When did you work with Jennifer Shinkai (event, date, her role, areas of expertise)? How did she add value to your organisation?
Bosch Corporation Aftermarket Japan, Gasshuku – Management Bootcamp Nov. 2019: She provided facilitator role with concepts as Points of You®, 4 Tendencies and Appreciative Inquiry in Japanese and English. Focus on Self Awareness as the source of change that needs to enable the whole organization for the transformation in the Automotive industry.
Create creative ideas and sample process to MVP with out-of-box-thinking and Design Thinking Methods, customer centricity and fun in mind.
We all left the day of facilitation exhausted, but happy with a smile for the different perspectives we had a chance to enter.
What were her strengths as a facilitator/moderator/coach? How would you describe her style? What was it like to work with her?
Empathetic and strong in group management, Jennifer always knew what the group needed (we started with a meditation! :-)) and set the tone with different tools throughout the day.
Her bilingual language skills were highly appreciated and were one of the main reasons for many managers to actively participate throughout the whole day.
Why would you recommend her to facilitate workshops/ offer coaching for other organisations?
Great input from various different sources, I met Jennifer due to a Ikigai workshop, which I thought we could do with our management group, but in the course of preparation, we realized it wasn’t the right thing. She has a huge toolset of different methods to unveil more potential in your group.
Any other comments? Questions or Ideas?
Highly recommend Jennifer, great investment of budget and time into a more inclusive and empathetic team !
Joo-Seuk Maing AA/SMS-JP, Marketing Director, BOSCH Japan
In November I attended the Mashing Up Conference again. I really love this event because it’s “cool”. It has a casual vibe and is just a bit edgier than your average D&I “empowerment” conference. The team do try to bring some different ideas to the stage as well as some local legends.
I was happy to join two discussions where I could listen to the wry and laser sharp insights of one of those legends, Chizuko Ueno, Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo who used her entrance ceremony speech as an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the reality of institutional gender discrimination in Japan. Ueno sensei has an amazing delivery style where she challenges with the sweetest, most innocent question that just stops other panelists in their tracks. It is magic to watch!
In the first session, Ueno sensei talked about the family structure – here is the info from the Mashing Up website.
“Families that get along forever = wonderful.” This value is strong in Japanese society, but it is also true there are people who are suffering due to their family relationships. What should families be like, including people who are alone, people caring for family members, and husbands and wives having different family names? Those things will be reconsidered.
One idea in particular struck me in relation to my work on Ikigai and creating long and healthy lives worth living.
Talking on the subject of 介護 (elder care), Ueno sensei mentioned that she is hearing many adult children say
“I will look after my mother because I love her. But my father?! No way! I can’t stand him.”
It struck me as such a sad and terrible view. I thought about all the fathers who have been focused on their companies with no time for their families. The result is fathers who are so focused on financially supporting the family that they become alienated from the lack of relationship.
Men’s ikigai and their role in the family
A few weeks ago as part of my Ikigai research, I met with Dr. Akihiro Hasegawa, Associate Professor at Toyo Eiwa University and an ikigai researcher. He told me a similar story. Japanese men who live in multi-generational households with their sons after retirement report a decrease in their ikigai. Dr. Hasegawa explains that this is because their ikigai was so tied up in their self identity as the breadwinner, the head of the household, that when the generational roles shift, they lose their sense of self and purpose. Dr. Hasegawa’s research shows a strong link between having an ikigai and better health, slower onset of dementia and so on.
(As a side note, I asked if there was any impact to living with adult daughters and the answer was no. It seems that the father’s ego can survive that relationship into old age!)
Again, this idea of isolated fathers struck me as so sad and yet also so avoidable if we can change the working style and support people living different types of partnerships at home with an emphasis on family first. Glen Wood is doing a lot to raise awareness on パパハラ(Papa Hara – paternity harassment). It isn’t easy for men to ask for permission to break from the サラリマン salariman stereotype and spend time with their families. But the social and personal costs of isolation in old age for these types of people are no longer sustainable.
What do you think?
