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Strategy on Your Own Terms

The best military strategists always choose the terrain on which they will do battle, rather than allowing the enemy to choose for them. So, in business, why would you possibly allow others to define the topography of your business environment instead of choosing the topography yourself?

Yet, that is often precisely what business people do.

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People are Resilient and Adaptive

Economists predicted that the stock market would tank if Donald Trump were elected, as people had apocalyptic fears of what his policies might do to the world economy. The economists got it right and so very wrong at the same time. The stock market did tank as it became clear Donald Trump was the victor, and then rebounded and soared. Continue reading

You Cultivate Leaders, Not Train them

Leadership training does not work. Click To Tweet

You improve leadership capability through coaching and mentoring leaders in their current leadership roles, whether heads of small teams or of global organizations. Learning is applied in vivo, and feedback immediate. Continue reading

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