Image credit: Michelle Lim

Pareto Principle

Your time and resources are limited. Efficiency means learning to prioritize. The Pareto principle (also called the 80-20 rule) can help you identify the best way to use your time for maximum results.

Country Analysis Framework

Overseas expansion requires careful planning. The Country Analysis Framework can help you look beyond an industry-level analysis and reframe your view based on performance, strategy, and context. Try this short course to learn how it works.

SECI Model

The SECI model illustrates how knowledge is created and shared. Learn how to put it to use for best practices, and how the Japanese concept of “ba” fits in to broaden your perspective.

Johari Window Model

The Johari Window Model is a self-awareness framework that helps you better understand . . . you. Learn how its four quadrants can help you identify gaps between how you see yourself, and how others see you.

Sunk Costs

Wondering if you should continue an investment or look for something new? Sunk costs can have a powerful psychological impact on decision-making. Learn how to recognize them to ensure rational decisions.

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.

Groupthink

Groupthink refers to group pressure and the perception of consensus which together lead to ill-formed decisions—or even unnecessary risks. Learn to identify the warning signs of groupthink and apply countermeasures in this online course.

Deductive and Inductive Reasoning

Solving problems with the best results means using two types of thinking: deductive and inductive reasoning. In this online course, learn to form a broad premise, make observations, and form conclusions from different perspectives.

Critical Thinking: Hypothesis-Driven Thinking

Anyone can come up with a good idea. The real challenge is putting that idea into action. In this online course, explore how to form compelling, testable hypotheses and bring ideas to life in your own organization.

Critical Thinking: Structured Reasoning

Even a few simple techniques for logical decision making and persuasion can vastly improve your skills as a leader. Explore how critical thinking can help you evaluate complex business problems, reduce bias, and devise effective solutions.

Critical Thinking: Problem-Solving

Problem-solving is a central business skill, and yet it's the one many people struggle with most. This course will show you how to apply critical thinking techniques to common business examples, avoid misunderstandings, and get at the root of any problem.

How to Dream

Join globally renowned author and Columbia Business School professor Dr. Sheena Iyengar as she explains how to approach your dreams with a new perspective. Learn to reflect on what you long to accomplish and what stands in your way.

Logical Thinking

Logical thinking is at the heart of confident, persuasive decisions. This course will equip you with a five-point approach to more becoming a more logical thinker. Learn to classify ideas and distinguish fact from opinion.

Investing & Diversity: The Changing Faces of Venture Capitalists

Is the venture capital industry embracing diversity in investors? Watch global venture capitalists from around the world discuss the state of things and what needs to be done for a more inclusive future.

Servant Leadership

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.

Organizational Behavior and Leadership

Ever wonder what makes a great leader? Whether your role requires leadership or not, understanding organizational behavior is useful for your career. This course from GLOBIS Unlimited can set you on your way.

Leadership vs. Management

Leadership and management are different skills, but today’s leaders must have both. Try out this course from GLOBIS Unlimited to understand the difference, as well as when and why each skill is necessary for motivation, communication, and value.

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.

Turnaround Leadership: The Differences Between Japan and the West

What's the best way for leaders to communicate a shift in corporate strategy? How do you even know when it's time for such a change? This course explains how Japan might have one answer, Western companies another.

Conflict Management

Conflicts in the workplace are inevitable. But they can lead to positive outcomes if they’re managed well. Check out this online course for a two-step process that can help you manage conflict successfully.

Evernote Founder: How Tech Startups Can Break through in Japan

Can startup models from Hollywood and Silicon Valley succeed anywhere? Phil Libin, cofounder and CEO of startup incubator All Turtles, explains how AI can solve everyday problems to bring products to market.

Women Empowerment: Lessons from Cartier

How can women overcome gender inequality and reach their leadership goals? Cartier Japan CEO June Miyachi shares her secret in this special course from GLOBIS Unlimited.

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.

Marketing Mix

Seeing good products into the hands of customers is no easy task. The marketing mix can help. It's a collection of strategies and tactics companies utilize to get customers to purchase their products or services, and is an essential part of the overall marketing process.

The Principles of Negotiation

With the proper skills and attitude, anyone can become a successful negotiator.  But first, you'll need to learn the basics to prepare for, assess, and respond to offers for the best results. GLOBIS Unlimited can help.

Negotiation: Creating Value

Want to create more shared value between yourself and your negotiation opponent? Discover how cognitive bias affects the judgment of others. Try this course from GLOBIS Unlimited to master the value of negotiation.

Finding Your Life Purpose with Ikigai

Ikigai can guide you in your quest for self-discovery. Listen to Japanese brain scientist Ken Mogi explain why and how.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Want to leverage Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as a leader? Try this short course to see how the theory can be applied in practical work scenarios.

Confirmation Bias

We all subconsciously collect information that reinforces our preconceptions. It's natural . . . but it does lead to a kind of flawed decision-making called confirmation bias. To become more objective and impartial, check out this course from GLOBIS Unlimited!

An Investor's Lesson to Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs have the power to transform societies for the better. But how do you attract investors to start or grow a business? Or to sell one? Check out this seminar for the answers to these and more, straight from a master venture capitalist!

Managerial Accounting

Managerial accounting is a powerful way to measure progress, identify problems, and meet your goals. Check out this course to learn how data-backed decisions can help you run your business.

Finance Basics: 1

For a healthy mix of quantitative planning, evaluation, and management, you need solid decision-making. And finance is the secret sauce! Get the essentials of finance in this two-part course from GLOBIS Unlimited.

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.

Career Anchors

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!

Digital Marketing Psychology to Transform Your Business

How does digital marketing really differ from traditional marketing? How is social media changing things really? And what's going on in Asia?

Pyramid Structure

Having the pyramid structure in your communication toolkit can not only help you approach a problem, but convince others that your solution is valid. Break away from linear thinking and test your logical thinking with this course from GLOBIS Unlimited!

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.

AI First Companies – Implementation and Impact

AI is changing the way companies operate. How do you structure teams to increase efficiency?

Technovate in the Era of Industry 4.0

Is Industry 4.0 is the next step of human evolution human civilization? Dr. Jorge Calvo seems to think so. Join him to learn how the past can help you set goals for an exciting future of digital innovation.

Technovate Thinking

Business leaders of tomorrow need to harness the power of technology and innovation. That means understanding algorithms and how they drive business results. Discover opportunities to make technology work for your competitive edge.

Product Life Cycle

Every product takes a natural course through the market—there's a how, when, and why customers adopt products at different stages. Check out this course from GLOBIS Unlimited to find out how a product you use every day is part of this cycle.

Logic Tree

Logical thinking is the most valuable asset any business professional can have. That's why logic trees are such a valuable tool—they can help you identify a problem, break it down, and build it back up to a solution.

MECE Principle

Using the MECE principle can help ensure you categorize without gaps or overlaps. Check out this course from GLOBIS Unlimited for a practical demonstration of how it works!

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.

Playing Fair

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.

Image credit: Michelle Lim

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.

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