Mr. Kazuhiro Hasegawa, Representative Director of Corporate Power Institute (CPI) 〜CPI会社力研究所代表 長谷川和廣さん〜


  What does a management consultant do? Consultancy is one of the most popular professions Chuo University students want to take up after leaving school.



  Hakumon Herald interviewed Mr. Kazuhiro Hasegawa, a graduate of Chuo’s Faculty of Economics, who had held managerial posts at many conglomerates, among them Kellogg Japan Co. and Beyer Co., before becoming representative director and CEO of Nikon-Essilor Co. in 2000. As a management consultant, he has resuscitated more than 2,400 loss-making companies. Now he is representative director of Corporate Power Institute (CPI), a management consultant firm he founded in 1980. Incidentally, Mr. Hasegawa is an alumnus of Hakumon Herald.




Problem-solving specialist/会社の問題解決屋


  --Tell us just briefly what a management consultant actually does.



  Mr. Hasegawa: A management consultant is a problem-solving specialist for a troubled company. Many companies have various problems and we help them resolve those problems. You can perhaps easily understand that if you liken a consultant to a doctor. A doctor diagnoses his or her patient who feels physically sick, tries to identify its cause and gives effective medical treatment. A consultant does the same for a problem company. Like human body, a company is made up of complicated elements which are entangled with each other. You need to have a lot of know-how to analyze them. In my case, that know-how is based on what I have learned at the university. On that basis, I have accumulated experiences and professional knowledge I’ve learned in actual business.







  While helping rehabilitate more than 2,400 companies until now, I have noticed that a company generally has more than 500 different elements that together make up its power. More often than not, a company suffers poorer performances when some of its 500-odd elements weaken due to changes in the external and internal environments. But that company can be reconstructed when those weakened elements are identified and effectively strengthened and corrected. That is a method I have worked out on my own. I call it “Theory of Super Corporate Power in Business Management”.





“Inspiration” is important/大切な“ヒラメキ”


  --What is required in consulting business?



  Hasegawa: My job requires me to tell complicated matters in a simple way, not in a difficult way. That is like writing a newspaper article. Just think what a newspaper article is composed of. Its headline and lead paragraph summarize its content. What actually happened and related details are put in the texts that follow. I acquired the skills to put complicated matters in a simple way while I wrote articles for Hakumon Herald during my school days. What I have learned there proved quite useful throughout my professional career.



  Here is what I’ve learned from years of engagement in various jobs. It’s your inspiration that makes you really understand the root of a problem. Knowledge and experiences ferment your inspiration. And there are two kinds of experiences, your own experiences and those you can absorb from other people. Your own experiences are important. But equally important is to make others' experiences your own.




“Click note”/おやっとノート


  --You said you have kept putting down what clicked in your mind in a note since you were 27 years old. You called it “Oyatto (click)” note. Can you tell us more about it, such as how you do that?


  Hasegawa: Well, you first put down at random anything that clicked in your mind. Then, you come to be able to do some selection from those random entries. When you get used to it, you will be able to see a line of things described in your note and at the same time even foresee what will happen next. You can rely on this skill on all occasions, not only when you draw up plans but when you attend conferences or have business talks.



  For example, when you get some information, you will be able to guess what is hidden inside. It’s important for you to keep studying hard after you left school just as you did when you were a student. What you’ve accumulated that way will surely lead you to do better work later on.



--When you began keeping your note, did you imagine that you’ll get engaged in corporate management in the future?



  Hasegawa: Yes, I had such an idea although just vaguely. But it just doesn’t make sense if someone who has no track records or experiences try to learn about the job of a company president. So I made it a rule to set my objective each year. I did set my annual target and renewed my resolve to make it. That, I think, has brought me good results.



  The importance of goal setting can equally be said of corporate management. There is a work process generally known as PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act). I think there must be a target before this P (Plan) because you can’t plan without a target. It’s very important to set a target before planning by analyzing issues involved and translating them. In order to analyze an issue, you need to collect relevant information, sort it out and identify what is your assignment. Through this process, you can set a target that can measure up to actual conditions. It’s all-important for a company to have a president and management executives who can deal with that process. One of my jobs is to train and instruct the top of a company.


Keep learning even after starting career/社会に出てからも学び続けよ


--Give some message for the students who will be going into the world of work.



  Hasegawa: You students should value what you’ll learn from classroom lessons and club activities. Keep learning even after you went out into the world. Then, I’m sure you’ll never fail to open up a bright future for you. Do your best to build a world where people can have hopes and dreams.




Mr. Hasegawa’s profile

 Graduating from Chuo’s Faculty of Economics in 1962, he took charge of marketing and product management at Jujo-Kimbery K.K., General Foods Co. and S.C. Johnson Japan Co., etc. He served in subsequent years as representative director and president at global businesses, such as Kellogg Japan Co., Beyer Japan Co. and Varilux Japan K.K. In 2000, he assumed the post of president and CEO at Nikon-Essilor Co., a joint venture set up by Japan’s Nikon Corp. and France’s Essilor International S.A. He was highly credited with eliminating the company’s 5 billion yen deficit in the first year of his presidency and changing it into a debt-free business in the second year. He is currently active as representative director of CPI.




(Interviewed By: Kento Isogai, Yuxi Luo & Takuya Shintate)