By James Santagata
Principal Consultant, SiliconEdge
That Japan like any country, be it developing or developed, has her share of problems is not in the least bit surprising or at least it shouldn't be.
However, what has surprised me over the years is how many foreign "Japan watchers" and "Japan pundits" always seem to miss the crux of what's really going on on the ground in Japan and more importantly what's going on in the mind of the Japanese.
When articles are written or comments made about the supposed dearth of Japanese startups, the author or speaker almost always boils this down to several factors such as Japan's Shima-guni mentality (Island Nation / 島国), the so-called Galapagos Effect (which as I've continually pointed out is really just a misnomer for an industry or marketplace rife with ossified, rent-seeking incumbents and regulatory capture), Japan's supposed lack of talent, Japan's supposed lack of diversity and Japan supposed lack of creativity.
With that said, there is another popular myth and meme that comes up regarding the lack of Japanese startups and that is the idea that the Japanese have an almost in-born fear of failure.
I'm not here to argue that Japanese don't have a fear of failure because they do. We all do. Just as most other peoples around the world do, including those in the US and even including those working in Silicon Valley.
People fear failure.
But to hear the pundits tell it, "Japanese need to get over failure and embrace it". These pundits act like the fear of failure in Japan is simple a psychological construct* like it is in parts of the West like in the US.
By Mike Rogers, MarketingJapan, Universal Vision Ltd., and Smart Research
& James Santagata, Executive Director APCA, Principal Consultant, SiliconEdge
I met the boss of the biggest international television network in the world the other day. He is a Canadian. He travels all over the world and, because he is in the TV business, he told me that one of his favorite things to do in every country was to judge by TV commercials what things were important to that particular society.
Japan's TV commercials? Insurance for this or that; home sales; automobiles; financial instruments and plans; candy, cosmetics, fast food... Companies like Zurich, Sekisui, Kanebo.... Japanese commercials that soft sell and are emotive commercials.
I think that's right.
He also told me that he was "astounded" by just how many over the counter drug medication commercials there were on US TV all the time. US TV commercials? Drugs, Cholesterol, Machismo ("my ding-a-ling is bigger than yours" commercials); fast food; commercials to make your dick hard, make it soft, put you to sleep, keep you awake, lower blood pressure, lose weight; not to mention commercials galore for people with extreme anxiety and panic attacks.
Oh, and don't forget the side effects disclaimers! Cholesterol, etc.
According to Ryder's CEO, there's a downside to being at the very top of the food chain. You hae no boss. And this is where executive coaching can add value and structure.
Coach For Impact!™ Expert Interview, Bill Gluth, Part 2 "Re-inventing Business & Aligning Yourself With The New Energies of The Marketplace"
We talked to Bill about re-inventing business & aligning yourself with the new energies of the marketplace, specifically the "conscious redesign of business".
It's no secret that the market has change dramatically over the last 2, 3 even 4 years in that there's now so much information and so many iterations out there that everything is diluted with the end result being that the market has become completely numb.
Our talk with Bill should be of great interest to many in the coaching field as the market has become very crowded with the net result being that many coaches are now simply resigned to surviving rather than thriving.
These are the questions that we posed to Bill:
1) You say that the energy of business has changed with the advent of content marketing, social media, social networks, mobile devices and people connected 24/7. Can you discuss this in more detail?
2) How can (and should) coaches and business respond or react to this?
3) You mentioned a new definition for branding, what is this? [heart / creative (presence) vs mind / cognitive (branding)]
4) What are the mechanics and the step by step process for brand or presence development?
5) Can you walk us through your definition and the process of your no-pressure, heart vs mind-based sales process?
6) Can you explain what you mean by "not selling" but "inviting" and then maybe walk us through an example?
7) Give us an example of a hard close script using your process.
8) You mentioned there's a key difference between a customer and a client. What is it and what does it matter?
A very thought-provoking article on the value of competition, winning, losing and "participation" trophies.
- APCA Editor
New York Times Op-Ed Contributor
Losing Is Good for You
By Ashely Merryman
Published: September 24, 2013
LOS ANGELES — AS children return to school this fall and sign up for a new year’s worth of extracurricular activities, parents should keep one question in mind. Whether your kid loves Little League or gymnastics, ask the program organizers this: “Which kids get awards?” If the answer is, “Everybody gets a trophy,” find another program.
Trophies were once rare things — sterling silver loving cups bought from jewelry stores for truly special occasions. But in the 1960s, they began to be mass-produced, marketed in catalogs to teachers and coaches, and sold in sporting-goods stores.
Today, participation trophies and prizes are almost a given, as children are constantly assured that they are winners. One Maryland summer program gives awards every day — and the “day” is one hour long. In Southern California, a regional branch of the American Youth Soccer Organization hands out roughly 3,500 awards each season — each player gets one, while around a third get two. Nationally, A.Y.S.O. local branches typically spend as much as 12 percent of their yearly budgets on trophies.
