Relationship Matters

Worldwork Bonus: ORSC & Sports

April 14, 2021 CRR Global Season 2 Episode 17
Relationship Matters
Worldwork Bonus: ORSC & Sports
Show Notes Transcript

In this collection of bonus episodes, we’re looking at the concept of Worldwork, which embraces the idea that we are continuously impacting the world, whether we are conscious of it or not. Whilst Worldwork can involve big acts of altruism and community spirit, it always starts with self. Across the course of these 4 bonus episodes, you will be hearing from 4 Worldworkers from across the globe, who have all used ORSC tools in very different ways tools to serve their wider communities. 

In this episode, Katie is talking with Keiko Muramatsu about how she used ORSC tools in sports. Keiko is a co-representative and faculty member of CRR Global Japan and the founder of THRIVE. Thrive sees supporting people and teams as just the starting point and believes that their transformation impacts the world beyond themselves.  Prior to her coaching career, Keiko played lacrosse for Japan in the world cup and went on to be the General Manager of Japan’s women’s U-19 team. As part of her ORSC certification journey, Keiko began using ORSC tools to coach the young lacrosse players, and also the wider systems that they were involved in. 

Relationship Matters - World Work Bonus: ORSC & Sports




KC - Katie Churchman

KM - Keiko Muramatsu


[Intro music 00:00 – 00:08] 


KC – Hello and welcome back to the Relationship Matters podcast, World Works special. In this collection of bonus episodes, we’re looking at the concept of World Work which embraces the idea that we are continuously impacting the world whether we are conscious of it or not. Whilst World Work can involve big acts of altruism and community spirit, it always starts with the self. Across the course of these four bonus episodes, you’ll be hearing from four world workers from across the globe, who’ve all used ORSC tools in very different ways to serve their wider communities. In this episode I’m talking with Keiko Muramatsu about how she uses ORSC tools to coach in sports. Keiko is co-representative and faculty member of CRR Global Japan and the founder of Thrive. Thrive sees supporting people and teams as just the starting point and believes that their transformation impacts the world beyond themselves. Prior to her coaching career, Keiko played Lacrosse for Japan in the World Cup, and went on to be general manager of Japan’s Women’s Under 19 team. As part of her ORSC certification journey, Keiko began using ORSC tools to teach the young lacrosse players, and also the wider systems that they were involved with. So, without further ado, I give you Keiko Muramastu talking about her World Work project and the power of ORSC in sports. Keiko, it’s an absolute delight to have you on the Relationship Matters podcast. 


KM – Thank you! 


KC – I’m very excited to hear about your World Work project which used ORSC in sports, I… before we dive into that I’d love to start with asking you, what does World Work mean to you? 


KM – Ah. That’s a big question! It’s like if you’re living with purpose you eventually do what you really want to do with urge and that I name it World Work, sometimes I name it inner quest, but it’s like something that is really coming from your inner self. 


KC – Love that. 


KM – You actually make change to the world. 


KC – Inner quest, that’s wonderful. And it leads us then to how you really mixed your coaching work with your passion and sport. 


KM – Yeah, so I had a background in sports which is Lacrosse, so that was how I gained my leadership, how I learned, how I got curious about how to make great teams, great organisation when I was in university. So that journey with sports was always in me, in my blood. But that sports and my coaching as a professional coach career was something a bit different. I know it came from that but I separate it. But when I met ORSC and started to work with relationships in organisation, in teams, I felt like hey I really want your help, support with ORSC to the sports areas, my kind of homeland. So I want to contribute back to the sports field as well because I learned a lot from there and there’s so many things that people can learn through sports experiences, so bringing ORSC to that is also, was something that I felt, you know, naturally attracted. 


KC – So it sounds like you also brought together different parts of yourself, different parts of your life in this project. 


KM – Yeah, yeah yeah. I had an experience in playing in National Team in Japan but also Hong Kong which is unique, so bringing those experiences as a player, yes. But more like as a coach, like my image in sports coaching in my background is they tell you what to do. So, not in that way, so that the players can really have this experience and learn their leadership so they might be not a player later on, but that’s totally fine. It’s something that you commit and through this commitment I thought it would be great if I could maximise their learning, as a leader. 


KC – So interesting, so they’re individual leaders within the team and that’s something they use on the field and then also in their lives, perhaps in the business world? 


