Patterns of Creativity in Japan Lessons from Successful Japanese Companies – A Resource

Foster Different Perspectives

“International exposure can help would-be innovators to recalibrate perspectives and see new opportunities. Established social institutions – such as seniority – can be productively bypassed through changes in angle and perspective”

Example: Hiroshi Mikitani, was struck by the fact that most of his classmates at Harvard were focused on using their MBA education to start up their own businesses rather that furthering their corporate careers – he then went on to found Rakuten.

Example: The same experience motivated Yoshito Hori to found the Globis Management School.

Example: Matsushita’s multilingual training programme for new employees.

Example: Akio Morita showed his employees the way by moving to the U.S. and heading Sony’s operations there for a period.

Example: Ogura Yasuomi, the founder of Yamato Transport (prewar Japan’s largest trucking company) gained insight and inspiration from his 1913 trip to Europe to attend the World Congress on Automotive Transport and visit the offices of Carter Paterson (a transport services company which ran an integrated door-to-door service system).

Source: Bartlett, C. and Yoshihara, H. (1988). New challenges for Japanese multinationals: is organisation adaptation their achilles heel? Human Resource Management, 27(1), pp19-43. ; Hane, G.  (2004). Venture entrepreneurship in Japan. Asia Program Special Report – The Creativity Problem and the Future of the Japanese Workforce – Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 121, pp4-8.; Ogura, M. (2004). Delivering the goods: Entrepreneurship and innovation in a Japanese corporation. The International House of Japan.