Director, Business Design and Development, IDEO Tokyo
Whether it’s bridging business and creativity or eastern and western philosophies, I am passionate about bringing together diverse perspectives to create meaningful change within organizations. Having worked at a traditional Japanese organization and helping start up the IDEO Tokyo office, I love helping both young and mature organizations create impact inside and outside Japan.
What you won’t learn from my bio:
My heart jumps for dogs, basketball, and anything with wheels. I was also a relatively serious cross-country runner in high school.
Kenichi is the Director of Business Design and Development at IDEO Tokyo. His focus is to bridge creativity with business, and using the combination to generate successful change and innovation. Kenichi has worked on multiple projects involving technology, strategy, and developing new business models for organizations in multiple countries, including Japan and the US. Before working in the Tokyo office, he has also spent time in IDEO’s San Francisco and Palo Alto offices.
Currently, Kenichi’s focus is around growing and developing IDEO Tokyo’s business. Kenichi meets hundreds of organizations every year to explore various ways that IDEO may collaborate with them to create greater impact. He also often helps guide the business strategy/design component of IDEO Tokyo’s projects.
Prior to joining IDEO, Kenichi worked as a Country Manager at Toyota Motor Corporation’s headquarters in Japan where he was in charge of Toyota’s product portfolio, pricing, supply and demand, and public relations in multiple Latin American countries. After bringing these countries back to profitability for the first time in more than 25 years, Kenichi moved to a Global Product Manager position for the existing and next generation Corolla models. His primary role was to lead and coordinate cross-discipline teams involving designers, production specialists, engineers and marketers from around the world to create new products as well as improving existing ones.
Kenichi holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, US, and a BA in Policy Management from Keio University, Japan. At Harvard, he also spearheaded the school’s first ever Immersion Experience Program (IXP) for Japan, where he led students to help the affected areas of the Tohoku Earthquake in cooperation with Japanese companies. During college, Kenichi researched on how to change Japan’s English education system and his thesis was published as a book by NHK Publishers.
A globe trotter, Kenichi has lived in London, New York, Boston, and Singapore.