History

BCon for Organization Development and Human Resource Development

Before the end of World War II, there was no “Consultants” in Japan’s business world. After the war, training sessions for Japanese people working in US military bases were started. This is the beginning of management education in Japan, and also the beginning of the history of Business Consultants. We have named our company “BCon” with the implication of Beacon, which means a guidepost or a lighthouse, and have been working with our customers with the aim of becoming a “long lasting organization”.

 

The beginning of BCon – Starting point of management education that was started at US military bases –

The beginning of BCon dates back to the era of post-war reconstruction. Management education, which was started in the post-war period, was expanded to companies and government agencies, and became the basis of corporate training programs. Soon after, in 1964 the year of the first Tokyo Olympics a team of individuals who aspired to revolutionizing the traditional management trainings in Japan founded BCon. Since the foundation, BCon has sought and explored effective approaches to corporate learning, and in cooperation with prominent educators and researchers in the field. Thus, we became the pioneer of Japanese consulting firms who was one of the first to introduce organization development and behavioral science technologies in Japan.

 

1964 February Business Consultants opened its first office (in Higashi Ginza) on February 24
From April Expanded to various locations in Japan starting from Sapporo, Kyushu and Osaka
1969 February Head office was moved to Yaesu Mitsui Building
October 1st “Executive Development Laboratory” (currently ELP) was held
* Seminar for the purpose of developing leadership skills required for executives in the transformation period
* The friendship with Dr. Cyril Mill of National Training Laboratory (NTL) started with the introduction by Prof. Mitsuru Yanagihara of JICE (Rikkyo University Institute of Christian Education)
1970 January Established Beacon System Co., Ltd. (currently LINCREA Corporation)
July 1st “Organization Development Laboratory” (currently ODL) was held: Robert Ayling
* A seminar for the purpose of acquisition of skills and mindset for managing conflicts effectively in a organization or a group, and building up collaborative relationship
1971 May 1st “Advanced Management Seminar” (currently LEMS) was held in Nagoya
* A management-system seminar intended for management innovation, in which cutting-edge “practical knowledge and case studies” that can be utilized in one’s own company and organization.
1st “Simulation for Management Training” (currently BDP) was held
* A seminar intended to provide knowledge/skill needed for management and hand-on experience on management through management simulation.
1972 April 1st “Management Development Program” (current MDP) was held
* A seminar intended for the verification of management hypothesis (mental model) and development of problem-solving ability through discussion on various management problems (case method)
May 1st “Organization Development Conference” (currently “WIN seminar”) was held with Dr. W. Warner Burke from Columbia University, who later became BCon’s corporate mentor.
* A seminar for providing information on cutting-edge OD (organizational development) skills by leading experts in each subject.

BCon’s Challenges –  Period of challenge in which we have brought about innovations in organization development –

It was the period of a rapid economic growth, in which everyone in Japan was working crazy in order to catch up with Western countries, which were leading the rest of the world at the time.

By practicing a variety of approaches to the entire organization in addition to the group approach, we have worked with Dr. W. Warner Burke in order to fully incorporate the latest theories and technologies in the field of organization development. Around this time, Teruo Yoshida, who was BCon’s president and CEO at the time authored “BCon’s Organizational Principles”, which is still alive as our core values.

1976 August Established Software AG of Far East Co., Ltd. (currently UNIRITA, Inc.)
September “BCon’s Organization Principles” was written by Teruo Yoshida (then president)
1978 January Added LIFO (Life Orientations) Survey on portfolio
* Diagnosis for understanding one’s own interpersonal behavior patterns, which can be used to achieve effective interpersonal relationship
1981 June 1st Salesperson Power Up Training (currently SPUT) was held
* Seminar aimed at understanding the basic flow of sales activities, aiming to improve sales negotiation ability and sales mindset.
1982 May Three B Co., Ltd. (currently UNIRITA, Inc.) was established

BCon’s growth period – While the strategic consulting gained popularity, BCon entered its growth period with its organization development scheme. –

After the period of rapid economic growth, Japan experienced an unprecedented economic boom called the bubble economy. Strategic consultant firms from overseas have entered the matured Japanese economy. While implementing structural reforms, strategy formulation and improving human-resource system for the purpose of securing the company’s growth, BCon also put a lot of efforts on an improvement on intangible aspects such as organizational culture and human relationships. We have also used behavioral-science technologies and a variety of organization development approaches to help transform customer organizations. Unlike other consulting firms at that time which tend to behave as a teacher, we have established a business model in which consulting service is provided by our sales team staffing sales persons with experience in area about which our customers are experiencing problem now.