KM – Yeah, that’s the part I love about sports. People give me a weird look when I always say I am actually not that attracted with Lacrosse, I like the culture but not the sport’s technique itself, it’s more about people who are involved. And it can be any other sports, with me it was just lacrosse. 


KC – So, would you say you used sport as a training ground for leadership development? 


KM – Yeah, there’s more, I think there’s other fields but I think that sports can be one of the big things because the result is clear and it’s win or lose and that which is a bit, maybe, difficult to see in organisation because, of course, the sales, they increase the sales can be one of the results, but I think the relationship really matters, even you have good players, if their teamwork is not good it’s not going to work. 


KC – So interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever thought of sport as an opportunity to use ORSC but it’s perhaps the most obvious opportunity to use ORSC. 


KM – Yeah, it is. Actually, now I’m in a different place but when I first learned ORSC I was struggling, how can I prove that ORSC is something really useful, and can change the quality of thinking, quality of performance and result, the theory of success by Daniel Kim. SO I thought wow, ORSC is so easy to prove with result because it’s so clear and I can prove to the world that ORSC really helps the team, so that was a really simple thing I taught and as I get to work with sports I can prove to the world that this really works and it’s a good thing. 


KC – That’s fascinating because I guess, yeah, with teams it can take years to subtly move them into a different state, whereas with sports you win or you lose or you maybe draw but it’s obvious outcome, much more measurable as you say. So, I’d love to hear a bit more about the specifics of your World Work project. So this is how you took ORSC into the world and it’s one of the most unique ways I’ve heard someone be a world worker, so I’d love to hear more. 


KM – So, I’ve been working with sports teams and helping sometimes Olympic teams or sometimes college sports teams, but then one of the big things in my sports field career was in 2019, I was general manager for Under-19s Japan women’s Lacrosse team, so as a general manager you have to do everything. You have to do the admin stuff as well and not as big as US sports business, but it’s more like holding the relationship with stakeholders but also how to create the organisation, the team, starting from who to be the coach, the head coach, choosing coaches and also selecting players. So that was my role, but what I added was I told the Lacrosse Association that if you’re hiring me I have to, I wanna do what I wanna do, which is coach not in the field but coach the players outside the field and train their leadership, and also coach coaches, relationship between assistant coach and trainers and head coach, but also I – the head coach wanted me to coach him. One on one, so I did a lot of coaching and system coaching both ways. 


KC – Wow, your role really was a zooming out and seeing the bigger picture. So I imagine that system lens was so helpful in terms of that organisation of people. And roles, I guess, plays a major part in that. 


KM – Yeah, and with the Under 19 team of girls, the parents is one of the stakeholders as well so I was thinking how can we create a good, right relationship with parents was also another thing, a different from the national team because they’re more mature. 


KC – That’s so interesting because I guess, yeah you could have an incredible player, but if we take them out of the context and the culture of their lives, that being maybe the other players or their family, they might not succeed in the way that they can, the best way that they can. 


KM – Yeah and I felt the difference of… recently, I’m the mother of two kids but when I was a kid my parents never came to the field to try out, they’re so enthusiastic these days the parents! They just want to support so much but we need them to keep the distance as well in a way, to have the respect for each other. But I want them to include them as great fans, so that was new for me. 


KC – Yeah. That’s so fascinating because I would have probably just dismissed them as sort of outside the system but, you know, they’re going to be there whether you like it or not so you might as well involve them, use their enthusiasm for the good. 

 KM – Yeah, and I think that’s the big difference between just the team coach and the system coach, the lens you have is more broad. It can be focused but it can be more broad as the bigger picture, like you said. 


KC – Yeah, and I guess then when you’re zooming out you’re starting to see all the other pieces like the physio and the nutritionist, all those parts that don’t necessarily show up on the field but all the effort behind what will happen on the field, it’s very important. 


KM – Yeah, it is. So, one thing I discovered was in one of the training camps we did a deep democracy process which is zooming out to see who other people will we involve and stakeholders, and one thing, there was a small voice coming out like their team mate. Because they are selected players from each school, high school, university, so they leave their school team practice and join and come to the try out or our national training which is a great thing and it’s there opportunity, but they do feel kind of reluctant or some kind of guilty mind for leaving the team practice because they are key players in their schools too, and they have to leave because they’re committing, which is totally fine in consensus reality, but in dreaming level they feel kind of guilty, they feel sorry that they have to leave or they feel isolated that their team mate might not be feeling great about their team mates leaving their practice. So, when that voice came out we notice that it’s not just you and the national team or the parents or the team that we’re playing against in the World Cup, it’s about the team they have in the background and their home team. And how can we create a great relationship with them was one of the discussion points, it gave them kind of relief and it’s ok that it’s not just you holding that, you know, responsibility, yeah. 


