhrs.org. We cannot promise to publish all submissions, but our policy is to reply to all emails we receive. We welcome your feedback on any aspect of the magazine. We would also like to hear what topics you would like to read about in future issues.



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Get to know the latest news and updates within the JHRS Community.

Women Connect at Japan's Spring 2014 WINConference Elizabeth Handover JHRS, Women in HR Advocate Leader Originally written in English

Japan’s annual WINConference encourages women to explore ways to connect, change, succeed and be forces for good. Kristin Engvig, founder of WIN, opened the Japan WINConference by calling on each participant to be “an agent of possibilities – find the small changes and expand on them. Be open, ready to connect, and quick to contribute. Take a risk, commit and have fun. Expect magic!” The theme of the fourth annual conference, which was held April 18-19 in Tokyo, was “Expanding Possibilities for an Ever Thriving Japan.” Special guest Yuriko Koike, a member of Japan’s House of Representatives and former Minister of Defence, spoke on the government’s upgrading of gender diversity to the status of economic growth policy (SeiChou SenRyaku to shite no JoSei KatsuYaku no SuiShin 成長戦 略としての女性活躍の推進). She rebranded Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “30 percent Female Managers by 2020” initiative, with the catch phrase “20-30.” Anita Pratap, an Indian journalist and newly elected official in Kochi, Kerala, spoke of the need for women to have political power to make change and be a force for good. Janelle Sasaki, manager of global diversity and inclusion, Japan, Asia Pacific Region at Cisco, gave attendees three key steps to follow: Create an engagement strategy for men on diversity and inclusion, work on middle managers’ mind set, and engage senior leaders for sponsorship. At the conference Akira Matsumoto, CEO of Calbee Inc., pledged to be the first Japanese company to achieve “20-30”. In addition to having equal male/female hiring and five women on the company’s executive board, he has promoted the first woman manager to run the company’s Kagoshima plant and named a woman president to the Japan central area. Georges Desvaux, CEO of McKinsey Japan, presented findings verifying the correlation between more women executives and better financial performance. Diversity also creates better health in the organisation with higher values, more innovation and better decisionmaking, according to the findings. Institutions should have 6

strong commitment from the top, invest in developing each woman leader and ensure that leadership training is tailored for women, Desvaux said. Miyuki Suzuki, CEO of Jetstar Japan, added that “diversity of thought” boosts innovation. Diversities are difficult to manage and demand leaders who practise openness, listening, trust and transformational leadership. Mari Matthews, head of government relations at MetLife Alico spoke of the importance of financial literacy. “Understand your financial position and know how to protect it,” Matthews told the group. Keiko Miyata, artistic director of the New National Theatre Tokyo, pointed out that the arts provide alternative career paths for women where they can gain high levels of leadership skills, while ex-marathon runner, Yuko Arimori, told her story of endurance. Arimori said her coach told her:“Keep struggling, keep trying day by day, you will make progress.” After eight years she won silver and bronze medals at the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics. In 2007 she retired and now uses her passion for sports to inspire others. At the end of the day, dinner included more special guests: Merle Okawara, Izumi Kobayashi and Yuko Yasuda, who are three of the very few Japanese women board members. Eager to increase women on boards, they have started Japan’s branch of the Global Women on Boards. This year’s winner of the WIN Inspiring Women Japan Award was Yuko Arimori for her indefatigable support of Cambodian children through her nonprofit organization Hearts of Gold.

Elizabeth Handover is president of Intrapersona K.K. and a Lumina Learning partner for Asia. She is co-chair of the ACCJ Women in Business Committee, co-founder of the Women's Leadership Development Centre and special adviser to the Global WIN Conference.


新たな視点をダイバーシティに活かそう View ing Diversity Through Different Lenses

FRIDAY, SEPTEMEBER 19, 2014 • TOKYO AMERICAN CLUB, TOKYO, JAPAN Benefits: • Learn the importance of diverse perspectives and the skills required to be successful 21st century global leaders • Hear innovative and creative business executives, social entrepreneurs and artists share best practices and describe new possibilities for building a culture of inclusion • Make meaningful connections with business and professional leaders across the Pacific • Be inspired by and learn from speakers and colleagues from a broad range of industries and geographies

Who should attend:

Current and future corporate, business, academic, non-profit and entrepreneurial women and men leaders who value international collaboration and wish to expand their networks.

Registration Fee: Early Bird Registration (before 8/15/2014) ¥15,000 Regular Registration (after 8/16/2014) ¥20,000

Speakers: (Partial List) Denise Evans Vice President Market Development IBM Corporation

Yoko Narahashi President United Performers’ Studio; Producer & Casting Director

Kay Iwata President K. Iwata Associates, Inc.

Janet Salazer CEO & Founder IMPACT Leadership 21

Hosting Organization: Global Organization for Leadership and Diversity Founded in 2006, GOLD based in Los Angeles, is an organization dedicated to developing global women leaders and building leadership bridges across the Pacific.

Corporate Partners:



To register online or for more information, please visit: www.GOLDleaders.org


The Ripple Effect of Kaizen Culture From Manufacturing to HR with Love

Asako Hongo HR Business Partner, Volvo IT Japan Originally written in Japanese

Adopting the Kaizen philosophy can usher in valuable improvements beyond the production floor. HR experience shows that Kaizen is an essential tool for increasing employee engagement and developing a learning culture that is a mark of future-ready global organizations.

The first time I came across Taiichi Ohno’s saying, “You’ve got to assume that things are a mess,” the essence of Kaizen suddenly became so clear to me. Ohno takes the current way of doing things as a baseline from which to motivate improvement. Unless you’re dissatisfied with the way you do things now, how can you feel the need to achieve something better? And unless you know exactly how you’re doing things now, how can you know what Kaizen outcomes to work toward? I first had the opportunity to learn about Kaizen and to lead the introduction of Kaizen tools not in a production department as you might expect, but in HR and accounting. Once you experience the power of Kaizen in a backoffice environment, you realize Kaizen is not simply about eliminating waste and increasing efficiency on the factory floor -- it also holds the key to improving employee motivation, building team coherence and forging a world-class corporate culture. A well-known Japanese concept, Kaizen is now being re-imported to Japan as the “lean” approach. Japanese people typically react to Kaizen with a knowing air, with the belief that it’s “in our blood” and comes naturally to 8

the Japanese. My colleagues were no exception. Realworld experience with Kaizen, however, proves that much of our thinking about Kaizen is mistaken. Kaizen’s potential to stimulate organizational learning and development is limitless, but here are three things I’ve learned in the seven years since I started using a Kaizen approach in HR: 1. Client-centered Kaizen The adage “know your customers’ needs” may seem fundamental, but HR often does not have a clear approach on how to connect with these needs. I discovered this in my previous company the first time I conducted process mapping. Our Kaizen focus was on how we brought new employees into the company and how we let old employees go. When we looked at why we did things the way we did, the answer was frequently “because that’s the way it’s always been done,” and “That’s the way we were taught to do it.” We also found that we had no clarity about who our clients were and what their needs were. We started mapping our “As-Is” work processes by drawing and sticking notes onto large sheets of butcher

A working draft of a value stream map (VSM) of the current process using butcher paper lined across a wall. Post-its are used to label the current process-steps inside each cell. An ideal process is developed after all the wastes and redundancies have been identified in each cell.

paper to have a visual map of how we actually worked with our clients. Next, we identified whether each of the individual tasks in these processes produced added value for our clients and whether there was MuDa 無駄, any waste that did not connect directly to HR clients’ actual needs. The last step was to define the ideal “To-Be” state and implement actions that would move us towards this.

