Noboru Konno, Professor at Tama Graduate School of Business / Masakatsu Mori, Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd.
The Kyōsō-no-Mori Webinar; Innovation Starting with a Question is an event hosted by the Hitachi R&D Group that was live streamed on June 8, 2021. As our guest, we welcomed Dr. Noboru Konno, a professor at Tama Graduate School of Business who has been advocating innovation by Purpose Engineering. In the final part of this series, Dr. Konno spoke to us about environmental issues and corporate actions that need to be taken.

Japanese

Click here for "[Part 1] What is Social Innovation? (First half)"
Click here for "[Part 2] What is Social Innovation? (Second half)"
Click here for "[Part 3] What is a purpose?"

"Transition" management needed in the age of environmental revolution

— The environment is one of the most poignant issues we must tackle at the moment. This is something much more than envisioning the future of the world. There may be various pathways leading to problem-solving. We hope to hear some thoughts from you both.

Dr. Konno
Once, I heard that Hitachi was using the keyword "transition" to engage in environmental issues. Transition is very important. But to create an environmental revolution, the transition may not be as simple as changing the existing system A to the new system B. The world may experience a continuation of complex situations such as launching the new system B while maintaining system A.

If so, it will be important to not only promote transition but also management. What is the purpose of changing the system? What happens if there is a problem in the system? I think that setting purposes as if you are thinking about scenarios may lead to transition management.

画像1: "Transition" management needed in the age of environmental revolution

Mori
I agree with you. To achieve carbon neutrality (to reduce CO2 emissions to net-zero) by 2050, where do we have to be by 2040? And in order to achieve that, what should we do in 2030? They have recently been saying that we need to use this backcasting way of thinking. As we question what we need to do to create a plausible future, we are working on taking on the challenge of setting transitional scenarios together with various economic forecasts and people's values, as one example.

However, not everything will go as planned, and I think there will be regional differences on how things are handled. I believe a challenge for us is adapting solutions depending on regional conditions, while collectively managing the goal of carbon neutrality. With Hitachi's concept of transition as a springboard, we are collaborating with stakeholders to think about what kind of big purposes we need to set and what kind of small and medium purposes should be established to match that larger purpose.

画像2: "Transition" management needed in the age of environmental revolution

From a story to a narrative

Dr. Konno
Recently, an expert in marketing was talking about "from a story to a narrative," which I thought was interesting. Narrative means a way of explaining or a manner of telling something. In other words, analyzing an existing successful case and trying to adapt its essence to stories of the past won't work. From now on, we need an individual narrative matching each time and situation, a power to narrate what is happening "here at this moment." I think this is a form of what design can do.

And as I have kept repeating, the important thing is to narrate the story while being aware of the big purpose, and putting it into action. I feel that this is what Hitachi is trying to accomplish.

Mori
Exactly. At our R&D Group's Global Center for Social Innovation (CSI), where I belong, there are many designers and researchers who are, in a sense, strongly attached to their work. My hope is to convey how these people are questioning the society in the form of a narrative.

Dr. Konno
Hitachi's engagement is a benchmark for Japan's industry as a whole. I will continue to keep my eyes on it.

— While creating a solution from cutting-edge technology is not enough, envisioning pretty images while creating something that doesn't move is also not enough. I strongly felt the importance of thinking, questioning, and putting into action how everyone can change society together. Dr. Konno and Mr. Mori, thank you very much for the highly interesting stories.

画像1: Innovation Starting with a Question - Vol. 1 Purpose and Social Innovation Business
[Part 4] How should companies tackle environmental issues?

Noboru Konno
Professor of the Department of Management and Information Sciences at Tama Graduate School of Business

Chairperson and Director of Japan Innovation Network, President of the Future Center Alliance Japan (FCAJ), and Managing Director of ECOSYX LAB, INC. After receiving his B.A. from the Department of Architecture, School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, he gained a PhD in Management Information Science. In addition to popularizing the concepts of design management, knowledge creation management, purpose engineering, and innovation management, he is also involved in practical activities, such as leadership education, organizational transformation, workplace design, and urban development projects all based on organizational and societal knowledge ecology. He is also heavily involved in creating innovation opportunities and networking activities with the world’s top intellectuals through the FCAJ and Topos Conferences. He served as a juror for the Good Design Award in the design management field from 2004 to 2012. His multiple publications include: Innovate by Design-based Management; Art Company; and The Grammar of Knowledge Creating Management for Prudent Capitalism (co-authored with Japanese organizational theorist Ikujiro Nonaka).

