The most successful expat CEOs in Japan I know never adapt their leadership style to their company’s culture. They adapt their company’s culture to their leadership style, and there is no reason you cannot do the same in your company in Japan.
Some have argued the reason for Carlos Ghosn’s legal trouble is for having pushed change too hard—that he crossed some kind of Japanese nationalistic redline in wanting to merge Nissan and Renault, giving the French company control over the Japanese entity. Had Ghosn been more conservative in his actions, they reason, he would not be in the predicament in which he finds himself. This narrative, however, is disingenuous.
All strategic plans are perfect on paper in a theoretical static world. However, no strategic plan ever survives confrontation with the ever-changing realities of business and your perception of them. A robust strategy is one that can adapt rapidly to change in the environment as well as to change in your understanding of that environment. Below are three behaviors and practices for robust strategy common to my most successful clients.
The scarcest resource in a business today is not talent, money, or technical ability, but rather independent thought and the courage to act on it.