A constructive Kaizen culture can ripple out, resulting in a natural increase in employees finding the courage and capacity to take more initiative. The MuDa 無駄 we found hiding in our entry and exit processes included duplicate paperwork, imprecise information flow, and tardy coordination with other divisions. Within two months of using this Kaizen method we had eliminated duplication, increased the accuracy of information and specificity of training reaching our stakeholders, and reduced overall lead-time by 30 percent from our initial baseline. 2. Kaizen Attitude: Initiative and Sharing Having employees who are prepared to take the initiative and share good ideas, however busy their work schedules, is key for Kaizen to succeed. I had the chance to work with one woman whose passionate Kaizen attitude made a big difference. (As a temporary employee she was perhaps less burdened by the fear of risks gone awry than many permanent Japanese staff concerned about long-term repercussions of their actions.) This employee not only had a good idea and the ability to put it into action, but recognized it was an idea worth spreading with colleagues overseas. As a result of her proactiveness – in this case, the development of a checklist for new em-

ployee training – her initiative was introduced on a global scale, prompting HR colleagues throughout the company to take a deeper interest in Kaizen too. The willingness to learn and share with co-workers also contributes to the no-waste principle of Kaizen. The helpful attitude of a colleague of mine who shares his time-saving Excel tips with us became known in other divisions. As a result, his list of tips was soon distributed throughout the company. If you let years go by without tuning in to the strengths and skills of the co-workers you sit next to, the result is a massive waste accrued in terms of the under-utilization of firm-specific human capital. 3. A Constructive Kaizen Culture Since I started working as an HR Business Partner (HRBP) for my current company, I have developed a keen sense of how HR can contribute to the creation of a constructive Kaizen culture. Japanese corporate culture typically focuses more on negative than positive feedback. In many cases, people simply don’t realize how dramatically a little recognition can raise employee motivation. The increasing diversity of the workforce makes the ability to give feedback and recognition all the more important. You’ve probably been praised at one time or another for a presentation, the way you ran a meeting or for making a new proposal. When you hear that someone likes what you’ve done you feel more motivated which, in turn, has a positive influence on your work the following day. This constructive Kaizen culture can ripple out, resulting in a natural increase in employees finding the courage and capacity to take more initiative. With senior management’s support, HR is ideally positioned to offer management training to further this virtuous spiral. Rather than establishing a separate Kaizen department with yet another department head scheduling even more meetings, line managers and teams throughout the organization can learn to give and receive constructive feedback that serves to reinforce people’s efforts to create local and global efficiencies. 9

Human Resource Business Partner Activity Work Status Workflow Process Map (Ideal/Future State Process Map) Employer Disability Process Lean Improvement Institute Regular Benefited Hourly Employees Lean HR Management ®

Employee Visits Personal Doctor

Doctor Determines Disability or Illness Acurity/Severity Level

●Doctor Issues ●Doctor Activity Work Status Form Completed


Employee Reviews Form



Return to Work


Accommodation Process



Disability Monitoring (DM) Consulting

Employer Liaison Takes to Quality Committee

HR Business Partner Takes to Employer Liaison

Escalate to HR Business Partner

Source: Jun Orlanes, Lean Improvement Institute

Opportunities for creating a constructive Kaizen culture are everywhere. Just yesterday, I had a conversation with my IT business partners about introducing globally standardized methods and tools to meet higher expectations for aligning services with client needs. I try to allay the fears they have: Rather than being an added burden to their already overloaded work schedule, short-term investment in Kaizen can result in leaner and more agile ways of aligning IT services with clients’ needs in the longer-term. Kick off a Kaizen Conversation Today Kaizen activities should be a part of our daily work. Rethinking clients’ needs and sharing knowledge with colleagues can generate big results using only small amounts of time. Waiting for someone else to lay the groundwork for Kaizen is a waste of time and invites unnecessary dissatisfaction, which breeds new inefficiencies. Kick off a Kaizen conversation tomorrow, even for just 10 minutes: Start off by saying, “You’ve got to assume that things are a mess...”

Asako Hongo is HR Business Partner at Volvo IT Japan. She also worked as HR Manager at SaintGobain K.K. and was HR Assistant Manager at an automotive company.



Issue with Content or Form


Three Cascading Keys and Kaizen Concepts The original intention of Kaizen methodology was to prepare the organization for hard times. By minimizing waste and inefficiencies in the workplace and simplifying business processes, the company generates new revenue and boosts its profitability. Kaizen does not solely focus on takt time (matching production cycles to customer demand) and KanBan 看板 (visual management) framework, and it is not limited only to manufacturing and the production line, as may be commonly believed. Rather, it is an ongoing mission that applies to every level in the system, leading to the continuous improvement of the organization and generating immediate results. There are three key cascading events to achieving a sustainable Kaizen culture: 1. Kaizen activities should be systematic and simple to adapt. When training new employees, regardless of age or capability, applying Kaizen should not be a limiting factor but should actually accelerate their learning curve. 2. Kaizen culture is both individually- and collectivelydriven. It should be able to accelerate everyone in the organization towards leading and training others within the organization to adopt a voluntary and intentional approach to continuous improvement. 3. Kaizen culture encourages everyone. Everyone in the organization should have self-confidence, creative individuality and integrity. This develops future leaders who encourage the organization to continue with the Kaizen journey. Lean Manufacturing Metrics For those in manufacturing, Kaizen is the most visible and tangible concept related to cost reduction and profitability. Most if not all Kaizen activities on the manufacturing floor are based on cost reduction. Manufacturing professionals rely on mathematical tools with which to measure tangible elements such as takt time, statistical process capabilities, change-over time, quality, cost, performance,

lead time and delivery time. The domain of manufacturing is rooted in mathematical engineering concepts. Everything else outside of this is seen as hard to measure and monitor. Seven Types of Waste Kaizen pushes for the elimination of the root of unproductive and inefficient activity. These are the seven fundamental forms of waste as identified by Toyota executive Taiichi Ohno: transportation, inventory, motion, waiting time (or idle time), over-production, over-processing and defects. Value Stream Mapping Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a powerful Kaizen tool that allows organizations to see the big picture of the processes in their workflow from end to end. It’s a two-step process that aims to (1) define the current state and (2) define the ideal state which then provides a visual representation that clearly plots out the opportunities for improvement, waste reduction and value creation. GenBa 現場 Walks GenBa refers to the site of value creation. GenBa walk literally means going to the site: the factory floor in manufacturing, the shop in retail, etc., and gaining insight from what you see. It can be anything from making improvements based on an honest 360 feedback to reorganizing the kitchen at work – going to the heart of the action can raise your employees’ self-awareness and their ability to add value to the company.

