Managing for Creativity in Japan Talking with Foreign Executives in Japan

Development of a Manager

“Look at the development of a Japanese manager. You’re growing up as a colleague. Promotion is based on age and stage seniority. It’s still not (although they do have some merit-based systems now) driven by performance bonuses. Your actual performance is not the real indicator for your promotion; the real indicator is just being there and your relationships, your rapport with the senior management. The reasons for becoming a manager are intrinsically different from in the West. You don’t need to be a bringer of ideas or a creative person to be a manager. You need to get along well with people.”

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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