Three Principles of Work in Japan

I was looking at an interview with Gary Moyer, President of Jaguar Canada. He spent the past 5 years working for Mazda, and spoke of his experience working in Japan and his love for the country. He also shared three principles that describe his view of the Japanese culture and their approach to work:

1. Consensus Building and Relationship building: To implement a major decision, Japanese Managers spend a lot of time “nema-washi”, which essentially means behind the scenes negotiation with everyone involved. This is a universal principle, however, in North America, we don’t seem to realize that this can take a significant amount of time and energy. Gary noticed that North Americans tend to be more impulsive.

2. Make decisions with patience: Japanese management tends to use eastern logic, while we work with western logic. The two styles don’t seem to flow well together. Eastern logic tended to provide solutions to strategy or problem issues that were not what he expected.

3. Fix the basics of any problem first: Most problems have several layers of issues. Japanese managers spend a lot of time getting to the core of the problem. Gary discovered that once you dealt with this, the other elements to the problem were resolved fairly easily.

These three principles can be applied in your role, or in managing your
Career. For more information, please feel free to drop me a line.