“In terms of the creative process it is almost like the Japanese work on a pyramid basis – building and building and finally reaching the answer at the top. Western agencies are more a funnel approach – you’ve got all these ideas and then you flush them out.”
This difference in idea generation and development can be a challenge – “What happens in a lot of organizations is that a battle usually ensues and the organization starts to split between the foreigners and the Japanese and it sometimes ends up terribly.”
Relationships, friendships and trust are vital in balancing these two contrasting processes. If possible, start building these at the hiring stage – prolonged hiring processes enable employee and employer to really get to know each other, reducing the possibility of problems later on.
Example: From a confidential interview with the representative director of the Japanese arm of a large international creative agency.
Source: Confidential Interview (2008)