« August 2010 | Main | November 2010 »

10 posts from September 2010

September 23, 2010

To SKU or not to SKU: Is that the question?

Today’s expanding global marketplace brings opportunity. For a business’s supply chain function, it can also bring on an ugly side: complexity. For customers, flexibility and quick response are not appreciated — they’re expected. That requires a supply chain that can withstand the impact of economic trends (i.e., recessions), government policy (i.e., taxes and tariffs), and the unexpected (i.e., product recalls). Factors like these can disrupt supply/demand patterns or ruin a well-earned reputation, leading to considerable damage to shareholder value.

Looking at cost, quality, cycle time and customer service metrics from our recent global study on supply chain performance, Deloitte’s Global Benchmarking Center gathered insights across the three drivers of shareholder value: revenue growth, operating margin and asset efficiency. Supply chain activities play a major role in shaping these drivers, but even the best supply chains can’t have it all. 

For example, our research suggests that new products – also known as SKUs or stock-keeping units—are required to maintain and grow revenue levels, but that can also lead to greater global supply chain complexity. We’ve found that SKU proliferation, the practice of creating “new and improved” versions of products, drives both indirect supply chain costs and staffing levels. These are costs associated with activities that are unrelated to production, such as maintenance, operations, sales, etc.

Figure 5 v3In other words, as the number of active SKUs increases, indirect supply chain costs and staffing levels increase as well. True, more active SKUs can contribute to a higher share of revenue.  But the added complexity can diminish returns. In addition to the higher staffing levels needed to support new SKU introduction and ramp to volume, the trade-off for a higher number of new SKUs can also lead to reduction in forecast accuracy, which then ripples through the supply chain to impact inventory levels and perfect order delivery rates; that is, how often items are shipped complete, on time, in perfect condition and with perfect documentation.

Is there good news? Of course. It’s all about the overall global business strategy. Structure your supply chain around the drivers that make the best sense for your business’s goals and objectives. Supporting strong revenue growth may mean some sacrifices in asset efficiency; but that may suit the business strategy just fine. Understanding the trade-offs is key to making the most effective decisions for your organization.

Looking for additional discussion? A recent Deloitte Debate offers a point/counterpoint perspective on the merits of supply chain performance benchmarking and its affect on shareholder value.

Rick Roth is a principal in the Strategy and Operations (S&O) Practice in Atlanta, and the U.S. Leader for the firm’s Global Benchmarking Center (GBC).

As used in this post, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP.  Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.

September 20, 2010

Deloitte 21: Project Grasp My Future in action at Deloitte France to help underserved young students

After these wonderful days in London participating in the Deloitte21 workshop this is our turn to introduce the essence of French mentoring. The Grasp My Future mentoring program forms part of Deloitte’s desire to help today’s youth access higher education in favorable conditions. To this end, Deloitte takes part in several educational programs from junior high school through to five years post high school diploma.

The Grasp My Future mentoring program is open to all Deloitte France employees and student mentees volunteer to participate, and are supported by their school and teachers. Two Deloitte employees are matched with one student to mentor for two years. The Deloitte employees provide mentees with:

  • A first contact with the corporate world: its method of operating, its culture and its demands, which will enable the mentee to start a professional relationship adapted to the corporate world.
  • A fun approach to the corporate world: providing access to information on the activities of companies and contact with employees in a variety of business sectors and illustrating, through immersion, the description of a business or activity sector.
  • Skills development and career guidance support: the mentors assist the mentee with the construction of a professional development project whereby the mentee is able determine the best training courses to develop his/her skills. The mentors work with the student to help them decide what classes to take and diploma to pursue, and what company would be interested to hire them after their studies.

The Grasp My Future program operates around two major meetings supplemented by individual mentoring sessions:

  • A launch evening: the first meeting of the year, bringing together all mentors and mentees. In 2008 and 2009, this evening was held in November at the Louvre.
  • A human resources workshop day at Deloitte’s office: this session brings together mentors and mentees for a series of workshops. Volunteer employees are mobilized to offer numerous workshops to mentees: drafting CVs, practice interviews, access to the E-Learning center to test their level of English, and presentations of Deloitte’ businesses. Since 2008, this day of workshops has been held during the student’s Spring holidays.

Outside of these two major events, the mentors and mentees meet on a more informal basis in line with the mentees needs. Each mentee is at a different stage in the development of his/her professional development project. Needs will therefore differ from one mentee to another and the frequency of meetings will vary depending on the “study point” at which the mentee finds him/herself.

