November 20, 2009,13:23 +0900(JST) Theory of Social Practices
I had never thought of teaching at a university, but it so happened that I had such an opportunity when I was asked by my old school to give a talk on the theory of social practices. So, in front of some 100 students, I talked for eighty minutes on the theme of “Globalization and Captains of Industry,” occasionally including some of my personal experiences for reference.
As soon as I entered the classroom, I sensed how it has changed with the times; it seemed that now most students preferred to sit at the back of the room with front seats empty, and there were a greater number of female students. During my talk, some students were enthusiastically listening and taking notes; unfortunately, some others were nodding off. If I had been giving the talk at my company, I would have exploded in anger at those who were dozing off. However, this time I concentrated on speaking to those listening earnestly, sympathizing with my past teachers’ efforts in keeping their students attention.
After briefly introducing my background, I tried my best to give a speech that would be of some benefit for the students. The main areas I discussed were: lessons from my school days, the basic spirit of business models (my personal note about company management, upon assuming the position of president), some remarks for new recruits, the meaning of “Captains of Industry,” desired qualities in employees, and so on.
The lessons from my schools days are as follows: (1) discipline, self-restraint and cooperation are vital qualities for a member of society, which can be cultivated through varsity team and other club activities, (2) educating oneself through study of the classics is important for developing a well-rounded character, just like a strong foundation is indispensable for supporting a large structure, and (3) apart from knowledge, physical and mental strength obtained through sports is also pivotal, as in the long journey of life there will be many difficulties that can not be simply solved by an equation.
I believe the university’s education philosophy of “Captains of Industry” is an eternal spirit, even nowadays in the increasingly globalized society.
The eighty minutes seemed to fly by, and I wondered if my message had reached the audience. After my talk, some enthusiastic students approached me with some questions. I advised them to take action first rather than worrying too much about this or that and also not to take the easy path but to constantly try and challenge themselves.
While it is said that there is an increasing number of people who don’t have dreams these days, the energy and power of our youth are crucial for the development of society and organizations. So in conclusion, I would like to say to everyone that I hope they will try to challenge themselves in their studies, sports and life in general, so that they will throw off this sense of stagnation and strive to become a non-conformist with a solid backbone.
Lastly, I am looking forward to reading everyone’s reports on my recommended book.