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.
I organize several conferences a year as part of managing a business school. Some last a day and are held at our main Tokyo campus; some run for three days and are held in more exotic places up and down the country. A few focus exclusively on business, but most cover a broad range of topics: international relations, regional security, politics, economics, culture, and even sports.
The key to a successful conference is to organize stimulating sessions that excite and engage the audience. I have compiled six simple “how to wow” tips for lively panel discussions. Here they are in brief:
- Set timely themes and gifted speakers
- Be original
- Embrace diversity
- Get the right moderators
- Address issues from many sides
- Eliminate distance
Session Themes: Timely, with Top Speakers
First, an obvious enough point: you should always pick timely, relevant themes for your conference sessions. Here in Asia, a topic like security in the South China Sea—where China is energetically building artificial islands for military purposes—is a good example of what I mean. Globally, it could be a topic like non-state actors (such as ISIS) who represent a threat to everybody, or Greece, whose economic situation could throw the world economy into turmoil.
By itself, a timely topic is not enough; you need to have high-quality speakers on the panel too. Here my rule is strict: If you can’t get a good cross-section of experts, better to ditch the whole topic than settle for second-raters.
Originality Is the Priority: Everyone Loves a Contrarian
I’ve been attending the World Economic Forum at Davos for over a decade now. Time and again, I’ve noticed that the most popular speakers there are always the contrarians, the people who come out with a point of view that at first seems totally implausible—until it wins you over!
Web entrepreneur Joi Ito, a regular speakers at Davos, is quite brilliant at this. Something of a living paradox himself—he is, after all, a Tufts dropout who ended up as director of MIT’s world-famous Media Lab—he can be guaranteed to come up with original, provocative concepts.
Here are a couple of examples: first, BI and AI (“before internet” and “after internet,” Joi’s version of B.C. and A.D.), and second, antidisciplinary vs. interdisciplinary, which is all about going beyond traditional academic disciplines to take unconventional and risky approaches to problem-solving.
People never go to conferences to hear safe and familiar opinions. They go to hear bold, stimulating, new ideas. Make sure that your speakers have the capacity to startle and to charm.
Variety Is the Spice of Life: Curate Your Speakers
One of the best panel discussions I have ever attended was at Davos in 2005. The topic was Africa, and the six people on the panel were Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Tony Blair, Bono, and President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria.
Yes, they were all powerful men (Davos has gotten more proactive about gender balance in recent years), but they also represented an intriguing diversity of ethnicities, professions, generations, and life stories. I vividly remember Bono—something of an outlier as the only musician or campaigner in the group—interrupting to complain about his not liking “the tone of the discussion.”
The best way to get sparks flying is to bring together people with different backgrounds and perspectives. One personal rule of mine is to mix “thinkers” and “doers”—for example, academics and business people. That ensures that all discussions are firmly rooted in the real world.
While most of us would struggle to compete with Davos for star power, it’s always good to get a few big name speakers for your event. The big names boost the gravitas of the event and make attracting other good speakers easier.
Moderators Really Matter: Keep the Momentum High
Good moderators are like movie editors: although they are not the stars in front of the camera, the decisions they make about “cutting” between speakers determine the pace, energy, and success of your sessions. A good moderator must also have the guts to ask difficult questions and the tenacity not to let the panelists wriggle out of answering.
For our most important sessions, we always get Nik Gowing, the BBC World TV journalist, to moderate. Nik has an extraordinary ability to master a brief quickly, drive the discussion forward, keep all the speakers on topic, and involve the audience in the Q&A. Quite a juggling act!
Insights Lurk in Unlikely Places: Attack Ideas on Multiple Fronts
At conferences, you never know which session will produce the most valuable insights. My approach is to boost the odds by tackling our main theme from a wide variety of angles—cultural, political, technological, economical, etc.
For example, when we organized a conference on Japan’s post-earthquake economic revival, we had sessions on the standard “serious” subjects—monetary policy, post-Fukushima energy problems, etc.—but we also had sessions that dealt with “lightweight” subjects, such as Japanese street fashion and the Japanese startup scene. These two sessions yielded striking insights into the resilience, creativity, and positive thinking of the young Japanese who will have to revitalize the nation’s economy.
You never know where the good ideas are going to come from. Take a scattershot approach.
Up Close and Personal: Eliminate Distance
Where would you prefer to see the Rolling Stones perform—a small club or a 50,000-seater stadium? No contest. Obviously, a small club would be loads more fun. It’s the same thing for conferences: an intimate and relaxed atmosphere with the speakers and audience close to one another yields better results.
We always place our panelists on a low dais just a foot or so high and arrange the seats around them in a crescent pattern. Our staff even encourages everyone to sit close to the front to create a more direct energy between the speakers and audience.