Being Creative About Change

"Back by popular demand…" Dr. Robert Tobin’s much appreciated session last year prompted a demand for his presence here in Tokyo at the Dinner Meeting. A tall gentleman with striking looks and facial expressions that light up the world, Dr. Tobin took to the lectern and launched into a subject that was relevant to every single person in that room. "What do you want from life: Change?" he asked.

He did not talk at the audience. He asked questions of the audience. "What’s bugging you? What’s funny (strange-funny)? What are people complaining about?" Dr. Tobin asked us to look for those unmet needs right there and then. Responses included complaints about pizza, cultural exchange, driving, pets, TV game shows and last but not least, domestic light switch arrangements. You know how you get a panel of four switches all in one room and you wonder which goddam lights they apply to? Now there’s a big life question.

Dr. Tobin is currently a Professor on the Faculty of Business and Commerce at Keio University, where he directs the Program on Creativity and Change, and is a Member, Graduate School Faculty. He is the author of over twenty-five articles on communications, change, leadership and creativity and is a frequent speaker on "Creativity and Change in Organizations" at professional conferences in the US, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong.

He has over 20 years’ experience in organizational consulting and training with global business leaders. Work in Asia the last nine years has focused on coaching and consulting to chief executives at leading companies in chemical, food services, consumer products, environmental, education, automotive, and multi-media industries.

His lively discussion and coaching style was supported by smooth-running slide support, ably operated by his distinguished colleague, Mr. Tom Pedersen, a Lecturer, Faculty of Business and Commerce/Faculty of Law, Keio University. Tom himself has over 19 years’ experience in Asia, 13 in Japan. As an independent management consultant, Tom focuses on organizational development projects for multinational firms in Japan.

The dinner meeting just flew by and Robert Tobin carried us along with delving questions and stimulating advice that adds impetus to the new year. These guys could change your company mission statement and actually make it work ….. they could also change your life.