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Oct 29, 2014

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

This is a famous quote of Edison. The Edison Foundation was established by one of his sons, and about a year ago they asked me to join the Advisory Board. In fact, they had decided to invite various people to join the Advisory Board to support their work by gathering wisdom from around the world.

read more...“Edison as an Entrepreneur: A Discovery Made during a Meeting of the Edison Foundation Advisory Board”

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Oct 28, 2014

Japan, Asia & the World Trust me…I’m a CEO

We CEOs are not the world’s most trusted group of people. In the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer, we only managed to get a credibility rating of 43%. That’s a long way behind the 67% scored by the academic experts who were in first place.

In fact, the only group less trusted than CEOs was government officials!

Here in Japan, business is experiencing its own severe crisis of trust. The inept performance of the CEO of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) after the 2011 Fukushima disaster seriously undermined public confidence in business. And recent revelations that the Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s second-biggest-selling newspaper, has been knowingly publishing erroneous stories on the comfort women issue for decades has only eroded trust in business leaders further.

read more...“Trust me…I’m a CEO”

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Oct 14, 2014

The internet, rapid technological innovation and ever more adaptable business models have produced a business environment that’s changing at break-neck speed.

To survive in this accelerated world, organizations have got to learn to move fast. Everything—communication, decision-making, teamwork, the delivery of products and services—has to be done quicker than before. Speed is key.

At my company, we took a long and hard look at ourselves, and at other firms’ best practices, before coming up with five basic policies to become a speedier organization.

read more...“Economy of Speed: How to Make Your Organization Move Faster”

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Sep 26, 2014

Japan, Asia & the World Fly Smart to Work Smart: 5 Tips

People whose jobs don’t involve much traveling sometimes think that flying around the world for work is glamorous. They couldn’t be more wrong. With long flights and jet lag, international business travel is brutal physical punishment.

The worst fallout from flying I ever experienced was in 1998. (I was 36 at the time.) That year I spent six months traveling to and around Asia, the US and Europe. I ended up crossing the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Eurasian continent six times each.

read more...“Fly Smart to Work Smart: 5 Tips”

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Sep 09, 2014

In the modern, globalized economy in which we operate, it’s not unusual to have to make the same presentation to different audiences who have different values and expectations.

In my role as a venture capitalist, for example, I have to pitch funds both to Asian investors in Asia and to Western investors in the United States.

Each audience is looking for something different in the presenter.

read more...“3 Techniques for Powerful Presentations—Anywhere on Earth!”

起業家の冒言(オピニオン) 起業家の冒言 一覧へ

Aug 19, 2014

It is one thing to make a mistake, and quite another thing not to admit it.” (Mr. Stephen Richards Covey)

The Asahi Shimbun admitted errors in its reports on comfort women issues. I would like to appreciate its decision, despite it being long overdue (32 years!) in admitting the errors. At the same time, I would like to stress the responsibility of the Asahi Shimbun for having worsened Japan-ROK relations and disgraced Japan’s image in the international community.

read more...“Asahi Shimbun Newspaper Publishing Company admitted errors in its previous reports on the “comfort women” issue. In the next step, we must work to restore the international society’s trust in Japan. ”

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Aug 12, 2014

Japan, Asia & the World Innovation: Where does it come from?

On the surface, the Japanese economy and the U.S. economy look quite different.

The U.S. economy is a dynamo, endlessly spawning new corporate titans like Apple and Google, which ranked number 1 and 2 for market capitalization in this year’s Fortune 500, despite being just 38 and 16 years old, respectively.

Japan is different.

read more...“Innovation: Where does it come from?”

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Aug 07, 2014

“At the starting line, you can predict most of the results.” (Japanese Olympic marathon medalist Yuko Arimori)

I really understood this quote at this year’s National Elementary School “Go” Tournament. (For anyone who doesn’t know, Go is a chess-like board game played in a 19x19 grid)

read more...“Striving to Overcome Adversity, Part 8: My Fourth and Fifth Sons’ First National Elementary School “Go” Tournament”

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Jul 29, 2014

I’ve come up with a new economic law. I’ve christened it the Go Principle. Here it is: Whichever country wins the most international Go championships will also have the most robust economic growth. (For anyone who doesn’t know, Go is a chess-like board game played in a 19x19 grid.)

Here’s my proof.

read more...“The Go Principle:When a game’s more than just a game…”

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Jul 08, 2014

Japan, Asia & the World The Best Leaders Do … Nothing

A few years ago I took part in a conference on leadership at the Aspen Institute. One of the events was a discussion based around the sayings of famous people. I caused a bit of a stir by arguing along with Confucius that the best leader is the leader who does nothing.

Of course, Confucius was being deliberately provocative. He did not mean that a good leader should never do anything whatsoever. I think he meant that the best thing for a leader is to create a well-structured, well-trained and fully-functioning organization—and then stand out the way and let other people get on with their jobs.

read more...“The Best Leaders Do … Nothing”

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