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Press Release
U.S. & Japanese Business Leaders Convene to Discuss Raising Productivity Growth
15 April, 2019

The Conference Board and The Japan Productivity Center have joined forces to address slowing productivity, which has been plaguing both economies. On April 12th, both organizations co-hosted a forum on the subject featuring business executives affiliated with each organization. Held at The Conference Board’s headquarters in New York City, the event included roundtable discussions with senior leaders in various industries from the United States and Japan. The discussions have focused on business and policy solutions for restoring productivity as a key driver of growth amid factors related to demographics, regulation, human capital, and digital transformation.

“Achieving robust, widespread prosperity hinges on identifying public and private sector solutions that will kick-start – and ultimately sustain – productivity growth,” said Steve Odland, President and CEO of The Conference Board. “Our forum brought us a step closer to reaching that shared goal, through dialogue among some of the preeminent thought leaders and business executives from the United States and Japan.”          

“We must create more value by using our efforts and ingenuity to pursue innovation and differentiation,” said Mr. Yuzaburo Mogi, Chairman of the Japan Productivity Center, and Honorary CEO and Chairman of the Board of Kikkoman Corporation. “Our discussions have brought us to a shared commitment to accomplish higher productivity.”

Participants in the forum discussed specific steps that businesses should take for improving productivity, along with guidelines to consider. They include the following:

  • Fully leverage digital technologies as tools for diffusing digital transformation throughout businesses and organizations.
  • Revisit how digital transformation and productivity growth can not only increase returns to business, but also promote a virtuous cycle that increases returns to society.
  • Embed environmental and social sustainability values in innovative products and services to maximize value for all shareholders and stakeholders.
  • Nurture creativity in both skill- and knowledge-based work to enhance capabilities that complement new technologies, such as artificial intelligence.
  • Digital transformation is changing work styles and the concept of work. It is also changing the required skills, knowledge, and capabilities of individuals performing the work, along with the nature of the organization. Businesses must determine the steps they should take to address these factors of productivity improvement.

As part of the forum, the two organizations developed a joint summary on the discussion’s topics and proceedings. Read the complete summary here, and learn more about the forum here.

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.  

About The Japan Productivity Center

The Japan Productivity Center (JPC) is a non-profit, non-governmental, and neutral tripartite organization representing labor, management, and academic experts. Established in 1955, JPC conducts research on productivity, presents public policy proposals for socio-economic reforms, and works to raise productivity at the corporate level.

For further information contact:

Joseph DiBlasi


Leading Economic Index for:

  • Australia 0.4%
  • Brazil 0.8%
  • China 1.0%
  • Euro Area 0.3%
  • France 0.2%
  • Germany 0.0%
  • Global 0.5%
  • India 0.8%
  • Japan 0.3%
  • Korea 0.9%
  • Mexico 0.8%
  • Spain 0.2%
  • U.K. 0.1%
  • U.S. 0.1%
  • International Labor Comparisons:
  • Visit ILC website
  • Productivity:
  • Visit Total Economy Database™ website
  • Global Economic Outlook:
  • Visit Global Economic Outlook website