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

Noblesse Oblige

“Giving your people the confidence, the resources, and the freedom to make their own luck requires delivering what the military guys call “top cover.” No one can manufacture luck in the marketplace while defending themselves from constant, internal attacks—especially if those come from the boss.”

Example: When the i-mode team chose to not pursue the favoured direction of developing for PDAs they were not forced to prove themselves “right before moving forward. In the face of an unknown and at that point truly unknowable market…the in-house entrepreneurs were allowed to follow their instincts.”

Example: The young engineer who stood up to senior management when suggesting the use of cHTML instead of WAP in i-mode was supported fully by his team leaders despite his brashness. The choice of cHTML proved to be one of the decisive factors in the success of i-mode.

Source: Beck, J. and Wade, M. (2003). DoCoMo: Japan’s Wireless Tsunami.