1987 January Added The Human Element approach to portfolio.
* A program that integrates relationship between logic, emotions, and body of humans as a whole, analyzes and compiling how feelings, emotions, and self-concepts affect human behavior. This is a program that can be used for deep self-understanding and self- insight.
February “Organization development textbook” written by Dr. W. Warner Burke (translated and published by President Inc.)
1988 May 1st The Human Element (current HEP) was held
* “Human element seminar” is intended for achieving deep understanding on human nature by learning important points, and thus obtain an effective interpersonal relationship and gain success.
1989 February 1st Practical Management Training (currently BMP) was held
* A seminar for the purpose of mastering basics of management and the skills for the training of subordinates tailored for newly appointed managers.
1990 October “De Bono system” creativity development program was introduced (Diamond Inc.)
* A program that utilizes a thinking methods developed by Dr. Edward de Bono, the advocate of “horizontal thinking”
1991 June “Joy” written by Dr. Will Schutz (translated and published by President Inc.)

Reorganization of BCon – Reorganization of the organization in response to the rapidly changing environment –

With the burst of the bubble economy and coming of economic downturn along with the rapid progress of IT and globalization, Japanese economy went through major transformations. In order to respond to the major changes, BCon also made efforts in new initiatives such as the licensing business and e-learning business, as well as expansion to overseas. The services launched at that time haven been used by a many customers as know-how for solving various issues until today.

1995 April 1st Innovation Thinking Seminar (currently ITS: Innovative Thinking System)
* A seminar for mastering innovation thinking (mental model and 7 techniques of divergence and convergence for overcoming conventional thinking)
1998 February Relocated the head office to Sumitomo Life Yaesu Building
1999 June Established BCon Korea Inc. (Seoul, Korea)
July 1st “New director seminar” was held
* A seminar for providing information from instructors on the roles and functions required of a new director
August Joined “Business Ethics Practice Center” (BERC)
September Start of competency model research
2001 April Joined “All Japan Management Federation”. Launched study courses for various certification exams
January Started license business (LIFO, HEP, and ITS)
2003 January Acquired the certificate from “All-Japan Management Federation”. ITPS was launched
* A seminar for mastering skill for proposing solutions for IT sales persons
August Launched BPIE, which is a certificate acknowledged by “All Japan Management Federation Accreditation”
* A seminar for mastering skills needed for efficient work processes
January Joined “Japan Economic Organization Federation”
2005 April Launched HMS, which is a members-only service (currently BCon Prime Club)
Start providing “Organizational soundness diagnosis”
* Diagnosis by questionnaire in order to regularly grasp the effective and ineffective aspects of organizational management
Established Business Consultants. Inc. (Shanghai, China)
August Launch of “Radical collaboration”
* A program aimed at improving skills for building effective collaborative relationships with others (related parties) and increase productivity
2006 April Added e-learning solution to portfolio through partnership with CrossKnowledge
2007 March Relocated the head office moved to Sapia Tower (Marunouchi area)
2009 February Launched “Fish!” program (a program for making the work place more active) in partnership with Chart House Learning, Inc.

Further growth of BCon – Organization development has been fully developed and entered a new stage –

While Japan was suffering from the aftermath of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the earthquake, BCon maturates its know-how of organization development and human resource development which have been developed for 50 years, to evolve into a new stage, contributing to the reconstruction and new growth of customer organizations. Based on deep understanding on human nature and group behavior, which is the strong point of BCon, we are proactively providing support for organization development from the aspect of reinforcing of “Social relation capital” (such as connection, trust and joy, which is gained through human relationship) and “Sustainability”, which is needed for achieving sustainable society. We are trying to bring more energy to our customers based on the theory and practice we have gained through our experience of more than 50 years in organization development and at the same time adopting new approaches.

2011 January 1st ISI (Executive Human Power Improvement Program) was held
* A seminar for enhancing human power, emotional intelligence (EI), and social intelligence (SI) necessary for business owners.
March Mid-term business plan “5PROs” was announced
October Launched “Career potential diagnostics”
* A diagnosis based on competency model for understanding personal attribute that can lead to success in business.
February Developed and launched Global Talent Standard Program
* A program for developing global talents who can be successful globally.
2012 January Developed and launched “Agility programs“
* A program for enhancing organizations’ agility by providing support in the assessment of the current situation, making a plan for the change, and progress-check of projects at initial stage.
Launched VIA (Value in Action) program in partnership with VIA Institute on Character
* A program for enhancing employee engagement (sense of satisfaction) by understanding strong points of each employee through evaluation on 24 types of personal traits.
2013 April Creation and announcement of the corporate symbol marking the 50th anniversary
2014 February 50th Anniversary Celebration was held
May BCon Learning Service Co., Ltd. (BLS) was established
* BCon was established with a mission to contribute to the local community and society by providing solutions to local government, businesses and schools.
August Launched “Good Business Good People” an information portal website
* A website for providing information that is useful for being a person who can contribute to the present and future society from points of view of innovation, organization development and human resources development.
September 1st SBRP (Strength-based Resilience Program) was held
* A seminar for enhancing resilience in adverse circumstances or ability to maintain normal balance under pressure.
2015 January Launched “Sustainability program” through a collaboration agreement with “The Natural Step”, an international NGO.
* A program for supporting the formulation of visions and strategies for achieving a sustainable future from an economic, environmental, and social perspective.
Added “JOBS method” to portfolio through a business alliance with INDEE Japan Ltd.
April 1st BSSP (BCon Sustainable Strategy Program) was held
* A seminar for mastering methodology of sustainable vision and strategy with back casting rather than setting strategy as an extension from the current status in order to achieve sustainable future.

