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An Investor’s Lesson to Entrepreneurs

Business has the power to impact society for the better. But that doesn't mean entrepreneurs can't go wrong—and investors know that. Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Doug Mellinger shares some tips for realizing meaningful change.

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.

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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!

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Digital Marketing Psychology to Transform Your Business

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Pyramid Structure

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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

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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

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MECE Principle

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Even as a young man, Apple cofounder Steve Jobs was fascinated by Eastern philosophies and religions, including Zen. When his son Reed became a teenager, Jobs marked the event by taking him to Kyoto to visit its Zen temples and gardens.

But what, exactly, is Zen?

Here is a definition from zen-buddhism.net, a site devoted to all things Zen: Zen is not a moral teaching, and … it does not require one to believe in anything. A true spiritual path does not tell people what to believe in. Rather, it shows them how to think. Or, in the case of Zen, what not to think.

The key thing about Zen, in other words, is letting go. It’s rising above the self, above logic and language, to grasp the meaning of life via intuition.

The physical expression of Zen philosophy can be found in Zen gardens, which consist of just a few stark and simple elements: raked gravel, rocks and moss. Most of the normal elements of a garden have just been let go. The Zen idea of simplification and minimalism were always part and parcel of Steve Jobs’s philosophy of product design. In fact, his biographer, Walter Isaacson, points out that the company’s first-ever marketing brochure in 1977 began with the rather Zen headline, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Later, when overseeing the interface design for the iPod music player, Jobs again insisted on extreme Zen-like simplicity, demanding that everything be doable within just three clicks. That thought carried into Apple Store interiors, which are also as serene and uncluttered as a Zen garden. There are no piles of boxes, no checkout counters or cash registers. Instead, there are free-floating glass staircases, glass elevator shafts, no columns anywhere. Everything is built of wood and stainless steel. Even the storefronts are glass, admitting abundant natural light.

In Adobe’s State of Create: 2016 Survey, Japan (the home of Zen) was rated as the world’s most creative country. Clearly, Steve Jobs is not the only person to have found inspiration in Japan.

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The Essence of Zen in Design Thinking

A few months ago, I hosted a conference in Tokyo. One of the sessions was on design thinking—the technique of applying the methodology of a designer to complex problems outside of design. The panel included innovation consultancy IDEO’s Tom Kelley, the father of design thinking. He broke down design thinking to three components.


Use empathy to understand people’s needs, even if the people you’re dealing with can’t articulate those needs themselves.


Be happy to try different things. Be willing for those experiments not to work out the first time.


Tell the right story to make your idea come to life. Then other people will buy into it and give you their backing.

How does Zen fit into these things? It all has to do with letting go. But we don’t let go to create eternal emptiness. We do it to reflect, grow stronger, and make space for the new. To be truly Zen, you must consider these three principles:

  1. Zen fosters a state of calm emptiness into which empathy can flow.
  2. Zen makes experimentation possible because it eliminates the fear of failure.
  3. Zen traditionally uses short parables to teach life lessons. Storytelling is an integral part of Zen.
Zen rocks stacked with design thinking in front of a stormy shoreline
Zen teaches the principles that open the door to design thinking. | Unsplash/ Colton Sturgeon

Design Thinking in Action

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe stole the show as Super Mario at the Rio Olympics’ closing ceremony to present Tokyo as the next host city. Personally, I think that’s a great example of design thinking in action.

A prime minister who dares to put his dignity aside and dresses up as a video game character invites empathy. “He’s just an ordinary guy like us,” we think. “Plus he’s got the guts to try something that could easily get him laughed off the stage.” By fitting himself into Super Mario’s story, he’s also being a storyteller who can communicate effectively on a global level. This out-of-the-box communications strategy generated a ton of media coverage.

It was eccentric—but effective.

GLOBIS University introduced Design Thinking as a course in 2016, the same year as the Rio Olympics. Why? Because design thinking is a skill modern leaders—including business leaders—must have. With it, we may run the risk of getting laughed at or trying experiments that fail. But without it, we can’t innovate. We can’t embrace Zen.

And every business leader could use a little Zen.

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