You are on page 1of 6


ACCJ Strategic Plan and Proposed Organizational Goals

Response to Feedback from the February Leadership Forum
Table Discussions February 1, 2016

Introduce focus groups

Action: Carter JMRN Group conducts focus groups every two years on behalf of
the ACCJ. The last focus groups were held in the Spring of 2014. Approximately
50 ACCJ members, including members in Kansai and Chubu, participated in 10
focus groups. The groups were composed of a cross section of members. Going
forward, we will examine options for contracting for membership surveys,
including focus group work in 2016.

Engage CSM and CSM CEOs more

Action: The President and the Executive Director meet with a number of CSM
CEOs throughout the year to gather feedback. The office also conducts in-house
orientation sessions for large multinational company CSMs in order to help their
employees better understand how they can engage in ACCJ activities.

The CEO Forum regularly meets to host exclusive speaker events and
networking events.

To further strengthen the value of Chamber membership for CSMs, we will
propose an additional annual briefing by the President and Executive Director
for CSM CEOs.

Align CSM Membership and Company Size so that global, multinational
organizations are in the CSM category

Action: To encourage suitable Company Members to upgrade to CSM category,
the CEO Forum actively invites select Company Member CEOs to the CEO
networking events and the results have been positive with several companies
upgrading after attending the Forum.

Once we have completed our current survey of corporate membership segments,
we will be considering how corporate membership costs and benefits might be
better aligned.

Improve the flow of communication on advocacy issues within the
Chamber to all members

Action: The Chamber shares all information received from the Embassy for
distribution to members, including about upcoming events, on the ACCJ website.
The most recent example is the SelectUSA Roadshow. The Chamber also shares
information on its Facebook and Twitter pages.

2016 ACCJ Strategic Plan and Proposed Organizational Goals

Response to Feedback from the February Leadership Forum
Table Discussions February 1, 2016

Engage SME members

Comments from leaders:
SMEs are the engine for economic and job growth.
The Chamber needs to define exactly what an SME is and ensure their
needs are met.
SME members would like succinct information sessions on issues that
specifically affect them.
They would like more networking opportunities with global,
multinational corporations.
They want access to business opportunities and the ability to bid on
They would like opportunities to share information, lessons learned and
best practices.

Action: The Membership Advisory Council (led by M. Kissel & R. Green) is
currently working on identifying and addressing the specific issues and needs of
our Company Members and our SME members are an important membership
segment within that group.

As this project moves forward from data analysis to examination of costs and
needs of member segments, MRAC will develop a list of proposals in consultation
with other relevant councils, task forces and committees. Our goal is to present
specific recommendations for the Board of Governors during the third quarter of

On the advocacy side, we are creating an SME Task Force, which will make
recommendations to the Japanese government on policies to improve the
business environment in Japan for SMEs.

In the leadership area, we are increasing the role of the Leadership Forum in
helping advise the Board of Governors. As a number of committees are led by
SME leaders, we also expect this to increase SME engagement.

Reinstitute Leadership Training

Action: W. Swinton and R. Green, the Chairs of the Leadership Forum, have taken
this recommendation and will work with the office to reinstitute leadership
training sessions. A one-hour session with 5~6 participants will likely be held
on a monthly-basis. ACCJ Advisory Council representatives will be invited to
attend each session on a rotation basis.

Improve ACCJ website

Action: With the ACCJs Communications Advisory Council and Technology
Advisory Council guidance, the Communications and IT departments are

2016 ACCJ Strategic Plan and Proposed Organizational Goals

Response to Feedback from the February Leadership Forum
Table Discussions February 1, 2016

currently working to rebuild and redesign the ACCJ website and member
interface. The new website should be completed in the fall this year.

Use more IT solutions

Action: From March, Leadership Forum plans to utilize Twitters Periscope tool.
This tool will enable participants who are based remotely to view the Tokyo
based meeting and participate via chat.

Improve effectiveness of meetings. Consider circulating long presentations
either before or after the meeting.

Action: Currently Committee Coordinators send out presentations after
meetings, at the request of the speaker, committee leader or attendees. Going
forward, Committee Coordinators will proactively work with Committee Leaders
to encourage speakers to send copies of their presentation after the event.

DCDK should consider approaching think tanks

Action: The ACCJ has a strong relationship with the top think tanks in
Washington D.C. and meeting with representatives from those think tanks is a
regular element in the DCDK.

Revise the biannual Membership Feedback Survey so there are fewer

Action: The current biannual survey conducted by Carter JRMN Group currently
has 72 questions and a response rate of 9%. We will be consulting with members
on our future feedback mechanisms with a view to establishing a contract with
provisions to maintain quality while reducing the time commitment required of
members who participate.

