Japanese Young Leaders share the benefits of their experiences of the ICMIF Young Leaders Programme

8 March 2019


The ICMIF Young Leaders Programme is a unique programme for ICMIF members which takes place during the Federation’s Biennial Conferences. The Programme is designed for young professionals (generally aged 18 to 35) from mutual, cooperative and member-owned insurers who have been identified by their seniors as strong candidates to become future leaders within their organisations. It gives the Young Leaders the chance to attend the full ICMIF Conference at a discounted fee as well as participate in exclusive networking sessions and events which are designed specifically to meet their interests.

The first Young Leaders Programme took place in conjunction with the 2017 ICMIF Biennial Conference in London. There were 55 participants in the Programme who came from 31 member companies in 16 countries. Many of the participants had travelled to London from Japan and were there representing various Japanese ICMIF member companies.

Below are the prevailing impressions among Japanese Young Leaders from their attendance at the 2017 ICMIF Biennial Conference. We are grateful to Mr. Yoshikazo Sato from ICMIF member organisation Zenrosai for collating the feedback from the Japanese Young Leaders which is shared below:

  • I learned a lot from others.
  • I was very impressed with foreign YLP member who gave presentations to the audience.
  • I was motivated by the fact that there are many young members with vast knowledge and great skills in the world.
  • I had many opportunities to see my own organisation objectively through the conversations I had with other delegates.
  • I realised that I need to develop my communication skills.

Following their attendance at the 2017 Conference many of the Young Leaders from Japan continued to work together; both for the purposes of studying and learning more but also to share their learnings with others in their respective organisations. Here are the results and outcomes of this work:

A number of the Japanese Young Leaders formed a voluntary study group which consists of Programme members from the London Conference mainly from the companies JCIF, Zenkyoren and Zenrosai. Some of the activities that were carried out include the following: 1) meeting to learn about each organisation and its business, 2) information exchange with some reinsurance companies, 3) and a lecture meeting which young employees who did not attend the Young Leaders Programme in London in 2017 were invited to attend. These activities have provided these Young Leaders with opportunities to understand their advantages, disadvantages and their identities as cooperative insurers.

JCIF Young Leader activities

In January 2018 the JCIF Young Leaders organised an internal seminar and all employees were invited to attend in order to study Cooperative Philosophy. During this seminar the Young Leaders who had been to the Conference in London shared their personal experiences of the Programme and the materials from the seminar with other staff from JCIF. It helped all the employees who attended the seminar understand that the passions held by the young people within JCIF have great potential and that cooperative philosophy and the cooperative business model can contribute to society in all parts of the world.

A task force team was also established to create a new mid-term plan for JCIF the name of which is “2030 Vision”. JCIF gave great importance to the young employees’ ideas in order to make the mid-term plan possible. Also, the aim in creating the task force team was to give them the young leaders the opportunity to grow within the organisation. Five members of the London Young Leaders Programme have attended the team meetings throughout 2018 to discuss the future of JCIF and to make a plan on how to become the ideal organisation.

Zenkyoren Young Leader activities

On returning from London, the attendees gave a special presentation about the Young Leaders Programme to their senior management, who they do not often have reason or the opportunity to meet. The Young Leaders hope that their presentation will make some influence on future decisions about the business strategies and employee training schemes.

Zenrosai Young Leader activities

One of the attendees shared her experiences and new knowledge with the other members of her section which is in charge of creating organisation’s new mid-term business plan. Taking the advantage of the year when our organisation cerebrates its 60 year anniversary, the new plan is going to change Zenrosai’s business strategies dramatically and it is hoped that the learnings from the Young Leaders Programme can influence that in a positive way.

The first Young Leaders Programme at the AOA Seminar

Last December the ICMIF Asia and Oceania Association (AOA) held a seminar for ICMIF members based the region. The AOA Seminar took place inHong Kongon 6 and 7 December 2018. There were special sessions organised for the many young employees who attended the seminar following the positive experience the Japanese Young Leaders had enjoyed in London. There were 23 young participants at the AOA Seminar of which 11 were from Japanese member companies. Hong Kong Young Leader Programme participants and those who had attended the Programme in London have met to share the knowledge they gained from attending the events. These meetings have taken place both before and after the Hong Kong Seminar and the Japanese Young Leaders have confirmed their intention to maintain and expand this network throughout 2019 as they are gaining great value from it.

Following the great success of the Young Leaders Programme in London ICMIF will run another Programme this year at the Biennial Conference in Auckland (New Zealand) which takes place from 12-15 November 2019. The programme will provide an excellent opportunity for ICMIF members to both develop and reward their younger and high potential employees, exposing them to wider issues impacting the insurance industry, strategic best-practice and mutuality on a global scale.

Photo shows: Japanese Young Leaders in London for the ICMIF Biennial Conference in 2017.

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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