Chauvinism in Disguise

Once when I made an offer on buying a house in Japan, the owner initially accepted, and then immediately rejected my offer after learning I was not Japanese. For me, such experiences are by far the exception and not the norm. Nonetheless chauvinism, racism, and xenophobia exist in Japan just as anywhere else, and while outrage might be justified, I have rarely found outrage helpful. Chauvinism often masks a deeper concern. What is presumed conventional wisdom is often chauvinism in disguise.

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Strategy? Forget All You Know!

Below are seven pieces of advice I give to business leaders based on the most successful strategy practices I know. Whenever I discuss these in an open forum, there is always pushback from at least a few people, particularly in Japan. Some people are even offended! That’s OK.

If I am doing my job correctly, at least some people should be made to feel uncomfortable.

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No Settlement for Augmented Reality

No Settlement for Augmented Reality

A machine is no ersatz for real, human engagement. A virtual reality is never better than the real thing. A recent visit to Paris reminded me of these truths.

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The Secret to Persuasive Strategy

All senior level executives and managers are asked to develop and present a strategy, whether global strategy, regional strategy, or simply strategy for a team or department they oversee. Many managers create long slide presentations with lots of data to justify why their strategy is right. However, the most persuasive managers talk about all the reasons their strategy might be wrong. Continue reading

Labor Shortage? No Such Thing!

Labor Shortage? No Such Thing!

There is no such thing as a labor shortage. There are more excellent people out there right now than you can possibly hire, and you can have them—if you do things right!

Last week, I discussed what to let go in order to grow your business in the midst of a labor shortage. This week, as promised, I discuss what to take on. Below are my top four. 

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Business man walking inside building.

Change First, Culture Later

If you are a leader seeking rapid change in your company, forget about culture. Culture will take care of itself. Focus on new ways of doing things. The genesis of a new culture results from a change in behavior, not the other way around. Change the way people do things. Culture change follows as a result.

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Businessmen negotiating

Be Unreasonable

Strategy is about creating the future, not predicting it. You develop strategy by starting with a bold vision of the business in the future and working backwards, not by an understanding of the present business and working forward. The latter merely entices you to compromise your vision. It is only the former that can take you where you want to go.

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Business people talking about feedback

Feedback is Not Always a Gift

Unsolicited feedback is meant only for the benefit of the person who gives it and never for the person to whom it is given. I pay it no heed. Neither should you. 

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