How to end the war between Japan office and Head office.

Posted By on Nov 21, 2022 in Learning Groups |

Time: 8-9.30am 

Location: A small private room inside The Tavern (lobby Restaurant) Andaz Hotel, Toranomon Hills. We are NOT at the lunchtime, bento box lunch venue, which is at the far end of the lobby. 

1-23-4, Toranomon, Minato-ku
Tokyo,  Japan, 105-0001
Tel: +81 3 6830 1234

Cost & menu: 5,000 members (no non members for this type of event). The course breakfast(not buffet, to save time) consists of fresh bread and pastries, fresh juices, coffees, European cheeses, cold meats, muesli, berries and yogurt. 

DN Salons and Summits follow “Chatham House rules”. This means they are off-the-record. Attendees may repeat what they have heard but they should not attribute the comments to any person or company, to avoid embarrassment. No digital recording of any kind is permitted. 

Introduction/meeting notice. We will be discussing the first outlined below, on this occasion. 

Two members have recently found dealing with Head Office a frustrating experience…


The aim of this CEO Summit, called at the request of two DN members, 

is to explore what works in bending HO to your will. 

One member has doubled revenue for example, but feels that neither he nor his team are getting 

the recognition they deserve, both financially and morally. 

Worse than that, the uptick in performance has not encouraged HO to invest more in the 

Japan operations. This essentially means that hiring the best people is impossible, believes the member. 

The other member is trying to hard to reconcile Japan’s fanatically high quality standards with his HO’s more casual approach. 

The Japanese, he says, expect a crack team of investigators to spend a month working 24/7 to find and fix the problem, ensuring it is never repeated. HO considers this to be quite uneconomical, and suggests compensating with free produce. 

After all, they argue, reducing defects to say, 10% of the total is usually not impossible. But reducing defects to 1% or 2% is incredibly difficult and expensive, with costs going up logarithmically for each % point improvement.  

But refusing to fix the problem properly, says the CEO, seems to the Japanese to be cavalier, negligent and disrespectful! 

Of course, both sides are right to a certain degree, but how do you reconcile them? 

A further problem is if the Japan CEO has been hired in Japan: he is not a company man, and does not have strong connections back home. What he should do? Resign himself to a quiet life in beautiful Japan, or change jobs? 


If you are interested in a high-level, frank and confidential discussion with your fellow members, please let me know. 

As DN veterans know, these events are small (4-6) but high quality and very helpful.