Managing for Creativity in Japan Talking with Foreign Executives in Japan

People First

“In Japan, the most successful managers are people that care about people. I think that you can make a lot of mistakes (and get away with it) if people think that you are doing it for the right reasons. You can create a lot of change and discomfort if people understand that your motivations are not manipulative or self-serving – that it’s really for the good of the organization or the good of the individual concerned.
Also, particularly in Japan, people won’t push back very much. They won’t challenge a lot so you have to be careful that you don’t railroad people and force people along a path that they haven’t bought into. Go more slowly than you otherwise would or you’ll miss the signs that they aren’t on board and get the passive aggression at the end.”

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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