Jun Orlanes is principal director and founder of Lean Improvement Institute Consulting Group and a senior consultant at Kaizen Institute/Genba Research Consulting Group & Makoto In-vestment Consulting Group. He co-founded JW & Company Management Consulting, was senior project manager at Kaiser Permanente Medical Groups and directed and produced for Professional Skateboarder, World Industries Company.


JUL-SEP 2014

The Chief Learning Officer Around the Globe The General Electric Model and India's Competence Architecture

Knowledge@Wharton Originally written in English

The Chief Learning Officers (CLOs) in charge of training, leadership development and organizational behavior are meeting rapidly changing learning needs in different industries and cultures. Here are some of their new roles and new challenges. General Electric’s dedication to learning is well established. The company, which spends about $1 billion a year in training, hired the first chief learning officer in the 1990s. It established its renowned educational hub in Crotonville, N.Y. in the 1950s and the CLO concept has since spread to companies around the globe. At GE, the centers “have become our home away from home, if you will. We do a lot of our Crotonville leadership teaching at Munich, Shanghai and Bangalore, but also at other places around the world,” said Susan Peters, GE’s chief learning officer and vice president for executive development. “Their job is to ensure that as the course content is taught in the local environment, it is taught with the appropriate cultural overtone. The essence of leadership, we believe, is the same around the world, so we don’t change the fundamentals or the content. But there is 12

always the cultural aspect and those local leaders ensure that it is embedded in the course,” she said. The corporation takes an umbrella approach known as “GE Global Learning,” according to Peters. “We break it up into three buckets. The first is leadership. The second is skills, which is driven by function – finance skills, marketing skills, etc. The third bucket is business. What we are trying to teach there is the knowledge that is specific and needed for a business or industry… GE is in a wide range of industries from aviation to healthcare to financial services so we have to teach specifics within each of those industries.” The chief learning officer relies on her global team to design or update courses. “Often it is a redesign – you have to always tweak these classes to ensure that they include the most contemporary content and curriculum,” Peters said.

India's CLOs Become Competence Framework Architects In rapidly changing India, learning has become critical and the role of chief learning officer is evolving. Today, every major corporate action is about change, “be it business process transformation or mergers and acquisitions, rebranding, high growth or geographical expansion, and people don’t know how to deal with it,” said Kumaar Bagrodia, CEO of Leap Vault, a Mumbaibased executive development and knowledge media organization. While the 100 or 200 top companies are able to manage this change, Bagrodia said, “the rest are floundering. And as more HR functions begin to get outsourced, what remains at the core is learning. The business of learning is becoming very specialized and cannot fit easily within a larger HR context.” Western countries have never had a problem like that of India’s large, unskilled population entering the modern workforce. “The onus to skill them is going to be on industry,” noted Bagrodia. “Second, our business models today and going forward are going to be different from those in the Western world. So people need to be trained differently. Third, the West has never seen this trajectory of globalization while themselves becoming globalized.” Bosch India is one company that has indeed felt the need to adapt, according to A. Krishna, senior vice president for human resources. “I think India is a country where the competence gap is very high between what businesses expect and what’s available, not just at the entry level but at all levels,” Krishna said. “And, therefore, the importance and centrality of the learning function is increasing simply because incompetent or inadequately-competent people impact the bottom line.” Filling that gap is where a CLO comes in. “The role of the CLO is to actually work on the competence architecture of every organization, and that means be a part of

defining the competence framework; otherwise (the CLO is) just a delivery boy,” said Krishna. One of the most surprising aspects of the CLO story in India is its acceptance in the typically resistant-tochange public sector. K.B. Saha, executive director of the government-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India, said: “The CLO is possibly in the most advantageous position to contribute significantly to the formulation of business strategy and its effective implementation.

As more HR functions begin to get out-sourced, what remains at the core is learning. The business of learning is becoming very specialized and cannot fit easily within a larger HR context. “Regular contact with ground-level realities and awareness of environmental (political, economic, social and technological issues) in the industry makes the CLO the most important resource person for mentoring and coaching senior management on these matters. The quicker this fact dawns on industry leaders, the better,” Saha said. But “20 years in HR does not mean you can become a CLO,” said Bagrodia. “The demand of the market, competitive intent or employee behavior will mean that you need a high-end specialist in the CLO role.” This means higher costs as training budgets go up. But there is no choice, he added. “Going forward, there is only going to be learning; HR is dead.” Editor’s Note: Abridged with permission by Knowledge@Wharton from the original versions of two articles: "How GE Builds Global Leaders: A Conversation with Chief Learning Officer Susan Peters and India Learns the Value of Chief Learning Officer."



Filipino Workforce Attracts Global Attention

Hiroshi Okamoto Senior Editor, The HR Agenda

Originally written in Japanese






The Philippines is attracting attention around the world because of its strong economic growth and its abundant pool of young, increasingly skilled, workers. The numbers speak for themselves: The Philippines’ GDP growth stood at 7.7 percent in the first quarter and 7.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013, surpassing both China and Indonesia to record the highest growth in Asia, averaging 7.2% for the whole 2013 and 6.5% for the first quarter in 2014. In a special feature on “Asia after China,” Nikkei Business highlighted 11 emerging Asian countries, providing a glimpse of the markets Japanese companies can enter next, during the period characterized by the Nikkei as Asia's "post-China" economy. Of these, Nikkei Business gave particular attention to the so-called VIP countries: Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. The key reasons cited for targetting these countries were the potential for 14

sustainable growth, the workforce’s competencies and the population’s affinity toward Japan generally. Companies Turning to the Philippines As examples, the feature reported on two Japanese companies that are posting good performances after entering the Philippines -- machinery manufacturer Komatsu and Fujitsu Ten, which is engaged in automotive-related software development. In both cases, the companies are using human resources other than factory workers in the country. Komatsu was facing a service engineer shortage because of growing global demand for mining machinery. They established the Komatsu Human Resources

Development Center in a suburb of Manila to train service engineers before sending them on overseas assignment. The Philippine subsidiary Fujitsu Ten, established in 1999, has been expanding the number of its employees as well as becoming more sophisticated in its business. The company conducts employment exams four times a year and applicants include graduates of the Philippines’ top universities, with 10+ people applying for every opening. India has long been the world leader in business process outsourcing, but the Philippines has been up-skilling in the last few years and in 2010 provided 20 percent of global call centre work, superseding India's share in the world market.

