Woman paints a green city over a grew polluted one.
iStock @CreativaImages

Pareto Principle

Your time and resources are limited. Efficiency means learning to prioritize. The Pareto principle (also called the 80-20 rule) can help you identify the best way to use your time for maximum results.

Country Analysis Framework

Overseas expansion requires careful planning. The Country Analysis Framework can help you look beyond an industry-level analysis and reframe your view based on performance, strategy, and context. Try this short course to learn how it works.

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!

It’s 2004, and your fledgling footwear startup has an advertising budget of one million dollars for the year. Then a massive tsunami devastates Indonesia. You divert the entire advertising budget towards aiding the victims of the tsunami.

Impulsive humanitarian gesture, or strategic business decision?

For your footwear company (known in real life as KEEN)—and a growing list of other enterprises that have made improving the world part of their founding mission—such distinctions spring from an outdated mindset. Positive change is their business. And if you want to work with purpose while making a difference to your community or our planet, an impact venture like KEEN might be your best bet.

Impact Ventures are Basically Self-Funded NPOs

NPOs and NGOs have traditionally led the charge against social problems like poverty, inequality, and pollution. They’re typically the ones with boots on the ground directly handing out aid. They’re also constantly struggling to raise money.

So in 2015, when the UN General Assembly released an agenda to end poverty, pollution, and fifteen other global-scale problems by 2030, they declared the need to “mobilize the global business community as never before.”

Since then, the UN’s seventeen sustainable development goals (SDGs), as well as demand from increasingly conscientious consumers, have forced business standards to evolve. Social problems are not solely the domain of NPOs anymore. In fact, the financial independence of impact ventures often makes them even more effective in the fight for a better future.

A list of all 17 sustainable development goals.
iStock @Irina Nazarova

Robin Lewis, cofounder and representative director of Social Innovation Japan, knows this firsthand from his time working for the Japanese NGO Peace Boat. “I used to spend a lot of my time fundraising and doing grant proposals so we could continue to do our work,” he says. “When you’re relying on donations and grants and things solely, it can become quite difficult financially.”

Today Lewis runs mymizu, a platform that helps users find free drinking water from public fountains, natural springs, and even businesses willing to fill up aluminum thermoses at no charge. The idea is to wean people off single-use plastic bottles, thereby reducing plastic waste. The app is free, but mymizu makes a profit through corporate challenge programs that help companies and employees change their plastic waste habits. mymizu spends no time or energy hustling for small donations.

And mymizu is not the exception: embracing SDGs doesn’t have to mean sacrificing traditional measures of success. KEEN, the real-life business that donated its entire advertising budget to victims of the 2004 tsunami, now makes more than $142M in revenue per quarter. Chacos, a competitor with a similar market, makes about a third of that despite being founded 14 years earlier. As an investor, this makes impact ventures a great bet, and as an employee, you can feel proud of your work without worrying about job security.

Impact Ventures Monetize Solutions

It’s easy enough to wrap a product in pink (symbolizing breast cancer), green (environmental impact), or rainbows (LGBTQ+ equality) to imply support for causes. But there’s no guarantee that the company is putting its money where its symbolism is—it might just be trying to entice you to buy the product. In some of the worst cases, companies even “pinkwash” products known to be cancer-causing.

Impact ventures put change-making at the core of their business. That distinguishes them from conventional companies with (sometimes superficial) sidelines in philanthropy.

“It’s not just about the problems these businesses solve,” says sustainable business scholar Trista Bridges. “It’s also about how the business operates, how it makes decisions, and its values as an organization.”

Sometimes the product itself helps advance the mission—as with mymizu’s app. Other impact ventures focus on ethical production. KEEN uses rare, outdated technology because it helps retain jobs and make their shoes sturdier—even if the machines slow down production. When they bought a new headquarters, they recycled more than ninety percent of the materials left behind by the building’s previous owners.

Then there’s the American insurance company Lemonade, which charges a flat fee for its service and doesn’t rely on inflated premiums. “Most insurance companies make money by saying ‘no’ to claims, which creates a conflict of interest between insurers and their customers,” says Nina Rauch, Lemonade’s social impact coordinator. “We wanted to remove that conflict.” Because Lemonade doesn’t profit from premiums (unused premiums are donated to a charity of the customer’s choice), it aligns the incentives of everyone involved. As a result, it’s able to pay claims with unparalleled speed and insure thousands of homes and pets.

Buying from impact ventures fuels an engine made especially for affecting positive change. And loss of business pressures bad-acting business to clean up their act.

Support for Impact Ventures Pressures All Businesses to Behave

The best impact ventures systemically change the business landscape. If you’re losing customers to a competitor that operates in a more ethical way, you can’t win those customers back just by changing the product. You have to change the way you do business.

Pressure to do that can come from customers, investors, or even industry heavyweights.

In 2019, H&M published the names of all of their suppliers globally, as well as their suppliers’ suppliers—an unusual move in the apparel business, where product sourcing is rarely transparent. Bridges describes the event as “a pretty big deal for the industry. If some companies take an action like that, it forces everyone else to take that action, too.”

But in many cases, even the heavyweights applying the pressure have a ways to go. Good On You, an app that scores fashion brands based on social and environmental impact, gives H&M a rating of “It’s a Start”—a long way from being a true impact venture. Companies that Good On You rates “Great”—the highest rating—look nothing like the retailing giant. They’re all smaller startups looking to make a difference through fashion, and there are thousands of them. Their existence alone shows that plenty of consumers want to support companies that are changing the world. Together, they apply competitive pressure to giants like H&M to keep changing.

Bridges is optimistic. “The question is not whether companies will change,” she says. “The question is whether they will change quickly enough.”

As employees and employers, and consumers and investors, our choices can help ensure they do.

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