How can we start to address this problem? Some efforts are being made at the policy level but what can private enterprises and individuals do to support a healthier and happier second life and what might be the positive impact on society from that.
Seems like only yesterday that I was writing this post about the start of my third year in business and in 2 weeks on June 29th, I’ll be kicking off Year 4.
Taking this time to reflect fills me with gratitude for my family, my customers and my community. Thank you so much for your support, feedback and inspiration!
One of the most important mantras for me are these three magic words:
“trust the process”
As an entrepreneur, there are times when you are not quite sure where your next opportunity will come from. However, I’ve found it is really important to keep making offers, following the ideas and work that really interests you. By having this focus on integrating my ikigai – to help create inclusive workplaces where teams can flourish doing meaningful work – I’ve been able to say “hell yes!” and “no way!” to certain projects. All in the knowledge that doing the work, getting feedback and learning along the way is all part of the evolutionary process.
With this in mind, I thought I’d use the 4 Questions of Ikigai to review my third year in business. In case you need a reminder, here is the Ikigai model:
What do I love?
I love creating aha moments, when I get goosebumps from client’s insight. I love seeing the energy and support in a room when colleagues are connecting diverse opinions.
I love creating “unexpected but precise” experiences through Points of You®. I love colour, creativity, making things, exploring, getting messy in order to grow.
I love freedom to grow my business at my pace in a way that works for my family.
I love meeting people from different industries, countries, professions and then realising in all that beautiful diversity that the common themes of humanity are universal.
We all want to belong, to be valued and to achieve mastery in something.
What am I good at?
I’m good at working in a variety of situations. I can flex to the clients needs and facilitate custom programmes to achieve their goals.
In the last year I’ve worked on executive coaching and 80 person workshops, one-off team building events, multi-day leadership programmes and 6 month journeys. I’ve facilitated programmes in English, Japanese and bilingually. I’ve worked alone and co-facilitated with talented partners. I’ve co-created workshops with clients and delivered localised global programmes through training companies.
Each programme requires a different approach and a thorough understanding of client’s requirements. Whilst creating custom programmes might not be the most sustainable business model, it certainly brings me a lot of joy and professional development.
What can I be paid for?
From client feedback, I’m coming to learn much more about the value of a third party as a change agent. As a trusted yet external partner, I can come in and challenge participants to break patterns. However, I also understand corporate life enough that I can empathise with the blockers and coach around possible solutions.
In a recent interview I was asked “how do you create a comfortable learning environment?” I was flummoxed by the question and said “I don’t really know…but I always get positive comments that I created an inclusive space where it was safe to fail.”
After the demo session, the interviewer said “you are right! we are not quite sure how you did it either but that was one of the most engaging sessions we’ve joined!”.
I’ve also learned that answering this question is one of the trickiest for many participants in Ikigai workshops!
I look forward to continuing to evolve my programmes to support this vision of my Ikigai. Can’t wait to see what this post looks like at the start of Year 5! Just before the Olympics in Tokyo 2020 – Unity in Diversity.
Recently, I’ve noticed a trend for in-house collaboration spaces. With open space, coffee bars and modern designs, these co-working spaces encourage a different energy in the workplace. The goal of the space is to bring together diverse perspectives and communication across silos. I love visiting clients offices to see how they are making inclusive work environments that motivate and inspire.
However, one thing struck me on recent office tours. They are often empty. These beautiful, expensive and expansive spaces are either empty or quiet as a library. As the spaces are still new, many companies are still running into an unexpected stumbling block when it comes to increasing collaboration. People don’t know how or when to use the space.
“If you build, it they will come”
Might work for Field of Dreams but not for collaborative spaces!
Getting people to collaborate in the space takes more than an opening event and Friday night drinks. One way is to get people to experience communication and collaboration in the space at an open event. This is where holding a corporate Points of You® Experience event with Jennifer Shinkai comes in.
What is Points of You®?