The French mentoring is quite the same as we did in London with the students we met, but with a continuous relationship all along the year.
Mentoring provides the Deloitte volunteers with satisfaction in a number of areas, including:

  • Participating in a civic initiative within Deloitte’s corporate social responsibility framework, with the support of Executive Management
  • Committing to an association directly at their place of work, rather than having to travel off-site to participate
  • Getting involved alongside other Deloitte employees, of all grades and from all departments
  • Sharing experience and communicating know-how to the younger generations

Feedback from students is very encouraging and helpful:

“I’m proud of making it to the end. It was difficult, but I learned a lot and developed more efficient working methods… At the beginning of the course two years seems long, but it goes so quickly you don’t see time pass. I’m glad it’s finished, but it’s really a worthwhile experience.”

“This was a powerful human experience, with several important encounters that helped me progress. It was a difficult experience, but it enabled me to see that we can push beyond our limits. After these two years, I feel more mature and stronger. However, the stress is still there with the beginning of the exams…”

We are now planning for the new tutoring session, with new students and mentees, which will officially start at the end of October. At the same time, we are developing a partnership with a suburban college. The kick-off event will be held at the end of September and we are really eager to start this partnership!

We look forward to sharing with you how these initiatives progress!

Charlotte Jaffré is a supervisor in the Deloitte France audit practice and holds a master’s degree from University Paris Dauphine with a specialization in accounting and finance. She is also a Deloitte21 Fellow.

September 16, 2010

Music and leadership


I attended a most interesting WEF Summer Davos session lead by Concert Violinist Miha Pogačnik, an associate of the German Institute for the Development of Intercultural Relations through the Arts.  Pogačnik pointed out in his opening comments that business leaders these days used more and more terms which are connected with the emotional—right— side of the brain i.e. passion, inspiration, performance, creativity, etc. He explained this concept with a simple statement:

“Unless you put your heart into the things you do, you will get very sick.”

To me, leadership is indeed all about passion, and it is one of the strongest emotions of mankind. Great leaders are those who inspire great dreams by focusing on just a few basic values. 

Pogačnik took us on a journey that identified the similarities of the change management process lead by a successful leader to the composition of a classical music masterpiece. He acknowledged the following five steps as common to both processes:
- Stage 1 – The mind purification process whereby the mind is freed from all buzz, and becomes ready to concentrate on the big task ahead. This phase corresponds to focusing on the big picture versus being absorbed by operational routines.
- Stage 2 – The identification of the “brand” for the composition, which uncovers the basic themes, and which in turn will direct the journey.
- Stage 3 – The confrontation with change, which involves a stormy process of dissemination, discussion, initial rejection, and other chaotic situations.
- Stage 4 - The ‘refocus’ stage, where sanity and serenity return and where all attention is centered on the ultimate goals and basic values.
- Stage 5 - The final phase in which all opposites are brought together, and where “TRUST” is created.

I found the concept of comparing the business strategy setting and execution with classical music composition most intriguing. After all, several masterpieces have survived hundreds of years and many generations – just imagine if we were able to do that in the business world.

What were my reasons for attending this session?

First, I am always interested in listening to a new and different perspective. At Deloitte that’s what we try to deliver for our firms’ clients.

But, on a lighter note, although the meeting’s dress code is business casual, over 75 percent of all participants usually appear in full business suits, including ties. I happened to be tie-less that day.  And guess what?  About 75 percent of the participants in this session were tie-less as well. In addition, I had overheard a discussion at the bar the night prior between Pogačnik and another delegate, in which he said, “Life is about value added, not about numbers”.  After overhearing this statement, I think I subconsciously decided to leave my tie on the rack the next morning…

Below is an interesting quote from Pogačnik that I wanted to share:
 “If you focus on the money, the money will be gone quickly, but if you focus on the values, the money comes by itself”.

Ludo De Keulenaer is DTTL Global Managing Partner, Brand.

September 15, 2010

Further insights on Summer Davos CEO roundtable

Dttl_summer_davos_sculptures_240x216_091410 As the China Managing Partner of Business Development and Public Affairs, I found the Deloitte and Talents magazine breakfast roundtable extremely insightful.  The following are my strongest impressions from listening to the open sharing of experiences by business leaders of many of Tianjin's top enterprises.

Although there is common acknowledgement that regulatory risk is the biggest current and medium term challenge, different industries face different specific risks.  That is why it is so important that our national industry practices and our enterprise risk management advisory specialists continue to work closely together to assist clients.

