Cultural Aspects

Getting everything to run smoothly takes longer

All companies that have succeeded in Japan, aswell as all the companies that have failed, understand that Japan is different.

How is it different? How do you explain a culture to somebody who hasn’t experienced it for himself? How do you explain how water feels to somebody who grew up on the moon? You cannot explain culture, but you can learn to utilize it and let it work for you.

You arrive at Narita airport and a nice lady explains how you can reach your hotel by train or bus. You travel by yourself; you notice that many people speak English and that everybody is friendly… Most foreigners do not feel the real cultural difference because they associate culture with visual and objective standards.

Think about major failures of international corporations in Japan and how helpless top managers, despite being very intelligent people, saw billions being lost. They all thought Japan would be the same as western countries.

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