Kenichi Ohmae

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Kenichi Ohmae (大前 研, born February 21, 1943) is a Japanese organizational theorist, management consultant, Former Professor and Dean of UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and author, known for developing the 3C's Model.

Quotes[edit]

  • In Japan, organizations and people in the organization are synonymous.
    • Kenichi Ohmae. “The Myth and Reality of the Japanese Corporation,” Chief Executive (Summer 1981)
  • Rowing harder doesn't help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction.
    • Kenichi Ohmae, cited in: William J. Brown et al. (2000), AntiPatterns in Project Management. p. 3

The Mind Of The Strategist, 1982[edit]

Kenichi Ohmae. (1982), The Mind Of The Strategist: The Art of Japanese Business.

  • Analysis is the critical starting point of strategic thinking. Faced with problems, trends, events, or situations that appear to constitute a harmonious whole or come packaged as a whole by common sense of the day, the strategic thinker dissects them into their constituent parts. Then, having discovered the significance of these constituents, he reassembles them in a way calculated to maximize his advantage.
    • p. 12
  • In business as on the battlefield, the object of strategy is to bring about the conditions most favorable to one's own side, judging precisely the right moment to attack or withdraw and always assessing the limits of compromise correctly. Besides the habit of analysis, what marks the mind of the strategist is an intellectual elasticity or flexibility that enables him to come up with realistic responses to changing situations, not simply to discriminate with great precision among different shades of gray.
    • p. 12-13
  • Without competitors there would be no need for strategy, for the sole purpose of strategic planning is to enable the company to gain, as efficiently as possible, a sustainable edge over its competitors. Corporate strategy, thus, implies an attempt to alter a company's strength relative to that of its competitors in the most efficient way.
    • p. 36
  • The strategist's method is very simply to challenge the prevailing assumptions with a single question: Why? And to put the same question relentlessly to those responsibles for the current way of doing things until they are sick of it.
    • p. 57
  • In strategic thinking, one first seeks a clear understanding of the particular character of each element of a situation and then makes the fullest possible use of human brainpower to restructure the elements in the most advantageous way. Phenomena and events in the real word do not always fit a linear model. Hence the most reliable means of dissecting a situation into its constituent parts and reassembling then in the desired pattern is not a step-by-step methodology such as systems analysis. Rather, it is that ultimate nonlinear thinking tool, the human brain. True strategic thinking thus contrasts sharply with the conventional mechanical systems approach based on linear thinking. But it also contrasts with the approach that stakes everything on intuition, reaching conclusions without any real breakdown or analysis... No matter how difficult or unprecedented the problem, a breakthrough to the best possible solution can come only from a combination of rational analysis, based on the real nature of things, and imaginative reintegration of all the different items into a new pattern, using nonlinear brainpower. This is always the most effective approach to devising strategies for dealing successfully with challenges and opportunities, in the market arena as on the battlefield.
    • p. 304

The borderless world, 1990[edit]

Kenichi Ohmae. The borderless world: power and strategy in the global marketplace. 1990-1994

  • In practice, the managerial decision to tackle organizational and systems changes is made even more difficult by the way in which problems become visible. Usually a global systems problem first comes into view in the form of local symptoms. Rarely do such problems show up where the real underlying causes are.
    • p. 86
  • Top managers are always slow to point the finger of responsibility at headquarters or at themselves. When global faults have local symptoms, they will be slower still. When taking corrective action means a full, zero-based review of all systems, skills and structures, their speed will decrease even further. And when their commitment to acting globally is itself far from complete, any motion is unlikely.
    • p. 86
  • It is hard to let old beliefs go. They are familiar. We are comfortable with them and have spent years building systems and developing habits that depend on them. Like a man who has worn eyeglasses so long that he forgets he has them on, we forget that the world looks to us the way it does because we have become used to seeing it that way through a particular set of lenses. Today, however, we need new lenses. And we need to throw the old ones away.
    • p. 193

External links[edit]

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