Managing for Creativity in Japan Talking with Foreign Executives in Japan

Approaching Innovation

“When we work for a Western company it’s very much ‘let’s see what comes out of this’ but with this company it was like ‘we want to target male consumers aged 20 to 25 with a new product that sells 25 million units’ – very targeted…which is good in a way, I mean there’s no point in coming up with ideas for the sake of it but on the other hand that’s quite a goal and if you don’t meet that expectation then you’ve failed. A Western company might be more like ‘let’s see what we can come up with and then go from there’.They go into their innovation process in a different way I guess. But once you know that it’s a more effective collaboration because if you can meet their expectations and it does go into product development then I guess it is going to work out a bit better than a company that is just ‘let’s be innovative and come up with a bunch of ideas’…because if the ideas don’t resonate then they will come back to you and go ‘this is pointless’. So, that’s I guess a positive aspect of working with Japanese clients.”