GAS 2012 – Global Agenda Seminar Series


Today is the second day of the Global Agenda Seminar Series (GAS) 2012.  At  the first session held in mid January,  Dr. Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow of Tokyo Foundation, our guest, explained the importance of Grand Strategy for the country (and company, individual) and how the Op-Ed is written and for what purposes. For the second session, we selected Trans Pacific Partnership(TPP)  as the topic for discussion.

As always, our assignment was some basic reading about the topic  and the written report.    This time, we assigned the participants into three groups–one representing the U.S., another China and the other Japan.  Each participants was asked to write  one’s view about TPP from the country’s perspective they are assigned.  We made it quite open-ended so that they can focus on any aspect of TPP.  The only rule was that they need to think and state their view, from the perspective of the country each member is assigned.

After the initial awkward moment of some hesitation, however, the discussion became quite lively.  I was impressed by the willingness of each participant to speak up and to argue back and forth.  As I found out later during the informal get-together with participants,   the clear view is not quite welcome, it seems, in most cases in the Japanese context. The argument and discussion is not that encouraged, either, I found.

The session ended with my comments as to the objective of this type of role play, its use and application, together with some tips on how to do.  Dr. Watanabe  made very helpful comments both for the substance and the style of expression.

Yoko Ishikura
Yoko Ishikura is a Professor at Hitotsubashi University ICS in the Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy in Japan. She has held positions as a professor at the School of International Politics, Economics and Business of Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, as a consultant at McKinsey and Company Inc. Japan and a visiting professor at Darden School.

Professor Ishikura is a consultant to a number of multinational companies and has been a frequent speaker at management conferences, seminars, and workshops throughout the world. She was a member of the Regulatory Reform Committee for the Japanese government and the International Competitiveness Commission for METI. She is currently a Forum Fellow of the World Economic Forum.

She is the author of Strategic Shift from OR choices to AND paradigm, Building Core Skills of Organization , and the co-author of the following publications: Managing Diversity in the 21st Century, Strategy for Cluster Initiatives in Japan , and Building a Career to the World Class Professionals – all in Japanese. Her books in English include: Asian Advantage, Hitotsubashi on Knowledge Management and Trust and Antitrust in Asian Business Alliances.

Professor Ishikura’s current research interests are focused on global competition, innovation, and knowledge management. She received her BA from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan; MBA from Darden School, University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia; and DBA from Harvard Business School.
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