Publisher April 2014

Kaizen in practice

Election reforms, ACUMEN redesign and even Everton show ongoing improvement

Simon Farrell

As mentioned on pages 11 and 15, the BCCJ will hold its annual general meeting on 23 April, at which time the new executive committee—including the president—will be announced.

One new rule worth noting this year is that no canvassing is allowed before or during the e-voting period from 9–21 April, other than a brief message from each candidate on the voting website.

This effectively means you should not be targeted, as some of you were last year, by emails from excom hopefuls outlining how and why they would help the BCCJ and other members.

Sweet spot
Many British football teams have official supporters’ clubs in Japan, with loyal members enjoying matches and quiz nights at pubs and in homes.

As the top of the 2013–2014 English Premier League season (last game 11 May) battles to a closer climax than usual, it seems to be drawing more interest in Japan and elsewhere.

Perhaps the newest such fan club here is the Tokyo Toffees, which follows the often hapless adventures of Merseyside’s “other” half, Everton.

Whether you prefer the traditional tag of “School of all Soccer Skills and Sciences”, the rather defeatist “People’s Club” or last season’s battling “Dogs of War”, Everton have recently hit top form and, for the first time in several years, have a real chance to qualify for the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Champions League next season.

If you have a sweet spot for the Toffees and would like to share it with a friendly bunch of lads bedecked in blue and white at a Footnik pub in Tokyo, please see the club’s Facebook page (Tokyo Toffees: Everton Supporters’ Club Japan; 160 likes) or email BCCJ member Dominic Ashton:

Language barrier
One of the nicest compliments I have received for BCCJ ACUMEN was from a Japanese gentleman who had lived in Wales for many years.

He said he was absolutely delighted that we use real British English spelling and vocabulary, which is so hard to find in Japan and, indeed, almost anywhere else.

So I had to stifle a laugh when I read the marketing claims of a members-only business magazine published in Tokyo: “The only English-language magazine in Japan”. Perhaps our native tongue is harder to follow than we think.

To the publisher
“I should have expected it from you guys, but the last issue just blew me away. I love the new design, but even more I love the approach you and Cliff [Cardona] used in approaching the redesign. You asked the questions I wish more organisations would ask: ‘How can this product look, feel and read better?’ It’s kaizen and ‘If it isn’t broke, break it’ at its best. You had a very good publication; your willingness to examine and redo the design is making it a great one”.

–Dr Bob Tobin, author and emeritus professor of business and commerce, Keio University