The Philippines has been up-skilling in the last few years and in 2010 provided 20 percent of global call centre work, superseding India's share in the world market.

About 80 percent of the country is Catholic and as birth control is frowned upon and abortions are banned. People under the age of 20 account for 44 percent of the population, which even for Southeast Asia, skews the age pyramid toward the young. With the Philippines’ history as a former colony of the United States (1898–1946) and its pro-U.S. stance culturally, much of the population is highly proficient in English. Leveraging this ability, 8.6 million Filipinos, representing approximately 9 percent of the total population of 94 million, live overseas. The Philippine economy is supported by the earnings sent back by these overseas workers. Filipinos place high value on educational achievement. In the past, people going overseas often worked as seamen, maids, caregivers and entertainers, but an increasing number of Filipinos now work in specialized


professional fields including engineering, accounting, IT and healthcare as doctors and nurses. More than 80,000 entertainers (mostly women) were registered in Japan in 2004, but after criticism that the visa system was a breeding ground for human trafficking, regulations were tightened and the number shrank to around 8,000 in 2006, almost one-tenth the previous figure. At the same time, the door was opened to IT engineers to enter the country. And although their numbers are still small, under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement, Japan started receiving Filipino nurses and caregivers in 2009. As the Japanese labor market opens up in the coming years, Filipino workers are set to play an increasingly important role. With all these changes happening, one thing should be kept in mind. As a culture, Filipinos value their ties to people and especially their family. A main reason why Filipinos go overseas to work is to help support their family. Consequently, many overseas workers experience homesickness. The receiving company needs to give consideration to maintaining Filipino workers’ motivation, such as by providing an Internet environment so that workers can use Skype or similar technology to talk with family, and by providing holidays around Christmas so that workers can return home to visit. Signs of globalization are everywhere in the Philippines. Along with other influences, Japanese retail companies, including apparel brands and restaurants selling Japanese foods such as ramen and tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet), have been popping up around the country over the last several years. These trends give the feeling that Japan and the Philippines are becoming closer and closer.

Hiroshi Okamoto is a Manila-based Japanese translator and interpreter. He has worked in the Philippines for 10 years with a number of Japanese manufacturers including semiconductor and automotive companies as well as government, non-government, judicial and mass media organizations.



& Y o s h i ’s

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Ask Andrew & Yoshi: email us at AskHR@jhrs.org

What Makes a Leader? What ideal skills and characteristics do you think a leader should have to be successful in today’s business? – Japan-American Institute of Management Science (JAIMS) Alumnus


Translated from the Japanese original

At a recent leadership program in Singapore where half of the participants were Asians and half were nonAsians, one of the topics we discussed was “leading in Asian contexts.” The participants debated which approaches and styles were best to lead diverse Asian cultures in fast changing business and social environments. We focused on six leadership styles identified in the GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness) study: charismatic, team-oriented, participative, humane-oriented, autonomous, and self-protective. While all of those styles exist in all ethnic cultures, there are differences in terms of degree. Through a series of learning sessions and discussions, participants basically agreed there is no one single style that can meet all business, people and organizational needs. Effective leaders are those who can flex their styles to best meet the situational needs to deliver best results. Now, let me go back to the basics including classic leadership styles: autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire. I recommend you consider the following to determine your actions: 1. Skill Set and Mindset – Keep in mind that leaders must possess (1) fundamental business, people and organizational capabilities, and (2) the mindset to lead their organization. If they don’t, their leadership style doesn’t matter. 2. Alignment with Corporate Values – Assuming your leaders have the right skill set and mindset, their 16

style needs to be fully aligned with corporate values and culture. For example, if respect for individuals and diversity are corporate values, the leadership style needs to be inclusive and democratic, not topdown and autocratic; if innovation is an organizational value, the leadership style should be inspiring and allowing, not commanding and punitive. 3. Ability to Style-Switch – In order for leaders to be really effective and savvy, they need to be able to style-switch to meet the needs of individuals and business. There are many ways of identifying individual styles e.g., Dominance/Influence/Steadiness/ Conscientiousness (DISC); extroversion-introversion/ sensing-intuition/thinking-feeling/judgment-perception (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, MBTI); Will/Energy/ Affection/Control/Emotionality (Facet 5); Analytic/ Sequential/Interpersonal/Imaginative (Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument, HBDI), etc., and also, there are various ethnic/cultural styles in today’s multicultural work environment. Are your leaders able to identify these differences and take the best possible style or approach to make the best use of those differences to achieve best results? Yoshiharu Matsui President, HPO Creation, Inc. Yoshi specializes in leadership and organization development leveraging his more than 12 years of marketing experience and 12 years of HR/OD experience. He provides executive coaching, leadership development, organizational change and marketing and sales development to help clients strengthen their business performance, organizational health and employee engagement. He has a BA in intercultural communication from Kita-Kyushu University and an MBA from Northwest Missouri State University. He is currently working on his doctoral degree in organization change at Pepperdine University.

a leader

The quality of is reflected in the standards they set for themselves. Ray Kroc

HR Japan Summit 9 – 10 July 2014 | Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo | Tokyo | Japan In an increasingly complex and competitive business environment, the volatile global economy and recent natural disasters in Japan have added more to the myriad of challenges faced by modern Japanese HR professionals. In the historical time we live, only the companies that persist to invest in their people are the ones that are able to make the transition from crisis to recovery. Sourcing and developing talent, providing employees with long-term career prospects and building resilient leaders are all essential for navigating effectively through turbulent times.

awaken genius pioneer ideas – illuminating exchanges Developed via a profound dialogue with key market players and our extensive proprietary research, the HR Japan Summit programme offers indispensable insights.

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Article originally written in English

are aware of their impact and use this to the advantage of the organization.

