Leaders June 2014

Task forces

Members’ professional skills and experience can play an important role

I am confident that British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) members are aware of what a great job the secretariat does in carrying out chamber operations.

But what about the role of the executive committee (excom)? Democratically elected by BCCJ members through secure online voting, the role of excom to date has perhaps been a little opaque. We now plan to rectify that. Allow me to explain how excom works.

The fundamental role of the committee is to articulate BCCJ objectives and develop a strategy to achieve them.

In order to do this, excom has formed task forces to address issues including BCCJ membership, events, communications and community, as well as the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the British Business Awards and collaboration with UK Trade & Investment Japan.

Task forces formulate recommendations that are submitted for discussion and approval at excom meetings. The composition of task forces reflects the goals and priorities of the BCCJ. To that end, those concerning membership and the Tokyo Olympics were formed this year.

As I mentioned last month, the BCCJ provides a platform for business interaction. Excom’s objective is to improve members’ experience and the business opportunities provided to them. Part of our strategy for doing this is to create a larger and more diverse community of active participants in events. We aim to do this by increasing membership.

Another key theme this year is the Tokyo Olympics and the Rugby World Cup 2019 (RWC). Hosting these iconic sporting events in close succession is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for both Japan and the UK, which hosted the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, and will host RWC 2015.

Entrusted to the two host countries are common responsibilities that have engendered a bilateral commitment to collaborate and share experience. With this come opportunities for businesses to share skills and support the host cities in welcoming a global audience from around the world.

The BCCJ is well-positioned to support chamber members and stakeholders who plan to be involved in the build-up to the tournaments in Japan. The years 2019 and 2020 may seem a long way off but, given the lead time for planning, we are now in a sweet spot of activity, as organising committees flesh out their capabilities and contracts are tendered.

Over the coming months, therefore, excom will be arranging a number of events connected with the Olympics and RWC themes.

We are fortunate to have a dedicated excom whose members are committed to contributing their skills and experience through task forces. But the strength of the BCCJ lies with the combined capabilities and energy of our membership.

I therefore hope that you will contact us if you have expertise or ideas that you would like to contribute to a task force, as it is through the active involvement of our members that the BCCJ will continue to thrive.