Interim executive director September 2017

Back in action

Handing over the reins

It’s been a busy start back in the office for the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) team after the summer holidays. We were straight in to action last week with the visit to Japan by a trade delegation led by Prime Minister Theresa May.

One of the highlights was attending the Japan–UK Business Forum, where the theme for discussion was “Innovation Through Partnership”. When we think of innovation, our minds often think immediately of technology and gadgets, but innovation can come in the form of ideas, new ways of working or new processes. As the BCCJ is constantly stressing, a diverse group of people make a more successful business. Different experiences and outlooks lead to new ideas and suggestions, and drive innovation.

One way to ensure diversity across your business is through collaboration, and we are seeing many successful UK–Japan collaborations across a range of fields including nuclear, fintech, education and artificial intelligence, to name a few. It was pointed out at the forum that one of the best ways to nurture innovation and increase collaboration and partnerships is to be a bit less “British” and shout about our successes.

Shout it out
We recognise and celebrate business success at the British Business Awards (BBA) every year. What better way to let the world know about recent triumphs than nominating your business for an award? Shout about your achievement to a captive audience of potential partners, customers, investors, vendors and employees.

There are five award categories:

  • Company of the Year
  • UK–Japan Partnership
  • Innovation
  • Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Community Contribution

Take a look at the BCCJ website to see for which of the awards your business best qualifies. Nominating is easy and free; simply complete the online nomination form.

Stay engaged
This month I bid farewell to the BCCJ and hand back the reins to Executive Director Lori Henderson MBE, who returns from maternity leave. It’s been a fun and rewarding experience to lead the chamber; I’m very grateful to the BCCJ team and Executive Committee for their support, and I wish Lori all the best on her return to work and for her future at the BCCJ.

Reporting for duty

Lori Henderson MBE

It’s my great pleasure to return to the role of executive director, and my first day back proved to be an exciting start to this new chapter.

Not only did our team bid farewell to Prime Minister Theresa May at a high-profile reception hosted by the British Embassy Tokyo following her trade deal talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but also my husband successfully navigated his first full day of paternity leave with our 10-month-old daughter.

Since then, Emma, who has done a stellar job as interim executive director has taken up a new role as head of media, communications and marketing at the embassy.

Moving ahead, we are laying the groundwork for a successful autumn and winter season at the chamber, as well as reviewing the BCCJ’s communication strategy.

I look forward to reconnecting with you and your teams in person and on social media over the coming days and weeks.