As we have seen in recent times, even the most established businesses are exposed to many risks that they have not been able to anticipate nor have solutions for. Executives with whom I chatted during the Roundtable expressed concern about there being so many unknown risks.  I shared with them the approach that Deloitte advises which is to control what you can and have a structured approach to do that. The top enterprises of Tianjin attending the Roundtable have strong growth potential to become major national enterprises in the near future, and to realize this potential they must prepare to operate in increasingly complex markets within and beyond China. This is a major step and calls on them to develop capabilities and obtain experience that they may not currently have. 

Also, in chatting with the executives, I learned that even though we had open and intense sharing during the one hour Roundtable, there were many more experiences and questions they wanted to discuss had there been more time to do so. This being the case, we will be following up with a number of participants to see how we can provide further information or ideas in response to these. 

Jennifer Xie is a Managing Partner of Business Development & Public Affairs for Deloitte China.Jennifer leads initiatives related to key government relationships business development, brand and communications. Jennifer is also an executive member of the Marketplace Council at Deloitte China.

Insights from Summer Davos: CEO roundtable on emerging growth opportunities, and new operational risks

World Economic Forum Summer DavosOn Monday 13 September, during the World Economic Forum Summer Davos in Tianjin, China, Deloitte China and an influential business magazine, Talents, cooperatively organized a CEO workshop focusing on sustainability and operational and regulatory risk.

Some thirty CEOs, largely from Chinese enterprises, representing large and medium, state-owned and private companies attended the workshop. It was moderated by Ken, Fion Song, President of Talents magazine.
Deloitte framed the discussion with the following four broad issues:

  •   The new government-business relationship
  •   The dynamics of globalization
  •   Innovation and new business models
  •   Closing the loop on value networks

Within this context, the discussion focused on operational and regulatory risk driven by the new role of government in business and the dynamics of globalization.  Nearly all CEOs at the workshoprelated these matters to their domestic market and the changing role of the Chinese government. Less was said about globalization and the challenges related to expanding abroad and working with foreign governments. This was a little surprising given the ongoing encouragement by the Government for Chinese enterprises to increase their foreign investment. Clearly, the local yet fast growing and intensely competitive market remains a priority.

Highlights of the discussion are summarized below:

  •  State-owned enterprise executives highlighted that top executives and boards of directors still must accommodate both commercial and policy goals and expressed the need for completion soonof the long-standing program to separate business from regulation. 
  •  Central planning has both a positive and negative impact on business. If an enterprise enjoys consumer support in the marketplace and government support in the regulatory sphere, its business can grow explosively.  However, even very innovative business initiatives by entrepreneurs in sectors like telecommunications can be frustrated by either uncertainty or resistance in regulation, and that can make regulatory risk the biggest struggle for the CEO.
  •  Due to the fast moving dynamics of the Chinese economy, Chinese enterprises are inclined to diversify as a way of managing operational risk. Typically, a municipally-focused investment enterprise might bridge property development, finance, and infrastructure in order to limit the risk of excessive exposure to one sector.
  •  For many industries in China, e.g. the pharmaceutical industry, their current fragmented and regional nature creates an operational risk. It generates structural problems that make scaling and competing difficult, underscoring the need for accelerated consolidation and structural reform in supply chains and transactions.
  •  The dynamics of globalization both enable and require more complex value networks and interdependencies, offering greater revenue growth opportunities than ever before.   Along with this, however, come greater and more complex risks. For example, with more participants in the value network, operational spills may occur anywhere and their impact on brand owners and retailers is unavoidable, in particular where consumers come in contact with an industry's products and services.

Discussants also consistently stressed the difference between "uncertain factors" and "certain factors" in enterprise risk management, and the escalation of operational risks whenever the direction of government policy and investment itself is considered to be an uncertain factor.

What the discussion demonstrated was the complexity of issues impacting Chinese businesses and the related operational risks they present. Globalization and the interconnectivity of markets compound this. There is a lot for business to consider.

Dr. Ken DeWoskin is Director of the Research and Insight Centre, Deloitte China, and serves as a senior advisor to Deloitte China. Dr. DeWoskin has been involved with China for over 46 years and has lived and worked extensively in both China and in Japan.

September 14, 2010

China's risk intelligent approach to growth

China Premier Wen Jiaobao addresses Summer Davos attendeesThe keynote speech by Chinese Premier Wen Jiaobao at the Opening Plenary of the World Economic Forum's Summer Davos on 13 September gives business leaders much food for thought. Most broadly reassuring to businesses was the commitment to a long-term, comprehensive and mutually beneficial opening up of China, with specific references to creating an open and fair environment for foreign enterprises, including a high priority on intellectual property protection.

