Masakatsu Mori, Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd. / Yoshimitsu Kaji, Senior Principal of Hitachi Lumada Innovation Hub, and Chairman and Executive Sustainable Development Officer of Cinnamon AI
A dialogue between Yoshimitsu Kaji, Senior Principal of Hitachi Lumada Innovation Hub and Chairman of an AI startup, and Masakatsu Mori from Research & Development Group, Hitachi. In part 2, they talked about the importance of a "place" where people can interact beyond the boundaries of organization to promote DX.

Japanese

[Part 1] How does DX relate to solving social issues?
[Part 2] Why is 'a place to connect beyond boundaries' important?
[Part 3] What is the role of DX in the Social Innovation Business?

Japanese people should take a step away from their "virtues"

Maruyama
At the opening ceremony of the Lumada Innovation Hub Tokyo this April, you were saying that "In order to promote DX while co-creating with customers and business partners, 'a place to connect beyond boundaries' will be important." What kinds of thoughts or ideas were behind those words?

Kaji
Japanese people have the "virtue of modesty." They respect others and do not invade each other's privacy. It's an admirable virtue, but let's dare to step away. In other words, let's try to step out from our own comfort zone and into other's, and share each other's thoughts. These interactions across boundaries will be very important for the co-creation of innovations.

This Lumada Innovation Hub Tokyo is a physical place, where people from various organizations gather to have face-to-face discussions. So a wide variety of chemical reactions can be expected. And similar chemical reactions may occur in online spaces as well. So I used the expression "a place to connect beyond boundaries" in the hope that this place will act as the crossroads between virtual and reality.

画像: Japanese people should take a step away from their "virtues"

I, myself am involved in the management of a startup called Cinnamon AI and also provide support for Kamakura City in addition to my work at Hitachi. What I feel when talking to each organization is that everyone has similar thoughts and is aiming at similar goals. I think it stems largely from the appearance of the SDGs which sets a common goal for all mankind. So now, there is a common language called the SDGs that everyone from all different sectors can use to have discussions. That is why we should more proactively cross the boundaries and connect with people from various organizations while maintaining respect for one another. I think this way of co-creation will give us a hint to the ideal future of mankind.

Maruyama
I get the impression that you yourself are being a kind of boundary object (*) in making a co-creation site. Mr. Mori, you are also managing a co-creation site at Research & Development Group, Hitachi. What do you think about what is being said?

* Boundary object: a mediator that induces activities across boundaries of organizations and interactions between different organizations.

Mori
What you said about crossing boundaries reminded me of Toyota's "Kaizen." Kaizen is an initiative to improve the production process by not just focusing on one process that you are responsible for, but also on the pre- and post-processes and by having an overview of the whole process. This can also be applied to the creation of innovation and new systems. We should break down the barriers between different fields and look at things from a wider perspective. I think Japanese people have the flexibility of simultaneously having the virtue of modesty and a view of the world outside their own boundaries. If we can make the most of that trait, I think more new innovations can happen from Japan.

What causes innovation is "weak ties" rather than close relationships

Mori
As a Research & Development Group, Hitachi, we have a facility called "Kyōsō-no-Mori" in Kokubunji, Tokyo, where we promote co-creation by welcoming people from various companies and the government. There, as Mr. Kaji pointed out earlier, people are using the SDGs as a common language for discussion, saying things like "let's solve problem X mentioned in the SDGs."

画像: What causes innovation is "weak ties" rather than close relationships

In our first webinar, Dr. Noboru Konno, professor at Tama Graduate School of Business, explained that to carry out a project, it is essential to set a mid-purpose (= driving objective) connecting a big purpose to make the world a better place and a small purpose which is the personal wish of an individual or an organization. The 17 goals of the SDGs will be the guide to set a big purpose, and because people from different organizations can connect not only physically but also remotely, those who empathize with the driving objective gather in one place and advance the project together. I feel that it is becoming easier to adopt such frameworks. So we hope that we can energize Japan by facilitating opportunities for co-creation.

Kaji
Mark Granovetter, an American sociologist and an expert in innovation studies, proposed the theory of "The strength of weak ties." In other words, the strength of fleeting relationships. It is a hypothesis that networks of casual acquaintances rather than close relationships such as family, close friends, or colleagues working in the same office everyday, can create more opportunities for innovation. I hope that Lumada Innovation Hub Tokyo will become a place where "weak ties" will be produced on a large scale.

Click here for "[Part 3] What is the role of DX in the Social Innovation Business?"

画像1: Innovation Starting with a Question - Vol.3 What is society-changing DX?
[Part 2] Why is "a place to connect beyond boundaries" important?

Yoshimitsu Kaji
Senior Principal of Lumada Innovation Hub, Hitachi, Ltd.
Chairman and Executive Sustainable Development Officer of Cinnamon AI, smart city promotion consultant for Kamakura City

After receiving his B.A. from the Aoyama Gakuin University Department of Economics, Yoshimitsu Kaji worked at Fuji Bank and advertising agencies before graduating Kellogg Graduate School of Management and earning an MBA. After his graduation, he worked at companies and organizations including Coca-Cola (Japan), Time Warner, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Nissan Motor Company, and the Tokyo Olympic Bid Committee before working for the Office of Global Communications in the Prime Minister's Office. He then moved on to work for Accenture Japan, where his duties included heading branding, innovation, work style reform, SDGs, and local expansion. He also served as Slush Asia Co-CMO in 2016, and helped drive startup momentum in Japan.

画像2: Innovation Starting with a Question - Vol.3 What is society-changing DX?
[Part 2] Why is "a place to connect beyond boundaries" important?

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 also has a PhD in Information Science and Technology.

画像3: Innovation Starting with a Question - Vol.3 What is society-changing DX?
[Part 2] Why is "a place to connect beyond boundaries" important?

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。

This article is a sponsored article by
''.