Points of You® is a creative coaching tool, originally from Israel. It is has been used globally in corporations as diverse as Google, NASA, Ikea, L’Oreal and Circque de Soleil. Personally as a Points of You® Master Trainer, I’ve facilitated group workshops in Japan around strategy, team building, inclusion, innovation and change management for luxury, manufacturing, IT, and professional services firms. With participants ranging from new grads to global leaders, from engineering to sales, Points of You® workshops encourage communication and sharing diverse perspectives. You can see more case studies at my facebook page.
What are Jennifer Shinkai’s Corporate Points of You® Experiences like?
These 90 minute workshops can be held as an 朝活 (breakfast meeting)、lunch and learn, or even as an evening workshop. They can support the activities of your ERGs, a specific team or as a way to gather diverse employees into your collaborative space.
Choose from one of the following processes and watch as your employees break patterns, open their hearts and develop a sense of belonging:
The Potential Me
Meet yourself and others from a new perspective. See how you’ve changed over the years.
A unique and fun way to introduce participants in the group using Points of You® Tools.
Why What How:
Learn the power of presence as a coach through powerful questions. Gain insight into deeper barriers to personal progress
My Life’s Wishlist:
Focus on action to drive personal goals. Share your big dreams for your life and walk the talk to action!
From July to November 2019, I’ll be offering the first 5 corporate clients to register, in-house workshops for groups of minimum 8 people at a very special rate. Contact me to find out more today.
These processes can only be offered as stand alone offerings. If you want to bring Points of You® Tools to your organisation in other workshop, please contact me.
Recently, I have attended a lot of events with panel discussions. At one event, I watched 8 panel discussions in a day. As the day wore on I tried to analyse what separated the good, the bad and the ugly!
Based on my own experience as a moderator, I’ve created 9 things you need to do as a successful moderator of a panel. What have I missed?
1. You need to have a plan
What is this panel for?
An entertaining way to spend 1 hour?
Killing time before the final keynote – probably you have bigger dreams that that!
Just as with a presentation, you should think in advance of the key takeaways that you want for the audience. You might not get them all as you will always have an element of spontaneity in there with different conversations on the day.
What are the key takeaways you expect from this session? How does it fit into the overall flow of the event or the panel series you are part of ? How do you expect your session to run? How will you allocate time on each topic. You need to share this plan with the panelists and event organizers ahead of time to make sure expectations are aligned
2. You need to think about the audience needs
As the panelist, you are the representative of the audience on the stage. It is your job to think about the demographics and what would be the most useful takeaways and discussion points. How much do people know about the topic at hand?
For me, a great moderator will help to break the fourth wall. They can engage the audience needs either through a Q&A or directing comments to the room. They have gathered information about what the audience wants to know rather than what their personal interests are.
Personally, if I know the panelists well, it can be interesting to build them up by saying why they were chosen to participate, what you expect them to bring to the panel
Reading out the bio is generally a waste of time as most conferences have a literate audience who can check it out if they are interested. Opening with a few minutes of general comments around the theme can be useful but it is easy for this to become a static talking heads round robin so be sure to watch out for that.
3. You need to connect with the panelists
Ideally meet the panelists before the event – face to face is great, virtually is also fine! And this meeting should not be 10 minutes before the panel. Find out if they have been on a panel before? What are their expectations and how are they aligned with yours?
It is great to go through questions or themes with them. Pick up on interesting stories that show diversity of thought and experience.
As an audience member, it can feel wonderful to be a fly on the wall in a high-level conversation that flows naturally. As a moderator you need to work to develop that camaraderie with panelists before the event.
Be careful not to take the camaraderie too far though. At a recent event, I felt like a voyeur as the conversation was too intimate, too many in jokes. It almost felt like the two speakers had forgotten we were there!
4. You need to build a connection between the panelists
Can you get the panelists together beforehand? Can they collaborate on a call or a shared document? The litmus test of a great panel is when the panelists are bouncing ideas off each other, listening and building on the previous persons statements.
I’ve seen panel discussions which were a series of 10 minute PPT presentations with no interaction between the speakers and no building on the ideas raised. It’s fine to have that format for speaker presentations with lots of short speeches but don’t advertise it as a panel discussion!
