Western values 'are causing mental illness'. Interesting. The Japanese are falling apart because they are moving away from a group focused model to one of individualism. This is a fundamental clash with traditional values. The Japanese have proved very adaptable to business trends (until about 10 years ago). They've favored the kieretsu and Zaibatsu model. One that kills struggling companies off in favor of the big boys. This worked well to protect their domestic business in the 80's but organizations this large are now unable to respond to the smaller, more nimble competition. Japanese banks have dropped the interest rate on lending to nearly zero in an attempt to spurn growth through borrowing and investing but with little luck. Western and even domestic managers are now realizing they're going to have to adopt the individually focused model to increase employee productivity. There is a common mispreception that the Japanese salaryman who works until 10 or 11 pm are working hard. Not so. Mostly, it's about face time. The longer you're at the office, the more you are working. It has nothing to do with how much you actually accomplish, just how much time you spend at the office. This is not uncommon here in the US either. Lazy and often stupid, managers associate time in the office with dedication or productivity.

This change may just be the one thing that allows Japan to bounce back from the "Asian Flu" they caught 10 years ago.


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