People frequently ask me to explain why their Japanese colleagues and/or business partners conduct business the way they do. I explain why, give advice and yes, most people say they got it. But I often wonder whether they really “got it.” Understanding culture is difficult and usually cannot be easily explained in words.
Last August, I gave a crash course on Japanese culture via webinar for the executives of a global entertainment company. When I showed a photo of a typical train station and described the morning rush hour commute, there was clearly an “A-ha moment” for the executives. Many interesting questions were asked (e.g. “Why is the person wearing a mask?”). The Japanese mindset of conformity and consistency was captured in this one simple photo.
Jan 08 2015, 0 comments