Japan Globalization & Market Expansion

Doggy Dad, Mr Son and the 300 year vision for Softbank

Most people in Japan are familiar with a cool white dog who has an unusual name: Otosan, which means “father.” He’s the mascot of Softbank, founded by the hugely ambitious Masayoshi Son. He is Japan’s richest man and its best communicator. His vision is for a company which thrives for the next 300 years. And …

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Effectively Globalized Japanese Companies’ Habit #4: Embrace Diversity: Lead Inclusively and Engagingly

To succeed globally, Japanese organizations may need to ensure that the best workers are rewarded and promoted, regardless of diversity factors, and that all employees want to take responsibility, and feel that they have influence and a voice that is heard. However typical Japanese business communication style is based on hierarchical shows of respect, one-way …

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Why does the foreign press keep criticising Japan’s economic animals?

For some reason business leaders in Japan often say they are economic animals. Perhaps this humility prepares them for criticism when economic growth, measured by GDP, looks weak or sluggish. But is it the right to measure a country’s value using such statistics? In this week’s Japan Story blog, Duncan Bartlett talk to the former …

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Effectively Globalized Japanese Companies’ Habit #3: Innovate from Everywhere

In order to maximize profitable growth, successful global companies need to ensure full contribution by every region, department, and partner towards strategic innovation. This approach was described as “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne and contrasts with “Red Ocean” strategy which may be described as competing on price with similar products …

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Has North Korea caught Japan in a propaganda trap?

North Korea’s cheerleaders and politicians have been the centre of attention at the Winter Olympics. Japan’s Prime Minister was in a dilemma on whether to attend. He didn’t want to play into the propaganda of a national enemy. On the other hand, as the next Olympic host, he wanted to support the Japanese team and …

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North Korea threat leaves diplomats dismayed

Diplomats are struggling to cope with the rising threat from North Korea. South Korea wants the US to send a special envoy to try to prevent a war. Japan’s prime minister also wants robust diplomacy but sees little point in talks at this stage. Japan is trusting the US will step in to defend it. …

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Effectively Globalized Japanese Companies’ Habit #2: Communicate Clearly and Positively

Can Friendlier Communication Improve Profits? Japanese organizations and their employees wanting to increase profitable growth globally should learn to communicate in a friendlier, clearer, and more persuasive way so that their non-Japanese customers and partners feel they are receiving the highest value solutions. Globally, sales and marketing can be improved by asking more questions to …

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Are Japan’s slack students letting down its universities?

Only one Japanese university, Tokyo, shines bright in the global education league.  Many others are alleged to be weak intellectually and reluctant to dismiss even the laziest of students. In Japan’s tough education system and work culture, university offers a rare opportunity for personal freedom. So are some students slacking off their studies, knowing that …

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The Real Reason Japan Can’t Innovate & What To Do About It

Key points: Japanese companies are too conservative They have the ability to enter new markets but they have a lack of motivation Emerging external solution: shifting investment from R&D to CVC (Corporate Venture Capital) Possible in-house solution: Valuing technical skills rather than academic skills The Real Reason Japan Can’t Innovate & What To Do About …

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