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Influencer Marketing

Expand your reach and engage with your target audience using this trending technique that blends celebrity endorsements with social media marketing.

Leading High Performing Remote Teams

How can leaders ensure that performance remains high in remote or hybrid-work environments?

Design Thinking

Learn the 5 phases of this problem-solving methodology and switch from technology-centered to user-centered thinking.


Learn what reciprocity is and how it can motivate people and boost sales.

Gantt Chart

Invented in the early 20th century, the Gantt Chart is one of the building blocks of modern project management. In this online course, you'll learn how this tool can be used effectively to monitor progress and achieve your team's goals.

Navigating Change Successfully

The working landscape is continually shifting and being disrupted, so how to employees maintain a sense of stability? Listen to CEO and president of Carl ZEISS Japan Stefan Sacre share his expertise on dealing with change in organizations and entire industries.

Halo Effect

The halo effect is often leveraged for marketing and promotion. But as a type of cognitive bias, it can also have a subconscious impact on decision-making in the workplace. Learn why and (how to overcome it) in this online course.

Anchoring and Framing

Want to increase your confidence during negotiations? Master the principles of anchoring and framing to take your negotiation skills to the next level.


Understanding ZOPA and BATNA will help you become a better negotiator, create more value, and feel more confident at the table.

Content Marketing

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.


Blockchain is one of the most captivating technologies out there. Learn what it is and how to make use of its opportunities in this short online course.

Mehrabian’s Rule

The 7-38-55 Rule, developed by Albert Mehrabian, suggests that effective communication relies less on the words we choose than on our tone of our voice, appearance, and body language. Learn how to put this theory to use for better communication in business.

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 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!

Nowadays, it’s not unusual to come across reports of how businesses and operations are undergoing a digital transformation. Many of these focus on superficial aspects of new technologies such as IoT, AI, big data, sensors, robots, and 3D-printing. They talk about the applications of technology, employing technological jargon to elevate Industry 4.0 news to the heady category of prophesy.

The media make it seem as if anything were possible in the future, a time when today’s companies will be shoved aside to make room.

It’s easy to come away with the impression that the business world has divided itself into prophets and doomsayers. The optimists promise a business heaven enjoying 11 trillion dollars by 2025, eternal happiness for executives, and 55 billion IoT connected devices by 2020. The passimists threaten us with new demons: Amazon, Uber, Google, Airbnb! These companies will surely bulldoze traditional businesses!

Everyone seems to think themselves an expert in technology: you’re either on the side of the prophets or the doomsayers. But despite the current popularity of Industry 4.0, and maybe due to the skewed attention it receives at the hands of the media, its effectiveness remains elusive for many company directors and senior executives.

But we mustn’t forget: this is business.

However much we exalt or disdain the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its emerging technologies, there needs be some form of rationalization between management and strategy. Businesses need to be able to transform prophesy into profitable businesses and threats into opportunities.

While all this digital noise is swirling around us, many industrial firms have begun a silent revolution, gradually digitizing their businesses, products, and processes. They are allowing strategy to drive technology, rather than the reverse.

A number of studies from the US have calculated that implementation of IoT and its enabling technologies lies between 25% and 45%, depending on the industrial sector. They also forecast that, on average, this will double in just five years, reaching levels of 50% to 80%, again according to industry.

Professor Michiya Morita from Gakushuin University and I wanted to ascertain the situation in Japan, a country characterized by innovation in technology. We were particularly interested in learning what executives are thinking.

We carried out a survey on the implementation of Industry 4.0 in three Japanese industries subject to intense global competition from German, Chinese, and American companies: electronics, machinery, and vehicles. Our goal was to understand each company’s strategic vision, implementation level, expectations, and future plans. The companies were separated into two groups: high performers and low performers.

How closely was high-performance culture associated with the key factors and benefits of Industry 4.0?

As it turned out, for high-performance Japanese industries, Industry 4.0 matters a lot. Our results showed they each had a clear vision, well-defined plans, high expectations, and ultimately better results than low performers.

Monozukuri culture still reigns supreme

The importance of Industry 4.0 in the strategic plans of Japanese companies is high: 3.7 out of 5, with a strong focus on production (3.9), collecting customer information (3.7) and product development (3.6).

However, it seems the level of Industry 4.0 implementation of high-performing companies is relatively low, at 2.5 out of 5. This could be interpreted as meaning that implementation in these companies started later than in other countries.

Our results showed that high-performing companies tended to have an initial vision that was focused inward. They oriented their strategies on product development and paid little attention to customers or value chains. We also observed a lack of integrated company vision and kaizen-based execution. Strategies were carried out sequentially and by division: product innovation first, then production adaptation, and finally customer input.

Robots? Yes! IoT? Maybe.

Japanese industrial companies seem to like automation, but fear the risks of the internet. More attention is paid to internet security than developing IoT platforms.

Which Industry 4.0-related technologies are Japanese companies using?

Investments are mainly occurring in the more mature technologies related to product and quality improvement—namely, robots and simulation systems. Curiously, in third place was cyber security, in fourth, 3D-printing, and in fifth, IoT platforms. In last place are cloud computing, augmented reality and big data.

If this conservative investment profile were to become a trend, it would signify a dangerous distancing from AI and, more worryingly, from customers and suppliers. Unlike US or Chinese companies, which invest heavily in big data and AI, Japanese companies could face big problems in creating strong business ecosystems.

Key expected benefits from Industry 4.0.

The picture changes when it comes to future expectations. It seems Japanese companies are aiming for faster response to demand, which they hope to achieve with Industry 4.0 technologies.

Greater customer satisfaction lies in second place, with flexible production systems third. These companies are willing to increase customer satisfaction by improving company responsiveness to changes in demand. This will minimize customers having to wait for products, as well as the build up of inventories.

The link between people and processes

Japanese manufacturing companies are aware of the risks that come with connecting people, but see the opportunities as being greater. Perhaps this is because they do not believe Industry 4.0 will be an industry standard in the future.

It will be difficult for companies to manage the enormous data flows that characterize Industry 4.0 if they don’t implement cloud computing systems or begin experimenting with big data and AI. It seems that Japanese companies, with their engineering culture, believe more in internal developments than in outsourcing or using standard solutions.

Management culture is key

Supporting innovation through management culture is not just about R&D. To truly take advantage of Industry 4.0, all functions need to work together. Learning-by-doing allows a company to gradually acquire the necessary digital know-how and market responsiveness for a competitive position in a global environment of rapid change.

This article is based on a study carried out by Michiya Morita, Jorge Calvo, and Yukari Shirota in 2016, as well as their article “Envisioning Supply Chain Management 4.0: The view from Japan,” published in CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly Magazine.

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