Leading High Performing Remote Teams
How can leaders ensure that performance remains high in remote or hybrid-work environments?
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.
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.
The environment is in major trouble. To save it, we need innovation. But to ensure a better future for generations to come, we need sustainability-driven innovation.
If you’re wondering how to find a job in sustainability or become a part of innovation for long-term impact, you’re not alone. There are a lot of up-and-coming-jobs in the corporate world to help existing organizations become more sustainable. Entrepreneurs, too, are starting companies with big plans to impact society. But there is another approach to making a difference: helping other innovators grow.
Akira Sakano and So Sugawara, two young leaders from the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, established the Green Innovator Project (GIP) last year with the latter in mind. Their goal is to nurture 1,000 innovators who will help create a positive cycle between the global economy and environment by 2030. To achieve this, they’re enabling collaboration between academia, governments, businesses, and powerful civilians.
Sakano was named a “Nikkei Woman of the Year 2022” for her continuous work creating zero-waste communities across Japan with Zero Waste Japan. But even with such credentials, engaging various stakeholders and growing 1,000 innovators is a lofty goal.
Those seeking a sustainable job might start by asking a common question: What are the three pillars of a sustainable business? Google can easily find that answer. But if you’re curious about the more unique roles within a sustainability project, Sakano has a different idea: Wind, Water, and Soil.
These may sound like unlikely innovation job titles, but Sakano’s experience has shown how they can shape a career to give a sustainable job meaning and impact.
So, what are these Wind, Water, and Soil roles? And how can we nurture people to embody them—or even fill them ourselves?
Developing a Career Path Framework with Wind, Water, and Soil
Sakano’s unique innovation process involves nurturing three specific types of next-generation leaders in sustainability: Wind (kaze no hito), Water (mizu no hito), and Soil (tsuchi no hito). Each plays a crucial role in implementing and maintaining impact on the ground. They also critically link with each other.
The original concept behind these elemental roles was introduced by +arts, a Japanese NPO that promotes disaster prevention at the local level. Sakano met with representatives of +arts during a Japan Foundation project. Over time, she realized that their Wind, Water, and Soil concept can double as a guide for developing a career path framework:
- Wind members spread the “seeds” of innovative thinking throughout the local community. It’s the job title for someone who comes up with ideas and makes proposals, like planners and designers.
- Water members are the middlemen—they grow the seeds Wind members drop and lay the groundwork (so to speak) for Soil members, who come next. Water roles are often filled by entities such as NPOs.
- Soil members make sure the seeds spread by Wind and nurtured by Water are not temporary, but sustainable at the local level. This role often falls to local citizens, town council members, and the like.
Wind, Water, and Soil roles shouldn’t be confused with a personality test. Your responsibility in one project may be Water, but in the next, you might serve as Soil. The point is that, with Wind, Water, and Soil roles all working together, sustainability-driven innovation projects go more smoothly and last longer.
Throughout her career working in sustainability projects, Sakano has embodied each role. She started with Water.
Water for Young Innovation
Kamikatsu-cho is a town in Tokushima famous for its zero-waste movement. In 2003, it became the first municipality in Japan to declare a plan for zero waste. Now, seventeen years later, more than 80% of Kamikatsu-cho’s waste is recycled thanks to the continuous effort of residents who practice forty-five types of waste segregation.
They never could have done it without Water.
Sakano has observed that Water is the role most often lacking in sustainability-driven innovation. The reason is that it requires the most patience—patience by the one filling the role, as well as the community hosting the project. It’s the transitional phase that moves a community from an exciting new idea to a long-term commitment. Seeing that transition through is a rare talent.
Sakano joined Kamikatsu-cho’s zero-waste movement in 2015 thanks to an introduction by her university friend. She’d studied environmental policy in university and was on the hunt for a position that would instill lasting impact.
Lucky for Kamikatsu-cho, that made her the ideal candidate for the zero-waste project’s Water role, and as a result, the project moved beyond the idea stage to a usable framework for long-term sustainability and innovation in the community.
Wind for Spreading Ideas
Even as Sakano brought the spotlight to Kamikatsu-cho’s community, she started to take on a bigger role elsewhere. In 2012, she was chosen for Global Shapers, a community of young people nominated as action-takers by the World Economic Forum. In 2019, her sustainability contributions earned her a place as co-chair of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
And so, through her networks and new responsibilities as a representative for young innovation, Sakano took on the role of Wind.
GIP is, in fact, a Wind project, as it gives future innovators the basic tools they need to grow into changemakers. In line with this, Sakano and her colleagues implemented an educational program, the Green Innovator Academy (GIA), challenging 100 university students to come up with sustainable strategies for major Japanese companies such as JERA, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, INPEX, SMBC, IWATANI, and others to make change toward 2050.
Sakano says the key to Wind power is blowing across barriers: “I’ve always thought that there weren’t enough people bridging different stakeholders. But there should be more than that—collaboration should also be cross-generational and go beyond other borders, too.”
This thinking heavily influenced the construction of GIA. The students work with mentors from different companies and institutions to support their innovation processes and strategy making. That helps incorporate global, national, and local contexts during the program.
Soil for Giving Sustainable Jobs Meaning Long Term
Sakano’s career began with Water, then shifted to Wind. So where is her next role taking her? Back where she started in Kamikatsu-cho—only this time as Soil.
The seeds of Kamikatsu-cho’s zero-waste movement are sewn and watered. Now, to ensure long-term impact, it’s time to get the local community committed to sustainability. For this, Sakano has a few ideas. She designed a game to help teach kids to think beyond recycling and find ways to eliminate garbage altogether. Then, to address the remaining 20% of non-recycled waste in Kamikatsu-cho, Sakano started promoting a zero waste accreditation system for shops. This not only motivates the owners, but also raises the awareness of locals.
“Waste is everywhere in our daily lives,” says Sakano. “Each of us can do something, but lasting impact starts with changing our awareness and behavior.”
By laying down these initiatives, Sakano is providing the community of Kamikatsu-cho—and now other communities all over Japan—with the zero-waste roots it needs to carry on their efforts for generations to come.
Sustainability-Driven Innovation through Wind, Water, and Soil
Sustainability can be a daunting concept for businesses and individuals alike. Everyone wants to impact the world for the better. But where do you start?
If you’re stuck asking yourself that question, try developing a career path framework using Wind, Water, and Soil. Find a cause you want to impact, and then visualize your place in its journey. Are you the Wind that will carry the seeds of young innovation? The Water that will help those innovation processes settle into place? Or the Soil that will ensure change continues to grow for generations to come?
Remember, whatever role you fill now isn’t forever. Sakano’s challenge to grow 1,000 innovators with GIP has just begun. As she and Sugawara prepare for their second year, they’re focusing on prepping those 100 university students for sustainability-driven innovation—not only in Japan, but across Asia.
As your own career path grows, keep looking for new ways to innovate within your community, nurture fresh ideas, and maintain positive impact for the future.