Managing for Creativity in Japan Talking with Foreign Executives in Japan

Aversion to Change

ā€œPeople don’t want to take a risk, it’s mendokusai (bothersome) to change things. Another thing that is characteristic of Japan is that once a system is in place then it is very hard to change that system. Everything comes to support the existing system.

On the other hand though, you look at a company like Toyota who has become famous for their worker driven productivity improvement. That’s a part of their culture. So it is hard to say whether it is really a cultural thing or if it is something else. But definitely there is an aversion to change in this country. Of course this is true of all countries but it seems to manifest itself particularly strongly here.ā€

This post is part of a series of excerpts from interviews with foreign executives in Japan, focusing on creativity. Excerpts have been edited for confidentiality.
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