Leading High Performing Remote Teams
How can leaders ensure that performance remains high in remote or hybrid-work environments?
In this course, you’ll learn how compelling blogs, videos, podcasts, and other media can reach customers and drive sales. You’ll also learn steps for creating an effective content marketing plan, and some important ways to measure its impact and success.
Content marketing is a essential digital marketing strategy for companies looking to provide relevant and useful information to support your community and attract new customers.
Get started on your content marketing journey today.
Sustainable Innovation in Times of Disruption: Choices for a Better Society
There are opportunities for progress all around us. The key is to innovate on these opportunities sustainably.
To help identify most effective path forward, you'll need to gain a global perspective to these challenges in an open discussion. How can Japan and the world take action to create a more sustainable, innovative world? Where do you fit in?
It's time to find out.
Social Media & Digital Communications: Impact on Global Public Opinion
Social and digital media have dominated the communications industry for decades. But it's no secret that social media has the power to sway public opinion, and the way in which many companies use these platforms could be seen as manipulative.
What do companies need to be aware of when utilizing social and digital media? How can these mediums be used to better communicate strategically with the world?
Discover what top media and communications experts have to say.
CAGE Distance Framework
Want to expand overseas? The CAGE distance framework can help ensure you're constructing a solid global strategy in four areas: cultural, administrative, economic, and geographic. Learn how to leverage useful differences between countries, identify potential obstacles, and achieve global business success.
There's more to leadership than driving a team to profit. In fact, there's a word for looking beyond self-interest to prioritize individual growth: servant leadership. Try this course for a quick breakdown of what that is, how it works, and how it can lead to organizational success.
Strategy: Creating Value Inside Your Company
Have you ever wondered why certain companies are more successful than others? The answer is strategy: internal processes that control costs, allocate resources, and create value. This course from GLOBIS Unlimited can give you the tools you need for that strategic edge.
Strategy: Understanding the External Environment
To plan strategy on any level, you need to understand your company's external environment. In fact, your level of understanding can impact hiring, budgeting, marketing, or nearly any other part of the business world. Want to learn how to do all that? This course from GLOBIS Unlimited is the perfect first step!
Using Japanese Values to Thrive in Global Business
Japanese companies have unique cultural, communication, and operational challenges. But they also have values that have led to remarkable longevity. Check out this seminar to hear how these values help earn trust from overseas head offices and develop employees.
Marketing: Reaching Your Target
Every company works hard to get its products into the hands of customers. Are you doing everything you can to compete? In this course, you’ll find a winning formula to turn a product idea into real sales. Follow along through the fundamentals of the marketing mix and see how companies successfully bring products to market.
Basic Accounting: Financial Analysis
Want to compare your performance vs. a competitor? Or evaluate a potential vendor? Then you'll need to conduct a financial analysis. This course will teach you how to use three financial statements and evaluate financial performance in terms of profitability, efficiency, soundness, growth, and overall strength.
What drives you to be good at your job?
Career anchors are based on your values, desires, motivations, and abilities. They are the immovable parts of your professional self-image that guide you throughout your career journey.
Try this short GLOBIS Unlimited course to identify which of the eight career anchors is yours!
Leadership with Passion through Kokorozashi
The key ingredient to success? Passion.
Finding your kokorozashi will unify your passions and skills to create positive change in society. This GLOBIS Unlimited course will help you develop the values and lifelong goals you need to become a strong, passion-driven leader.
You’ve no doubt heard about design thinking—a practical, step-by-step, user-centric method of solving problems. Though its roots reach back to the 1950s, design thinking was popularized by IDEO in the 1990s, and has since been adopted by leading global companies such as GE, Apple, IBM, and SAP.
Clearly the concept has been around for years, which begs the question: Why haven’t we moved on to the next fad? Is design thinking just that effective, or are we simply yet to master it?
