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Jan 15, 2015

Japan, Asia & the World Zen Office: How to be Mindful at Work

Walter Isaacson’s bestselling biography of Steve Jobs is full of examples of the Apple founder being selfish, rude and downright nasty. In fact, in the mid-1980s, Jobs was so out of control that no one wanted to work with him and he was eventually kicked out of the firm he had set up.

read more...“Zen Office: How to be Mindful at Work”

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Jan 08, 2015

Japan, Asia & the World Are You Fit To Lead?

Does your level of physical fitness affect your ability to do your job well?

From my experience, I’d have to say…It depends.

Let me explain.

In my twenties and thirties, I had zero time for physical exercise. On top of doing an MBA, I set up my own firm, worked like crazy to hit milestones, got married and fathered five children.

I had absolutely no time for anything else, including exercise.

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Dec 15, 2014

Personal My Bucket List

Quite some time ago I saw a movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman titled The Bucket List, in which the protagonists, in the face of imminent death, created a “bucket list”—a list of things to do before “kicking the bucket”—and eventually managed to cross off all the items on the list. Well-known entrepreneurs’ wish lists of “50 things to do before one dies” was also featured in an issue of Goethe magazine I happened to leaf through. I started to read the article, hoping for fresh insight, but realized that most of the wishes mentioned were either things I had already done, or was tackling.

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Nov 25, 2014

The Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905 started when the Japanese Navy attacked the Russian fleet in Port Arthur on the Liaodong Peninsula in northeastern China.

What were the Japanese and Russians doing fighting one another in a third country? Well, at that stage in its history, foreign powers had overrun large parts of China.

The Russians had been in control of Port Arthur since 1897. The port’s strategic location, and the fact that it was ice-free all year round, made it the perfect base for the Russian Pacific Fleet.

read more...“Business is Battle: Seize the Commanding Heights!”

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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.

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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.

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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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