A female president who achieved a 10% reduction in the turnover rate of 20-somethings at a partner company talks about the importance of investing in education for 20-somethings.

CEO  RIKA Ishido

Contributing to "Mentoring and Investing in the Twenties" is the theme of what I do.

 Why did you leave your career in the legal field and embark on running a business focused on mentoring 20-somethings, Ishido-San?" I am often asked. The answer is that for me, contributing to "mentoring and investing in 20-somethings" is what I should be doing. OVER20 has mentored over 1,000 20-somethings to date. To begin with, I have had great dissatisfaction with 20-somethings working in corporations for the past 9 years, and I also thought that the "way the organization was organized" itself was wrong. It is as if 20-somethings who entered the company with high hopes are turned into cogs in the organization without any kind of self-expression, and are forced to waste the first 10 years of their precious careers as a generation of underachievers.


 The 20s are the last age when the brain is in its last growth spurt, when physical strength and health are guaranteed, when you can grow from the number of mistakes you make, and when you can come up with ideas that are not tainted by society, not from experience. These are not the same as the 20s of the past, just because life expectancy is longer and healthier. Nobunaga Oda unified Owari at the age of 25, and today's 20-somethings should have the same strength, ideas, stamina, and energy to carry on with their lives as he did. However, for the past 20 years, Japanese organizations have focused on the postwar organizational structure and human resources, and have continued to suppress the potential and abilities of the 20-somethings, while only paying attention to the high-volume middle and senior age groups in terms of what the future human resource strategy should look like.


 Our company's mission is to prove and communicate the potential of 20-somethings. However, the number of human resources who can appropriately support the growth of young people in Japanese companies has been decreasing, and we have been educating volunteers (in their 20s to 50s) from various top companies on "Leading from Behind (EQ-type management)" since 2008. The reason for this is our desire to nurture young human resources who will play an active role in the industry.


 The world is seeing the latest technology industries flourish with advances in AI and IoT. And yet, companies that can take advantage of 20-somethings, who have the closest sense of the latest developments and are deep in understanding and learning, are disappearing from this country. OVER20 conducts depth interviews with hundreds of 20-somethings every year, and three out of four of them feel that their ideas, knowledge, and values are not being utilized. This is information that should be


 For example, we hear people say that one of the reasons for the delay in DX in Japan is that "some people will not be able to eat if IT advances, so they intentionally leave simple tasks behind. Is this argument really discouraging 20-somethings and young people from spending their time, potential, and energy on DX? For example, this is often the case in our own company.

 An online MTG setting that takes a young person one minute to complete takes 30 minutes for a 50-something. Moreover, in the current Japanese organizational structure, many 20-somethings are on the "managed" side, so they want to be taught how to do things. Isn't this a waste of time and productivity of 20-somethings? In an organization that cannot adapt its structure to the times, the younger a person is, the more time he or she wastes and the more time he or she spends doing "work that can be done without that person," and the moment of opening up experience and potential is closed off. After all, 20-somethings are the generation that has to change jobs when they join a company, so they go about their daily routine without complaining, and one day the best and brightest will quit.

I believe it is important to accept the changes in the world and create an organizational culture and systems centered on people who can respond to those changes and nurture people.


 OVER20 has declared that "by 2027, we will form partnerships with 100 leading companies that promote diversity rather than a silver male democracy in Japan, contribute to closing the gender gap in Japan, and create an environment where the potential of 20-somethings can be unleashed". The other day, a student asked me, "I don't think there are many companies in Japan that would accept the OVER20 program, so why don't you go global?" I replied, "We will be partnering with emerging companies in Europe and Southeast Asia within the next five years. I can't tell you exactly when that will be now, but the fact is that borders are not a major issue for our business strategy, as OVER20 aims to create a world where "everyone" can thrive and shine.

We will not abandon our current employees.

 OVER20 is a new step forward in changing the traditional trend of human resource strategy, and has brought in a professional mentor with more than 10 years of experience in mentoring people in their 20s as our mentoring director. Based on our mentoring know-how, we have reproduced it in a Japanese style and succeeded in establishing our own mentoring method, "MENTOR WORKOUT".

 We hope that you will consider introducing our service, which utilizes the mentoring know-how of the "MENTOR WORKOUT," as a concrete measure to switch from a human resource development strategy that mainly focuses on coaching to a human resource emergence strategy that mainly focuses on developing human resources who can generate innovation.


 Never abandon your current employees. We hope that many companies will see that there is an opportunity to change their mindset to one of aggressive human resources.