Guest Speaker: Mr. Yuzaburo Mogi, Kikkoman Corporation
On Jan 12, Professor Tomonori Ito welcomed Mr. Yuzaburo Mogi, Honorary CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kikkoman Corporation, as a guest speaker for the Mastery Launch Pad in the EMBA program. The theme of the session was "How to create a 100 year old company." Kikkoman has just celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, but the company has changed from a domestic soy sauce company to a global food conglomerate over the 100 years. The session aimed at discovering how all the changes and innovation were possible at Kikkoman over the 100 years while maintaining the corporate philosophy of the company.
Following a video and a short presentation by Mr Mogi on an overview of Kikkoman's business, Mr. Mogi and Professor Ito had a 45 minute dialogue in which how Kikkoman expanded its business overseas, its diversification strategy, risk taking, and leadership were discussed. Following this dialogue, the students had a one hour Q&A session with Mr. Mogi. He explained the students how he encourages his staff to take risk, mistakes that are tolerated vs. not tolerated, limitations on market research, the value of business school education, the need for a long term strategy etc. Having been the CEO and Honorary CEO of Kikkoman for 22 years, Mr. Mogi shared many insightful thoughts and precious experience on innovation, risk taking and leadership with the students.