Managing for Creativity in Japan Talking with Foreign Executives in Japan

On Building Trust and Relationships

“(CB: So building trust and relationships is very important. How do you approach that?)

You need to have either done some business with them before or they need to have met you before…There needs to some kind of introduction….That’s the way to do it, you can’t just cold call. We haven’t tried that but I don’t think you can. There really does need to be some kind of introduction. Past that there are a number of meetings….meetings where you don’t really talk about things, you just turn up and then you hope. They do test you out, you know. And then, if the person that you have been dealing with gets replaced then you have to start the process again. That happened recently in fact. It’s a bit like ‘wow..back at square did that happen?!’

In this regard there is a massive difference between here and London or New York. People are more willing to take you on face value overseas. They are also very business oriented. If people think that you can bring business to their company it’s like ‘OK where do we start?’ But here, it doesn’t matter if you can say that you are going to bring them the biggest idea they’ve ever had (which would be bullshit of course)…there would still be the need to find out about you and think about where the relationship is going to go. It’s all very much for the long term. To compare, in London you might just get together for one project….it is much faster moving.”