This article highlights some of the key components that make global projects successful in Japan, providing advice to expat project managers on how to improve cross-cultural communication. These include consensus-building, which explains the Japanese business practice of nemawashi and the importance of aligning new ideas with coworkers, superiors, and stakeholders before carrying out final decisions. The article also stresses the importance of having strong attention to detail, which produces more accurate decisions and lessens the chance of risk. Additionally, nomi-nication, or the practice of discussing business over drinks in a more relaxed environment and addressing the language barrier are other key points that the author suggests expat managers firmly grasp in order to improve project efficiency in Japanese work environments.
This article brings up some potential points of conflict or confusion that may arise in the process of collaborating across borders in an article aimed at businesses looking to break into the global market. The author encourages international project managers to be considerate and forgive errors that may arise due to a lack of familiarity with the language being used and other subtle but significant cultural differences that should be taken into account. This includes specific points like the custom practice of taking notes during meetings in Japanese businesses that some expat workers may not be aware of and things like making responsibilities and roles clear from the start to avoid confusion.
This article deals with some complications and challenges of working with international teams in general, not just limited to Japan. The author stresses the importance of cultural sensitivity and having patience and understanding. Since many international teams often involve frequent if not consistent virtual meetings, the author highlights building trust in virtual teams as a key tenet of strong workplace relationships, encouraging both managers and employees to take into consideration time flexibility, saving face, and different leadership styles in the workplace. Other things to consider include the challenges of working across split locations and how to improve direction, scheduling, and communication in those situations.