There are many books and theories about leadership skills which will give a wide variety of answers. In my opinion a few things stand out:

3. Performance Footprint – Real leaders have a record of success. Many people can read the books and explain the theory, however putting leadership into

1. Determination and Resilience – Strong leaders have

practice and doing it well takes skill. For me, having

opinions. They also make decisions. They have the

a track record is very important and I would look for

determination and energy to follow through on what

this in any person applying for a leadership role.

they believe and make it happen. 2. People Skills – Simply put, a leader leads people. Skill in this area continues to be critical to success. Employees today are more critical and opinionated; they know they have more options and they want to be heard. Great leaders create a vision and motivate people, they bring hope for the future and they are able to engage people one to one or in groups. They

Andrew Manterfield Executive Coach and Senior Consultant, SudaManterfield Andrew has an innate belief in people and their desire and ability to achieve more. His purpose is to find the greatness in every person he meets and to ensure that greatness lives and breathes every day and is fulfilled. He has worked in the global FMCG industry for over 27 years for Diageo Plc, the world’s biggest adult drinks company. Andrew has over a decade of director-level experience in both human resources and sales. He has lived and worked in Japan, Australia, and the U.K., and he has worked with organisations across Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Disclaimer: The answers, opinions, or viewpoints expressed by Andrew and Yoshi are their own and do not necessarily represent the general views and sentiments of The Japan HR Society and its members, Secretariat, friends, and supporters. In addition, the answers, advice, or opinions expressed by Andrew and Yoshi are for informational purposes only and are not meant to substitute for legal and/or financial advice from qualified legal and financial professionals.



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"Ignorance of the Law is no excuse."

JUL-SEP 2014

Disaster Response Measures in Japan QUESTION: Is it compulsory for every company in Tokyo to invest in disaster response measures? – Senior HR Manager, Global Corporate Marketing Company

ANSWER: Originally written in English



Introducing our

Panel of Experts

Legal Questions?

If you have legal questions relating to HR practices, or would like to become a member of our panel of legal experts, please contact us at hrclinic@jhrs.org.

Vicki Beyer

Recruiting & hiring; benefits programs; termination; retirement; employee relations; discrimination & diversity; non-competition; investigations & disciplinary matters.

Toby Mallen

Doing business in the U.S.A.; labor and employment; real estate laws.

Jiro Oyama

Corporation laws; intellectual property laws.

Grant Stillman

Law of international organizations and trade.

Hideki Thurgood Kano Labour and employment

Sam Everatt

The only “law” on this that I am aware of is a Tokyo Metropolitan Government ordinance that took effect April 1, 2013. This ordinance, titled Ordinance on Measures for Individuals Stranded in Tokyo, contains measures for aiding individuals stranded due to major earthquakes or other natural disasters. Under this ordinance, companies are expected to ensure that their facilities are as secure as possible, that they are prepared to engage in initial (first responder) firefighting and rescue activities, that their staff has been drilled in evacuation and other appropriate disaster responses, and that they have equipment and provisions to care for individuals trapped or stranded at their premises. With respect to the last point, the recommendation is to have a three-day supply of food and drinking water for each employee, as well as an electricity generator and other emergency lighting equipment. This ordinance appears to be in the way of guidance rather than of enforceable law; it does not specify any sanctions for non-compliance. However, the minimum standards of preparedness and response established by the ordinance are pretty reasonable and there is some sense to making the effort to comply to the extent possible. A good disaster plan should take into account both your employees’ and clients’ needs for their services following a major crisis. Part of having a good plan is making sure you have the correct emergency contact information for all of your employees. With today’s wide variety of technologies, companies have many ways to communicate with employees during and after an emergency. They can now invest in multiplechannel communication systems that serve as backups to one another, such as Internet or online-based technology, remote phone systems and wireless radio networks that can provide real-time communication flow that is crucial in the event of a disaster.

Atty. Vicki Beyer is an in-house lawyer and former legal academic with more than 20 years of experience in Japanese employment law and over five years’ experience across eight other Asian jurisdictions. She holds a J.D. from the University of Washington and a LL.M. in Corporate and Commercial Law from Bond University.

International HR Law, Pensions, Restructuring, Occupational Health and Safety, Global Mobility, Employee Compensation and Benefits, Individual Employee Rights, Discrimination and Data Privacy. 19 The advice, views, and/or opinions expressed by the author(s) in this19section Disclaimer: are for general informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Individuals requiring legal advice are encouraged to engage a qualified legal professional.



Applying Military Principles to a Business Context Joe Hüg Program Coordinator of Continuing Education, Temple University Japan Campus Originally written in English

Companies routinely partner with emergency services as part of their disaster preparations (see HR Legal Clinic in this issue). As more and more companies ventures into regions of the world where civil unrest is more common than in Japan, there is a renewed role for business-military partnerships in order to ensure continued economic investment and the security of locally-employed personnel in potentially volatile areas. As the function of military increasingly shifts from warfare to human security and peace-keeping so military application can become more civilian-friendly. In this article Joe Hüg reviews classic business books and cases that have applied lessons from military training and leadership to business.

Nearly 30 years ago, California State University Professor William A. Cohen published an article in Marketing News titled “Historical military strategy principles advocated for winning marketing wars.” Cohen was just one of many business analysts over the years who have compared military and business. While in reality, business actually is nothing like fighting a war, there are various similarities between business and the military when approached from a human resources perspective. In his famous writings, Chinese general Sun Tzu described six principles of war that have since been modernized into the Art of Business. Carl von Clausewitz’ On War and Mao Zedong’s The Little Red Book are likewise classic military manuals that have been popularly adapted into business ideology. 20

Yet, very insightfully, Baron Antoine-Henri Jomini, author of Summary of the Art of War wrote that books written on such principles “gave but fragments of systems” and that “one must be profound to comprehend them.” This leads to the recognition that attempting to read and then apply battlefield analogies outside of warfare can be susceptible to errors. One shortcoming is that authors and students prescribing to the military-business parallelism often do not understand the actual ascent to leadership. James D. Sinegal, co-founder and former CEO of Costco, understood that employee education and training was crucial and promoting managers from within the organization ensured the success of the company beyond the leader’s own tenure.

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General Electric has been able to attract, develop, retain and promote prodigies like Jack Welch into leadership positions (See also Knowledge@Wharton in this issue on GE's dedication to learning). Disregarding everything that has been written about Welch’s personality, the fact is that Welch started and ended his entire employment career at GE. Still, business enterprises find this notion perplexing and often hire external managers who are inexperienced with the company’s mission.

