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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fashion: a multi-billion-dollar industry that’s evolved far beyond putting clothes on our backs. The fashion industry has become a platform for free artistic expression, a haven for marginalized communities, and a driving force for social change.
Believe it or not, it can also have a positive impact on health and quality of life.
Japan’s love affair with fashion stretches back to the introduction of the kimono in the Heian period (794 – 1195) with Western fashion debuting in the mid-1800s. But Japanese fashionistas today, like many of their counterparts around the world, often sacrifice comfort to look good. That means business leaders have a ripe opportunity to make meaningful social impact through health and beauty. Particularly when it comes to the fashion on your feet.
Yasuyuki Umino knew from his university days that he wanted a career in fashion. Now, as president and CEO of BENEXY Corporation, based in Tokyo, he works on the frontlines of footwear distribution, retail operation, and shoe repair. Since getting his GLOBIS MBA in 2019, social impact has become a driving force behind BENEXY’s core value.
Finding Social Impact in Feet
Insights: How did you get started with a career in footwear?
Umino: I’d dreamed of joining the clothing or footwear industry since university. As for why I chose BENEXY, it was the unique company mission that came with a social benefit.
BENEXY is in shoe repair and footwear distribution, including famous brands like Birkenstocks from Germany. But we work to provide end consumers with a physical experience—not just an attractive shoe. That starts with tailored shoe-fitting based on orthopedic expertise, which gives our shoes a lifelong benefit for the consumer.
The positive impact of BENEXY really appealed to me, so in 2005, I joined the company as marketing staff.
Insights: To ensure that lifelong health benefit, do you employ trained orthopedic professionals in stores?
Umino: Our footwear is made with orthopedic know-how, but employing orthopedic specialists is a bit tricky. In Japan, only licensed orthopedists or podiatrists are allowed to recommend footwear from a medical perspective. So what we do is employ professionally certified Shoe Fitters to train all BENEXY shop clerks, who can then advise customers on the best shoe size, width, and fit, as well as how to walk.
Learning to Market the Story of Shoes
Insights: You were appointed CEO of BENEXY in January 2021. Marketing staff to CEO is quite a rise in status! How have you seen things change for the company over time?
Umino: As business got bigger, we started to feel the culture gap between the European style of marketing and that of Japan. The consumer mindset in Japan is more high context, so we learned that we need more storytelling in our marketing strategy, rather than a one-shot marketing campaign.
Insights: What does it mean to incorporate storytelling into shoe sales?
Umino: Consider the role shoes play in Japan vs. Europe: In European markets, most people are taught from childhood how to tie their shoes, etc. There’s a lot of focus on the practical function of shoes. But in Japan, people think about shoes very differently. Shoes are more like hats—you might put them on and take them off several times in a single day. Therefore, Japanese customers tend to choose their footwear based on cosmetic fashion trends, such as tight fit or loose fit. I guess this comes from our tatami floor culture and the tendency to go barefoot at home.
Even Japanese customers who come to our stores are surprised by the detailed fitting services we provide. On average, it takes thirty minutes for one customer to make a decision to buy a pair of shoes at BENEXY—far longer than other footwear businesses. But we think of those thirty minutes as a must. We’ve realized we need to explain, pretty much from scratch, the lifelong benefit of well-fitted footwear.
Insights: It sounds like mindset is key to your approach. Do you rely a lot on word-of-mouth marketing?
Umino: Yes, we make word of mouth a huge priority. And that’s been important for our demographics, as well. We’ve found that female customers can be a bit more stubborn accepting shoes as anything but fashion—they tend to want smaller shoes.
Insights: And did your MBA play a role in the way you adjusted your marketing?
Umino: Before enrolling in GLOBIS for my MBA, I had a different attitude. I felt that we, as a distributor, just sell products, and consumers just consume them. But I began to suspect I needed a more holistic, 360-degree approach to see the social value we were providing.
I learned a lot at GLOBIS, and after graduation I happily accepted the appointment to CEO at BENEXY. The most important takeaway from my MBA studies was how to provide core value. To lead a nationwide distribution network (and 300 employees) under fickle, global-scale market changes, you have to include all stakeholders.
I also learned the importance of continuous, day-to-day exploration. Even after graduation, I’ve tried to expand my understanding of what “social good” is. That’s a big part of creating and communicating our core value, as well.
Marketing Footwear for Fashion and Health
Insights: What do you consider your biggest success so far?
Umino: Unleashing the narrow, limited image of “footwear” and communicating footwear benefits as both health and fashion. We want consumers to understand our products and services from a broader perspective—they need to see that we’re contributing that social benefit. BENEXY supports health by providing comfort in daily walking, improving posture, etc.
I’ll consider our efforts a success if I see fewer people walking on the street with bent backs and toes!