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

Bring in Outsiders

Outsiders can bring new ideas, bypass ingrained mindsets, link previously disparate areas etc etc…….

Example: Mitsui brought in an outsider ‘Minomura Rizaemon’ to manage their affairs through a dangerous period – “a lone wolf who made decisions by himself rather than consensus”, someone with little ties and who had the ability to negotiate with many parties simultaneously.

Example: The first Datsun car was designed by an American – William R. Gorham, “an engineer with poor job prospects who had lost his job in Detroit and went to Asia to build motorized rickshaws”.

Example: Keiichi Enoki was brought in to the i-mode development team from outside the division – he “represented a kind of a missing link between the entrepreneurs that DoCoMo needed and the rebellious corporate employees that it started with”.

Source: Hartogh, H. (2007). They broke the mold: the spirit of creativity in Japanese enterprise. ; Beck, J. and Wade, M. (2003). DoCoMo: Japan’s Wireless Tsunami. ; Bartlett, C. and Yoshihara, H. (1988). New challenges for Japanese multinationals: is organisation adaptation their achilles heel? Human Resource Management, 27(1), pp19-43.