Resolute Japan

The Leaders Forging a Corporate Resurgence

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Pub Date Sep 17 2024 | Archive Date Sep 17 2024

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Discover how Japan’s new leadership model has transformed its top companies and created a new paradigm for business success

In Resolute Japan, Waseda University’s Jusuke J. J. Ikegami and the Wharton School’s Harbir Singh and Michael Useem reveal a new leadership model that has led Japan’s corporations to make a stunning comeback. In the process, they share what they have learned from interviews with more than 100 CEOs and top executives of Japan’s largest and most influential companies, including Hitachi, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, NTT, and Panasonic.

In this book, you will discover:
+ How Japan’s new leadership model has led to superior performance in the stock market and beyond;
+ The core principles and practices that characterize Japan’s new leadership model and how they differ from the old models;
+ How Japan’s new leadership model enables companies to balance multiple and often conflicting objectives, such as shareholder value and social responsibility, short-term results and long-term growth, and agility and stability;
+ How Japan’s new leadership model fosters innovation, resilience, and competitiveness in a rapidly changing global environment;
+ Why, even in an environment of macroeconomic stagnation due to economic policies at the national level, individual companies can achieve sustainable development through this new leadership model; and
+ How Japan’s new leadership model can inspire and inform business leaders in the West and elsewhere who are facing similar challenges and opportunities.

Resolute Japan offers a rare and insightful perspective on the new corporate fabric of Japan, one that is sure to both challenge and enlighten leaders around the world.

Jusuke J. J. Ikegami is a Professor and Associate Dean of Waseda Business School. He is also Director of Waseda Blue Ocean Shift Institute and Deputy Director of Global Strategic Leadership Institute. He received his MA in International Relations at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK; an MBA from the Judge Business School, Cambridge University; and a Doctor of Business Administration from Hitotsubashi University, Japan. His working experience includes Boston Consulting Group, Mars Japan, Director of New Business Development for Softbank EC Holdings, Chief Venture Capitalist at Nissay Capital, one of the largest institutional investors in Japan, and independent director at Toyo Inc. SC Holdings. Ikegami has chaired and served on various committees of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. He is the author of Situational Strategy and editor and co-author of Inbound Business Strategy, Inbound Renaissance, and Blue Ocean Strategy in Japan.

Harbir Singh is the Mack Professor of Management, co-director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management, and faculty director of the Huntsman Program for International Studies and Business at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He served as vice dean for Global Initiatives at the school. He focuses on the development of capabilities and of sustainable competitive advantage, and his interests in research and teaching lie in strategic leadership, growth and innovation via alliances and acquisitions, and the evolution of competitive strategy. Singh is the author of books on strategy and leadership in a global setting, including The Strategic Leader’s Roadmap, The India Way: How India’s Top Business Leaders Are Revolutionizing Management,and Fortune Makers: The Leaders Creating China’s Great Global Companies. He teaches and directs customized programs for companies and associations around the world. He has been a visiting faculty member at London Business School, Bocconi University in Milan, and the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He is a founding faculty member of the Indian School of Business.

Michael Useem is Faculty Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management and McNulty Leadership Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He works on leadership development, general management, and corporate governance with companies and organizations in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. He is the author of The Leader’s Checklist, The Edge: How Ten CEOs Learned to Lead, The Leadership Moment, Executive Defense, Investor Capitalism, Leading Up, and The Go Point. Useem is also co-author and co-editor of Learning from Catastrophes and co-author of The India Way: How India’s Top Business Leaders Are Revolutionizing Management; Leadership Dispatches: Chile’s Extraordinary Comeback from Disaster; Boards That Lead; The Strategic Leader’s Roadmap; Fortune Makers: The Leaders Creating China’s Great Global Companies;and Mastering Catastrophic Risk: How Companies Are Coping with Disruption.

Discover how Japan’s new leadership model has transformed its top companies and created a new paradigm for business success

In Resolute Japan, Waseda University’s Jusuke J. J. Ikegami and the Wharton...

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ISBN 9781613631812
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Featured Reviews

This a special book that reflects a Japanese way of leadership and doing business. Many things can be learned from the book and there are some to mention for the review. Sometimes it makes sense to research promising business models to borrow for strengthening leadership in your own company. As a leader you need to make sure that your company flywheel generates not only shareholder return but also returns for your other constituencies. Building a sustainable business requires sustainable growth and for sustained growth a leader needs to look to distant gains and bring that future into present leadership, making the long term long and devising a pathway to get there. The key to success is the team you lead, this being an inspiring and approachable leader is very important.

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This book is all about the "Model RJ" (Model Resolute Japan) "phenomenon." The authors describe this model as one that "combines key elements of the Western canon with traditional Japanese principles that place special value on the perpetuity of the company." I truly enjoyed the broad array of case studies and snippets from interviews across an impressive cast of characters based in Japanese companies. At the same time, I couldn't quite wrap my mind around the concept ... there doesn't seem to be anything special here ... the case studies and quotes did little to prove that certain CEOs in Japan are doing anything differently ... and the last chapter, which was framed as offering something to the US and China (why those countries? Hm) fell flat, without a single connection to the business goings-on in either of those nations. Frankly, being here in Japan ... I found a lot of what was written (and what the interviewees said) hard to believe. Japan is all about hierarchies. It's caked into the system. I experience legal pay discrimination because of the "seniority driven lifetime employment" and it's definitely not "given way to job requirements and performance metrics," which are equally skewed towards Japanese men who stay the path! I also noticed how the interviewees/authors (hard to know given how it's written) assumed men. All the time. So much for "human-centred" and "diverse"! The authors also keep admitting throughout the text that this model sounds suspiciously Western ... and that, for me, was the kicker. A good portion of the examples are either about Japanese men who grew up elsewhere or lived abroad for a long time, or (Western/American) men who come here. Finally ... and this isn't just a problem with this text ... I'm rather tired of Japanese words being reimagined for foreign audiences. For example, the whole argument about charismatic leaders vs. Japanese CEOs who have ningenryoku (人間力) was just playing with words. I think charisma also "draws all to the big boss when at the frontlines." In the end, I feel I've had a glimpse into how Japanese leaders are viewed/view themselves (when on record, at least) ... but not much else.

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