Formerly a Senior Manager at McKinsey & Company in Tokyo, Yoko Ishikura is today a professor at the Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy, Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. Her areas of expertise include global strategy, Problem Solving, competitiveness of Firms and Clusters, innovation and knowledge management. In 2007, her concept of “Act Globally, Think Locally,” was selected as one of the Breakthrough Ideas of 2007 in the Harvard Business Review.
Professor Ishikura has published work in both Japanese and English. Her most recent Japanese book, Strategic Shift: From OR Choices to AND Paradigm (Toyo Keizai, 2009) won rave reviews in prominent Japanese publications such as the Nihon Keizai Shimbun and Weekly Diamond, and has received a 5-star rating on Amazon Japan. In the book, Professor Ishikura suggests that in the current business landscape, Japanese firms may be better off embracing the notion of partnering, rather than the trading off, of seemingly dichotomous relationships. For example, firms do not necessarily have to view strategies as either “for profit” or “not-for-profit,” but instead create opportunities within their strategies for social activities that will benefit BOTH the community and firm.
In addition to teaching and writing, Professor Ishikura is also actively engaged in the international business community. She went from being a session panellist at the Keio SFC Open Research Forum and the Canada Innovation Symposium to moderating a speaking lunch event between designers Ken Okuyama and Naoki Sakai. As a council member, she attended the Global Agenda Council in Dubai, organised by the World Economic Forum. She was in Seoul, South Korea, as a panellist at the 10th World Knowledge Forum for the business sessions and moderated a cross-industry session for the industry partners of the World Economic Forum on Talent Mobility in New York City. At the Summer Davos in Dalian, China, organised by the World Economic Forum, Professor Ishikura was a moderator and panellist in various sessions. Back in Tokyo, she co-spoke on several occasions at sessions related to the “Summer Davos in Dalian” at the Academy Hills.