An Outside Perspective:Views from a non-Japanese HR professionaland an intercultural communication consultant~ What it takes for Japanese to succeed on the global business stage ~

Ms. Silvia Bettoschi
[Manager, Training & Development, Corporate HR, Japan Tobacco Inc.]
Mr. Andrew Homer
[Principle Consultant, ICL Consulting; Senior Consultant, Link Global Solution Inc.]
Mr. Richard Berger (Moderator)
[Director of Communications, Link Global Solution Inc.]

Whether or not a Japanese employee will succeed in an overseas posting cannot be determined simply by looking at his or her skills, attitude or language abilities. To some degree, of course, all of these factors come into play, but having the proper “awareness” is also an essential component in achieving a successful outcome.

■What does “global” mean to you?

Andy: I think we focus too much on nationality when we mean “global.” For me, a “global person” is someone who can work with people who have different ideas and different ways of thinking, or, to use the Japanese word, a different joushiki (a common or shared understanding within a particular cultural group) about how business should be done. Of course, working overseas is part of that, but it's also working in Japan, and sometimes it can be working with other Japanese people.

Silvia: To be “global” means the ability to guarantee the same quality of outcome no matter where you find yourself. When you're in your own country, your comfort zone, you set a certain standard. The challenge is to maintain that same standard even under different conditions and with different people. The second word I would like to add is “switch.” We don't need the same competencies and the same skills every day, so developing the ability to switch your attitude, behavior and competencies according to……

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