In consideration of China's economic robustness, the assertion by the premier that the nation's stimulus package is yielding positive results was more reassuring because it was accompanied by acknowledgment of the challenges facing China, such as the need for more scientific and technological innovation, resources and environmental management, and coordinated urban and rural development. Particularly noteworthy was the premier's reference to the increase in recent months in latent fiscal and financial risks, especially the debt risks of the financing platforms of local governments.

Looking ahead, Premier Wen firmly stated that China has a clear game plan to strengthen the financial system, including the regulation of financing platforms for key expenditure and economic drivers such as local government, and that implementation of such measures is already in progress. 

So what do I see as the take-away?

There has been much debate on whether the economy is over-heating and whether a slowdown is imminent.  From the premier's speech, we can be confident that China is still actively managing the economy and intends to control the stresses and strains on it. If the completion of one of the main hotels being used to accommodate WEF delegates is anything to go by, we can have even greater confidence. When China states its intentions, it does seem to find ways to accomplish them. 

Just two months ago, the Deloitte China team visited the hotel in hard hats and wondered at the extent of work that needed to be completed to get it ready for Summer Davos, and for the Deloitte CEO event during WEF. On Monday morning, Deloitte and Talents magazine, a well respected business magazine held a CEO Breakfast Roundtable in one of the newly finished function rooms. As we discussed the significant issue of the new operational risks associated with new growth opportunities, we couldn't help marveling at how the hotel had been completed in such a short period of time.  That is an example of the strength of determination of China.

Nevertheless, there is a convergence of Premier Wen's keynote and the CEO Roundtable discussion topic in that both recognized that new growth opportunities bring new operational risks. The message we shared with business leaders attending the roundtable was that they should always look ahead and, target their share of future market opportunities. At the same time, they should also always look for the latent risks. Some can be foreseen and some cannot in terms of their form and scale, not to mention the impact of globalization. For business growth, risks must be taken. For business sustainability, risks also need to be anticipated and managed. 

In the new era of growth for China and for businesses, the challenge and opportunity is in an appropriate risk intelligent approach – taking the right risks and minimizing the bad risks.

Chris Lu is CEO of the Deloitte China member firm. His experience includes serving domestic and multinational corporations in areas such as managing local statutory audits, consolidating accounts for international clients, preparing accounts for companies seeking listings, conducting due diligence reviews and joint-venture negotiations.

A shrinking planet

Dttl_treeinwater_200x200I recently attended the “Sustaining a Shrinking Planet” session at the 2010 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions ("Summer Davos”) in Tianjin, China. The discussion focused on how to address the challenges of our planet’s dwindling natural resources, and a key takeaway was that panelists agreed that by far the greatest challenge is the impending water shortage in several parts of the world.

One significant reason for concern raised by discussants was the expected and dramatic increase in water consumption. This is being driven by several factors including a growing population, a shift in nutrition preferences from vegetarian to animal-based food sources, the production of which consumes comparatively huge quantities of water, as well as the trajectory of industrialization and urbanization in large parts of the developing world.

The discussion also turned to agriculture, with some citing the fact that agriculture today uses some 80% of all water consumption, and managing usage is therefore an urgent priority. One panelist made the compelling point that more should be done to grow crops in their natural habitats. This would avoid huge inefficiencies both in energy and water consumption in trying to grow crops in unnatural environments.

The discussants suggested that to facilitate this would require open and free trade and the abolition of existing agricultural subsidies. These were seen as interfering with market forces and resulting in production inefficiencies. There was also optimism expressed for consumers and pressure groups to soon embrace the progress provided by technological advances in the field of genetically modified crops.

Another panelist highlighted the need for integrated water management systems at the global, regional, and local level. The panelist stated inefficient production and distribution systems can account for 30 percent of leakage in distribution in most western cities, and up to 60 percent in some third world countries. Additionally, ineffective pricing structures and poor infrastructure will significantly impact these challenges.

Why did I attend this session? If something of this magnitude is impacting the world, it matters to Deloitte. It is important that Deloitte is continually looking forward on all issues which are relevant to future generations. The people of Deloitte member firms strive to be one step ahead and to do this we must anticipate the challenges and their impacts and contribute our best thinking to support workable solutions. As always, organizing efficient change requires the best talent, from a multitude of backgrounds and disciplines.

