Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ghosn & Japanese Management


Lately I have been reading about Japanese CEOs because I will be paying Tokyo a visit. Although I read Carlos Ghosn's book, Shift, I did not realize the deep impact he had on Japanese business thinking. As you know, Brazilian-born Ghosn was sent to Japan on behalf of Renault to turn around failing Nissan. To many people's utter surprise, he revived the car company and changed the insular culture of Nissan's management. He was hailed a company hero. A comic book was written about him as pictured above. I recall reading two years ago that Japanese women were offering themselves up to Mr. Ghosn to have his babies! Ghosn-mania.

Ghosn's success conveyed the message in Japan that good management can make a difference. The impact of the leader or CEO is now believed to have a profound impact on the company's reputation, bottom line and market value. Japan will always have CEOs who are humble, modest and consensual. But Ghosn's aggressive and American-Euro management style undoubtedly changed the world order in Japanese business for good. My trip should be interesting.

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