KC – That’s so interesting, because that’s talking about people from past teams but still impacting their performance in the current team..


KM – Yeah. 


KC – And what was the impact of working with those voices? 


KM – So one of the biggest impacts was they noticed it wasn’t just themselves that was feeling that way, they never talk about it with the other national players so they notice that oh, it’s not just me! And another thing was it’s a yes and, yes you might have that assumption and it might be partially true, AND what can we do with it and what we want is for the team to be great friends of us as well, so cheering that Japan will do great in the world cup so how can we kind of bring them and make them involved in the right way? So that they can be fans for us and that each player in the national team will feel more confident that they’re being cheered by their team. So that was a great turning point, I think. 


KC – Wow. That’s such a wide lens on that. I wouldn’t have even thought about bringing them on as fans and not leaving them behind in the past team but actually utilising their enthusiasm for the sports. So you really were zooming out and seeing big, big picture for these women? 


KM – Yeah, yeah I think so. Especially in their age, I don’t think they have much lens, like bigger lens that time and I think it helps them in future as well, I think. I felt like it’s a kind of investment for us, you know for their learning so that they can be a great player or a great adult when they grow up. 


KC – So, I think you said about deep democracy as well, about knowing that they’re not alone in that worry. I think that is one of the simplest but most powerful parts of deep democracy, it’s that you start to hear from voices that are similar to your own internal worries or fears. 


KM – Yeah, you’re right. 


KC – and that we’re all more similar than we realise, actually. We all have the same pains, passions, worries, loves, desires, and I think that in itself can be just eye opening. You also mentioned offline about lands work which I am fascinated to deep dive into. 


KM – So I did a few types of lands work but the one big thing was because they’re under 19 and from the Japanese culture, one year older is a big, there’s a big wall. You have to respect, in terms of Japanese language, you have to use a polite way, there’s a… practical grammar, so you have to convert your language to polite way. 


KC – So, if someone’s like 19 and you’re 18 you’re pretty much calling them a sir like you would a grandparent, say? 


KM – A bit official but not official is sir. 


KC – Ok, that’s interesting to know! 


KM – So it depends on the relationship of course, some relationship they don’t use it but generally, if you meet people from another team and you know that they are older, of course the first time they will use the respectful way. That’s kind of a wall that’s coming from culture, but also there was a wall that because they’re under 19, most of the players start playing in high school or maybe earlier than that, but some players just started in university and they’re still chosen as a national player, but they do have a difference with experience. So I made a lands work with experience players and non-experienced players, but they’re all on the same team right. Experienced player in high school and experienced player in university, and non-experienced player in university. And we do lands work and we put the Japan national team in the centre as a theme topic and what they realise is that they all have pressure. Like each land had pressure. And, you know, of course the non-experience players have pressure because they have to work so hard to get to the same level, they have this challenge in mind, but the experienced players, especially in college students, they have to leave the team and they can’t do any easy mistakes and they always have to be better than the others. Which we never said as a coach but you know, that’s what automatically they had. And when they, when the other lands people experienced that it was eye opening but also empathy and also a kind of healing moment for the team and for the owner of that land. 


KC – How interesting. Another sort of moment of realising that you’re not alone in your pressure. I’m sure that we thought the other side has it easy in a way and actually they don’t, they just have a different kind of pressure. 


KM – Yeah, and the great thing about lands work is that the other people experience that and then the owner of the land will watch them experiencing, right. So that was the moment where they felt, oh they really understood us, they did feel part of us, and the healing moment, the team got more close. 


KC – I’m sure! So what was the impact of that healing for the team on the field, playing Lacrosse. 


KM – I think it was, they allowed mistakes, good mistakes, which is challenging mistakes, and I think it got more like an equal mindset that whether you’re experiencing or not experiencing, it doesn’t matter, whatever happens on the field we say what we need. Ok, you shouldn’t do that or good job or, you know, it’s not about the background and that’s what I thought was the impact that happened, the more conversation happening without hesitation. 


