BCCJ Serves Diverse Members (Executive Director's Message, February 2017)

Feb. 17, 2017


In the February edition of the BCCJ magazine ACUMEN, Emma Hickinbotham, interim Executive Director of the BCCJ, talks about the BCCJ mission and the benefits of membership.

One of the questions I am asked most is, “What kind of events does the BCCJ host?”, and I always struggle to find a more eloquent way to reply than simply to say, “all sorts”.

We aim to deliver 40 events each year and try to have an even balance in terms of topics, format, reach, timing and venue. We want something for everyone. The mission of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) is: “To strengthen business ties between the UK and Japan, promote and support the business interests of all our members, actively encourage new British businesses to enter the Japanese market, as well as Japanese investment into the UK”.

Bringing people together across sectors and businesses leads to great opportunities for all. Of course, priorities differ between firms, but sharing knowledge, building networks and forming partnerships are key drivers for success in today’s global business world.

Learn and develop
BCCJ events range from informal networking events to panel discussions on business strategy; and from chief executive officers talking about their firms’ long history to startup founders telling us how it all happened.

We also hold a number of learning and development events and workshops. Many of our member firms provide internal training, but cross-business learning and development offers a valuable insight into how your business is faring in the market, and how you might improve your own offerings.

Recently, we have held well-attended workshops and seminars on equality, diversity and inclusion; working in a multicultural environment; leadership development; and how to implement flexible working. We constantly strive to bring our members the events, information and opportunities they need to help their businesses succeed. This year we intend to deliver even more learning and development opportunities, and welcome feedback on areas of interest.

BCCJ Executive Committee
Something else I am often asked is, “Who’s in charge at the BCCJ?” While it is my role to take responsibility for the leadership and general management of the chamber, the Executive Committee (Excom) is on hand to provide guidance and advice, as well as to ensure the chamber’s good governance. Excom comprises between 12 and 15 individuals, who are elected by the membership through a fully transparent, anonymous voting system.

As is well documented, diverse teams produce better results, and diversity and inclusion are at the very heart of the BCCJ’s values. A diverse Excom represents the chamber’s varied membership, and best allows us to deliver the most value to our members. We always need a balance of skills, so if you feel you have expertise and experience that might help the BCCJ achieve its goals and continue to grow, I encourage you to stand for election to the 2017–18 Excom.

The period during which candidates may submit applications to serve on the Excom runs from 20 February to 16 March. Further details are available on our website: www.bccjapan.com.

I look forward to receiving your nominations and would be happy to answer any questions about the process and what is involved. The BCCJ needs you.