5. You need to be inclusive
Is everyone speaking? How much airtime are they getting? the bigger the panel, the less people speak. Melissa Thomas-Hunt did interesting research on who speaks in meetings. With 5 people in the room, 2 people will speak for 70% of the time. When 8 people are in the room, 3 people will speak for 67% of the time. As an inclusive moderator you need to manage this. At a recent conference, I saw one speaker so completely dominate that one of the other panelists was staring at the ceiling, totally disengaged!
In terms of inclusion, are different opinions and approaches being given airtime? Having controversial and diverse approaches supports audience learning and brings some zest to your panel.
Make sure the staging is so that you can make eye contact with everyone. Is there someone who you suspect will dominate the conversation? One idea comes from the old adage “keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer”
This can allow you to give them a nudge if they are going on too long. If you must share a microphone, you can even hold it so they have to ask for it! Beware though if they are sitting next to you, it can be easy for them to turn their back to you and not read your non-verbals. Be ready and willing to politely interrupt and give space to other people.
6. You need to be passionate about the subject
As the moderator, you need to drum up excitement and set the tone for the discussion. Bringing your own ideas to the panel is fine but “know your place” – you are not there as the only expert. You are there to bring the expert ideas to light!
However, keep your questions precise. Big lead ups where you show your passion and knowledge and then ask multiple questions, only complicate issues for panelists. KISS!
7. You need to be able to think on your feet
If you are going through the motions and sticking slavishly to your plan, you panel will feel formulaic. Listening and building on themes that become important makes a naturally engaging panel.
It is also important to know if there are any taboo topics that panelists or the event organizers want you to steer clear of. How will you handle them if they come up in discussion or in the Q&A?
8. You need to wrap up the key points
The moderators role is to make sense of the different ideas raised. You can do this after each theme or just in your concluding comments. What were the new pieces of information that were shared? What should the audience remember.
9. You need to finish on time
Make sure you have someone watching the clock for you and giving you time countdowns. It is absolutely fine to cut speakers, to guide when people go off topic.
You also need to keep your Q&A under control – reminders for single questions so more people can get involved is usually helpful. You may want to source questions before hand and plant people in the audience to get things started depending on your demographic. Remember to take questions from around the space and to be mindful of sourcing questions from a broad array of audience members.
I hope this has been a useful guide if you have a moderator role coming up!
Summer is over and thoughts are turning to annual budgeting, year-end parties and performance appraisals. Whilst these assessments/ appraisals/ reviews/ or whatever you call them are usually designed to motivate, many people find them a complete waste of time. However, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater! The feedback element of reviews is essential for motivation, communication, relationships, inclusion and innovation. In this post, I share 2 useful Management 3.0 practices that help to build intrinsic motivation, deepen relationship and improve communication.
Give credit where credit is due!
Recently I was reminded of the power of peer praise through the Management 3.0 Kudo Box. Let me state here I won’t get into another argument about whether it should be “kudo” or “kudos” grammatically!
All you need to focus on is that giving and receiving recognition between peers is an amazing amplifier of behaviour.
I’ve been using the Kudos Wall tool in communication and management workshops. Simple to set up, easy to explain and participants quickly engage. It’s been interesting to see what and how people recognize the contributions of others inside and outside of the training room.
At the end of the workshop, participants self-organize and choose a “kudos star”. I won’t give away the prize totally but it does allow them to bring home the ideas of giving kudos to their team!
All members get to take home their kudos cards as お土産 , a souvenir to remind them of what they were recognized for. It can be very moving to see the reactions of some participants who have spent their career only receiving “improvement points”. They experience the impact of “catch them doing something right”.
Samples to get started
Accessible and attractive cards
Final Kudos Wall
The people I work with are senior managers, experienced professionals who bring so much to the training room. The biggest takeaway from most training is sharing stories and experiences with their peers in a safe and supportive environment. The Kudos Wall has been a useful tool to share appreciation for those activities.
Real Time Feedback
A second element that you can work on is the time lag between the action and the feedback.
I’ve been using The Happiness Door during workshops to get real-time feedback from participants at lunchtime that I can then try to build into the afternoon session.
