The CEO of a non-Japanese company in Japan reached out to me early this year with best wishes and the great news that his company had outstanding results in 2020. I was glad to hear it, but not surprised given the kind of leader he is and the business he runs. He is not an exception. Most of the CEOs in my community had excellent results in 2020, and for some it was even a record year.
Tentativeness is rarely out of fear of consequences, but rather fear of unknown consequences, and there is a distinction.Tentativeness is rarely out of fear of consequences, but rather fear of unknown consequences. Click To Tweet
A Japanese government ministry official in charge of supporting small to medium size businesses said a recent event in Tokyo said that a shocking number of profitable privately-owned small to medium sized companies with perfectly viable businesses are simply closing as their aging CEOs are unable to find a reasonable successor. The children of the owners who might take over the family business frequently lack either appetite or the aptitude to do so, and few if any possible buyers for the business ever materialize. Rates of entrepreneurship in Japan in general are about half of other OECD countries.
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