Table Speech

Golf and Data

September 26, 2018

Mr. Nobuya Ishizaka

 I feel a bit presumptuous to talk about golf in front of many golf experts today. However, let me tell you about “Golf and Data”, as I come in contact with golf-related data in my daily business operations.

 Golf is a sport closely related to figures and data. A carry is the distance a ball travels through the air. With the remarkable development of golf gear, it is said that a carry has extended tremendously. However, a carry of male PGA Tour golfers in the USA actually extended only 2.5 yards during the past 15 years. The average driver carry was 292.5 yards in 2017. On the other hand, the driver carry of average amateur golfers (handicap 13~20) was 150 yards for females and 198 yards for males. There is a difference of about 100 yards between male professional golfers and amateur golfers. Considering everyone must benefit from the advancement of golf gear, why is the difference so large? I guess the difference comes from basic physical power and fitness. If you want to extend your carry, it might be wiser to train your body rather than buying a new driver.

 Secondly, it might sound like Science Fiction, but you will be able to collect and accumulate information of your shot and swing, condition of the course, weather forecast and even emotional data in the near future by making the most use of highly advanced equipment (sensors/cameras) and software programs. While you are on the golf course, a virtual caddy or coach will accompany you, analyze your present and past data in real time, instantly advise you which club or swing you should apply and whisper in your ears with a voice of your liking.

 Finally let me share with you a data that shows how golf can contribute to the society. Since a donation worth 10,000 dollars was made for the first time in 1938 by PGA Tour, nearly 2.6 billion dollars (approximately 280 billion yen) in total were donated to various charities over the past 50 years. This amount is by far the highest among top sports of the world. Furthermore, over 100,000 volunteers work for the operation of the tournament each year. As most of the tournaments are operated by NPOs, nearly 100% of the proceeds are directed for donation. PGA Tour is a superb example that proves how sport can make a social contribution and provide social services not only in terms of the amount of funds raised but also the number of volunteers engaged. Currently the Japanese male PGA Tour is not very popular but I believe there remains some room for improvement by learning from good initiatives taken in the USA.

Venturing on Leadership Basic Education

September 26, 2018

Mr. Jiro Tamura
Professor of Law, Keio University

 As a professor of Keio University, Faculty of Law, I am teaching hard skills such as antimonopoly law and economic law as well as soft skills which include negotiation studies and leadership education. Hard skills focus on acquiring knowledge, while soft skills aim to master communication skills necessary to demonstrate leadership.

 I realized this when I went to Harvard Law School and attended the course on Negotiation Studies. Until then I thought knowledge was most important to study law. Through the course, I learned the value of soft skills for problem solving by engaging myself in active learning and mock negotiations.

 Since then I became interested in and started to develop Negotiation Studies merging Harvard teaching with Japanese precepts of Oumi merchants that advocate for benefiting all stakeholders including the merchants, customers and society as a whole.

 Recently Liberal Arts Education is much talked about. In Japan it is often interpreted as acquiring hard skills like attending classes and obtaining more knowledge. However, soft skills like negotiation or dialogue are more important. Through dialogue we learn how to build trusting relationships and to overcome hardships that may not always have clear solutions.

 A Greek philosopher Socrates had not written a single book but unfolded his philosophy through repeated discussions, which is the basis of Liberal Arts Education. Therefore, I am advocating now in Japan to master logical thinking and skills for dialogue, negotiation and decision making. For adults and highly motivated students, we conduct the class of dialogue and discussions named “Fukuzawa Bunmei Juku”, going back to the basics of Keio University. For undergraduates, I conduct 2 active learning classes “Basic Leadership” and “Negotiation Studies”.

 Leadership demonstrated by the Kennedy brothers at the time of Cuban Crisis exemplifies the impact of negotiations that form the basis of Leadership Education. John and Robert suppressed the majority opinion of preemptive strike, made a spot inspection by a naval blockade and elicited the minority opinion of dialogue with Russia at the National Security Council. John sent Robert to the Russian Ambassador for negotiations and succeeded in building a relationship of trust. As a result, Russian forces withdrew from Cuba and the world was saved from the imminent danger of nuclear war.

 As you can see from this example, leadership power that combines both hard and soft skills is invaluable. Yukichi Fukuzawa, the founder of Keio University, called this “jitsugaku” (a science with practical applications), and aimed at leadership education through dialogue and discussions. The spirit of this “jitsugaku” is now practiced in Harvard University as “Pracademic”, combining “practice” and “academic”. It is my sincere hope that many more people will venture on leadership basic education and spread it throughout our country. Let me ask for your cooperation and guidance.