It’s a great communication tool that allows the facilitator of any meeting to get a read of the room. You can then shift the process, focus or energy as required to get the best outcomes.
In the speed of the business cycle, we often lose sight of the power of immediate feedback and miss the chance to amplify great behaviour by recognizing it. The Kudos Wall and The Happiness Door are simple ways to bring more of the good parts of performance reviews into your daily operations.
On June 29th, 2018, I’m celebrating the start of my third year in business as a Facilitator and Leadership Coach. I am extremely grateful to my family, community and clients for enabling me to bring so much energy to my work, to help so many individuals improve their own performance as leaders and professionals in Japan. I’m so lucky to have the trust and support of so many wonderful people.
I am intensely focused on working with groups within organisations, developing cross-functional communication and deeper understanding of diverse points of view. I love the passionate discussions, aha moments and feedback about the impact the training had on team performance and relationships.
What has changed in Year 2?
I’ve continued to expand my knowledge base – Professional Certified Coach with ICA, Points of You® Certified Trainer, Management 3.0 Fundamentals, Tara Mohr Playing Big Facilitators Course, BerkeleyX:GG101x The Science of Happiness. Constantly learning new ideas to help clients connect the dots.
I’ve been able to take on some really interesting clients and projects. I’m really able to focus on work that I am passionate about rather than what pays the mortgage. What a gift!
I got hooked on Spartan Racing and completed another 2 races in Japan.
What trends have I noticed from corporate clients?
Increased desire to support employees through organizational change
Focus on creating cultures of open and healthy communication
Presenting and influencing others continues to be a highly sought after skillset
Maturing of the discussion from diversity as a single-issue gender model to addressing wider issues of inclusion in some clients
Developing innovation through inclusion of diverse thought
What can you expect from me in Year 3?
Themes for workshops and support will focus on:
Innovation through Inclusion
Developing Ikigai within your Organization
Resilience during Change
Connecting the Unconnected – people, ideas or companies
To support these outcomes, I’ll continue to offer presentation skills, cross-cultural training and Points of You® Practitioner Training. My focus is on developing bite-sized development opportunities with shorter workshop sessions, on the job experiments followed by group coaching and reflection.
I will continue to support work style reform and women’s empowerment in Japan through my CSR activities:
The first signs of cherry blossoms are here which also heralds the start of a new fiscal and school year in Japan. Working mothers around the country are getting ready to enroll their children in daycare and return to work.
Here are 3 simple tips that managers can implement today to make the transition smooth for you, your employee and your business.
Looking for a new way to engage with your team members around your core values or key competencies in annual reviews?
Want to get beyond canned responses in behavioral interviews?
Using Points of You (R) The Coaching Game, you will be able to connect with your counterpart at a deeper level. You can drill down on interviewees’ key competencies in an engaging way. Whilst some behavioral interviews can feel very rehearsed (“Tell me about a time when you…”), using the Points of You (R) cards enables you to observe a more natural response as well as to see how the interviewee responds to new ideas.
In an appraisal scenario, this process will give your employee an opportunity to talk about the competencies or values in a new way. One of the key concepts of Points of You (R) is to break patterns. The process below will help you to connect with your team member in a different way and make the appraisal meaningful from the perspective of developing your professional relationship.
As part of my CSR activities, I was invited to be a part of the British School in Tokyo and Mums in Business Classroom to Boardroom Initiative for the second year running. You can see the layouts the interviewees created below. It was fascinating to see how the two young men were able to share very honest and open personal stories of struggle and achievement through this tool.
Tool: Punctum Points of You (R)
Punctum cards were used as they do not have topics assigned so it is easier to connect to the specific competency discussed. They are also more
Objective: An interview/ discussion about competencies that would not be filled with canned answers, that could not fully be prepared for. The ability to “dance in the moment” to be flexible and adaptable to new situations is an essential competency in any organization.
1. List up your corporate values, competencies. Ask participant to choose from the competencies. In this case we had 30 minutes so we covered 3 of 5 competencies.
2. Pick 3 cards (as relevant to the number of competencies), face up, to link with the chose competencies. In my example 2 cards represent competencies that are strengths, 1 represents an area which might hold you back. Notice which cards are rejected, where do the participants eyes hover, how easy is it for them to choose?