Analyze Board effectiveness

Comments from Leaders: There is a need to right-size the job of the President.
What can be delegated to the office to help the President? What are the
expectations of Board members? Governors/VPs should attend events/functions
where possible, instead of the President.

Committees/Task Forces are often formed in reaction to an issue, however, they
do not actually solve the problem at hand, but provide a form of plausible
deniability and end up taking too much of the Presidents time. There should be a
reduction in the number of councils/committees, and focused accountability
should be the goal.

2016 ACCJ Strategic Plan and Proposed Organizational Goals

Response to Feedback from the February Leadership Forum
Table Discussions February 1, 2016

Action: We will be working on this throughout the year. Among initial steps, the
Chairman, Vice Presidents and Governors are being asked to attend more events
on the Presidents behalf. The VPs are also taking turns to write the ACCJ
leadership column article in each months Journal.

Task Forces may be necessary when an issue cuts across various Committees
responsibilities but these should be kept to the minimum necessary. As one step
in this direction, last month I asked the MRAC and CSAC to merge.

Assist SME members in their advocacy efforts

Comments from Leaders: Unlike global multinationals with dedicated
Government Affairs Departments, SMEs face more challenges with advocacy
issues due to a lack of time and funding. The suggestion made by Leadership
Forum to support SMEs, in participating more with advocacyrelated work, is to
find an expert who is willing to lead advocacy-related projects.

Action: The Executive Director has been authorized to add an additional
External Affairs staffer with the expectation that will increase staff support for all
committees, especially those with fewer large company members. Should more
support be necessary, we would need to identify additional long-term funding.

Consider restructuring event fees

Comments from Leaders: Consider restructuring the way event fees are
charged so they are based on company size (e.g. reduce the price point for
SMEs and charge them a different price for networking events).

Action: The ACCJ is a voluntary membership organization and we cannot expect
some members to subsidize others. However, we are in the process of reviewing
corporate membership composition so we can better align services and fees.

Create an online directory with the ability to search, identify, and contact
ACCJ members

Action: This recommendation will be forwarded to CAC for inclusion in its on-
going revamp of the Chambers web-based member services.

Provide access to more data including the frequency of committee
members event attendance. This would help leaders identify potential new

Action: The data is available, however the office system is not currently
configured with this function. The CAC and TAC have been asked to include this
proposal in their ongoing review of our member-facing web services.

2016 ACCJ Strategic Plan and Proposed Organizational Goals

Response to Feedback from the February Leadership Forum
Table Discussions February 1, 2016

SMEs would like access to business opportunities and the ability to bid on
CSM/CM company projects. More networking opportunities with global,
multinational corporations would be appreciated

Action: The Chamber will establish mentor sessions, through the CEO Forum, led
by CEOs and open to all members to expand the networking opportunities for
both SMEs and young professionals. This has been established as a proposed
organizational goal of the new President and the Chamber for 2016.

Advocacy & EAAC

Comments from leaders: The EAAC is effective overall, but there have been
cases of some heavy-handed editing by members of the EAAC (especially when
dealing with technical or industry-specific issues). It would be appreciated if the
EAAC let the committee explain the technical issues.

EAAC members need to get briefed/trained on what and how to review advocacy
documents. They are not experts on all issues. EAAC members should be in direct
contact with committee leaders (currently reviewers are anonymous).

Action: Anonymity was put in place to take politics out of the advocacy review
process, but this concern is well founded. EAAC has been asked to review this
policy and make recommendations to the Board on ways to strengthen the
oversight process.

Town Hall meetings should have a topic/focus

Comment: The purpose of the Town Hall is to have an open discussion on any
topic that participants feel is important. However, those who attend are welcome
to raise any issue they wish.

Make committee meeting minutes publicly available

Comment: This will impose new record-keeping burdens on committee
members and may discourage the kind of open discussion we benefit from now,
particularly if we were opening these records to the public. Would committee
leaders be prepared to accept a new responsibility to provide a written summary
of their committee meeting prior to each LF meeting?

Each committee should identify a social media ambassador: someone
well versed in social media to handle online communications

Action: There is potential benefit to expanding awareness and the influence of
the ACCJ as well as communication within the ACCJ.

However, it should be noted there are some potential risks with this including:

2016 ACCJ Strategic Plan and Proposed Organizational Goals

Response to Feedback from the February Leadership Forum
Table Discussions February 1, 2016

-mixed messages
-lack of suitable candidates for every committee to successfully fulfill this role
-potential for the release of privileged information
-potential to damage the ACCJ brand.

This is another issue which the CAC has on its agenda for the IT upgrade this