KC – So interesting. You are the ultimate in terms of world work. I guess I’m interested, Keiko, to take it slightly on a different path because I know that you’ve worked and lived all over the world and I’m just wondering how ORSC has helped your understanding and ability to work with cultural diversity. 


KM – Thank you, yeah, well the very first ORSC was in UK, London, so they’re the fundamentals, but because I wasn’t sure with my understanding level I just parked and took the rest of the course in Japanese in Japan when I got back. In answer to your question, I’m not quite sure because when I was abroad I didn’t have the ORSC lens, right. It was more like curiosity and I didn’t like to label the culture and the person, so I kind of ignored the culture thing. But it worked well because I see each person as the unique person. But I think coming back to Japan I am more aware of how Japanese culture is, because that’s when I integrated by ORSC learning and back to Japan was something that made me be aware more. Like, why are we like this or why am I different or why do they say no to this or why is there so many announcement in public transportation in Japan. Because they don’t want to be responsible for the risk so they say don’t do this, don’t do this in the announcement. Which is interesting, I’m like oh yeah, Japanese culture doesn’t like to take risk or be responsible for that so they always make sure that they have done what they need to say. So I’m more aware and if I go out and travel like I can be more aware and curious of the culture side, but yeah, so far it just made me more clear what the Japanese culture is and make me feel like how can I hold the RSI with that. Because we have a tendency to want to be smooth and calm. 


KC – What do you mean by smooth? 


KM – We don’t like conflict! We don’t, in no way I would express in a stronger way, we don’t like to take possession, hold a clear position, we weren’t educated that way, it was more like how can you be nice to each other or how can you make things smooth! Calm and make things move on without much conflict. But then in my journey living abroad, you need to show up or you need to speak what you need or claim what you need, that was a great learning for me. And I felt that’s a great leadership. And then I went back to Japan kind of wanting to criticise the Japanese culture, but then I noticed there’s a beauty side of that too and what helps me was being aware of relationships system, makes me to speak up when I need for the sake of the system. And sometimes it is about showing up, but it’s not always have to be that way of leadership, it’s also holding the in between of each position and making it hold, not to make it smooth but to make sure that everything is heard and it’s the right thing for the system to do whatever decision they make. So, I felt more the need of ORSC in Japanese culture and how learning their RSI is so powerful for us from the culture aspect. 


KC – I love what you’re saying and I guess it talks to the fact it’s not right or wrong, it’s just difference. And I’m from the UK originally, I live in America, and quite different cultures, even though we share a language it’s very different! And in the UK we’re stuck in that let’s just have a cup of tea and it’ll all be fine and sort of smile it off, and there is more of an abruptness here around certain subjects so, it’s sort of working with and as you say, it’s not that one’s wrong or right, it’s finding the beauty and the usefulness and the power in each of those cultures. 


KM – Yeah, one of the bad thing I came to that point was, you know last year, I think we did the- ORSC facility members did the systemic racism call, the topic about the racism, and I wasn’t in the call because of the time difference, I couldn’t join, it was midnight, but I listened to the recording and it was very intense. And everyone was vulnerable and brave enough to speak out what they’ve experienced in their life and it doesn’t have to be your culture or your identity. And I was listening to that with my tears and I thought how would I be if I was in that call? And, cause I did experience racism, I think, because I’ve been in lots of different cultures, but I felt that it’s not that big for me, impact for me, but then I realised that if I was in the call I would have become an observer which is more listening to everyone’s voice and didn’t have much to share from my side, and I always used to think that it’s meaningless in a way, you’re not offering anything to the space and I felt that very small thing, I’m a small person, but then I kind of had a dialogue with my colleague in CRR and we were discussing like yeah, maybe for an observer is one of the big roles as well. Listening to deep democracy and allowing the space to hear that. And yeah, that was a big shift for me as a Japanese identity and observer is another role. It’s just that, you don’t just listen and fade away but you act when you need, but holding the space. 


