Business & Beers Japan

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This episode I sit down with 32-year Japan entrepreneur Ruth Jarman. She is the founder of Jarman International, a company assisting Japanese destinations and organizations connect with foreign visitors through customized marketing, curated business strategies, and training programs to help them grow and globalize. Or as Ruth likes to say "helping Japan ease into the international age". She is full of infectious energy and passion, and has a lot of great stories. Together we share many laughs, unique insights, and of course a couple beers at The Rigoletto in Shibuya. Other highlights from our conversation:How a Japanese superhero TV program first got her into JapaneseJapan as a destination is bursting with "content"Japanese as hosts, need to understand that foreigners (guests) are probably nervous with interactions, and not the other way aroundWhy she promotes destinations which are very diverse and distant from each otherDiscovering the hidden jewels of Kobayashi City which convinced her to represent themAmazing story of Japanese Caviar How she creates top-of-mind awareness for her destinations with inbound touristsJapanese denim is a good example of Japanese cultural modestyDiscuss "High-Context" communication stylesgugu Sleep Company https://gugu.jpJarman International https://www.jarman-international.comRuth Jarman Ruth's books at Amazon ルース・ジャーマンKobayashi City of Japanese Caviar Rigoletto Shibuya https://rigoletto/shibuya
This episode is a follow-up with 32-year Japan entrepreneur Ruth Jarman. She is the founder of Jarman International, and the author of six books in Japanese. We focus on two of her books: "33 Reasons Japanese should be Proud" and "39 Reasons Japanese are Great" and discuss some of these reasons including her Top 3.  We dive into some cultural analysis complete with personal experience and stories. She is full of infectious energy and passion and together we share many laughs, unique insights, and of course a couple beers at The Rigoletto in Shibuya. Other highlights from our conversation:Japanese are comfortable in being "under the wire" or "avoiding the limelight""Taking it to a higher level" or "Give one's All" is ingrained into Japanese psyche How attracting foreigners is one part of the Japanese government's revitalization strategy for rural JapanWhy Japanese maintain an extreme focus on the "long-term view" of everythingHer greatest accomplishment in her 32-years in JapanThe fundamental Japanese concept of always "Being Wached"Did you know that in 2018, 45% of all 20 year-olds in Shinjyuku ward were non-Japanese?We both share our "themes" for 2020 and a couple of Japanese punsgugu Sleep Company https://gugu.jpJarman International https://www.jarman-international.comRuth Jarman Ruth's books at Amazon ルース・ジャーマンThe Rigoletto Shibuya https://rigoletto/shibuya
This episode I share craft beers with Andrew Silberman, Chief Enthusiast of the Advanced Management Training Group and author of the book "Get a G.R.I.P." The Global Readiness Improvement Plan. With nearly 30 years of corporate training in Tokyo focused on coaching, leadership, and presentations, he is a very riveting guest. We share some super insightful topics and a lot of laughs. It's another podcast from the Ivy Place in Daikanyama and the best 40 minute investment you will make today. Other topics we dive into: The inspiration behind writing the book "Get a G.R.I.P" Discuss negative vs. positive reinforcement in Japanese businessExamine Daniel Pink's theory of motivation and how this applies to JapanWhy he chose Chief Enthusiast rather than CEO as his official titleThree ways to harness positive psychology from The HBRTurn the tables on Andrew (the guest) with some sentence-completion tasksLearn a new Japanese version of PDCA (try not to laugh)The joys of saying and sharing the Japanese word OtsukaresamaHow Japanese business is akin to a marathonTakeaways readers of "Get a G.R.I.P." should expectHow corporate training has changed in 25+ yearsgugu Sleep Company https://gugu.jpThe AMT Group: Buy the book Get a G.R.I.P. Silberman:
