Killing Two Birds with One Stone: Japanese to English


The other day, I made a discovery of rather strange version of  “killing two birds with one stone.”  I was feeling rather down for some reason which I could not quite figure out.  The feeling that something has  been bothering me stayed for a day or two, so I finally decided to do a bit of analysis.  (When things are moving along, I usually depend upon my intuition, but when things become overwhelming  and I am a bit lost, I refer to the analysis based upon logical thinking! )

What I tried was to explain my situation to myself in English. I have tried to make a habit of speaking in English (something with a message, rather than just chat) now that I have fewer occasions to speak in English.  (I teach in Japanese and not in English since April in most cases. Thus I have to design  the occasion to speak in English consciously.)

As I was trying to figure out the reasons why I feel down and to develop solutions (what else to do?)  in English, things that have bothered me got sorted out and I started feeling much better.  At the same time, I did my routine! of delivering some short speech with message and reasoning in English!  I felt doubly good!

As I think about it, it is one version (though rather strange) of “killing two  birds with one stone.”     It was the message to myself  which consisted of the situation analysis, cause analysis and solutions (typical problem solving approach) AND in English!

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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