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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!

Companies need to digitalize their processes to stay competitive in today’s market. For that, many rely on AI startups, which offer everything from machine learning (ML) to decision trees and promise everything from 100% accuracy to immediate results.

But not every startup is successful in what it offers or promises.

Early signs of a failing AI startup go beyond technical issues. Much of the problem actually comes from unrealistic expectations—both on the client side and from within the startup itself. Identifying success factors within a startup comes down to a simple question: Did the startup deliver what the client asked for? That can be harder to achieve than it sounds. Our research team spoke to several experts who lamented that there is still a kind of “magic potion” attitude toward AI. Many clients ask for a ML solution to boost sales before there even is something to sell.

This is similar to the dilemma Stuart Russel presents in his book Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control: a customer keeps changing his mind on pizza toppings, driving a robot waiter crazy. How do you deliver what a client asked for when the client doesn’t know what to ask for?

Short answer: by ensuring you’re growing your AI startup the right way. To that end, here are some crucial dos and don’ts.

Things You Should DO

DO focus on value.

Clients want to see the greater value of the solution they purchased, whether they’re working with an AI startup or a traditional one. After all, companies want to boost sales and reduce costs—that hasn’t changed for decades.

Every AI startup should start with research, even before meeting with a client. That way, they’ll be prepared to explain both the problem and how their solution will solve it. Next, they need to think about cost—not just implementation, but also maintenance. AI projects aren’t cheap, nor are they normally paid for upfront.

Research and practical cost consideration will help you position your startup to provide value to clients.

DO understand the value of specialists.

When people think of AI, they imagine the machines. But there is a remarkable number of hands involved in the creation of an AI model—highly specialized hands. AI professionals are rarely interchangeable, so someone working in industry sector A may find it’s difficult to get hired by sector B. Sometimes, even moving from the purchasing department to the sales department of the same company can be an issue.

Accenture PLC research by Paul R. Daughterty and H. James Wilson predicts that the future will have three new job types: explainers, trainers, and sustainers. Specialists who communicate the best use of AI will fill the explainer role. Therefore, it’s to the benefit of AI startups today to understand and leverage that potential for tomorrow.

DO make plans for scaling up.

There’s one big, often overlooked thing that will make or break an AI startup: scalability.

Having worked in a multinational organization, I’ve suffered first-hand the long purchasing cycles that often make it impossible to work with small startups. Big clients lack flexibility, and cloud operations can be more complex and costly than traditional approaches. VCs, too, want scalable products and cheap implementation.

Making an AI startup scalable is, in itself, a huge project, but a good place to start is with company culture. Never underestimate the importance of keeping coders motivated. The partner of one consulting firm told me that he makes a point to alternate “stimulating” and “profitable” projects to keep coders on their toes. Without happy coders, there’s simply no way to even start thinking of scaling up.

Startups lacking scalability will find themselves stuck in a whirlpool of small consulting projects that never quite push them into the big leagues.

Things You Should NOT DO

DON’T forget the human element within AI.

Every company that uses AI still has humans working for it, and those humans will need to work in harmony with the machines. AI startups and their clients therefore need to identify what level of human-machine interaction their solution requires. Will the machine simply assist the humans, like a grammar corrector? Or will it augment the abilities of a skilled professional, like a skin cancer screening system that narrows down potential prognoses? Will there still be manual elements to the solution, or can we attempt full automation?

AI is about interpretability, but that interpretability will change significantly depending on the goal and level of human interaction. A 90% interpretability rate is outstanding, but reaching 99% is exponentially more complex and still  human driven.

Don’t forget to factor in the human element, or your whole operation will fall to pieces.

DON’T discount the importance of forecasting.

AI startups should plan for scenarios both general and extreme. Like playing chess, you don’t just need to move—you need to move in anticipation of your opponent’s next several moves. You’ll need contingencies for data drift, black swan events (like COVID-19), and attempted application of the AI outside its valid domain. Failing to do this could lead to major setbacks, exhaust your resources, and ultimately ruin the project.

A great forecaster performs frequent updates and introduces new, competing models. The same should apply to AI projects. If nothing else, be sure you can answer these questions: How often does the model get updated? How often is new data integrated to make the solution more accurate over time?

DON’T confuse desktop pilots with reality.

The “magic potion” of an AI solution that works everywhere, every time is a fairy tale. Here in reality, AI models can require as many iterations as any other product. Data collected during and after implementation will lead to scaling up, customizations, and a final product far removed from anything seen during testing. Not to mention, AI inevitably encounters scenarios in which it doesn’t perform as expected. Data evolves, so higher accuracy in a model actually makes it harder to find data sets to identify parameters.

ML master Andrew Ng warns that desktop app testing—a way of testing software functionality, security, etc. prior to deployment—solves only very specific problems. The solutions, therefore, are not transferable to other companies or projects. Many startups discover too late that successful pilot projects fail as a solid business model.

So make sure your expectations are aligned with reality, not fairy tales.


Despite all the bells and whistles, AI businesses are still businesses. That means they can fail just as much as any other business—and for many of the same reasons. Savvy AI startup founders know to offer great ML solutions without forgetting to learn about business. Understand the skills you need and the market you serve, and you can define the best value propositions for your customers.

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