Passing the Baton: A Message of Thanks and Moving Forward | バトンタッチ: 感謝と前進のメッセージ

Originally written in English

This article first published at The HR Agenda Magazine [July-October 2018 issue].

Here’s to 11 years (and counting) of learning, growing and connecting. | 学び・成長・結びつきのこれまでの11年間(そして、それは続いていく)の始まりは、ここから。

More than 11 years ago, a bunch of seven individuals got together at a famous steakhouse in Shibuya at the heart of Tokyo and discussed over steaks and beers what was the then state of human resources management (HRM) in Japan. It didn’t take a lot of beers and liquors for everyone to blurt out our “war stories,” frustrations, and bashing about how HR in Japan is years away from its Western counterparts.

However, we didn’t stop there. Come dessert time, we concluded and agreed that we have to do something about the things we were bitching about and became part of the solution itself. It was then that The Japan HR Link Network (JHRL), later renamed as The Japan HR Society (JHRS), came into being.

That day was a turning point because, from that day forward, JHRS began its journey to help advance the practice of the HR profession in Japan.

From that day forward, JHRS began publishing a monthly e-newsletter called “The HR Agenda” (which would evolve to become Japan’s first and only bilingual HR magazine in 2011) while continuing the tradition of sending an e-newsletter known as JHRS Bi-Weekly.

From that day forward, JHRS began to organize learning events, seminars and workshops designed to not only serve as networking opportunities but most importantly, as learning opportunities for our members and the broader HR community in Japan and to help them apply those learnings to their careers and workplaces.

From that day forward, JHRS began forging lasting partnerships and relationships with both domestic and international organizations that share our common mission and values of advancing the HR agenda.

From that day forward, JHRS established various advocacy programs such as Green HR, Women in HR, The CEO-HR Forum and Responsible Recruiting, and fora such as AskHR and HR Legal Clinic designed to increase member engagement, interaction, and bring forth a sense of community and camaraderie.

From that day forward, JHRS has actively participated in local and global HR conferences as speakers, panelists and participants with the aim of fostering the free exchange of ideas and best practices that affect and influence the practice of HR in the world.

From that day forward, JHRS began to grow (and continues to grow) from seven individuals to hundreds of members, partners, subscribers, friends and supporters.

Fast forward to 11 years, JHRS is again at a turning point.

On September 1, 2018, I will be retiring as the Founding Chief Community Officer of JHRS and Managing Editor of The HR Agenda Magazine. I will be passing the baton to our new Chief Community Officer who is indeed one of JHRS’ long-time member, friend and supporter: Mr. Yoshiharu Matsui, Ed.D., MBA and as many of you know, one of the hosts of JHRS’ AskHR Forum.

Dr. Matsui brings forth with him extensive credentials, network, experience and expertise in the area of HR management both from Japan and international perspectives. I highly invite you to read his Welcome Message at the JHRS Community section of this issue of The HR Agenda and join me in welcoming Dr. Matsui as JHRS Chief Community Officer and The HR Agenda’s Managing Editor. Dr. Matsui and I will be working together to fully transition my duties and responsibilities to him by the end of the year.

Of course, there is a part of me that feels sad as this role and JHRS had been an integral part of my professional and personal lives. I do feel that JHRS and The HR Agenda are my babies and that I am their parent.

However, just like in real life and actual parenthood, there comes a time that parents need to let go of their children so that their children can spread their wings and learn how to fly on their own and begin their learning journeys. I am just truly glad and thankful that Dr. Matsui will be taking over from me and bring JHRS and The HR Agenda to their next stage of growth and development. In short, we are in good hands, and the future is bright for JHRS and The HR Agenda.

As for me, I will be pursuing my M.A./Ph.D. studies on Positive Organizational Psychology at the prestigious Claremont Graduate University (CGU) in California, U.S. from Spring 2019. CGU, established in 1925, is the oldest all-graduate institution in the U.S. It is part of the Claremont Consortium which is patterned after U.K.’s Oxford and Cambridge University Systems and composes five undergraduate universities and two graduate-only universities: CGU (where The Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management is part of) and The Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences.

I am truly looking forward to this new chapter of my learning journey as I explore, learn, and even create new knowledge about Positive Organizational Psychology from pioneers and leading experts in the field. Most of all, I am looking forward to applying these new learning and knowled