This episode I chat with Timothy Connor, a successful, long-term Japan resident. His absence of imbibing proves that drinking beers is NOT required of any guest on Business & Beers.  Nonetheless, we discuss in-depth, retail in Japan and how his business Synnovate, specifically his new concept "Responsive" is helping companies adopt a more customer-centric focus through improved customer experience. Timothy believes the future of retail is the customer as the point of sale.  It's more than just a discussion about buzz-words, please join in on this innovative customer approach conversation at Shibuya's TGI Friday's. Some highlights include: Explains the concept behind "The Customer as a Point of Sale"What makes the Japanese consumer "unique""Don't game the system, work the system"Explains his new customer-centric service "Responsive"Why cooking demos don't work at factory outlet shopsHis definition of Omotenashi - "Invisible Service"Debate the effectiveness of retail Net Promoter ScoreWhat is the customer experience "Secret sauce"Andrew introduces some of Zwilling Japan's new customer-centric initiativesHow "Image" rather than potential profits got the old Tokyo Classifieds (now Metropolis magazine) into the Tokyo subway kiosksThis episode is sponsored by the gugu sleep company http://gugu.jpTimothy Connor:
This episode we get the low-down on all things subculture in Japan with Mr. Brett Bull. Brett is the founder of Tokyo Reporter, an English language website focused on salacious and scandalous news from Japan. It's not all cherry blossoms and sushi, get the background on why and how he started Tokyo Reporter and many other stories from the underbelly of Japan. We share craft beers at Ivy Place in Daikanyama. Other topics we get into: How he originally got started reporting Japanese scandalous stories even before Tokyo Reporter (TR)Discuss ideas how to monetize his siteThere is a template in Japanese for every crime news storyComments on the TR Facebook page is where all best interaction takes placeExplains the legal loop-holes regarding "girls bars" The real reason behind the "No Dancing" laws in JapanHis end-game (goal) in operating the TR websiteWhy he doesn't want to have 1million unique readersThe one topic he would love to focus on if he had free access to cover anythingAvoiding meiwaku (causing trouble to others) is very strong in Japan, but so is the concept of "shoganai" (it can't be helped) and how this applies to Right Wingersgugu Sleep Company https://gugu.jpTokyo Reporter site: https://www.tokyoreporter.comTokyo Reporter Facebook page
If you are interested in Brand Marketing you will love this episode of Business & Beers.  I sit down for beers (and martinis) with marketing guru Mr. Per Rasmussen.  For the past 30 years, Per has been either, head of marketing or president of four major European consumer goods companies in Japan.  At both Lego and T-fal he solidified his legacy as a marketing genius by creating a famous TV commercial jingle (#3 Law of the mind), launching a new (still market leading) product category (#2 Law of the category), and localizing existing SKU's to create a 17-year hit product (#6 Law of exclusivity).  We also discuss the book "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing".  We had our conversation at The R2 Supper Club in Roppongi where Per educates me on the "original" James Bond martini.  Seriously, Per knows Brand Marketing and Japan, so enjoy!  Some other highlights from our conversation:Why traditionally Japanese companies are not very good at marketingHow he came up with the T-fal TV commercial jingle (he stole it)The best way for consumer goods companies to influence the consumerWhy being a foreign boss in Japan is akin to being a court jesterThe Bugatti Lego storyGreatest accomplishment over his 30 year career in Japan"In Japan, Creativity is not Educational"Why ad agencies are often the de facto marketing arm for Japanese companiesThe insights from two years of market research on how Japanese boil water - led to a market-leading product launchHow a "product-function" became a recognized brand in JapanThe biggest challenge for foreigners working in JapanHIs favorite martini recipeThe story of a Japanese baker who re-exported "Danishes" back to DenmarkGuGu Sleep Company: https://gugu.jpPer Rasmussen: 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Bucket
