7 Deadly Sins of Global Biz Leadership Development

black devil with curly hair and angel on background

Originally published in collaboration with Yuko Shibata, executive at ALC’s Global Leadership and Talent Development Group, in a series of articles in KIGYOU TO JINZAI 企業と人材  Magazine.

Thomas Friedman said The World is Flat, and I certainly feel that the business world is getting smaller.  Many companies today are looking overseas for new markets and new customers in order to sustain the profitable growth of their businesses.  New behaviors, skills and thinking are required to succeed globally, and companies must act strategically in order to secure the talented people required to fulfill their increasingly global vision.  This has led many HR departments to pursue what they often call global leadership “training” programs, but you don’t “train” humans to be global leaders.  You train dolphins to do tricks in a swimming pool to earn fish treats.  Continue reading

The “Yes We Can” Boys of Akishima, Japan

It’s easy to be a cynic, like the person who made this ever-so-uninspiring sign . . . but . . . weird things are happening to me when I travel abroad since President Obama was elected.  I was recently at a local summer festival in Akishima, near Tokyo.  Now, just to give you some idea about the town of Akishima, it’s a good hour’s train ride from the center of Tokyo, and that’s on an express train.  They’ve got a bit of industry there, but it’s fairly “sleepy” as a town compared with Tokyo.  The big attraction for the festival, which was held at the elementary school near the train station, was a raised platform where the townspeople took turns amusing one another by belting out karaoke tunes.  My friend’s 87 year old mother snuck out of the house to go back to the festival after we’d called it quits, and we found her sipping sake and eating noodles with the over-80 crowd in the VIP tent when we finally tracked her down.Continue reading

Tokyo Book Launch Party "Genki"!

Kimberly_Pink“Genki” is a word my Japanese colleagues frequently use to describe me.  They tell me it means I am cheerful and fun, but I’m pretty sure it is a secret code meaning that I’m noisy, wild, and just a tad scary.  Nevertheless somewhere around five dozen people turned up for the book launch party for the Japanese version of “Scrappy Project Management” last night, and they all seemed pretty “genki” to me.  One of the party guests, who was a graduate of one of our six month Global Leadership Development Programs this past year gave a rousing congratulations speech.  The highlight was when he asked the audience to participate with him as he “challenged convention” in such a speech, removed his suit jacket, rolled up the sleeves on his crisp business shirt, and then got everyone flinging their arms in the air while shouting “Exciting!” to help express his feeling about the whole book lalapalooza.  His final wish was that I become a billionaire, but I’m not sure if he meant dollars, yen, or rupees.

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