Think About It: The Three Wise Men - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

December 5, 2011

Think About It: The Three Wise Men

Last week I attended an open forum with three Hilo-born entrepreneurs. UH's Shidler College of Business and its Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) took us inside the minds of Big Island Candies' Allan Ikawa, aio's Duane Kurisu, and KTA Super Stores' Barry Taniguchi. Humble, anecdotal, encouraging, analytical,  philosophical, sincere, empathetic, passionate, directed, sensible, strong-willed- those are just a few of the adjectives that came to mind about this trio of successful friends while over 500 people listened to the three Hilo High and University of Hawaii graduates talk story with PACE Executive Director, Susan Yamada.

What does it mean when we talk about local style management and leadership? What is it that separates the way we do things here vs. the way they might be done elsewhere? Can a local company using local social skills succeed amid globalization, giant conglomerates, and the fast-paced, technological world of the 21st century? Do the lessons of our elders and our cultures still matter in 2011? Those were just some of the topics covered over the 90-minute journey with these community pillars. The answer is- yes, we need to preserve what makes us unique, and it really does still work in a world where we now have to lock our doors and count our pennies more than ever.

Local sensibilities and management styles do have a place in the world today- of course. But more people here need to live local style, live "aloha", and not just talk about it like it's some sort of gift automatically ingrained in your brain due to being born here or living here for a long time. Local style makes companies and people winners in ways far beyond the bottom line. It is a holistic way of approaching everything and everybody. It is a way to try and make a positive difference while we reside on this planet. We need more people like these three wise men to share what it all means- and we need more people to listen, both here and afar. That's part of what makes Hawaii unique and special, and a lot of people could learn from this style of living. Think about it…

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