Sunday, January 22, 2006

CEO Capital in Japan

Japanese CEOs have alot to teach us. Since I am speaking at several events in Tokyo this week as my book was translated into Japanese, I have spent time reading about how CEOs build corporate reputations in Japan. Of course, we all know about the success of The Toyota Way and its enduring leadership example. However there are many other interesting lessons for the taking.

One example comes from Canon. Canon's president Mr. Fujio Mitari understands the meaning of building mutual trust among his senior team. Every morning at 8am he convenes an unofficial meeting of senior managers to just talk. There is no agenda or theme to the conversation. He does not take roll call or minutes. The meeting is meant to build cameradie and exchange information, be it sports, work or the weather. "When you meet people face to face and engage in casual conversation with them every morning, you come to better understand their personalities and the way they think. It helps to build trust." Additionally Mr. Mitari believes that meetings such as these helps to spread Canon values and traditions down through the organization.

What a fine way to begin the day.

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