When leaders realize that business can sometimes mimic military mission accomplishment… in that employees are recruits in need of education and training – then the application of military principles are appropriate. Another potential source of conflict is that military history often emphasizes a leader’s charisma. The consequence is a habitual description of great leaders as rare visionaries or explicitly magnetic figures. To test the validity of this perception, authors James Collins and Jerry Porras set out on a six-year research project “to identify underlying characteristics that are common to highly visionary companies.” They found that the hypothesis, whereby one organization is superior to another because of a great leader, is not entirely accurate. Indeed, it was extensive education and training, received by great business leaders before their fame, which brought success. Indeed, any organization that set a clear and welldeveloped education and training program are bound to generate great leaders. The military and businesses are no exception. Business success depends on the development of employee morale. Valuing a sense of responsibility towards the mission can result in employee sacrifice to improve performance, develop self-initiative and hold loyal commitment. In Japan, large corporations have taken this to heart and institute properly organized orientations for new employees who pass a salvo of interviews and psychometric testing. The modern military also applies psychometric and aptitude tests to funnel recruits into jobs in which they will most likely thrive. Some examples are: U.S. Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), Australia’s Defense Force Aptitude Test (ADFAT), and Ireland’s Army Psychometric Test (IAPT). The importance of psychometric testing is that it can often signal the strengths and weaknesses of people who are, one day, bound to be in positions of great responsibility. Thus, properly employing psychometric measures can assist in assigning and thereby developing employees. Military recruiters continue to use such metrics. When leaders realize that business can sometimes mimic military mission accomplishment – not from a life 22

and death perspective nor as a sort of battle, but rather in that employees are recruits in need of education and training – then the application of military principles are appropriate. Remember that new employees have volunteered to join the organization for what it stands for – just like military recruits who volunteer and accept what the military represents. They have made a commitment and seek reciprocity from their employers. HR managers hold the responsibility for developing, establishing and implementing training programs that foster an organization’s responsibility for its employees. A Harvard Business Review article on value-based management lessons from the Marines described three leadership processes to enforce the legacy of values: initial entry training, reinforcement education, and sustainment education. The lesson here is that continuous education and training are keys to successful development of employees thereby entrusting them to one day lead the company. Acknowledgements: Translated by: Mr. Yasuta Miyake IOAK@live.jp

Joe Hüg, M.Sc., MBA, EMBA is program coordinator of the continuing education program at Temple University Japan Campus. A U.S. military veteran, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in organizational management.

The first online bilingual video channel dedicated to successful Business in Japan BIJ.TV

For details Tel: 03-6804-5267


Using Coaching as a Route to Reach Potential & Achieve Goals

How Much Value can Coaching Bring to the Organization? Yumiko Shito Vice President, International Coach Federation Japan Chapter Originally written in Japanese

Japanese companies are increasingly aware of coaching and its importance in today’s fast-changing business world. For HR an important decision is whether there is value in developing coaching competencies internally to support individual and organizational growth. To help you decide in an informed way we asked Yumiko Shito, Vice President of the International Coach Federation’s Japan Chapter, for facts, figures and her personal insights. Coaching Aims What role does coaching play and what results does it achieve? According to the International Coach Federation (ICF), coaching involves partnering with clients through ongoing dialogue sessions to: 1) draw out client potential; 2) encourage the client to strive to become more aware of their own thought process including the way they verbalize, visualize and embody this; 3) guide clients to success and effective goal achievement.ICF definition here At its core, coaching’s aim is for the client, or coachee, to achieve their goals and overcome problems using their own initiative as the driver. The coaching process sparks changes in thinking, different levels of awareness and new realizations which prompt changes in coachee’s perception and behavior. By encouraging a highly engaged approach to decision-making and action-taking, coaching becomes an effective route toward solving a problem or accomplishing a goal. There is no typical timeframe for the coaching process – it all depends on the specific goals, schedule and learning curve of each individual. In the course of a coaching partnership, coachees will eventually be able to: 1) define their vision and goals and effectively accomplish them; 2) objectively observe tendencies in their thought patterns, behaviors and belief systems to bring needed changes in their perspective; 3) sharpen their creative and critical skills to make more focused decisions; 23

4) consciously leave their comfort zones and become more enterprising and confident; 5) enhance soft skills that are critical to their leadership abilities; 6) manage stress better. Coaching Efficacy Seen from Study Results The demand for coaching services has grown radically as the number of companies and organizations reaping its many benefits continually increases.

Increased Productivity


Improved Work Performance

Boosted Positivity


Improved Self-Confidence

Professional coaching maximizes potential and, therefore, unlocks latent sources of productivity


Improved Business Management


Improved Time Management


Improved Team Effectiveness

Coaching builds the self-confidence of employees to face challenges (a critical factor in meeting organizational demands)


Improved Relationships


Improved Communication Skills


Improved Life/Work Balance

Source: International Coach Federation and PricewaterhouseCoopers International Survey Unit

In a study commissioned by the ICF and conducted independently by the International Survey Unit of PricewaterhouseCoopers, it was revealed that the coaching industry now generates more than $2 billion in revenue every year, and this figure is expected to rise in the succeeding years. The answers from respondents consisting of over 12,000 coaches representing 117 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America showed the following factors that may explain the unprecedented response of business leaders to coaching today. The findings show that many companies and organizations considered coaching effective and reported sought-after productivity improvements in their employees. A huge majority (70 percent of companies) reported work performance gains and more than half also reported improvements in business management, time management and team effectiveness. Coaching is also seen as a critical tool for improving employee esteem, with 80 percent of respondents reporting increased self-confidence and improvements in relationships, communication skills and life/work balance. Of the respondents, 86 percent reported achieving a return on their coaching investment. Satisfaction with the coaching experience approached 100 percent, and 96 percent said they would repeat the process. This is an indicator of the readiness with which coaching techniques are accepted in the respondents' countries and across a wide range of industries including health, pharma and science, IT and social media, manufacturing, engineering and defense, retail and consumer, public sector or non-profit, consulting and financial services and transportation.

Return on Investment

Coaching generates learning and clarity for forward action with a commitment to measurable outcomes (86% of companies say they at least made their investment back)


Achieved return on coaching investment

Satisfied Clients



“Somewhat” or “Very Satisfied” with overall experience


Would repeat the process

Coaching encompasses a wide range of techniques, and different approaches can be utilized depending on each particular case to effect change and evolution at companies and organizations. There is one-on-one executive coaching that is relatively well known, and there is also group coaching involving multiple participants and system coaching, which works at the team or organizational level instead of the individual level. These are some of the findings of the International Coach Federation’s study and some well-known examples of coaching at corporations. Based on my own experience as a coach in business settings, I can say that I sense signs of similar trends emerging in Japan. Coaching is an extremely effective way to verbalize, visualize and actualize thoughts and actions that are essential for coachees to achieve goals and resolve issues. Coaching maximizes each individual’s autonomy and gets them to consciously and intentionally engage in the process toward positive change. Therefore, coaching can play a key role in sparking employee growth and in turn, organizational growth. Yumiko Shito is Vice President of the International Coach Federation's Japan Chapter. She established her own company in 2013 after positions as Japan COO of Morgan Stanley Corporate Services Division and information risk management manager for Asia. She is currently the representative of Human Capital Advisory Partners and deputy director of the Japan Chapter of the International Coach Federation. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas School of Management.

