Tomoya Nakamura in aikido gear reaches out to his right
©Katsuo Sugano

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

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!

As I read this New Year’s newspapers, headlines of an employment drain and the globalization of the manufacturing industry catch my eye. Japan can no longer compete with emerging countries on manufacturing costs. Japan should compete by differentiating through value-added technologies. In this volume, which is based on my experiences managing my division, I would like to consider the stance that management should take with regards to the various types of knowledge and wisdom which are generated in the workplace and becoming more and more important in this modern age.

Thoughts on leveraging a person’s “Knowledge Power”

GLOBIS University began offering English classes in 2006 and inaugurated a part-time MBA program in 2009. In 2012, we plan to open a full-time MBA program in English. For the full-time program, we plan to accept a group of students from Asia and the rest of the world, a big step towards our goal of becoming the No. 1 MBA program in Asia.

My job is to integrate the English programs not only in GLOBIS University, but also in our global training sessions for our corporate clients. My division is multinational, with members from the U.S., Belgium and Japan, including several returnees (Japanese who have lived abroad). Many also have MBAs or master’s degrees. With differing cultures and backgrounds, opinions can clash when we work together as a group.

Last fall, there was a confrontation regarding task assignments. There was a difference between what the manager suggested for the task assignment and what the member thought was suitable.

In general, a company is managed based on the power from one’s position. “Position Power” assigns greater power to persons in higher positions in the company. In a hierarchy that clearly delineates the president, directors, managers, senior associates, and staff, the higher positions assume higher decision-making authority, influence, and direction for the organization. Here, as one moves up the ranks, it is naturally assumed that skills and leadership also increase.

Now, in this age of great change, when it becomes difficult even to predict the immediate future, is it really possible to continue to manage divisions based on position power? After all, my organization is in the knowledge industry, which deals with the study of management! Management comprises many subject areas, such as strategy, marketing, operations, accounting, finance, leadership, and entrepreneurship. In this environment, people with the rank of manager may well be outperformed by subordinates who have received master’s degrees or doctorates in their specialty.

In contemplating this issue, I received some advice from my colleague, Mr. Hirofumi Matsubashi (who lectures in Creativity and Organization Management), reflected my own Ki (intuition), and came to the following decision. In addition to recognizing position power for what it is, I would create a new concept called “Knowledge Power,” and seek to actively leverage the subject knowledge of my senior associates. (I define knowledge power as curiosity, action, knowledge or wisdom in a certain subject.) That is, I would prioritize position power for routine work that requires experience. However, for work in new subjects that require knowledge and wisdom creation, I would value knowledge power more than position power.

Now, I have come to understand that valuing knowledge power had a far greater impact than just changing my work style. For example, a person with an MBA with a concentration in marketing may also have developed a deep understanding through a hobby such as music. In this case, this person would be assigned mainly marketing tasks but could also greatly contribute by applying his or her skills in music. In other words, valuing knowledge power means considering a person’s personality, lifestyle, and desires for growth, and then somehow creating opportunities to make his/her fulfilling contributions.

For the tasks that value knowledge and wisdom creation, I then decided to lay out the tasks on a table and let the members volunteer for them based on their possible contribution, work situation, and desires for growth.

In this manner, is it possible to really assign tasks properly? I am sure you readers have doubts. To be frank with you, I was also concerned. However, as I made a decision to utilize knowledge power, I had to seek a way to let members express their opinions freely and to choose the tasks that they believed could bring out their best. Of course, I can play the role of referee in order to adjust any imbalances in work distribution. However, in showing respect for knowledge power, I try to minimize the times in which I intervene.

People began to shine; the organization became lively, and I happened to change my perspective

After I began managing the division this way, all the members seem to have begun to enjoy their work. Although people asserted what they themselves wanted to do, they also proactively picked up work that was necessary for the group as a whole. I think that as we paid attention to each person’s strengths and weaknesses, knowledge was also created in a smooth manner.

Additionally—and I did not expect this—my perspective also changed. First of all, I had to understand each member at a much more precise level. What does this person know? In what kind of environment is he/she able to deepen his/her knowledge? What might impede any output that is derived from his/her knowledge?

Next, my definition of work also changed. Originally I had regarded work in connection to the division’s goals, and thought that what did not fit inside the division’s goals were “OB” (a golf term for “out of bounds” that includes a 2-stroke penalty). However, I learned that each person creates knowledge in his or her way. When I started looking at jobs from employees’ perspectives of trying to generate knowledge, an entirely different image of work appeared. It was as if I had been riding a motorcycle at 60 km/hour and had missed the scenery. If I had been riding a bicycle at 20 km/hour or been walking at 4 km/hour, I would have been immersed by the sweet smell of the flowers on the side of the road. (“Stop and smell the roses” is not just a cliché.)

Third, I believe that in providing an environment for the members to aim for their individual desires for growth and develop their careers, I was able to further empower them that much more.

To all the members who changed my perspective in this manner, I want to share my deep appreciation: “Thank you! You’ve given me precious advice.” To those members of management who are constantly being told to create added value from their subordinates, allow me to say this to you: if you recognize and utilize knowledge power, the Ki (energy) of the organization will flow more easily and the faces of each employee will brighten. As a result, added value should be created. (To all the managers who are already implementing this form of organizational management, I hope this column is a reassuring sign of encouragement.)

Lastly, I would like to wrap up this column with a quote from Max DePree’s “Leadership Is an Art,” one of my favorite books: The Millwright Died.

My father is ninety-six years old. He is the founder of Herman Miller, and much of the value system and impounded energy of the company, a legacy still drawn on today, is a part of his contribution. In the furniture industry of the 1920s the machines of most factories were not run by electric motors, but by pulleys from a central drive shaft. The central drive shaft was run by the steam engine. The steam engine got its steam from the boiler. The boiler, in our case, got its fuel from the sawdust and other waste coming out of the machine room—a beautiful cycle.

The millwright was the person who oversaw that cycle and on whom the entire activity of the operation depended. He was a key person.

One day the millwright died.

My father, being a young manager at the time, did not particularly know what he should do when a key person died, but thought he ought to go visit the family.

The widow asked my father if it would be all right if she read aloud some poetry. Naturally, he agreed. She went into another room, came back with a bound book and for many minutes read selected pieces of beautiful poetry. When she finished, my father commented on how beautiful the poetry was and asked who wrote it. She replied that her husband, the millwright, was the poet.

It is now nearly sixty years since the millwright died and my father and many of us at Herman Miller continue to wonder: Was he a poet who did millwright’s work, or was he a millwright who wrote poetry?

In our effort to understand corporate life, what is it we should learn from this story? In addition to all of the ratios and goals and parameters and bottom lines, it is fundamental that leaders should endorse a concept of persons. This begins with an understanding of the diversity’s of people’s gifts and talents and skills.

Understanding and accepting diversity enabled us to see that each of us is needed. It also enables us to begin to think about being abandoned to the strengths of others, of admitting that we cannot know or do everything.

Recognizing diversity helps us to understand the need we have for opportunity, equity, and identity in the workplace. Recognizing diversity gives us the chance to provide meaning, fulfillment, and purpose, which are not to be relegated solely to private life any more than are such things as love, beauty, and joy.

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