画像2: Innovation Starting with a Question - Vol. 1 Purpose and Social Innovation Business
[Part 4] How should companies tackle environmental issues?

Masakatsu Mori
General Manager, Global Center for Social Innovation
Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd.

Masakatsu Mori joined Hitachi, Ltd. after obtaining his master’s degree from the Graduate School of Engineering at Kyoto University in 1994. As a researcher in the Systems Development Laboratory, he worked on new services and solutions using cutting-edge digital technologies. He was also a visiting scholar at University of California, San Diego from 2003 to 2004. After leading the Planning Office at the Yokohama Research Laboratory and Production Engineering R&D, he was appointed to lead European R&D as Corporate CTO as well as General Manager of the European R&D Centre of Hitachi Europe, Ltd. in 2018. He was appointed to his current position in April 2020. He has a PhD in Information Science and Technology.

画像3: Innovation Starting with a Question - Vol. 1 Purpose and Social Innovation Business
[Part 4] How should companies tackle environmental issues?

Yukinobu Maruyama, host
Head of Design, Global Center for Social Innovation – Tokyo
Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd.

After joining Hitachi, Yukinobu Maruyama built his career as a product designer. He was involved in the foundation of Hitachi Human Interaction Laboratory in 2001 and launched the field of vision design research in 2010 before becoming laboratory manager of the Experience Design Lab UK Office in 2016. After returning to Japan, he worked in robotics, AI, and digital city service design before being dispatched to Hitachi Global Life Solutions, Inc. to promote a vision-driven product development strategy. He is also involved in developing design methodology and human resource education plan. He took up his current position in 2020.

シリーズ紹介

[特集]ポストコロナの社会とビジネス

破壊の先にある創造へ――。「グレート・リセット」後に求められる社会とビジネスのあり方を、各界の有識者の言葉から探ります。
※グレート・リセット:2021年夏に開催される予定の次回世界経済フォーラム年次総会、通称ダボス会議におけるテーマ

楠木建の「EFOビジネスレビュー」

一橋ビジネススクールの楠木教授の思考の一端を、切れ味鋭い論理を、毎週月曜日に配信。

山口周の「経営の足元を築くリベラルアーツ」

山口周氏をナビゲーターに迎え、経営者・リーダーが、自身の価値基準を持つための「リベラルアーツ」について考える。

八尋俊英の「創造者たち」~次世代ビジネスへの視点~

八尋俊英日立コンサルティング社長を導き手とし、新世代のイノベーターをゲストに社会課題の解決策や新たな社会価値のつくり方を探る。

協創の森から

社会課題の解決に向けたビジョンの共有を図る研究開発拠点『協創の森』。ここから発信される対話に耳を傾けてください。

新たな企業経営のかたち

パーパス、CSV、ESG、カスタマーサクセス、M&A、ブロックチェーン、アジャイルなど、経営戦略のキーワードをテーマに取り上げ、第一人者に話を聞く。

Key Leader's Voice

各界のビジネスリーダーに未来を創造する戦略を聞く。

経営戦略としての「働き方改革」

今後企業が持続的に成長していくために経営戦略として取り組むべき「働き方改革」。その本質に迫る。

ニューリーダーが開拓する新しい未来

新たな価値創造に挑む気鋭のニューリーダーに、その原動力と開拓する新しい未来を聞く。

日本発の経営戦略「J-CSV」の可能性

日本的経営の良さを活かしながら利益を生み出す「J-CSV」。その先進的な取り組みに迫る。

ベンチマーク・ニッポン

日本を元気にするイノベーターの、ビジョンと取り組みに迫る。

デジタル時代のマーケティング戦略

マーケティングにおける「デジタルシフト」を、いかに進めるべきか、第一人者の声や企業事例を紹介する。

私の仕事術

私たちの仕事や働き方の発想を変える、膨らませるヒントに満ちた偉才たちの仕事術を学ぶ。

EFO Salon

さまざまな分野で活躍する方からビジネスや生活における新しい気づきや価値を見出すための話を聞く。

禅のこころ

全生庵七世 平井正修住職に、こころを調え、自己と向き合う『禅のこころ』について話を聞く。

岩倉使節団が遺したもの—日本近代化への懸け橋

明治期に始まる産業振興と文明開化、日本社会の近代化に多大な影響を及ぼした岩倉使節団。産業史的な観点から、いま一度この偉業を見つめ直す。

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