O R G A N I Z AT I O N A L D E S I G N & D E V E L O P M E N T JUL-SEP 2014

The Legacy and Lessons of Organizational Learning A Tribute to Prof. Chris Argyris, Father of Organizational Learning Hilda Rosca Nartea Contributing Editor, The HR Agenda Originally written in English

Advocates of Organizational Learning show that connecting learning and doing can help individuals solve problems and achieve results not just in business but also in life. Organizational Learning is a powerful strategy which places learning as an integral part of a successful corporate culture. Organizational Learning isn’t just a concept or a framework for management or building teams and organizations; observe its main proponents and you’ll see how it’s essentially a way of life, a position from which to view the world, a perspective not just for business but for building relationships with people. When Chris Argyris, the father of Organizational Learning, passed away in November 2013, those close to him remarked at how there was so much outpouring of love, respect and gratitude from all over the world for the well-loved Harvard professor. Aside from the usual statements of sympathies and tributes, his students, colleagues, friends and admirers were also remembering the individual lessons they learned from encounters with Argyris that remain useful even after so many years. One student shared, “I took his course over 30 years ago and still use the wise teachings today” – proving the value of connecting learning with doing, which is a familiar principle in Argyris’ most notable teachings and his primary recommendation for development and problem-solving. Global business experts, thought leaders, educators and influencers still refer to Argyris’ insights as they investigate and help others navigate the business environment today. Concepts and theories become obsolete in the blink of 25

an eye and conventional wisdom can quickly become bad advice, making it imperative for organizations to question long-held beliefs and to allow their people to learn as they go along. Supporting a Learning Culture in Japan In Japan, organizations have long recognized that supporting a learning culture should be an ongoing mission to build an engaged workforce and assure high quality standards. Prof. Michael Marquardt, President of the World Institute of Action Learning, noted in an interview with The HR Agenda Vol. 2-4 that “many big Japanese companies have a founder that is committed to learning as well as getting good products.” He names Sony, NEC and Panasonic as some of the pioneers as well as Toyota, Honda, Canon and Fuji-Xerox. Courage and Curiosity to Learn and Unlearn The most notable characteristic of Organizational Learning is that unlike other leadership concepts or programmes, theory and practice are melded into one intricate whole. This is exactly what Argyris exemplified in his full life committed to continuous and simultaneous teaching and learning and unlearning. He had “the curiosity and courage it takes to sustain learning, even in the face of threat; the hope and humility it takes to create a better world,” Diana Smith of the Society for Organizational Learning writes.

Another notable practice in Organizational Learning is that leaders are expected to ask questions – a complete turnaround from their conventional image of being the one supplying solutions. Contrary to the apprehension that asking questions can put the leader in a position of weakness and uncertainty, Argyris proves that leaders who ask questions fearlessly and listen sincerely actually inspire insight and wisdom. Argyris, always had a question or two up his sleeve for every encounter. Smith remembers: “A broad smile lighting his face, eyes full of curiosity, asking the unexpected question, listening for a toehold to advance learning, and not stopping until something new comes of it.”

Concepts and theories become obsolete in the blink of an eye and conventional wisdom can quickly become bad advice, making it imperative for organizations to question longheld beliefs and to allow their people to learn as they go along. For traditional thinkers, Organizational Learning can be revolutionary and highly risky – it opens the organization (and the leader) to vulnerabilities; it paves the way for failure, but it also makes failure insightful, compassionate


and solution-focused, bringing true innovation, creativity and accomplishment beyond expectations. One organization that continues to expound practical applications of Argyris' work is the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL). SoL's work is based on three pillars: systems thinking, reflective conversation and aspirations. Other related theories such as integration and developmental theory, together with practical methods such as mindfulness and embodiment using performance arts have recently been used by organizations such as France's La Poste and rail service SNCF, the World Bank, and the Finnish government to provide trans-generational growth of people and organizations. It's obvious that Organizational Learning isn't a quick fix or an easy method. It requires some amount of daring and the desire to disrupt the status quo. But if the organization is truly after positive, transformational change, then it’s time to pose a question – and ask whether they’re brave enough to take the leap today to continue Argyris' legacy. Acknowledgements: Riichiro Oda, Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) Japan

Hilda Rosca Nartea heads the writing team of a Sydney-based PR agency. She is also a content producer for non-profit organizations and has done projects for the United Nations Development Programme under the Philippine Department of Energy.


Organizational Development & Learning The Age of Iteration & Integration Annette Karseras Editor in Chief, The HR Agenda Originally written in English

Organizational learning and professional development today must take place across vaster scales than in the past. HR can achieve this by integrating and iterating Eastern and Western influences through the organization with the help of complex responsive processes to bring the whole to bear in the moment decisions are made.

When complexity science entered the management literature at the end of the 90s, some shunned it, believing it was not possible to manage and control anything in an organization that is neither rational nor structured. They were quite correct. It is not possible to manage change or knowledge in the sense of mechanistic control. Neither is it possible to manage learning in this way. Yet there is, I believe, a possibility that we can constructively influence the learning and change environment by exploring how enhanced communication can connect the organisation at different scales. By being aware of how the organsation as a whole works, managers and workers can learn to adapt more effectively, for example to fluctuations in supply and demand, or inventory cycles including the management of human resources through recruitment and training. For organizations that operate on a global scale, understanding complex nonlinear iterative patternings is even more pertinent.



Complex Responsive Processes Definition Example Example 28

1. Considering people’s professional roles & responsibilities as fluid and related to changes in the business environment and/or their competency development. 2. A conversational dynamic characterized by acuity in which people seek to name and explore constructive questions (compared to a conversational dynamic that reinforces existing ways of doing things or one characterized by aggression and/or blame.)



Something that is constantly moving; not a static object. A pattern or energy that characterizes and/or directs a certain type of movement.

Repetition or cycles of a person, team or department’s behaviour, attitude or verbal statement, with the potential to change in form unpredictably (see bifurcation above). The nesting effect is compounded as the behaviour is passed outward from the local to neighbouring to the organization-wide context, and possibly beyond to stakeholders.



1. An internal communication that goes viral. 2. One person/team’s initiative becomes company-wide best practice. See also “Chaos Theory / Butterfly Effect” on YouTube and Asako Hongo’s article on the ripple effect of Kaizen thinking in this issue.

1. Spiralling cycles of reflection on a project, where each cycle takes both previous reflections and tasks-in-progress as input to the next iteration.2. The compound effect of cascading a best practice through the organization such as developing teams’ ability to use questioning with acuity, to analyse and intuit, to reflect and use foresight in order to keep abreast of different scales and types of change (social, economic, technological, political etc.)



Sensitive dependence on initial conditions such as the relationship between a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil and a typhoon in the Philippines. The idea that something seemingly insignificant that you do today can have an unpredictably large impact in the organization in the future.

1 + 1 = 2. The whole equals the sum of the parts. Understanding by analysis. Predictable cause and effect relationships. No indirect effect on the outcome or result by any factors other than those named.



