Facilitating and questioning

Yesterday I had another long meeting (from 14 - 22).
Lots of presentation and discussion.
One thing I relearned from this was the importance of directing, facilitating and questioning.

Directing in this context is setting the initial tone.
In the initial presentation, the director clarified the objectives and purposes in a succinct manner.
What was good was he passionately showed how serious he was to have strong participation from
everyone and see the qualification of each. He is always regarded as a calm, gentle, and smart guy.
But this time he made himself very strict, helping set the tone for the meeting going forward.
It worked very well and I would like to apply it in the next occasion.

Facilitating is for time management, recording key concepts, direction management.
This time facilitation was done by a person who is in a different department.
This way objectivity is guaranteed and easy for the other to follow.

Lastly questioning. Running through lots of questions, I found out good questions are those with
more than three dimension or checking multiple points at one shot. Identifying structure behind
his or her saying, checking consistency or clarity, and making sure what we can get in the end.

Good o experience the importance of those above.



Yesterday was a long day. QTR review meeting from 10 to 17, pricing meeting, inventory meeting, and incentive meeting till 21. Too much? No more? Excited? Output over time spent is my measurement for productivity. I believe thinking ways to improve productivity of meeting is very important because meetings take our time everyday and our productivity hinges on it. However the problem is it is not regarded as such that there seems not many people who think they are significant. This is the part that I would like to take leadership and make a change in people around me.


3 days off

3 days off helped me understand how stressed I would become without studying. Studying makes me tired, but not studying and wasting my time makes me stressed.



Holding strong belief which won't become stale gives people stability in my opinion.
Whenever I feel not exited about my life, I always get back to my belief that all I can do is to enjoy ever single second before me with best energy, best curiosity, best concentration, best knowledge and experience in a balanced manner to make it count. This belief always helps me go forward.


One moment changed my mind

Today very interesting thing happened to me.
Recently I had not been in good mood. Not bad, but not as usual.
I slept well, ate well, exercised well, but not in good mood.
I didn't know what was lacking, but tonight right before I went home,
one thing happened, which must sound to you nothing special, but was special for me.

My co-worker, a senior, did the job I was supposed to do, knowing
I was busy with other things. This enabled me notice what was lacking.
That was to feel Kindness. Going back to my recent,
I did things that I was not supposed to do in my role, but did them purely for the betterment of the business.
My desire to continue those tasks with the expectation that somebody would give me hand in the future must have been rotten because I felt nobody would help anyway. But I didn't want to stop because of my feeling, pushing me hard to eradicate that hope out of my mind. That turned out to be the stress, which had got me stranded in "not a good mood".


Just one paragraph,which describes recent me.

Real procrastination is to be unaware of your procrastination.
As long as you are aware of where you stand and where you go, you can change your behavior for the better. Without change, you will continue to do the same thing, and that
cannot help you even think about getting different results.



Since I was out really late on Friday with alcohol, my quality of life on Saturday was miserable. Sunday was much better physically, but not mentally.

First of all, I met with my old friend, working as a course designer at Waseda Univ. He has been with Waseda for 8 years and had a chance to work as a teacher early this year. If he choose a teaching position, his salary will be cut by 20%, but need to work only 3 days a week, meaning he can double his wage per hour. He was determined to take it, but turned out he had to go through an interview and ended up losing, even though he strongly believes he is more qualified than the others. He was furious about the fact and now thinking about seeking new jobs including finding his own business. I was sorry to hear that but nice to know that he is trying to turn the negative into some change for the better. He is still hot and would like to know how he will be doing in 3 months.

Sunday, as usually I started my day with reading newspaper. Match fixing in Sumo is devastating. People has long believed that SUMO is far apart from match fixing, but now it has been proved that it has not been. Easy to corrupt but difficult to regain is credibility. Interested in how JSA tackle the issue.

Lastly, human being. Why do people need to show anger in a threatening manner? I understand showing anger is important, but quite a few people show furious anger with roar. Roaring is just like pouring oil into fire. If you are in a parental situation, roaring may work to discipline his or her kids with infrequent usage of it. But among adults, I believe it will never work.

I hope emotional fight will disappear from the world.



