Introduction to the JMNC Solutions Blog
This blog is primarily about how to grow Japanese businesses operating outside of Japan. That’s where I have focused the majority of my career to date, and it’s an area of great interest to me, and to many others, I’m sure. If you’re one of those people, you may enjoy this blog. Different people bring different perspectives to the subject of Japan’s successes and failures in global markets - it is certainly a very complex and nuanced topic and much has been written about it. I’m not a Japanologist, nor an academic. I’m not a politician or bureaucrat. I’ve been on the front lines of business and consulting for my entire career, working at the executive level for various Japanese entities in roles related to Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions, Strategic Business Development, Operations, Product Management, and Services Delivery. I’ve interacted frequently with Japan-based executives on their home turf in Japan and at board meetings around the world. I’ve reported to Japanese C-level executives. I’ve had Japanese employees reporting to me.
What I have experienced over the years has been fascinating, and has strained the limits of my American MBA and inspired me to dive deeper into Japanese culture, language, history, and politics to gain a better understanding of what I’ve observed. I left my position at a large Japanese company to launch JMNC Solutions, a company focused on management advisory services, working side-by-side with both Japanese and Western executives. The goal of JMNC Solutions is to help both Japanese and Western teams navigate a minefield of considerations to advance an admittedly Western-influenced concept - global growth and profitability for Japanese businesses outside of Japan. For those who think global growth for Japanese Multinational Corporations (J-MNCs) is too risky to pursue, read no further - this blog is not for you. J-MNCs and “Japan Inc” can be successful globally - they were before and must be again - Japan’s leaders are well aware of this.
I won’t spend too much time rehashing common themes such as Japan’s population decline and the risks that brings - I’ll leave that to the Japanologists. Let’s start our journey with a very quick review of recent Japanese economic and business history, and what lies ahead.
Shinzo Abe (or Abe Shinzo , depending on your outlook) took office as Prime Minister for a second time in 2012, after having previously held the position for just over a year in 2006-2007. His economic policies, referred to as Abenomics, aimed to address deflation, but also had to grapple with reforms that would make Japanese companies more competitive overseas.
With this backdrop, this blog will look at a broad range of topics and how they impact Japan’s prospects for growth in global markets, including:
Management and leadership practices
Finance and corpdev practices
Human resources practices
Product management, service management, and marketing practices
Specific industry profiles
Government actions and policies
The blogs will be rich in detail and analysis, with referenced sources and actionable recommendations for leaders. I hope that you enjoy exploring these topics with me to help drive global success for your Japanese-owned company or Japan-focused organization. As always, I welcome your feedback and even more so the opportunity to engage with you or your organization as a facilitator, coach, consultant, or speaker.