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!

Japan is poised to project a global reality that the world has come to expect: leading-edge high tech, from the world’s fastest and safest trains to robotics, electronics, and (my personal hope) free WiFi everywhere. Combine this with 21st century Japan’s omotenashi (hospitality), safety, polite society, humility, modesty, and a sustainable economy – and you will really get the world enraptured.

On September 15, 2014, I participated in the fourth annual G1 Global Conference, a Tokyo-based gathering of global leaders under the theme “Japan in 2020: Boosting Innovation and Dynamism.” The first G1 Global Conference in November 2011 was called “The Rebirth of Japan after 3/11,” an obviously different thematic mood in the aftermath of a triple disaster just eight months earlier. This conference is the brainchild of Harvard MBA graduate Yoshito Hori, founder of GLOBIS University and Chair of the G1 Institute.

The G1 Global Conference, as an annual English-language conference in Tokyo, is becoming a who’s who of leading movers and shakers in industry, education, and government, along with their global media observers, who come together in a spirit of debate and dialogue to tackle Japan’s reemergence as a player on the global stage.

As a nation branding and public diplomacy consultant who is in the middle of writing a book about post-3/11 Japan, I was invited to be a panelist on promoting Japanese culture to the world. The G1 Global presentation style is a metaphor for how Japan should practice its public diplomacy storytelling: be exciting, creative, personality-driven, and more risk-inviting.

Whatever you think about Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, you have to give him props for getting the world to take notice of Japan again.

“It is not twilight, but a new dawn that is breaking over Japan,” said Abe in his January 2014 keynote speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Except for the global media attention that resulted from 3/11 and its recovery, for many years any headline with Japan in the title would guarantee a sluggish response online. Editors were hesitant about putting the names of Japanese prime ministers in their headlines because they were constantly changing. Today, just mentioning Abe generates interest and chatter. (In the Wall Street Journal, Abe has a 5:1 citation advantage over his predecessor, Yoshihiko Noda.) Not all of it good, of course, but at least the world is talking about Japan again.

Even I have benefited from Abe fever. In 2012, the same month that Shinzo Abe returned to office for the second time as prime minister of Japan, I was notified of my Abe Fellowship award. My business cards carry an Abe logo in English and kanji, and many Japanese have been eager to hear more about my work with the prime minister.

My Abe is actually a partnership of the Social Science Research Council in New York and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership in Tokyo, and its founding in 1991 was the result of efforts by Shinzo’s father, former foreign minister Shintaro Abe, to expand collaboration and dialogue between the U.S. and Japan.

The following is a proposal for improving Japan’s storytelling in the world.

1. Go beyond Abe in telling Japan’s story.
The danger of attaching one’s star to a politician is obvious: the politician will leave office at some point, and before that will introduce policies that are designed to divide both home-grown and global populations. Abe is a charismatic face for Japan, but he’s also a divisive one, policy-wise, with many critics arguing that he is taking the country in a far-right ultra-nationalist direction. It’s far more effective to tell a multitude of stories about Japan from the grassroots and the streets up to the suites.

2. Utilize foreign talent.
I often compare my experience teaching at Tsinghua in China right before the Beijing Olympics to teaching in Japan. In China, I was tapped from day one for my expertise in media relations to give lectures to state government officials. I was off campus as much as I was on campus. This was a strategic investment on the part of the Chinese government, which well knows how to tap its third party public intellectuals. Japan does not do that well or enough.

3. Develop spokespeople and speakers’ bureaus.
A related challenge in Japan is finding bilingual and charismatic spokespeople at the top. One who was mentioned by Tamzin Booth, bureau chief for The Economist in Tokyo, as a model commentator and source to foreign media is Tomohiko Taniguchi. A journalist-turned-speechwriter and professor at Keio University, Taniguchi is very prompt at responding to media requests and is very knowledgeable about Japan’s role and function in the world. I would add to this shortlist Noriyuki Shikata, who began tweeting furiously in English and Japanese during his stint as media spokesman for the Japanese government right after 3/11. Japan needs to develop more public relations speaking, but this is practically non-existent now in a country that has no formal programs in global public relations or public diplomacy.

4. Formalize outreach with Tokyo-based embassies.
I’ve long advocated for more dialogue and discussion with diplomats. No matter what country it is, we tend to view diplomats as people coming and going who hole up in their embassy compounds. The ones I’ve met are very interested in making their temporary homes collaborative learning labs, but they often aren’t asked to meet in less formal settings. Japan has a lot of applied learning opportunities on its doorsteps through international observers and informants.

5. Make Japanese universities more globally relevant.
I’m an educator with nearly a quarter century of university-level teaching experience. I have guest lectured at nearly a dozen universities in Japan, from the regional to the nationally ranked, like Waseda and Keio. Simply put, Japan does not lead in global higher education. I’m proud to be associated with Keio as a visiting professor, but when I travel or return home to the United States, very few, if any, have ever heard about Keio University or its esteemed founder, Yukichi Fukuzawa, whose face graces the 10,000-yen note. Japan needs an influx of more foreign faculty with international reputations – it is less than five percent now – and it needs more Japanese faculty who are engaged in scholarship and research collaboration with the world’s best universities.

6. Embrace Global English and study abroad.
To be fair, one does not have to study in an English-language country. The reality is that Global English (not just English) is the language of business, diplomacy, travel, the internet, and scholarship. It is readily used or is official in 65 countries, but is not the official language of my home country, the United States of America. I taught to a one-third native Spanish speaking community of students at California State University, Fullerton. My German study in high school and college resulted in a yearlong Fulbright grant to the Federal Republic of Germany. Japanese high school and university students need to leave this archipelago and see the world. They will not only gain a competitive edge for employment, but their life will change for the better. They’ll become more interested in global matters, and, in turn, become more interesting to a larger pool of people. Getting outside one’s comfort pockets in food, language, and family is a maturation process that has no substitute.

7. Don’t think 2020. Think 2015.
The year 2015 is the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII and the 50th anniversary of Japan-Republic of Korea normalization of relations. Of course, regional relations need new and improved normalization today. Japan needs public diplomacy and global communication skills stat. As I noted in The Japan Times, a country is only as good as the people involved in its presentation. Japan, a consensus-oriented country, tends to move much slower in its decision-making processes. This deliberative focus works well in some sectors, but not in capitalizing on its current Abe-generated phenomenon: the whole world is watching.

8. Go green: Preserve the planet, preserve Japan.
The bottom line is that Japan’s problems are the canary in the coalmine for the world. Japan’s story is enhanced through sustainability and green high-tech, high-touch economic ventures. This isn’t going to be a nuclear-free zone, but the brainpower here can surely come up with some renewable energy sources that could benefit the world. In that spirit, let’s make nature-loving, season-loving Japan beautiful again and preserve more of its history.

9. Unleash women.
Women have the power to bring social change and business innovation as leaders. They should not just mirror their overtired, overworked male counterparts. Let’s encourage women to start their own businesses in social entrepreneurship ventures, where women particularly shine. Japan is not a startup, but more of a top-down nation that shrinks from leaving predictable work environments for fear of failure and social shunning. Thomas Edison, who most Americans would call a success, tried out 10,000 experiments before he successfully created the incandescent light bulb. Steve Jobs, a global icon of success, was fired from the company he started.

None of the above is any kind of panacea, but let’s roll up our sleeves and help Japan tell its collective stories to the world.

This article, originally published on THE DIPLOMAT on Sep. 29, 2014, has been republished with permission.

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