I’d like to start this note by wishing all of our readers the very best as we continue to adapt to what seems to be an ever-changing new normal.
In my own working life and in my communication with friends and contacts, I’m heartened by the fact that connections are being maintained — and in some cases strengthened — despite the continued need for social distancing.
During these trying times, it’s comforting to know that organizations and entrepreneurs are continuing to thrive as they adjust to changes in markets, customer demand and the needs of their communities. In our look at Canadian companies that have ties to Japan, three instructive factors stand out in their success: having a reliable partner here, a strong product line pre-pandemic and plenty of patience.
Stephane Beaulieu, co-founder of the Yuzkyu Resort in Niigata Prefecture, launched the endeavour as the pandemic was hitting full swing in Japan, but he found support for the project in the form of talented workers from all around the globe. The resort is already off to a great start and has plans to expand.
Bringing interns into a company is a practice that strongly benefits both sides: the interns quickly learn tangible, real-world skills and accrue valuable work experience, while the companies can often pick up out-of-the-box ideas from these new members of the team. When you can add an international element to the mix, it only increases the opportunity for growth and learning. One company that’s recently been recognized for its dedication to this dynamic is Curvegrid, which was honoured with the Co-operative and Experiential Education Employer Impact Award in International Excellence from the University of Waterloo.
Speaking of schools, they and the communities around them had to respond quickly to the changing circumstances brought on by the pandemic. In talking with three international schools with ties to Canada, we saw how quick thinking, creativity, flexibility and a dedication to the safety of children, parents and staff have helped these institutions weather the storm and come through the stronger for it.
Finally, as I learned by spending time with some members of the Tokyo Canadians hockey team, there are few things that rival the power of sports to bring us together across different backgrounds. The team, now in its 25th year, has served as an extended family for its members, and also gives back to the countries it has visited for international tournaments.
Thanks as always for your continued readership, and may you all have a safe and happy holiday season.