This episode I continue my discussion and sharing of IPA's with Dr. David Sweet. David is 20-year Japan resident, a sales superstar, best selling author, serial entrepreneur, certified business coach, and one of the best recruiters I know in Japan. We are at the Oak Door, located in the Grand Hyatt in Roppongi.  In this part 2 of 2 episodes, we share entertaining stories about business life in Japan. Some highlights include:Discuss his 33 recommended books every sales person should readExplains why the Dr. Seuss book "Green Eggs & Ham" is the best sales book everDebate the sunniest state in the US and discuss the movie Blazing SaddlesWhy 'motivational' books are just as important reads as sales booksUsing a racial epithet led David to believe his great great grandfather was JapaneseExchange our top 3 qualities which make a great sales personRecall our childhood days of "Show & Tell" with a couple of personal storiesTalk a little about his passion for runningWhy he distrusts charities but explains why he supports the charity YouMeWeThis episode is sponsored by the gugu sleep company http://gugu.jpDavid Sweet: http://drdavidsweet.comSweet Sales: Ginza (Tantanmen)
Originally from Bavaria, it was not coincidental that Chris and I shared "German" beers at the new and increasingly popular beer restaurant Schmatz for this conversation.  Chris Thoma is an amazing guy with amazing stories, and he loves to tell them.  Chris first came to Japan as a professional at age 25 working for the German hair care company Wella.  Between then and 2018 when he retired, he held the position of President Japan for both Triumph (Ladies underwear not the motorcycle) and Le Creuset (French Cookware).  We down some Wizen, Pale Ales, and even a Pilsner as Chris shares his experiences of doing business in Japan for nearly 40 years.  Some highlights include: Divulges the background of how he accomplished his famous PR stunts at TriumphAnswers the question "how many sqM is a pile of 250,000 bras and panties"What he would do different if he where to go back 40 yearsWhy he has turned down numerous book offersHow extreme proactiveness led to his first job in JapanThe difference between Japanese and foreigners when memorizing "Kanji"Restaurant in Tokyo he most recommends (It's not German) How his favorite Japanese word is closely linked to his Prussian backgroundHis ability to keep business "passion" while working for companies which sell ladies underwear and pink cooking potsExplains his proudest achievement in 40 years working in JapanThis episode is sponsored by the gugu sleep company http://gugu.jpChris Thoma
This episode I sit down with one of the sharpest Japan inter-culturally minded people I've ever met. Rochelle Kopp is a Japanese business culture expert and cross-cultural communications specialist and is the founder and Managing Principal of Japan Intercultural Consulting. We share drinks and eye-(ear)-opening facts and stories about Japanese business norms. Its another podcast from the Grand Hyatt's Oak Door bar. Just give the first 5min a listen, I'm sure you will want to continue to the end. Other topics we dive into: The reason Japan loves cute mascots for nearly everythingWhy Ikebana (flower arrangement) is analogous for Japanese on-the-job-trainingThe reason Employee engagement in Japan is one of the lowest in the world"Periodic Personnel Rotations" a typical corporate tradition which holds back Japanese businessWhy a large number of Japanese are in jobs they have no motivation for and how this results in the low labor productivityDebating differences between japan and the WestDiscuss the article "30% of Japanese managers feel stress when dealing with foreign employees"The Japanese government's efforts to improve employees work-life balanceRocelle's take on the future of JapanHow the Japanese generation-gap is changing the way people work in Japangugu Sleep Company https://gugu.jpJapan Intercultural Consulting https://www.japanintercultural.comRochelle Kopp Rice-Paper Ceiling, Valley Speak, The Lowdown, and other books from Rochelle Kopp Japan Times articles
This episode I share IPA's with Dr. David Sweet.  David is 20-year Japan resident, a sales superstar, best selling author, serial entrepreneur, certified business coach, and one of the best recruiters I know in Japan.  We are at the Oak Door, located in the Grand Hyatt in Roppongi.  In this part one of two episodes, we share entertaining stories about business life in Japan. Some highlights include:Pearls of wisdom from his book "Sweet Sales" (over 20k copies sold)Examples of emotional selling vs. technical sellingHis least favorite Japanese word, and whyExposes the biggest interviewing mistakes foreigners make in JapanDebate which IPAs to order and where to find the best Cuban sandwichA salespersons ultimate response to "That's Expensive!"Why "Listening" might be the most important aspect of sellingExplains the differences between "Great" vs. "Good" recruitersA story about being over/under dressed in businessThe best reply to receiving a compliment (It's not just 'thank you') Three buying criteria for every customerWhy he thinks business in Japan is easier for foreigners"Invisible Selling" and why it was almost the title for his bookThis episode is sponsored by the gugu sleep company http://gugu.jpDavid Sweet: http://drdavidsweet.comSweet Sales:
