Managing for Creativity in Japan Talking with Foreign Executives in Japan

Parts of this study were carried out while at Hitotsubashi University, under a scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (文部科学省 Monbu-kagakushō).

Approach to Brainstorming

Smoking Husks


On Being a Foreign Employer

Marking Territory vs. Teaching a Race

Obstacles Involved with being Non-Japanese

Advantages to being Non-Japanese

Advice for New Managers

Hard to Pinpoint


Be the Template Bringer

To Be Successful in Japan

Bringing Value, Building Trust

Rewire your Thinking, Learn to Communicate

Intelligent Consumers

Give a Shit

Hardship and Community

Influence and Losing Your Edge

A Hands-On Management Environment

In-Betweens add the Polish

Mid-Level Creativity Killers

Advice for Managers in Japan

Being a Change Agent

Country Specific Skills

Tension with the Home Office

What’s the Reward for Being Creative?

Characteristics of a Successful Manager

Kaisha vs. Company


Japanese Employees

Risk, Trust, Experience in the West

Building Trust Takes Time

Cultural Strength, Lose the Blinkers

Mind Opening

Put in your Place

It’s a Respect (not talent or experience) Thing

Passing Tests

Be Respectful or Be Shut Out

You have to Understand

Be Wary

Working with Established Models

Becoming More Collaborative

Fuck Ups

Broad Minded Employees

Need a Japanese Face

Observe and Listen

On Choosing your Successor

On Building Trust and Relationships

On Learning Japanese

On Being Open

Don’t Teach, Learn

A Green Plant in the Desert

Flat Organization

Not Motivated by Money

The Weirdo

Slow Moving (2)

Contribute, Don’t Preach

No Research-Based Judgment

Pyramids and Funnels

Outside Training

Approaching Innovation

Client Relationships

On Lifestyle, Consumer Pickiness and Innovation

Slow Moving

People First

Foreign Style Work Environment


Focus Groups in Japan

Process Focused Behaviour

Intensive Client Servicing

Employee Turnover

You always get what you always got

The Hanseikai

Things to Embrace

Merry Christmas for Tomorrow! – Managing for Creativity in Japan is taking a break over Christmas: Back Jan 6

The Whole Train Set

Aversion to Change

Technology Use

Building Trust

Important to Have Non-Japanese Managers for Japan

Deconstructive Creativity

Long Tenure

Seeing Both Sides

Risk Taking


Recognition for a Job Well Done

Business Imperative

Advice to New Managers

The Chorei (朝礼)

Advice to Newcomers

Following the Person Before You

Stuck in the Office

Holistic Decision Making

The Cultural Interpreter

Stable Client Relationships

Communication is Key

Cutting Good Cookies

The Passive-Aggressive

Development of a Manager

Stable Relationships

Foreigners and Change Management

Risk Averse Clients

Not Blue Sky

Creativity as a Commodity

Personal Relationships


Team Spirit and Loyalty


Who are You?

On Being Creative

On Being Successful

The Purpose of Meetings

Formula Based Creativity