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Feb 09, 2016

Japan, Asia & the World Japan is changing—because of YOU!

In 2015, lifestyle magazine Monocle selected Tokyo as the world’s most livable city, praising its “quality of life for visitors and people who live there, and its combination of culture, security, food and courtesy.”

Readers of travel magazine Travel + Leisure also voted Kyoto the world’s best city for tourists for the second year running.

read more...“Japan is changing—because of YOU!”

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Feb 03, 2016

I have been to Davos 8 times in the past 12 years, but this year’s World Economic Forum, running from January 20 to 23, was held against a backdrop of global turmoil unprecedented in the event’s history.

read more...“3 Key Words at DAVOS 2016: “Inward-looking,” “Drifting apart” & “Excitement around Technology””

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Jan 27, 2016

Everyone is obsessed with finding the perfect “work/life balance.”

Personally, I reject the whole concept.


read more...“Looking for Work/Life Balance? Forget About it!”

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Jan 18, 2016

​One word we hear a lot of these days is “disrupt.”

Netflix is disrupting old-style TV. Tesla is disrupting the auto industry. Uber is disrupting the taxi business.

Ironically, one business that hasn’t yet experienced much disruption is business education itself. The old model, consisting of written case studies, class discussion, and the study of fundamental management skills like marketing and accounting remains firmly entrenched.

read more...“The Old-School MBA Is Ready for Disruption. Here's How I'd Do It.”

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Dec 22, 2015

Here are three very different companies—a company that makes rice burgers from Fukushima rice; a company that produces soap from seaweed; and finally a company that uses a disabled workforce to distribute meals to the sick and elderly.

read more...“Want to have an impact? Try social impact investing.”

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Nov 30, 2015

Japan, Asia & the World The Best Decision Making is…SLOW

At the Japan meeting of the World Economic Forum in 2015, I found something that Kathy Matsui, chief Japan equity strategist at Goldman Sachs, said extremely striking.

read more...“The Best Decision Making is…SLOW”

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Oct 13, 2015

On September 19, the Japanese stunned the world by beating South Africa in their first game in the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. The BBC described the victory as “a miracle,” “a bombshell” and “arguably the biggest upset in rugby union history.” Everyone praised the skill and spirit of Japan’s “Brave Blossoms.”

No wonder. South Africa was a two-time world champion that had only lost to three nations in previous Rugby World Cups. Japan, by contrast, had not won a match in the tournament for 21 years!

read more...“What makes a winning team? Lessons from the Rugby World Cup”

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Aug 10, 2015

I organize several conferences a year as part of managing a business school. Some last a day and are held at our main Tokyo campus; some run for three days and are held in more exotic places up and down the country. A few focus exclusively on business, but most cover a broad range of topics—international relations, regional security, politics, economics, culture, even sport.

The key to success is to organize stimulating discussion sessions that excite and engage the audience. I have compiled a few simple rules for how to do this.

read more...“How to create WOW Moments:Top tips for lively sessions”

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Jul 23, 2015

As part of running a business school and venture capital firm, I have to organize a wide range of meetings and events. These range from relatively intimate investor meetings to multi-day conferences with hundreds of attendees.

Big or small, the most important thing about any event is always the same: it must surprise and delight. If you don’t create genuine WOW moments, attendees won’t feel engaged - let alone bother coming back next year.

read more...“How to create WOW Moments: My Top 6 Techniques”

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May 21, 2015

Japan, Asia & the World Meetings CAN Be Fun: Here’s How

I started my career working in one of Japan’s “Big Five” trading companies. I enjoyed the job—except for one thing: the meetings.

Various unwritten rules governed how meetings were conducted. It was understood that the only people with the right to speak were elderly males high up in the hierarchy. The rest of us—like children in Victorian times—were only meant to “speak when we were spoken to.” Speaking up spontaneously was frowned on and came with risk.

read more...“Meetings CAN Be Fun: Here’s How”

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