History of research and development at BCon – Collaborative research with distinguished educators and researchers in the world –

BCon started its business from a management education for Japanese staff who worked at US military bases. Then, through the process of developing it, we have acquired various organization-development methods and behavioral-science technology.
Now these methods have become indispensable for BCon in helping customers solve problems of their organizations. BCon have successfully transformed the methods we have developed by collaborating with leading researchers from overseas to practical methods for problem solving rather than pure theories. Following is the history of our activities with prominent overseas researchers.

1972: Our network has started to expand starting from Dr. Cyril Mill and Dr. W. Warner Burke.
*Titles omitted
(Excerpt from “BCon’s 50 years of trajectory”)

 

1969 April Project Management Seminar was held by inviting Mr. Berm Gartner
October 1st EDL (currently ELP) was held
* A seminar for developing leadership required for executives in the transformation period
* The friendship with Dr. Cyril Mill started with the introduction of JICE (Rikkyo University Institute of Christian Education: Prof. Mitsuru Yanagihara)
1970 July 1st ODL was held by inviting Robert Ayling
* A seminar for mastering skills and mindset for managing conflicts effectively and confrontations in organization or groups in order to build up collaborative relationship.
1972 May 1st ODC (currently WIN seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Warner Burke for the first time.
* A seminar for learning cutting-edge OD (organization development) skills from leading experts in each topic.
* Currently called WIN (World Insight Network) seminar. Initially, this seminar used to be held under the names of ODC (OD Conference), ODP (OD Program), ODT (Organization Development Technology), OR Seminar (Organization Renewal), and ODS (OD Seminar).
1974 October ODP (currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Warner Burke & Dr. Jerry Harvey
ODL was held by inviting Dr. Cary Cooper
1975 March A seminar was held by inviting Dr. Gordon Lippitt & Dr. Sai Mill.
July ODP (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Jay Hall.
Study Session on LIFO was held by inviting Dr. Alan Katcher
1978 March “Leader Match Seminar” was held by inviting Dr. Fred Fiedler
ODT (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Warner Burke & Leonard Goodstein
1979 April ODP (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Warner Burke & Dr. Howard Carlson
1980 January Marketing Strategy Seminar was held by inviting Dr. Alan Katcher and Lauren Smith
ODP (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Warner Burke and Roger Myers
1981 January ODP (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Warner Burke and Dr. David Nadler
OR Seminar (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Gordon Lippitt and Dr. Ronald Lippitt
1982 May ODP (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Warner Burke and Dr. Harvey Hornstein
1983 June ODP (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Warner Burke and Dr. Edward Roller
ODSL (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Warner Burke and John Humphrey
1984 March ODP (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. David Nadler and Dr. Michael Tushman
1985 March Rothschild seminar was held (Cohosted by Diamond)
June Peter Drucker Seminar was held (Cohosted by Diamond)
ODP (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Warner Burke and Dr. Will Schutz
ODP (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Warner Burke and Richard Beckhard
1986 April Michael Porter Seminar (Co-hosted by Diamond)
June ODP (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Warner Burke
1990 August ODP (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Peter Brock and Hub Martin
ODP (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Jay Galbraith
1991 June A seminar was held by inviting Dr. Will Schutz
August ODP (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Jay Galbraith and Dr. Edward Roller
1992 June ODP (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting John Adams and Sabina Spencer
1994 April Stephen Reinsmith was invited.
1996 August ODP (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Betty Sanders
1998 January ODS (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Michael Tushman & Dr. Charles A. O’Reilly III
1999 January ODS (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Betty Sanders and Kevin Freiberg
January A seminar was held by inviting Dr. George O. Klemp
2000 September ODS (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Richard Chang
2003 August ODS (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Warner Burke และ Dr. Warren Bennis
2005 April ODS (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Richard Barrett & Takao Suzuki
August ODS (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Jim Term and Ron Luet
2006 January ODS (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Mary Lippitt
2007 February ODS (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Kevin Freiberg & Jeff Chambers
2008 April ODS (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Ronald J. Luet, Ethan Schutz and Ronnie Lynat
2009 January ODS (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dina Ebert & Jay Larson
2010 August ODS (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Dr. Christopher G. Worley
October ODS (Currently WIN Seminar) was held by inviting Paul Harr and Celeste Blackman
2013 January 50th Anniversary seminar was held by inviting Professor Henry Mintzberg
January WIN seminar was held by inviting Dr. Tal Ben Shahar
2014 January WIN seminar was held by inviting Dr. Mihai Chiksentmihai
2015 March WIN seminar was held by inviting Dr. Karl-Henrik Robert Camilla Valmar, and Par Larshans
October WIN seminar was held by inviting Mr. Eorran Karlstead, Mr. Karin Schulz, and Ingel Matterson