If you want to increase productivity in your business, work less not more. A division of Microsoft Japan reduced the work week from five days to four, closing the office Fridays for everyone, and found productivity jumped forty percent! Yes, that’s right. Microsoft in Japan—not Microsoft in the United States or elsewhere. If Microsoft Japan can boost productivity in this way, so can you in your business.
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.
The passing of an era in a company is often so subtle as to create an illusion of inertia, like the pushback from the jetway of a passenger jet that is only discernible by looking out the window but otherwise goes unfelt. Such changes in era are only remarked when someone asks, “Were we always like this?”
Below are my list of the top twenty-one practices that accelerate your success as a leader based on the most successful business leaders I 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.
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
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.
There is no such thing as a labor shortage. In reality, there are more excellent people in Japan than you could possibly hire. You can have them, if you do things right.
The first step in growing a business, even in a labor shortage, is deciding what to cut. If you find that your business is dealing with the current labor shortage by taking more on and clinging to what you have, then heed my advice. If you want to grow, you must first let go. Let go of what, you ask? Read on, and I explain the top four.