More Thinking Driven Processes, Less Process-Driven Thinking

Too many companies in Japan are dominated by processes-driven thinking when what is really needed is thinking-driven processes. Process-driven thinking is all about adherence—following a process meticulously and consistently—something that the Japanese are particularly good at. Thinking-driven processes, on the other hand, are all about contingence—what you do is contingent upon the situation, and will naturally vary. Continue reading


The Middle-Aged Mid-Level Japanese Male Manager: The Bane of Business Leaders

No creativity or innovative ideas. Overly risk-averse. Fearful of change or anything new. Just going through the motions of their jobs, often working late, but more often just working slow. They’re not hungry! They are not assertive! They’re indecisive!. They’re afraid to speak up—afraid to say something with which others might disagree. Abominable at English, they wince at the mere suggestion of trying to learn. The problem is Japanese culture say some. I have encountered many such Japanese managers in Tokyo. Continue reading


Four Characteristics of a Great Employee

I am often asked what separates great employees from the merely good and mediocre. My answer frequently surprises. Below are four characteristics of a great employee. Continue reading