Managing for Creativity in Japan Talking with Foreign Executives in Japan

The Whole Train Set

“When you are a country manager overseas, you can short-cut a lot of that. If you want to do something that isn’t directly touching the customer, that doesn’t need head office funds, then you don’t really have to have the same degrees of people involved in the decision or have the same formal gateposts. Something like the office move is similar to the client facility in scale so there are processes for that, but more locally. If we wanted to run a campaign or something we don’t have the administration to go through and we don’t have to seek approval of directors x, y and z. I suppose it’s because we’ve got the whole train set to play with on a smaller scale, and the risk to the company if we make a bad decision is not as financially damaging as spending a whole lot of money on a company wide scale. We can move more quickly with less bureaucracy if we have a creative idea here.”

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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