Japan Day 2

After a morning walk through a beautiful Tokyo garden, participants had their first strategic planning session with trainer Kathleen Holland. She asked the mentees to start thinking about where their organizations are currently, where they want to go and the most efficient way to get there.  

Communications trainings continued with Shuri Fukunaga, CEO of Burson Marstellar Japan, who gave an overview of the Japanese media landscape. Shuri cautioned the mentees not to become Japanese media icons and stay focused on their expertise when talking to reporters. 

Mentees were then able to dig deeper in to the business plan, mission and core values of their organizations one-on-one with their Global Ambassadors.   

Maco Yoshioka, the founder and executive director of Madre Bonita, was shocked that there was little support for Japanese mothers to recover from the physical and mental stress of childbirth. So she started teaching fitness classes for post-partum Japanese mothers.  She is working with her mentor Lisa Hasegawa to solidify Madre Bonita’s values as she looks to expand the organization. 

What makes the Global Ambassadors Program unique?

LISA: I do a lot of informal mentoring with a lot of young women in the US, but I have never done anything as formal and structured as the Global Ambassadors Program. It is great to be able to really get to know Maco and Madre Bonita in the week we have together. It is also shifting my thinking about what might be needed with other young women I will mentor in the future.

MACO: I have had some mentors before, but not as deep as this. Lisa has been asking a lot of questions and those questions are so helpful to me in determining what the true values of my company are.

What do you want to accomplish in your week together?

LISA: I want to help Maco really clarify the core of what makes Madre Bonita unique. We have been working together to figure out what makes them different from other fitness classes. I also want to help her think about the “big picture” in terms of what is possible for Madre Bonita.

MACO: I want to come out of this week with a clearer vision and mission that will attract more people to Madre Bonita. We have vision and mission now, but it needs to be more sophisticated and easier to remember.

What is the most interesting thing you have learned about your mentee?

LISA: I think what is really exciting about Madre Bonita is their business model that gives women in their training classes the opportunity to actually become trainers. Through this I feel they are going to grow a whole network of women who can lead real policy change for women in Japan. I feel like there is a whole piece around leadership development that could make her business model really stand out. 

Read the Day 1 blog and follow us this week in Japan and be sure to tweet questions to @VitalVoices and @BofA_News using the hashtag #GlobalAmbassadors.

Photography: David Hume Kennerly