Leadership, women, global human resource development were key topics for 2013

2013 has been an exciting year for Japanese business. The economic policies of Prime Minister Abe, dubbed “Abenomics”, have heightened confidence and injected new energy into the Japanese economy. The announcement of Tokyo as the site for the 2020 Summer Olympics has also bolstered spirits. Japanese firms have been reacting with increased vigor, including investing in their human resources to support expanded globalization efforts. We’ve seen a strengthening of programs designed to bolster employee skills both inside and outside of Japan, as well as more new overseas expansions and M&A activities. We’ve also noticed that firms around the world are showing a renewed interest in the Japanese market, with clients coming to us this year for help with new operations in Japan, new joint ventures with Japanese partners, and acquisitions in Japan. Supporting these activities has been a major theme of our firm’s work in 2013.

Developing “global human resources” both in Japan and overseas

Japanese firms are increasing realizing that they need to strengthen their employees’ ability to conduct business in a global environment, leading to global jinzai ikusei (global human resource development) becoming a popular buzzword. Our cross-cultural and communication skills training are the perfect solution for boosting employees’ ability to work globally. We provide pre-departure training in Japan and post-arrival training at our global locations for Japanese expatriates. We also provide training on Japanese culture for non-Japanese employees in their home countries and also at group seminars held in Japan. As a further offering for Japanese wishing to develop both their cultural and language skills, we have also partnered with the language school Intrax to offer intensive residential immersion programs in San Francisco tailored to the needs of Japanese who need to quickly boost their global skills.

Leadership development

As an extension of efforts to develop global human resources, Japanese companies are putting increasing emphasis on strengthening their employees’ leadership skills. This is also an area where we have deep experience and provide excellent results for our clients. For over 15 years we have been using the Leadership Practices Inventory, the gold standard of 360 degree assessments, as a tool for helping both Japanese and non-Japanese leaders develop their skills.

Encouraging Japanese women in business

One welcome development in Japan 2013 has been increased attention to the importance of helping Japanese women thrive in the workplace and move into leadership positions. In support, we have unveiled a seminar on Assertive Communication Skills for Women, and other services to assist Japanese firms in promoting women in their workplaces.

We very much appreciate everyone’s support and enthusiasm for our work during this past year, and look forward to serving you in 2014 as we celebrate our firm’s 20th anniversary.. Best wishes for a happy holiday season and New Year.