In the beginning of our interview with KOPERNIK, we exchanged riddles with Toshihiro Nakamura (Co-Founder & CEO) and Ewa Wojkowska (Co-Founder & COO). The questions were “What is the distance between KOPERNIK and researchers?” & “What comes to your mind when you hear the word innovation science?”…Their inspiring answers are here.
What do you pay attention to when you work in multicultural working environment ?
Now, I would like to ask for your perspective on globalisation in Japan. After you graduated from Kyoto University inJapan, most of your careers were in global organisations such as the United Nations. KOPERNIK also has very international and multicultural project teams. From your experiences, what needs to be successful in a global society? What do you pay attention to when you work with or lead multicultural teams?
When I started working in the international working environment, I had a hard time to overcome the language barrier and many multicultural differences.
Especially, when I worked in the United Nation, I learned a lot about the importance and difficulty to look at things from many different points of views. It was challenging but very valuable lesson for me towards creating successful teams with people from many diverse backgrounds.
Even now, I still mishandle things sometimes in an international working environment. I try to be open minded to different cultural beliefs. I would support my team member’s religious or personal / cultural belief and acts, because I believe that’s imperative for them. They feel supported so that their performances at work create the best result to the project. I put my priority on the quality performance that team members can contribute.
That makes sense to me very clearly and easily. In my opinion, clinging-to-your-culture and cherishing your heritage are two different things but they are often misinterpreted.
I think, Japan’s economic globalisation is unavoidable. The Japanese economy will no longer grow except by exploring addtional markets from emerging economies. The Japanese people’s efficient capability for integrating into a global society is essential for Japan’s future.
Thank you very much for making time in your busy schedule.