Managing for Creativity in Japan Talking with Foreign Executives in Japan

Who are You?

“One of the key things in this country is that whether or not you are listened to depends on who you are. Your idea or your thinking might be good but if you’re lower on the hierarchy then you probably won’t be so influential.”

“If you are a really famous creative person in Japan, say if you’ve got a name and some grey hair or whatever, you may find yourself having an easier time of it than some young creative guy when you are trying to do something in corporate-land. That doesn’t mean that companies are not open to creativity but things tend to work on seniority and are very formalized.”

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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