This episode I sit down with Michael Howard to discuss his new book "The Salaryman".  A humorous, manga-illustrated memoir from an American who tried and failed (?) to fit into Japanese office culture for almost a decade. We discuss some of the back stories from his book and analyze the reasons Japanese salaryman culture is the way it is. He is a great writer and a good story-teller as well. Together we fall into the U.S.-Japan business culture gap over beers (and margaritas) at Hacienda in Daikanyama. Some other highlights from our conversation:How he became such a talented and entertaining writerWhy he kept a secret blog before writing "The Salaryman"Learning that one of his bosses was . . .  "Connected"The positives of working at Japanese companiesWhat happens when I accidentally spill a beer on his bookExplains the ease & profitability of KDP self publishing Teases a potential second book and it's scandalous main story (11:00) The torture of Japanese "meeting" cultureWhat is "Manner Mode"The Onsen and the Hospital storiesWould he ever work for a Japanese company again?gugu Sleep Company https://gugu.jpThe Salaryman available Direct: http://www.thesalarymanbook.comContact Michael:
This episode we get into Hospitality and Retail with professional sales and leadership trainer Masako Yamamura.  We discuss Omotenashi, Bartenders, Commissions, Fortune-tellers, Gin . . . and the numerous differences and similarities between the retail and hospitality industries in Japan.  We are at the NAMIKI667 Bar at the Hyatt Centric in Ginza where the staff were a bit scared to wait on us.  They might need some of Masako's awesome training.  Some other highlights from our conversation:The "official" reason she started her own companyWhat the hospitality industry could learn from the retail industryWhy culturally "commission" sales is not popular with JapaneseHer definition of "Omotenashi" and why she hated the Olympic O-MO-TE-NA-SHI presentationAn interesting & delicious gin cocktail recipeUsing hospitality concepts in retail can differentiate your brand from competitionWhy a 5-star hotel experience in Japan is not as positive vs. overseasReminisce about contracting her training sessions on a "contingency" basisWhy Japanese "Just In Case" mentality holds back true hospitalityHow Omotenashi can lead to world peaceNot having the qualifications when working at the Mandarin OrientalLeast popular jobs for todays Japanese youthHer pessimism regarding the future of JapanA story about a fortune-teller's shocking but reaffirming messagegugu Sleep Company https://gugu.jpMy Solutions Yamamura
This episode I sit down with the ultimate Kagoshima spokesperson Alex Bradshaw. It's rare to meet a foreigner so personally invested in any specific region of Japan. His knowledge of history, traditions, and the ability to weave these stories into a tourism proposition is amazing! He is currently Head of Overseas Business for the award-winning, World Heritage site Sengan-en and an advisor to the Government of Kagoshima. How he manages these two roles make up the crux of our interesting conversation. If you have never visited Kagoshima before, you will definitely want to after listening to Alex! You're  guaranteed to hear a couple new thought-provoking perspectives on Japanese culture. We chat and share craft beers at Yona Yona Beerworks in Ebisu. Other topics we discuss: Culturally, "Added-Value" is Japanese tourism USPInteresting backstory on Kiriko glasswareHow his current role was meant to be a kind of "wrecking ball"Introduces a hidden gem of travel destinationsWhy there are so many garish signs at tourism sites and his improvement adviseFascinating history lesson about Satsuma (Kagoshima)How Japan sells itself on "Mystery"Discuss Japanese artistic Bokashi and corporate Nemawashi What he would implement to improve tourism, if he were in charge of the JNTO (Japan National Tourism Agency)Winning Best Attraction at the World Tourism AwardsInteresting facts about the Kagoshima drinking culturegugu Sleep Company: https://gugu.jpSENGAN-EN: Bradshaw:
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Podcast Details

Jan 6th, 2020
Latest Episode
Mar 30th, 2020
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
44 minutes

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