Managing for Creativity in Japan Talking with Foreign Executives in Japan

The Cultural Interpreter

“There is a lot of non-verbal communication in Japan and you can’t expect a new foreigner to come in at senior manager or CEO level and understand all of that. They can, however, understand having a cultural interpreter is essential and very often a foreigner who has been in Japan for a long time is a better cultural interpreter than a Japanese advisor. Somebody who has really lived and worked with Japanese is very often able to explain some of those confusing behaviours and I guess that in a sense that’s the kind of role I have had”

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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