3. Ask the participant where they would like to start. Empower them to lead the discussion. You will be able to see how they structure information and how they present themselves. What can they see in the picture? How does it connect with the competency and their experience? Repeat for all cards.
4. At the end of the cards, ask the participant what insight about themselves they have gained. How can they turn that insight into action?
5. Your feedback
In an interview, you can then offer your observations. How do these competencies show up in your organization.
If this is an appraisal situation, you can offer your observations as well as clarifying what resources they might need and how you can support. What action can you commit to so you can support your employee?
To find out more about how you can use Points of You (R) in your talent development, change management and diversity and inclusion programmes, contact me to arrange a trial session for a small group to see the tool in action.
It’s a powerful tool for self-discovery, team building and leadership development, as well as at social gatherings and corporate settings. Played individually, one-on-one, by small and large groups, it can be easily adapted to every audience, objective and theme. And it’s fun!
Are you searching for ways to harness the innovative ideas of your diverse workforce?
Are you looking for an interactive workshop to mark International Women’s Day and increase collaboration across functions?
Would you like your team to experience a positive approach to solutions that allows different voices to be heard?
While many organizations in Japan are making efforts to increase diversity in terms of gender in the workforce, many companies feel that they are not able to truly leverage the unique views of the women they are hiring. The focus on the “what” and “who” of diversity, now needs to shift to the “how” of inclusion.
WinBE (Women In Business Empowerment) is a collective of three Japan-based
facilitators who are passionate about Diversity and Inclusion. In the month of March we want to help your company find more ways to harness the diverse perspectives of your women to inspire innovation.
What’s the workshop about?
In this three hour workshop, 10-100 of your employees can connect across divisions,hierarchies, gender and nationality. Using the Appreciative Inquiry approach they will create an Inclusive Meeting framework prototype that is unique to your organization.
Appreciative Inquiry is an asset-based approach to solutions that opens up your team to new ideas and perspectives. Workshop participants will discover how your organization can utilize existing strengths to develop further diversity and inclusion.
The workshop output will be a prototype design of ways that your organization can run meetings where innovation can be fostered. Meetings give voices to the diversity of thought, backgrounds and perspective. These meetings represent a different way to approach ideas and will move away from the status quo. As a follow-up activity, teams can implement in their work groups as a pilot program.
Who should attend?
The program is designed to be flexible in terms of number of participants with a minimum size of 10 and maximum size of 100. The facilitators can deliver in English and Japanese so can support an international audience. The workshop can be run across functions to increase collaboration and internal networking
March is a busy time in many corporate calendars in Japan ahead of a new financial year as well as preparing for new graduate onboarding in April.
However, March also brings many different times when we think about women and their role in Japanese society.
We start with Hina Matsuri on March 3 rd where we pray for the growth and happiness of young girls. On March 8th , we celebrate International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year’s theme is #pressforprogress.And then on March 14th, there is White Day, where we repay the giri chocolates received a month before.
WinBE would like to leverage on this awareness. Instead of marshmallows and cookies, help your organization to empower your female employees to drive growth and innovation by creating meetings where multiple voices can be heard.
We are currently taking reservations for a limited number of workshops in March,
please contact Jennifer Shinkai for more information in English or Hiroko Shinoda for more information in Japanese.
About WinBE (Women in Business Empowerment)
Setsu Suzuki, Hiroko Shinoda, Jennifer Shinkai
WinBE is a collective of three Japan-based facilitators, Setsu Suzuki, Hiroko Shinoda and Jennifer Shinkai, who came together after meeting at the 2017 Global Summit of Women. As a trusted third party, we work with organizations in Japan to develop workplaces where high-potential female leaders can drive business results and contribute to innovation across products and solutions. With our backgrounds in coaching and global leadership development, we co-create solutions with our clients to develop inclusive workplaces.
We are currently taking reservations for a limited number of workshops in March,
please contact Jennifer Shinkai for more information in English or Hiroko Shinoda
for more information in Japanese.