KC – Observer is holding the space for other people. I don’t know if it’s similar but I volunteered in the Philippines for several months and I remember, we had Filipino volunteers and British volunteers and when we were having team meeting the British volunteers would say things, like they’d repeat it and someone else has say something and it didn’t matter, they said their idea again. And I remember sort of sitting back and observing, and this was way before any of my ORSC coaching, but I remember asking my Filipino counterpart, I was like you guys don’t, you don’t say as much as us. And she was like well when one person’s said it they’ve said it on behalf of the group, and I was just like oh that’s just so different from like how individualistic we are but it makes so much sense! Like, why do we feel we need to have to voice it in our own voice, it’s already been said and it was just so clear to them like no, once it’s been said it’s been said for all of us. And I don’t know if that chimes with what you’re saying? 


KM – Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think there’s lot of things like that in each culture, it would be so interesting to know more and more of each culture like oh, they do that because of that thing, knowing why. 


KC  - Yeah, I just remember sitting back and being like God, why are we so stupid, it’s already been said. And there’s something to love and to hate about these things in culture but I just remember thinking God, that’s so wise, it’s already been said on behalf of the collective. 


KM – Yeah. Last year I took this course learning about culture intelligence… 


KC – Ok… 


KM – So, each culture has different data and we compare with a few measurements, they rate them with numbers with research from IBM. But then I noticed the difference, the great thing about ORSC is how can we align with that? Just knowing that difference is ok. Yes, that’s important for a start, yeah, tick. But how can we work together is the part of the conversation that we bring or reveal or create from that differences, I love so much about it. 


KC – They say time and time again about how the best team is the one that’s the most diverse in strengths and imagine if international companies really played to the strengths of all cultures, because I think right now there is a sort of, there’s a push towards being an extrovert and speaking out, and what about the power of the ambivert or the introvert? The quieter cultures or the listener, as you say, the power in that too. 


KM – Yeah, yeah. 


KC – So I’m intrigued. What tools have you found most useful then with regards to the Japanese culture you mentioned, the smoothness. 


KM – every tool was great! 


KC – Every tool. 


KM – Other than what I’ve mentioned, those were very impactful, the deep democracy process and land work. I did the DTA every time for this team, for the Lacrosse team, every time before their practice. I made them discuss about the DTA, what their intention is today and when practice gets difficult or really tiring, how do we want to be as a team? Those things were, something in structure that it helped them to create their own culture and feel like it’s not my team, it’s the players team. 


KC – So you really kept them accountable and I guess it was activated every single time you practiced then, that DTA, that agreement? 


KM – Yeah, and it grew. Like it changed, you know. 


KC – Yeah. This has been wonderful Keiko, I’m just wondering a final question, for someone who’s new to ORSC and the idea of World Work, bringing ORSC to the world, what would you suggest, what advice would you offer? 


KM – I have no doubts, whatever your, if it aligns with what you really want to do and I think there’s no doubt that it’s, I mean what’s the doubt [Laughs]. I think everyone has an edge with that and whether it will go well, you know, what if I mess it up, but I think bringing that ORSC perspective to the system is already a starting point for that system, and whether you might not do deeper as you thought or longer as you thought, it’s already you’re putting the seed. SO, I have no doubt and there’s not much advise – just do it! Keep on doing it. 


KC – That’s brilliant. And I love what you said there about it’s just bringing the concept, sometimes it’s not even about the tools, it’s just zooming out can be powerful in itself. 


KM – Yeah, there’s lot of voices that’s not being heard and just ventilating those voices is already a big thing. And how great is that? 


KC – I feel like I need to speak to a voice that’s been on this call, you’ve got this beautiful background, I realise our listeners won’t be able to see it but you’ve got this beautiful – it’s a forest with all these beautiful trees intertwined and that’s been very much speaking to me throughout this. 


KM – Thank you, yeah, I hope that whatever you do and whatever leaders do is just, this is the concept of Thrive, so it will help the world thrive in their own unique way. 


KC – I love that, well thank you, I’m feeling very much in a thriving space right now Keiko after speaking to you. This is very energising. 


KM – Thank you!


KC – A huge thanks to Keiko for sharing with us her fascinating ways of using ORSC in coaching sports and managing the Under 19s Japanese Lacrosse Team. For more information about Keiko’s work, do check out CRR global holds all students as change agents and trains them to be conscious of what impact they want to make in the world. We believe that everybody’s impact, whether conscious or unconscious, sends ripples out into the world. It’s up to all of us as World Workers to keep our communities safe and healthy. The World Work project is a key element of the ORSC certification journey. For more information about World Work and certification, do check out and do remember to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from to make sure you never miss an episode. From the living room to the board room, we believe Relationship Matters.