Editor's Note | エディターズノート

Editor's Note | エディターズノート

Atley Jonas | ヨナシュ・アトリ

Originally written in English

     Approaching a theme as broad as “HR Global Leadership” from the editor’s chair is extremely daunting. Why couldn’t we have chosen something nice and simple, like Workplace Wellness (Oct-Dec 2014)? As we went around the table during our editorial staff meeting, I asked if anyone had any good ideas for narrowing the scope a little. But by the end of the meeting, the broadness of the theme had not diminished. But dread eventually turned to excitement as I realized that this also meant that we had the freedom to choose any direction we wanted.

     When it came time to design the cover for this issue though, I contemplated why it’s so difficult to work with topics so vast? And it occurred to me that it’s much like being in a ship on the ocean, with nothing but water all around you and no sight of land. The ship can move in any direction, and the captain is free to choose the course to set, but choose she must. Then, once she has chosen, strong leadership will be what propels the ship and crew forward, and to an eventual distant shore, safe and sound. Also, how à propos to have such a theme for the New Year: the symbolism of new directions, new beginnings and embarking on a new adventure!

     The articles that characterize the Jan-Mar 2015 issue are all consistent with this theme. In our Community News column, Elizabeth Handover reflects on the role of women in HR and strong female leaders, as they continue to shine from their respective industries and lead their organizations forward. (Which is why I insisted that our design team put a strong, female captain on our cover). Our feature article by Sarah Parsons discusses what it means to lead effectively while navigating different cultural landscapes, based on the Hofstedian dimension of collectivism versus individualism, with some provoking examples of good and not-so-good applications of culture-led leadership. We interview as this issue’s HR Rising Star the Organization Development Manager of DHL Japan Inc., a company that specializes in being global, and Stephen Paskoff with Tucker Miller bring the world back into unity with their discussion on Unified Business Culture. This issue’s HR Legal Clinic is a lesson on navigating a minefield of issues when downsizing a workforce across global offices. Ask HR offers specific advice for those who are being sent to work abroad (although I imagine they would be traveling by plane, rather than sailing ship, as the cover might erroneously imply). And this may be stretching the metaphor a bit far, but Stephenie Overman’s Country Focus on the U.K. may be apt, considering this nation, up until the 20th century, had the world’s largest and strongest naval fleet, with policies of global expansion and trade that have left their mark to this day.

     Finally, our Op-Ed piece, takes global leadership to the next, logical level. Drawing the parallel between glocalizing a company’s products and services, HR and an organization’s leadership must also be willing to glocalize in order to succeed. When I wrote the piece, I was drawing on several specific examples of companies operating in Japan that I’ve personally worked with. The first was a small, Tokyo-based biomedical company that was struggling to keep in the black, and it was clear that the only way forward was to expand beyond Japan’s borders. Yet, no one in the team’s leadership could find their way past the challenges that I list as being stumbling blocks. The second company was a global company. They operate in many countries, but their policies reflect a failure to glocalize, and as a result, suffer from high turnover and an inability for HR to attract new talent. A significant part of this was the fact that they based their commuting pay calculations on distance only, assuming workers were able to travel reasonably far, reasonably fast, and in a straight line (like in North America, where you can get nearly 100 kilometers in about an hour of driving by car). In Japan, the same distance would easily take double the time, and probably at least double the cost. Due to their inflexibility they were therefore unwilling to offer Japanese workers fair compensation, because by their standards for distance, even though it took 90 minutes or more by train and cost a fair amount, only 20km were covered. It was nearly impossible to convince them that their system could not work in a mountainous and populous country like Japan. That is why the issue of commuting is specifically mentioned in the article as being an important consideration.

     As a final note, don’t miss the Publisher’s Message by Jun Kabigting, as he announces some exciting, new projects for 2015. The article is called Stronger, Bolder, Better – a slogan I hope we can all live up to! Please enjoy the first quarterly magazine for 2015. We hope you find your own navigational bearings from this issue of the The HR Agenda. On behalf of the editorial staff, we wish you a Happy New Year! May it be filled with professional and personal successes. Akemashiteomedetougozaimasu!


     編集長の立場からすると「HRグローバルリーダーシップ」というテーマは極めて手ごわい。私たちはどうして「職場の健康」(201410-12月号) のように絶妙でシンプルなテーマを選ばなかったのだろう。編集会議で、テーブルの周りを歩き回ったとき、私は「誰か、もっと的を絞るいいアイディアがないか」と聞いてみた。しかし会議の終わりになっても、テーマを絞ることはできなかった。ところが、結局この不安は興奮に変わった。テーマを絞ることができないということは、私たちの求める方向性を自由に選べるということだ。



     最後に「オプエド」では、グローバルリーダーシップが次の論理的な段階へと移る。企業の商品とサービスがグローバル化するなら、それに平行してHRと組織のリーダーシップもグローバル化する覚悟がなければならない。この記事を書くとき、私が以前個人的に働いたことがあった、日本で事業展開している企業の具体例をいくつか挙げた。1つ目は東京を拠点とする小さな医療機器関連企業で、黒字を維持するのに四苦八苦していた。そして前進するには国外へ事業展開するしかないということが分かったにもかかわらず、私が難題としてリストアップした、大きな問題への解決策を見つけられる人がチームの主導者の中には誰もいなかった。2つ目は多国籍企業である。この企業は多くの国で事業を展開していたが、彼らの方針はグローバル化の失敗を招いた。そして結果的に離職者の率が高くなり、HRは新しい才能ある人材を呼び寄せることができなくなった。これについて特筆すべきことは、企業側が、従業員は当然のごとく長い距離を、速く、直線距離で移動できると仮定して、距離のみを基準にして通勤手当を計算していたことである(自動車で1時間に100 キロ近い距離を移動できる北米と同じように)。日本で同じ距離を移動するには軽く倍の時間がかかるだろうし、おそらく最低でも倍の費用がかかるだろう。この柔軟性に欠けた方針のために、企業側は日本人社員に対し公正な報酬を出し渋った。なぜなら企業側の測定基準は距離であり、たとえ90分かそれ以上電車に乗り、かなりの運賃を払っても、20キロ分しか賄われないからである。山地が多く人口密度が高い日本のような国で、このやり方が通用しないことを企業が納得するのは不可能に近かった。記事の中で特に通勤の問題を重要な検討項目として取り上げたのはこのような理由である


     2015年の季刊第1号をお楽しみください。「The HR Agenda」本号を、読者のみなさまの「舵とり」に役立てていただければ幸いです。編集スタッフ一同、新年のご挨拶を申し上げます。皆さんにとって公私ともに充実した1年となりますように。明けましておめでとうございます



Atley Jonas joined The HR Agenda team as editor in chief, in 2014. He has a Master’s in business administration, and spent 11 years living and working in Japan. He actively writes and edits for a number of U.S. and global business publications, while also pursuing several entrepreneurial ventures.


ヨナシュ・アトリ 2014年に編集長として 「The HR Agenda」に加わった。経営学修士 号(MBA)を持ち、日本に11年間生活した経験 がある。また、いくつかの米国および世界のビ ジネス誌にライター・編集者として参加するか たわら、数々の起業ベンチャーにも携わってい る。


Share this page:



---Media Partners---
WSJ Asia Logo.jpg



© 2007-2015. The Japan HR Society (JHRS). All Rights Reserved.  c/o HR Central K.K. (The JHRS Secretariat), 3-29-2-712, Kamikodanaka, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa-ken 211-0053 JAPAN | Tel: +81(0)50-3394-0198 | Fax: +81(0)3-6745-9292 | Email Us. | Read our Privacy Policy.
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software