“Diversity” rules at 2018 Group Conference

 The 4th edition of the annual Kyodo News Group Conference was held in July, with a team from our own Kyodo News Digital among the presenters exploring this year’s theme of “ichioshi” (イチオシ). 

Under a competition-style format, our four-member KD presentation team (with two more in support) was one of seven teams comprising companies in the Kyodo group giving presentations at this year’s conference. Although winners are decided and prizes awarded (through audience vote), the greater purpose of the conference is to foster relationships, communication, and a greater awareness of the activities of each company.

“Ichioshi” then, would seem to be a good theme via which to spread the word. The first order of business for the KD team this year though was to explain to their overseas team member (ME) what “ichioshi” actually means.  

“Strong point” and “best recommendation” seemed to be the favorites among the early translations. Oddly enough though, it was through these attempts at explaining “ichioshi” that we found the form of our presentation, and for me, the best way of giving meaning to the term.

We asked the question to everyone at Kyodo News Digital what, to them, is this company’s “ichioshi,” and invited them to express this in the form of a kanji character.

(KD group conference team members brushing up their calligraphy skills)

The responses were varied and interesting and we used them to come up with a word and unique set of kanji that we felt best expressed KD’s ichioshi -- “diversity” / 多様性 / tayosei.

Diversity in KD services. Diversity in people working at KD. Diversity in their skills, talents, and interests. Diversity, yes, but using diversity to reach singular and shared goals. And in this case, to put together a presentation.

(It’s all about the style!)

The format of our presentation then, was a video that covered interviews with team members, image galleries of ichioshi kanji that we collected, a word from the CEO, and finally footage of yours truly attempting to write our final kanji in the traditional Japanese calligraphy form of “shuji” (to very mixed results), before revealing it to audience members at the conference.

(Practice time!)

I think the presentation worked well at expressing KD’s “ichioshi.” The only problem was right at the end when I was asked by the conference MC how to pronounce our kanji. I completely forgot!

(Yours truly displaying KD’s “ichioshi.”)

Still, it got a laugh, and I certainly won’t forget the experience of working with the KD group conference team.

Well done everyone!