Points of view and news
“Japanese corporations in a time of disruption. Case of automotive, Nissan and Toyota cultural differences, past and future strategies”
A few weeks ago I gave a lecture at Waseda University to E-MBA students of ESSEC and Mannheim University of three different campuses (Germany, Singapore and France) on transformation in Japanese corporations. It was following a class I did a few years ago, on The Third Road of Management or how to transform companies. The[…]
This year at CES, trends are getting confirmed. Autonomous and smart mobility seems closer than ever. Let’s be clear: Level 5 (the autonomous car you will buy and that can go everywhere) is a Grail that will not be achieved easily. It is now understood by (almost) everyone that you won’t own a car without[…]
I.1) The Japanese school, Prioritizing harmony and operational efficiency The Japanese executive is a gardener when the western one is an architect*. This sentence is a good summary of the differences between the two managing system which I call the first two roads of management. When the western executive defines centrally a detailed plan, his[…]
At a time when many are writing about the future of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi alliance, it is good to remember what made its success 20 years ago. Sometimes, it is not necessary to reinvent everything. This is an extract of the book to come, which I wrote a few years ago. It is part[…]
The fist chapter of this book is a quick description of the dominant Japanese management model and how it differs with its western counterpart. It is of course a difficult exercise, as it could be perceived as restricting the way Japanese firms are managed in a single and frozen manner. It is of course not[…]
As child my first experience of Japanese culture was the Judo class my parents put me in when I was 10 years old. Judo means in Japanese the road of flexibility (柔道). 2 years later, facing a total lack of progress, partly due to a very rigid body, I gave up Judo. This was my[…]
Paris Motor show (Le Mondial de l’Automobile) is the last major Motor Show of 2016 closing a transformation cycle that started a year ago in Frankfurt, followed by Tokyo, Detroit, Geneva, and Beijing. It is also the last Motor Show of a type. 2016 will remain a turning point in the auto industry. In just[…]
I was given the opportunity to make a keynote end of September at the Smart Cloud Show 2016 organized by the Korean newspaper Chosun on the theme smart city and smart manufacturing. This is in a nutshell, the outline of my presentation: Our world is at the dawn of an unprecedented transformation from a technical,[…]
There is not one day without news on the front of autonomous driving. But things appear now to be clearer with 2 schools of thought. The two giant companies Toyota and Google, leading their relative businesses, are representative of those 2 schools. From Toyota’s and most carmakers’ point of view, autonomous car will come step[…]
Starting in 2009, Toyota was hit by one of the biggest series of recalls in the automotive history. Even though it was later proven that there was no intention from Toyota to hide anything and that eventually it was established no defect affected the electronics of the car, the damage to the company’s reputation and business[…]
Why this home page? The world has changed and change is just accelerating. This requires a new way of managing global organizations.
There are two schools of thought. The first one, widespread in Japanese companies, relies on permanent operational improvement and independence left to each function and region in a bottom-up way. The other one, mainly taught in most MBA’s, tells us that a limited number of look alike informed people, under the leadership of a C suite executive, decide the strategy of the organization in a top-down way.
Both ignore the fact that the world has become more global and complex at the same time. Customer trends are more homogeneous globally and heterogeneous locally.
There is a different way of managing a global organization that ensures the consistency and alignment of the teams through a strong strategy and the flexibility of the bottom-up approach with initiative taking of each actor.
I have experimented it as an actor and as a leader.
The third road of management combines indeed the strengths of the existing schools of thought. In this new way of operating where the global strategy is crowd-sourced from the teams who will have to execute and the final decision is left to them. It is what we call the “Freedom within a Frame” principle where the frame is collectively defined and the freedom left to the ones who execute.
This principle is based on three beliefs
1. Value creation is more important than cost control alone and emerges from everywhere.
2. People want to be empowered and are much stronger if they are part of the big picture
3. Future winners will need to have a strong global differentiation and high level of flexibility at the same time.
As it is a crowd sourcing and collective approach, it is a learning process and I am therefore expecting as much feedback as possible. Eventually we will write a book on this revolutionary approach.
Thanks for you interest.