To me that’s what Deloitte is all about.

Some food for thought:

  • Did you know that the production of 1 liter of bio- diesel requires 9.100 liters of water?
  • Did you know that Iceland sells water to Saudi Arabia and that this is transported in old oil tankers refitted with rubber balloons for this purpose?

Ludo De Keulenaer is  DTTL Global Managing Partner, Brand.

Open Innovation

Summer Davos participants at the Meijiang Convention and Exhibition Center Open Innovation – a concept that emerged early in the 2000s from work done by Henry Chesbrough of the Haas Business School at Berkeley – has considerable potential for generating new ways of thinking and acting in response to the sustainability challenges facing our world. The interdependency of innovation and sustainability was recently discussed among my fellow panelists and participants at an Open Innovation workshop during the World Economic Forum “New Champions" meeting in Tianjin, China.

The discussion focused on five open innovation tools, including such items such as knowledge pooling, incentivizing innovation, and crowd pooling. These were then applied to various sustainability challenges. In this blog I expand on this discussion and consider open innovation as a means of addressing the multi-faceted challenges facing business today, including sustainability.

A key feature of global business in the 21st century is the blurring of lines between companies, industries, and people.  This blurring is being driven by such forces as the Internet, the availability of massive, inexpensive computing power, the emergence of social media, and political and demographic changes. The good news is that these drivers also provide a solid foundation for open innovation.

Companies typically approach innovation as a process that will help them generate competitive advantage.  But many competitive processes are short term, inefficient, and have negative sustainability impacts when taken as a whole.  We often see duplication of products, overlapping or incomplete distribution networks, and wasteful or inefficient packaging.

Open, collaborative innovation has the potential to be transformational.  So how can we, as leaders, drive collaboration and innovation?

Many highly regarded businesses are seeking new methods to do this, and Deloitte is certainly one of them. We recently launched a global refresh of our strategy, "As One," which is quite consistent with the concept of open innovation, enabling 170,000 Deloitte professionals to operate ‘As One’, across 100 plus geographies. Put simply, it is about borderless behavior – working together across borders to bring the best of Deloitte to our clients.

We are utilizing the power of open innovation. One development has been a practical, social-media-influenced tool – D-Think – which we expect will serve as the day-in, day-out global enabler of “As One” thinking and behavior for our people.

Another development has been the Deloitte Global Innovation Network (GIN). Its mission is to capture innovation occurring in member firms and leverage it across the Deloitte network. The GIN comprises leaders from more than 30 member firms; members are ‘entrepreneurs in residence’ and change agents. It is closely aligned with Global Services’ mission of driving innovation, supporting the creation of “Virtual Marketplace Communities.”

At Deloitte we see open innovation as a powerful approach for directing ideas to organizations that are equipped to cultivate and commercialize them.  The power of open innovation can help drive change across our organization, our clients, and ultimately our world.

Are you taking practical steps to drive open innovation (whether you call it that or not) with your teams and in your client relationships?  Let us know...

Jerry Leamon is DTTL’s Global Managing Partner for Services and also heads the Global Mergers & Acquisitions practice. He oversees Deloitte’s four core functions (Audit, Consulting, Financial Advisory, and Tax) and leads the development and promulgation of new multifunctional service platforms.

September 09, 2010

Deloitte21: The OK! project and Deloitte Finland mentors are ready!

My Deloitte21 placement, the OK! project, is about to start its fourth consecutive class. Our aim is to improve unemployed young immigrants’ work readiness skills and provide them with employment opportunities. The program was initiated in response to the demand for more skilled workers and the need to ensure immigrant youth are integrated into Finnish society. I serve on the project steering committee, train the youth, and now for the first time will serve as a mentor for some of the youngsters.

The program consists of work-readiness skills training and an internship. This is the first time we have included mentoring into the curriculum. Every one of the youngsters will get a Deloitte professional who serves as their mentor during this 14-week journey. As mentors, we provide guidance,  career planning, and answer those questions that might puzzle youngsters facing their first day at their internship company. We are aiming to create an open and trustworthy dialog between the participants and their mentors.

I am very pleased by how many Deloitte volunteers signed up for this task. I think this is a great example of Deloitte employees’ activeness in the local communities. For us, it’s not just words but actual hands-on volunteering and the willingness to put yourself out there!

The recruitment is about to start shortly and the program will launch early November as the youngsters arrive to Deloitte House where the training is held. I am confident that we will get a group of well-motivated students, as word has travelled among the youth that this is a truly unique opportunity for them.