It adds up: trophy and award sales are now an estimated $3 billion-a-year industry in the United States and Canada.
Po Bronson and I have spent years reporting on the effects of praise and rewards on kids. The science is clear. Awards can be powerful motivators, but nonstop recognition does not inspire children to succeed. Instead, it can cause them to underachieve.
Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, found that kids respond positively to praise; they enjoy hearing that they’re talented, smart and so on. But after such praise of their innate abilities, they collapse at the first experience of difficulty. Demoralized by their failure, they say they’d rather cheat than risk failing again.
In recent eye-tracking experiments by the researchers Bradley Morris and Shannon Zentall, kids were asked to draw pictures. Those who heard praise suggesting they had an innate talent were then twice as fixated on mistakes they’d made in their pictures.
By age 4 or 5, children aren’t fooled by all the trophies. They are surprisingly accurate in identifying who excels and who struggles. Those who are outperformed know it and give up, while those who do well feel cheated when they aren’t recognized for their accomplishments. They, too, may give up.
It turns out that, once kids have some proficiency in a task, the excitement and uncertainty of real competition may become the activity’s very appeal.
If children know they will automatically get an award, what is the impetus for improvement? Why bother learning problem-solving skills, when there are never obstacles to begin with?
If I were a baseball coach, I would announce at the first meeting that there would be only three awards: Best Overall, Most Improved and Best Sportsmanship. Then I’d hand the kids a list of things they’d have to do to earn one of those trophies. They would know from the get-go that excellence, improvement, character and persistence were valued.
It’s accepted that, before punishing children, we must consider their individual levels of cognitive and emotional development. Then we monitor them, changing our approach if there’s a negative outcome. However, when it comes to rewards, people argue that kids must be treated identically: everyone must always win. That is misguided. And there are negative outcomes. Not just for specific children, but for society as a whole.
In June, an Oklahoma Little League canceled participation trophies because of a budget shortfall. A furious parent complained to a local reporter, “My children look forward to their trophy as much as playing the game.” That’s exactly the problem, says Jean Twenge, author of “Generation Me.”
Having studied recent increases in narcissism and entitlement among college students, she warns that when living rooms are filled with participation trophies, it’s part of a larger cultural message: to succeed, you just have to show up. In college, those who’ve grown up receiving endless awards do the requisite work, but don’t see the need to do it well. In the office, they still believe that attendance is all it takes to get a promotion.
In life, “you’re going to lose more often than you win, even if you’re good at something,” Ms. Twenge told me. “You’ve got to get used to that to keep going.”
When children make mistakes, our job should not be to spin those losses into decorated victories. Instead, our job is to help kids overcome setbacks, to help them see that progress over time is more important than a particular win or loss, and to help them graciously congratulate the child who succeeded when they failed. To do that, we need to refuse all the meaningless plastic and tin destined for landfills. We have to stop letting the Trophy-Industrial Complex run our children’s lives.
This school year, let’s fight for a kid’s right to lose.
Ashley Merryman is the author, with Po Bronson, of “NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children” and “Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing.”
Training Elephants: How Your Mental Conditioning Keeps You In Chains (by James Santagata, Executive Director of APCA)
By James Santagata
Executive Director Asia-Pacific Coaching Alliance; Principal Consultant, SiliconEdge
(This is part of the No Box Thinking™ Series)
Elephants are considered one of the strongest animals on earth and in places like Thailand, it's not uncommon to see one elephant compete against forty or more men in a tug-o-war contest with the elephant easily winning!
Many elephants are also utilized in the forestry industry and it's an amazing sight to see an elephant easily and deftly pick up a massive log and effortlessly move it about like a mere toothpick.
Not once or twice, mind you, but all day long and in the scorching heat.
With such power and stamina an adult elephant could easily snap any ropes or chains used to subdue it. Yet why doesn't the adult elephant do this? And how can such a powerful animal be so easily controlled by an infinitely smaller human wielding only a stick or through the simple pressing of feet or heels into the elephant's neck or ears?
Well, it all comes down to the elephant's mental conditioning and the shaping of expectations it has received and that has been implanted into it. Many humans would call what the elephant mentally engages in to be a "self-fulfilling prophecy."
Since an adult elephant is so powerful and could easily break the biggest ropes or chains, trainers begin to condition the elephant at a very early age not only to not want to do this so but also to THINK that it is NOT able to do so. Effectively to not even consider breaking the chains or snapping the ropes as an option.
Why? Because once we deem something to be "impossible" to do, we no longer attempt it. Our own thinking and thought processes, therefore, become a set of mental chains.
The Asia-Pacific Coaching Alliance (APCA) is the #1 Gateway for Asia-Pacific Coaching Opportunities and Knowledge™.