My job as a creative consultant in international business development has given me opportunities to cross borders and deal with clients from various industries—automobile, food and beverage, IT, and so on. While working with these companies, I often hear about the importance of “the crit.” This, of course, refers to critique—an essential part of the design thinking process, and one of the main areas people falter in realizing design thinking’s potential.
We all know getting critiques can be rough, but it’s surprisingly easy to forget that when giving a critique. Like brainstorming or discussion, feedback is important to help us gauge where we stand in order to improve ourselves. For the sake of effective communication, here are some key points to keep in mind when giving a crit:
1. Describe your thoughts and emotions.
How does the subject of your critique make you feel and why? Be thorough. Work to make your point clear in any way you can. Share your thought process. Invite back-and-forth discussion if something is unclear. As Dale Carnegie famously said, “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”
2. Be constructive, not destructive.
Never critique just for the sake of saying something. If the project or proposal works as is, say so. If you do have something to critique, however, give suggestions for improvement and listen to the response. Your ears and heart should be open.
3. Avoid pointing fingers.
Fear of making mistakes… Everyone can empathize with that. During the crit, be careful not to blame others. Avoid stalling discussion by triggering emotions. Remember, design thinking calls for empathy. The ultimate purpose of the crit is to help, not call people out.
While the above may seem easy or obvious in theory, you may find some of these points to be more difficult than expected in practice.
Case in Point
When it comes to critiquing, there are 2 common pitfalls: giving overly harsh critique and holding back when we should speak up. For effective design thinking, striking a balance between these two extremes is crucial. Let’s explore this further with the example below:
Matthew is a manager who noticed cost leakage in his IT project. He called a meeting with his team to discuss why this was happening.
Anna, the delivery manager, immediately blamed Matthew for failing to meet deadlines. When Matthew tried to defend his team, he found himself facing harsh critique on his fundamental ability to manage. Angered by this attack, he walked out of the meeting.
Cody, a junior accountant in the team, has noticed that Marketing and Sales are focused on chasing revenue, leaving the IT staff to work doubly hard to meet high customer expectations. Cody wanted to share his thoughts, but struggled to think of how to phrase them. After witnessing the heated exchange between Anna and Matthew, Cody decided to keep quiet.
So…what went wrong at this meeting?
It’s easy for harsh critique to scale into a major problem. Bruised ego and discord among team members are just a few of the detriments to pointing fingers. Matthew and Anna will have a harder time moving forward now that their critique has gotten personal.
Looking at Cody, we find an entirely different problem. A common misconception is that we shouldn’t point something out if we can’t communicate the idea perfectly. Remember that your opinion is significant and always worth sharing. Reflect on how you usually communicate with people. If you’re not good at speaking, draw. If you’re bad at drawing, circle the problem and try to explain why you’re stuck. Use any means you can to articulate your point and get your message across. And remember what you did when you succeeded—you may be able to use that same method again in the future.
Better Communication = Better Crit
If you’re still wondering whether the crit is really that crucial to the design thinking process, imagine this scenario: An aircraft maintenance officer has noticed something off about an airplane’s engine for a few weeks, but he could not explain what it was. Since nothing has gone wrong, he’s decided it isn’t worth mentioning. Would you really want to fly on this airplane?
Like the danger posed in this analogy, missing information could potentially throw your entire project in the wrong direction. Team members who can’t effectively communicate can be detrimental—even deadly (to the project, anyway).
It’s natural for information to fall through the cracks when we have discussions, so remember that the design thinking process is flexible. You can always move back to the previous step or even start from scratch if need be. To do this, however, you’ll need to communicate. Sharing and critiquing information helps level the playing field and identify problem areas. If only one voice speaks out (for whatever reason), valuable input is inevitably lost.
“So if we just use design thinking, everything will be fine!” you might say. Well, not exactly. Design thinking is not a quick fix to magically enlighten us, solve our problems, or transform us into more efficient workers. Nor is it the only way to get more customers or design the best product. What it can do is provide a step-by-step approach to fine tune problem solving. The key to unlocking this approach: effective communication.