AI-Induced Atrophy

For some, artificial intelligence and automation in business herald a new era of increased productivity. For others, these are a harbinger of job obsolescence and layoffs.

Continue reading


Ownership is Taken, Never Given

A leader can never give anyone ownership of a business initiative or objective.

Ownership is always taken, and to take ownership requires the will to do so. A leader can no more give someone ownership than a leader can give someone will.

Continue reading


Entrepreneurial Spirit of the Employed

A CEO client of mine has been asking his senior executives to be more “entrepreneurial” in their approach to the business, and he is certainly not the first one to do so.

Continue reading


Could You Get a Job at Your Own Company?

If you are finding it difficult to fill key roles with excellent people, don’t assume it is because your company does not attract the right candidates, but rather that the right candidates don’t get through your company’s screening process.

If you applied for a job at your own company, you too might not get through either. Continue reading


Tsukiji, Sayonara

Saturday, October 6th, marked the end of an eighty-year era as the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo closes following its final tuna auction. The fish market has been moved to a new site in Toyosu about two kilometers away, and opened on October 11th. Tsukiji is undergoing a dramatic change. Continue reading


Increase Your Attrition

Many companies are struggling to find the qualified people they need, so they resort to retaining the people they have whether qualified or not. They fight to eliminate or at least reduce rates of attrition when it is increased attrition that can do the business the most good. Retention of the best is all that matters.

Recently, the head of a large business unit of a major international company here in Japan told me that the company’s rate of attrition is of no particular concern to him, even though it is higher than industry average.

Continue reading


The Anatomy of Misogyny

The other week, Tokyo Medical University was revealed to have been deliberately boosting entrance test scores of male students to give them an advantage and to limit the number of female students since 2006. The motivation? Women shorten or halt their careers after becoming mothers, exacerbating staff shortage problems at hospitals. There is no real evidence for this, but whatever.

Misogyny, like all other forms of hate, is always rationalized as being in some arbitrary best interest of the greater common good. Continue reading


The Seller is God

When a salesperson tells me, “The way to make a customer happy is to treat them as God!” usually he or she means acquiescing to and fulfilling every demand and whim.

Nothing could be further from the truth. No, the customer is not God, nor does the customer ever really want to be. Rather, it is the salesperson that can be a god to the customer if he or she does things right. Continue reading