The Daruma is good luck charm in Japan that is usually bought at the beginning of the New Year. It is round and weighted on the bottom so that whenever it is pushed; it rolls back to an upright position, symbolizing persistence. For that reason many people in Japan use it to set their yearly goals by first painting in one eye, and then painting in the second eye when their goal is realized.
At the end of 2014, Michael Hay, our VP and Chief Engineer posted about Hitachi being listed as one of the top 50 Innovative companies in 2014 by the Boston Consulting Group. Michael attributed our entry onto that list to our transition from an ICT (Information Communications Technology) company to a Social Innovation engine, citing work in telecommunications, public safety, healthcare, and energy as well as global Hitachi group projects around desalination efforts in Qatar, and research projects with the National Heath Services in the UK. In that post Michael stated that we would be on that list again for 2015.
On his last post in 2015, he was happy to announce that we were again on the BCG list as one of the top 50 most innovative companies. He was only disappointed in that we were 38 on that list. In this post he focused on three areas: Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Excellence in Information Communications Technology, and Hitachi Research’s approach to inside out innovation. This last topic is the reorganization plan that Hitachi research put forward last year for a global R&D structure from a customer perspective that would lead the global rollout of Hitachi’s Social Innovation business. This inside out approach is focused on building capabilities supporting internal and external co-innovations -- previous focus was largely to fuel internal innovations.
In an internal 2016 New Year's Message, President & COO Higashihara noted our new R&D structure, but also the acquisition of Pentaho, a big data analytics company, which has enabled us to strengthen our common platforms. In addition to these innovations from a technology perspective, the Hitachi Group made substantial organizational changes aimed at advancing our Social Innovation Business.
“In April 2015, we implemented “an autonomous decentralized global management” structure, in which Chief Executives in four global regions autonomously lead the Social Innovation Business.” In April our CEO, Jack Domme, also became the CEO for Hitachi Americas, where he now has responsibility for the other parts of the Social Innovation business in the Americas, including automotive, power, life sciences, etc.
Although our fiscal 2015 does not end until March of this year, I think it is time to paint in the other eye and close out calendar 2015. By opening the second eye we have a clear vision into where we will be going in 2016.