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.
To get a startup off the ground, you need a few fundamental things: capital, a trusted cofounder or two, and a big idea. But to really make it, you’ll also need a key ingredient you may not know how to name: creative confidence.
Tom Kelley, cofounder and chairman of venture capital firm D4V (Design for Ventures) and partner at design firm IDEO, recently spoke about creative confidence at the GLOBIS USA launch event. Creative confidence, he says, is more than having the confidence to be creative. Rather, it’s a concept of two parts: the natural human ability to come up with a new idea and the courage to act.
Creative confidence is what enabled Steve Jobs, say, to conjure the iPod in his mind, push his engineers to build it, and effectively communicate its value to customers around the world.
That all sounds great (what founder doesn’t want Jobs-level success for their startup?), but how do you actually put that human ability and courage into practice? What do you do differently when your startup team, no matter how big or small, sits down to make decisions?
For that, Kelley has three proactive steps you can take to unlock creative confidence for your startup:
- Engage design thinking
- Experiment and pivot
- Paint a picture of the future
Engage design thinking before the problem-solving begins.
According to Tim Brown, executive chair of IDEO, “Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”
People often think of design thinking as a problem-solving tool, but Kelley emphasizes that you can (even should) apply design thinking before a problem is even on the table. “Most of my clients are very, very good at problem-solving,” he says. “But you’ve got to know what problem to solve. If you take the empathy of design thinking and use it all the time, you will spot the problem that others aren’t trying to solve yet.”
In other words, design thinking paired with empathy gives you a competitive edge.
As a case in point, Kelley talks about pill sorters—those long, plastic containers into which people manually sort their daily medications. While this may seem like a simple solution to a common need, consider this: The elderly often take over a dozen pills a day, and accidentally dropping the wrong pill into the wrong day could prove deadly. An IDEO-incubated startup called PillPack solved this problem by first empathizing with the need, then creating an online pharmacy that sends individual packets of daily pills, eliminating the need for manual sorting.
“We wrestled with a lot of complexity to deliver this simplicity.”TJ Parker, PillPack CEO
The Trick to Creative Confidence in Design Thinking
Design thinking has a proven place in the business world. Once you get used to using it as an entrepreneur, you’ll wonder how you ever innovated without it. A designer’s approach to problem-solving can reveal solutions that were right in front of you all along—the solution PillPack applied was simplicity itself.
But before you rush off to capitalize on simplicity, remember this: Creating simplicity or solving problems is not, in itself, simple. Remember that empathy should be the driving force behind design thinking, not simplicity.
Experiment and pivot at the pace of change.
The greatest power of a startup is adaptability. Though you may feel like a small fish in a sea of ancient sharks, the small size of a startup allows for exponentially faster economy of speed.
Take advantage of that—experiment and pivot.
Experiment with rapid prototyping.
Kelley says every startup with a focus on speed should be constantly asking one question: “What’s the quickest, cheapest way we can experiment with an idea and move it forward?”
He cites James Dyson, the famed innovator of the dual cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner, as a model for persistent, rapid prototyping. Dyson did, after all, go through 5,127 prototypes over five years before hitting on a winner in the early 80s. That persistence led to a personal net worth in 2022 of USD$9.5 billion, a home appliance empire, and a knighthood.
The Trick to Effective Experimentation
Dyson’s story isn’t just about persistence—it’s about educating yourself as you grow. Every prototype is a learning opportunity. Focus too much on the next, and you can easily forget what you learned from the last.
So as you burn through that rapid prototyping process, be sure to embrace the mantra to never stop learning.
“When the market is telling you to do something else, you have to be willing to change—and change rapidly.”Tom Kelley, Chairman & Cofounder of D4V (Design for Ventures)
Pivot when the market tells you no.
Experimentation and self-confidence will never be enough if your company isn’t meeting a customer need. Kelley emphasizes, with great enthusiasm and a little awe, that when the product-market fit is bad, startup founders have the unique ability to pivot their whole company fast.
Your size (or lack thereof) becomes a superpower.
For a prime example of a full-company pivot, look no further than online payment service PayPal. PayPal started in 1998 with a plan to offer encryption for mobile services. It then moved to mobile financial transactions, then to transactions via Palm Pilots, and finally landed on an e-mail-based payment system. All of those pivots happened in just fifteen months, and all of them were reactions to a product-market fit (or, again, lack thereof).
Now, many years later, PayPal is worth over USD$300 billion.
The Trick to Leading Innovation through Pivoting
It can be hard to admit your first instincts were wrong, no matter how loud the market says so. But with the need to change course comes a great opportunity. After all, as a leader, the way you manage tough decisions is a demonstration of character.
That’s a demo every investor wants to see.
Investors seek out startups with enough conviction in their idea that they’re able to put users first and pivot, bending to market needs without breaking. “At D4V,” says Kelley, “we have, a couple of times, made investments where we weren’t positive about the first product. But we were so sure that the team would pivot well that we made the investment.”
Paint a picture of the future with your idea in it.
When faced with adversity and deciding not to pivot, you have two choices: give up, or find a way to paint a picture others can see.
Kelley’s go-to example here is a vertical farming company called Plenty. When Plenty was getting started, it focused on explaining the many benefits of vertical farming, including economy of space. To convey that value, the founders provided this mental image: If a traditional farm were the size of a soccer field, a vertical farm would need only the goal area.
That image proved far more impactful than numerical calculations of acreage and output.
The Trick to Painting a Picture with Storytelling
To get started on that relatable mental picture, Kelley says you should ask yourself, “What is the story about my product that will carry it forward?”
Keep in mind that your story need not be a sweeping epic. The best, most memorable storytelling is short and simple. Practice that elevator pitch. If you catch the right person’s interest in as little as a minute, you can change your whole future.
“In less than a minute,” recalls Kelley, “I met a Japanese woman at a bus stop. I married that woman. So I strongly believe that a minute can change your life.”
The art of innovation is the art of creative confidence.
Creative confidence isn’t just about finding a way to express yourself or think more innovatively. It’s about helping the world do something better. Whether that means reimagining the way the elderly organize their daily meds or spreading the value of vertical farming, the possibilities for impact-driven startups are endless.
For the best results, leverage design thinking, embrace experimentation and pivoting, and paint your vision in colors the whole world can see.
Most of all, never doubt that unlocking your natural human ability for creative confidence and having the courage to act can help you do better, both for yourself and for the world.
“Of course you can do better,” says Kelley. “Once you start solving the problem.”