Nintendo Passes Controller to Human Resources Executive

Satoru Iwata, the late president of Japanese gaming giant Nintendo, passed away earlier this year from bile duct cancer, creating a void that will be difficult to fill. Iwata guided the company for over 30 years, overseeing the development and success of the Pokemon and Super Smash Bros. franchises and the development of the Wii U gaming system, some of Nintendo’s most successful projects to date.

It has been announced that Iwata’s replacement will be Tatsumi Kimishima, a 65 year old human resources executive who will step up as the new president of Nintendo. Kimishima began his career as a banker, working with corporate planning, international business development, and corporate communications. These skills served him well when he was appointed the Chief Financial Officer of the Pokemon Company in 2000.

He was since shuffled through different branches of Nintendo as the company struggled to deal with diminishing sales in the wake of Sony and Microsoft’s introduction into the market. He has been acting as the director of human resources for Nintendo for several years now, and it is his experience there, as well as in his other executive roles over the years, that led to his promotion to president.

Iwata was a powerful personality that will need to be replaced with three different positions instead of just one. Software and hardware, which Iwata previously took a large role in guiding, are now under the creator of Mario and Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto, and the lead designer of the Wii console, Genyo Takeda.

Kimishima will be using the experience he gained in human resources to fulfill the administrative functions of Iwata’s old role, and to help lead up the mysterious quality of life initiative that Nintendo’s executive team has been whispering about for some time now.

Miyamoto and Takeda, who had been handling Iwata’s responsibilities in the interim, will assist Kimishima in the transition, but it remains to be seen how he will shape Nintendo in the years to come.

Human Capital Management Coalition Aims to Improve HR Practices

In large companies, managing human resources is a monumental task. It can be hard to make sure that employees are being taken care of ethically and being given access to the resources necessary for them to be successful in the company. Some big businesses have been known to pressure workers for the sake of the bottom line, seen most recently with revelations about how Amazon pressures workers to improve the company at every possible turn.

In an attempt to limit unethical or unreasonable practices, The Human Capital Management Coalition was formed. It’s composed of 24 representatives from various union and public pension funds. Their purpose is to pressure large companies to improve their HR practices by asking for transparency in their HR practices, and if necessary, asking them to improve conditions and wages for their workers.

The primary force driving this is a desire to change the overall perception of workers from “costs” to “assets.” This simple change in terminology comes from the “good jobs strategy,” a system developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Zeynep Ton. This strategy has been shown to lead to improved profits. By not treating workers as they deserve, a company exposes themselves to financial risk.

The Human Capital Management Coalition has been able to successfully meet with Gap Inc., Walmart Stores Inc., McDonalds Corp., and others. Not every company is fully cooperative with the Coalition’s mission, but they have had success. A spokesperson for Gap was among the first to say that they would be considering the Coalition’s advice.

Ultimately, investing properly into human resources policy has been shown to lead to net gains. In a study conducted by Harvard Law School, 67 of 92 companies that implemented positive human resources policies also experienced growth in profitability and stock prices.

University of California, Irvine Opens New HR Leadership Certificate Program

On August 27th, 2015 the University of California, Irvine publicized its new certificate program created specifically for human resources professionals pursuing leadership roles, such as HR managers, directors, and generalists.

According to the University of California, Irvine, the Strategic Human Resources Leadership Specialized Studies program will delve deep into what it takes to become a human resources leader in today’s workforce. The program will combine classroom instruction, webinars, and onsite training to cover material pertaining to the scope of practice, strategic and tactical approaches, structural organization, current occupational trends, and business applications.

The certificate will only be awarded to students that successfully complete the five core curriculum courses by scoring at least a “C” grade. The program’s courses equate to 9.5 credits, or units. The five required classes include:

  • Linking HR Strategy to Business Success: Coursework focuses on the necessity for human resources workers to understand, express, and apply business concepts to HR programs within organizations.
  • Organizational Design and Development: Coursework shows how organizational design directly influences employee performance and overall business success.
  • Human Capital Strategy: Beyond Workforce Planning: Coursework centers on improving human capital utilization to create more avenues for organizational success.
  • HR Management Systems and Technologies: Coursework introduces technology tools, practices, systems, and trends to enable students to better navigate the human resources management system (HRMS).
  • Building a Talent Pipeline: From Identification to Succession: Coursework concentrates on aspects of leadership roles such as handling responses to big decisions and respecting the ability to influence.

The program may be particularly rewarding to current human resources professionals that want to advance their careers in order to earn higher salaries. In 2014, the United States Department of Labor reported that human resources specialists received an average annual salary of $62,590. Meanwhile, human resources managers enjoyed a much higher average annual salary of $114,140.

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