Managing for Creativity in Japan Talking with Foreign Executives in Japan

Building Trust

“It is a real challenge for a foreign manager to build that kind of trust. If you enter any organization where the employees have a 20 year working relationship you are not only the newcomer but you are a foreigner. You don’t socialize in the same ways and you have a different need for relationships with your colleagues. You want to be friends with them but you don’t want to go drinking every night. As a female manager maybe I’ve felt that even more so. I have four kids at home and I’m not going to spend my evenings drinking with people I’ve been working with all day. I love to socialise and create opportunities for team building and but I’d rather have lunch. Some of those work-life balance things are different.”

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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