Managing for Creativity in Japan Talking with Foreign Executives in Japan

Following the Person Before You

“Initially however, it was assumed that the way they were doing it was the only way to do it. We had to sit down and say “no, you are free to do what you want as long as you meet the needs of these internal customers”. To assume that the person before you must have been right, to never question that older more experienced person or office manager was a very Japanese mindset – “how could she have been wrong? She actually taught me for the first six-months in this job.” Well yes, but now she’s gone, she retired after 18 years service so some of the requirements that were around 18 years ago – before computers and before these software packages – are irrelevant.”

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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