How do we approach the promotion of diversity and inclusion?



Three key strategies that Japanese companies should adopt

     However, there are certain managerial behaviors and stances that must be adopted by Japanese companies, local Japanese-owned subsidiaries, and management personnel to achieve those ends.



  ■ Build competitive HR frameworks suited to each local region rather than one that’s based on existing frameworks in Japan

     Local NS in Asia believe that results and remuneration are directly correlated. Pay is not based on age but is rather bundled together with their position and responsibilities. Moreover, the results of their work are often more harshly evaluated. Thus, a typical Japanese system which tends to have vague job expectations and

a pay/promotion structure based on age leads to dissatisfaction and discomfort for employees in Asia as a whole. This is one of the major reasons why Japanese companies have become less popular in Asia. If we do not consider creating HR strategies and rules that are attractive in the local market and region and continue to base frameworks on those of the head office, talented local personnel will simply leave. Please take this opportunity to take a look at your company’s policies and rules from the perspective of talented local personnel.



 ■ Listen, while others tell and do

     In Asia, it is a commonly accepted fact that all individuals are different from one another, and as a result, people “ask” and “confirm” with one another on a regular basis when working together. Without doing this, there is no way to know whether you have really understood something, or whether the other party has really understood you. Japanese managers at local subsidiaries often lack this level of consideration.
     When managers’ basic approach is not to “direct” but rather to “listen” while having others tell and do, a new and different reality becomes apparent. By repeating the cycle of asking and listening while others tell, it should become possible to discover talent who can help improve the business. The duty of Japanese managers is to work closely together with the talent they have discovered, and cultivate their full potential in order to prepare them for succession in the future.



■ Seek questions, not answers

     Sometimes Japanese management would tell us: “I asked the NS for opinions and ideas, but they didn’t offer anything useful.” Although there are certainly language barriers, it is possible that the NS were also upset that they could not make any contributions, and in turn they might even have thought that they no longer want to give any opinions or ideas nor be asked for any.    
     Instead of suddenly asking the NS for answers, it is much easier to start a productive conversation by inviting the staff to ask questions about the topic you wish to discuss instead. In such cases, make sure the staff ask many questions from perspectives that are different from before. For example, if you wish to discuss whether to promote the expansion of a product from urban or local areas, make sure to have your staff consider the matter from a new perspective and they will hopefully come up with questions or concerns regarding an existing strategy such as: “Is an area-based strategy really the best way to promote the expansion of a product?”“How did you come up with such a strategy in the first place?” Seeking questions from staff like this will expand the scope of the topic. When questions do emerge, resist the urge to persuade them to believe your ideas even when you have already formed your own opinions, and try to draw questions from them instead. This way, it will become possible to incorporate others’ ideas and perspectives, and you may discover unexpected solutions to many problems.


      In order to succeed in the global market, the aim should not be restricted to the appointment of NS. The goal should be to put the right personnel in the right positions. Whether an employee is NS, Japanese, or from any other country, the priority should be for the most suitable personnel to be placed in the most appropriate position. A company that has the depth and flexibility to manage their talent efficiently will surely succeed in the global market.
    We at CELM Asia wish to start this wave of change in Asia, and further change the world from Asia.


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