Yesterday I happened to have a chance to go our for dinner with regional branch managers. CRDM business in Japan is composed of 17 branches and 3 of them were in Tokyo last night. One of my challenges now is to understand business deeper, helping identify root cause of identified issues and come up with viable options largely through number analysis. From that perspective, I was lucky last night to have the occasion to learn what is going on in the sales field through dialogue with them.
As financial analyst, I spend most of my time in the office, talking with VP of business, Mktg people, Operation people, and Regional Sales Directors in HQ or number analysis with the sole purpose of how I can help influence the business in a positive manner. Without on-hand field experience, I have test my assumptions with those mentioned above. Through the dialogue last night, I have identified the limitation of doing that in that each region has its unique business environment in terms of quality of reps relationship with dealers and hospitals, competitive environment etc.
I am still not certain about the degree of difference but my guts feeling is it is significant enough.
Then, I need to change my perspective for assumptions building to view business from homogeneously to heterogeneously, more sensitive to difference in each region. Thus ingraining the heterogeneity perspective in our culture will be the next challenge for me.


Drinking with co-workers

Yesterday I went out with two of my co-workers after work from 8 to 11.
Very nice to have frank, non-reservation kinda conversation about our firm sometimes.
Sharing true idea with high confidentiality has made us more bonded.
Eventually we all agreed we should bring this firm up to speed and more than where it is now
and as long as we work here, we continue to have strong determination to make the best out of us to help this firm far better.


Termination of sales head

Today a very important guy in our business unit was made redundant.
One thing I have learned is no matter how important a person is to your organization, he or she should show trust and respect to his or her manager. A psychologist says people work only either out of curiosity or fear. People making their living just purely out of curiosity on a daily life must be happy people. People sometimes need fear or at least concern to do things. From that perspective, assigning authority or power to people is mandatory to keep order in a organization. I believe our leader made the right decision in the end though it could cost more.


2011 has begun with hectic lifestyle.

Happy New Year 2011!

This year has started with a busy but fruitful trip to USA.

Fiscal year for the company I have been working for starts from May and
now is the midst of finalizing top&bottom line plan for FY12.
To discuss FY12 financial plan of Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management business unit for Japan, I participated in annual planning meetings held at Minneapolis, where the company's HQ are located.

Taking advantage of this opportunity, I decided to do 3 things on top.
1. Taking US CPA exam
2. Hanging out with friends back in MBA who live in MN.
3. Heading out to Chicago and meet one of my friend now studying MBA at Kellogg.

I could not do only No.1 since finalizing slides for upcoming meeting took much more time.
Studying for USCPA has not been exciting. It has given me opportunities to learn about Accounting but it is time consuming and not interesting in that understanding rules and thought behind is what requires most. I have determined to get it done even before joining MBA and not taking exam has made me demoralized a bit because my life loaded with the determination to obtain it would continue longer. I obtained BEC back in April and it will be valid till Oct 2011. 3 more to go and I hope to get them done by Aug this year.

Hanging out with my friends, a couple, reminded me of the value of the global friend network I have built during my MBA program. Feeling I was so happy to feel not only that they had been much happier in Minneapolis but also that they seemed happy to know that I had been fine. Experiencing we are still connected with distance even without seeing for year and a half has made me happy.

After business meeting, I headed to Chicago, where my friend has lived for Kellogg MBA program. He and I joined the same company simultaneously back in 1999 and we have been good rivals and friends since then. He visited Durham when he applied for MBA programs including Duke when I was a student there. This time he was a MBA student at Kellogg and I was a MBA graduate. Through him, I found out he experienced very similar things in terms of interaction among people with different nations. First year he interacted with non-Asians equally with Asians but recently more with Asians, which was what I experienced 2 years ago. We observed the same reasons behind. Common interests. Americans love talking movies because talking movies is one of the most general conversation topic in the state. Just before Chicago, I hung out with local employees at pub and had hard time not participating in their conversation due to the lack of knowledge about their topics. We agreed this part is something we cannot get over soon and all we can is to be patient. So I had a chance to talk with Asians at Kellogg. Mostly Korean and Chinese, let alone other Japanese students. They were all interesting but one lady who attracted my attention was a Chinese, who was born in the US and went directly to college after junior high. I expected she must be smart and turned out more than that. We talked about being parents and asked what she would do after having a baby. She responded that it is hard to imagine being a mother without directly experiencing it. There are many things that turn out to be just "Beyond imagination" and being parent is definitely one of those. Yes. What she surprised me was the e-mail I received right after I came back to Japan. The e-mail revealed that even though she was born in US, she was once sent back to Taiwan, her parents mother nation and lived separately from her parents for a while due to financial difficulty, but now they are together in the US and she loves her parents. It ended with her belief that as long as both parents are happy, their children follow. She was still thinking about the question and thought out her belief, reflecting on her life. WOW. I have been happy to know that just one meeting may have significant influence on anybody, which is a great lesson I have learned from Chicago.