I have been working with the OK! project for 3 years now, but have more energy and excitement than ever to make this a successful and life-changing experience for these youngsters, and I can say the same for my fellow mentors too! I will keep you posted on how my project moves along.

If you are interested in learning more visit the OK! project website on Deloitte.com.

Mia Liimo joined Deloitte Finland in 2004. Mia is a Marketing Advisor and leads Deloitte Finland’s Community Agenda, serves as the Corporate Responsibility Portfolio Manager, and is a Deloitte21 Fellow.

September 01, 2010

Deloitte21: Working with Junior Achievement's MESE program in Japan

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to meet the Deloitte21 Fellows from all over the world last May in London. After sharing the wonderful experiences together during the workshop, I felt inspired by other Fellows and empowered to move our Deloitte21 program forward here in Japan.

After careful consideration, our Deloitte21 program project team decided to focus our efforts on assisting the MESE (Management and Economic Simulation Exercise) by Junior Achievement. We believe that the MESE program aligns well with the Deloitte21 mission of assisting underserved youth in developing 21st century skills.

MESE is a computer-simulated program developed by Junior Achievement. In the program, students assume the roles of corporate managers, and make production and marketing decisions for an imaginary product called Eco-Pen. During the simulation, students decide on pricing, amount of production, advertising cost, capital investment, and R&D expense. They analyze industry reports, balance sheets, profit and loss statements and market conditions before making their decisions and submitting them to the facilitator. The most successful teams will be those that best balance supply and demand at the highest level of production and price. The purpose of this program is to develop basic skills needed for social life, such as decision-making, courage to express different opinions from others, and acceptance of cultural diversity.

Over the past few months, we have been working closely with Junior Achievement to develop more effective ways to promote the MESE program to high schools all over Japan. Our objective is to raise awareness of these necessary skills that students will need to succeed in the 21st century economy to both students and their teachers through the promotion of the MESE program.

In order for our team to better understand the MESE process, several weeks ago Ms. Yoriko Kuroki, Director from Junior Achievement, facilitated an MESE simulation for our Deloitte21 team, enabling us to experience the program in action.

D21_Ms_Kuroki_Junior_Achievement Nine employees from different divisions participated in the activity. We were divided into three teams -- each team, or “company” was given a name of a major manufacturer. Our goal was to market a fictitious product called an “Eco-Pen.” By default, the pricing for each Eco-Pen was set at $30.  In the first round, each company had to decide on its initial selling price based upon the business information provided, and compete with other companies. The intent of this exercise was to provide the teams with a realistic market situation.

One team dropped the price to increase their sales volume, another raised the price to increase their profit margin. Our team decided not to change the price from the default. We obtained the performance results (Management and Performance Index) calculated by a computer application on the facilitator’s PC with the prices that each company set.  Based upon the results, we analyzed the data and made the subsequent decisions hoping to obtain higher performance results. We repeated the process several times which included adjusting the amount of production, advertising cost, capital investment, and R&D expense as well. 

The simulation lasted about two hours, and to my surprise, my team won with the highest performance score!  It was really interesting to see that one company never recovered from the bottom ranking, even after several rounds.D21_Japan2

Even accounting professionals like ourselves, with real-world experience working with clients were very excited participating in the simulation, and each of us found ourselves engaged in heated discussions as the game progressed.

According to Ms. Kuroki, “The key learning from the program for students is that decision-making is often accompanied by the result and the responsibility.  In the near future, students will face numerous situations in which they have to make a decision including choosing their future career path.”  She also said that if students could make decisions by themselves, they would take the responsibility and could accept the result.

D21_Japan1 As the next step, we are planning to develop marketing tools, such as brochures and promotional video clips, which will encourage teachers to use the program in their school curriculum. As the program is implemented, we believe that MESE will be more effective if facilitated by Deloitte professionals who have broader business knowledge and experiences. Therefore, we plan to select professionals who are willing to contribute to their alma maters by promoting the program and facilitating it as a touch point.  We hope that the schools will benefit from the presence of our professionals and in turn, our professionals will feel the sense of fulfillment from their contribution. By taking this approach, we anticipate that the program will continue and grow. We are really excited to meet high school students through this program!

Shinako Matsuzaki is a Certified Public Accountant and joined Deloitte in the US in 2006 where she performed accounting and auditing functions for major corporate clients. Shinako moved to Tokyo in April 2009 and is currently a Senior Consultant in Enterprise Risk Services as well as a Deloitte 21 Fellow.