In addition to agenda-driven meetings, managers start to have open meetings (this might be a natural development following increased confidence in managers’ ability to facilitate/elicit dialogue around emergent – rather than just pre-planned – issues related to live personal, departmental and/or organization-wide issues).

1. Rational decision-making based on analysis of a finite number of clearly defined factors such as current exchange rates, past revenue and profits, financial targets, etc. 2. Planning using pre-defined steps that, if followed precisely, will achieve the goal set. 3. Clearly defining each task in a workflow process. The whole business process is equal to the sum of these tasks. Using well-practiced skills expertly to complete each task. 4. Mechanical or computerized processes.


Butterfly Effect

Splitting from 1 into 2 ways or branches, leading to potentially more future pathways. Once there are 2 options (rather than 1 routine) there is also the possibility that people will begin to do other things differently as a result of using both ways in combination.

1 + 1 > 2. The whole is more than the sum of the parts. Understanding by intuiting. Effects are not proportional to their causes (see Butterfly Effect above). Greater when multiple systems (such as stock markets, multilateral politics or weather systems) impact one another in ways that can be guessed at but not predicted with finality.



Definition Example Definition

Terms Adapted for Organizational Learning and Development

1. Integrative decision-making based on both analysis of finite factors and intuiting about factors that cannot be clearly defined. 2. Being sensitive to small changes in the immediate environment that may have an impact on the achievement of a future goal. 3. Noticing when existing routines are no longer effective and adapting behaviour, attitudes or developing new skills and patterns of communication that can influence things in the desired direction. 4. Patterns of human communication.


At its simplest, we can understand adaptive learning as a responsive process. The table on the previous page gives some basic terms and examples that can help your organization navigate not ignore the dynamics of effective learning and change. Integrating Worldviews To tap the human capacity to make a company work at the global scale we need the ability to integrate different worldviews. Just as your brain connects your left and right hemispheres through the bundle of fibres in our corpus callosum, so at a global level your firm needs to integrate the wisdom of Eastern and Western cultures if it is to successfully span this geographic reach in business. Understanding overarching cultural tendencies can help individuals make better sense of seemingly puzzling behaviour locally and provide the organization with a wider repertoire of responses. Going global requires a both-and mindset that is able to integrate deterministic and more dynamic ways of working. Take the integration of big data. One Japanese sushi restaurant cut waste by 75 percent by using big data to track customer ordering habits from arrival to leaving. Another manager used similar data sets to reduce staff shifts from 30-minute to 10-minute intervals. While both technologically and operationally viable in Japan, less reliable transportation in many parts of the world would, for example, stymie efforts to implement time management to this extent. What kind of adaptation is needed at local level depends on where you are and who you ask. That is where the ability to communicate responsively and adaptively is critical: if people are equipped to ask and answer questions with acuity and respect that engenders trust, they are more likely to be able to adjust locally to corporate-wide trends in ways that might not be predictable, but that can be effective.


Anglo-Saxon management style tends to view the company as an assemblage of parts that can be broken down and rearranged and to focus on salient objects in a situation, perceiving fewer factors as relevant to the outcome. Organisational change is therefore perceived more simply and lead time calculated accordingly. East Asian populations tend to emphasize the interconnectedness of human relationships and their embeddedness in the social and physical environment that surrounds them. The implication is that learning and change also have broader and denser relational scope in East Asia with time line estimates needing to be adjusted to accommodate this.


Responsive span

South Korea

% of people in each country conceiving a company as a system of tasks or a set of social realations.

E Japan A S T


System of tasks Set of social relations


The different emphasis between Eastern and Western populations shows the range that a globally-minded workforce must be capable of spanning in the moment


Sweden E


USA 0%






Source: Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner Riding the Waves of Culture

Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner illustrated this ancient cultural bifurcation in today’s workplace norms by asking people from around the world if they thought of a company as organised “social relations” or as “a system.” The graph shows the natural emphasis from East to West and the range of responsivity that a global-minded workforce must be equipped to span. Integrating both worldviews into the global corporate culture primes people to see the whole, to think in both and possibly new, third ways, and to

adapt at the interface with local colleagues, suppliers and customers. There is also a well-documented aspect to how much people feel they can or should try to influence things around them, with Westerners believing they possess a greater sense of personal agency and responsibility for their own actions and Easterners generally emphasizing the role of others and impact of situational factors. Western emphasis on individual identity and agency can skew understanding of just how significant physical, social and situational aspects are in determining professional behaviour, attitude and performance at work. Known to social psychologists as Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE), Westerners are much more prone to attribute behaviour to a person’s character or disposition even when overriding factors in the actual situation are relevant. On the other hand, the more integrated view of East Asians tends to make people more likely to recognise situational factors but less empowered to intervene even when there is a chance that a small action may have the desired effect (see sensitive dependence in table). Iterating Learning Through Enhanced Communication Developing both integrated social relationships and finite systems in which the impact of self-determinism can be seen, as well as the ability to commu-

nicate using both intuitive and analytic approaches can stimulate much more dynamic and interactive learning and generate positive change. Giving people the awareness and skills to communicate about possible connections between local and global patterns can trigger complex responsive and mutually empowering processes between people. Noticing something at team level that might be symptomatic of what is happening in the department, company, national economy and/or global industry as a whole, is a little like using Google Earth to zoom out to the astronaut’s global view of the world and then to zoom back in to the continent, country, city, street view and office building to reflect on who the individual is in relation to the wider context. To contribute to future global scale change and business growth individual development needs to go beyond carrot and stick incentives, include and exceed the acceptance of competing cultural values, to bring the presence of the whole to bear in the moment to spark new bifurcations. People need to be encouraged to develop a focus wider than the skillset they need to achieve their own targets; a consciousness to integrate and iterate. ***** This is my last editorial as editor in chief. I hope that the many contributors who have written in these pages over the last three years have touched your spirit, intellect and professional sphere. If you would like to be a part of the next phase of The HR Agenda’s development please tell us: What’s your vision for the magazine? How would you move the magazine to its next stage? Email us at hragenda@jhrs.org

Acknowledgements: Keiji-san; Mrs Morita; Y. Takada

Annette Karseras is a coach and trainer who develops leaders and teams at all levels of the organization. Annette has trained with the Coach Training Institute (CTI) and the Society of Organizational Learning’s Systems Perspectives. She also delivers Global Mindset and Communication Intelligence courses at Japan’s top universities. Her master’s degree is from Leicester University, UK.


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The HR Agenda Magazine - July-September 2014 Issue (English Version)  

Japan's first and only bilingual HR-focused magazine, published quarterly by The Japan HR Society (JHRS). This issue's theme: Organizationa...

The HR Agenda Magazine - July-September 2014 Issue (English Version)  

Japan's first and only bilingual HR-focused magazine, published quarterly by The Japan HR Society (JHRS). This issue's theme: Organizationa...

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