The question one commonly hears around leadership development in Japan is what is wrong with Japan and how can they catch up to the rest of the world. We turned this question on its head by asking, “what is Japan’s unique contribution to global leadership?”

This question inspired an invigorating dialogue that brought forth new insights into the special qualities of Japanese leadership. It is hoped that integrating these qualities with best practices will help to evolve 21st century leadership development.

Have a look at what one attendee thought about our first Cafe!

The first Global Leadership Café (GLC) was a unique workshop that brought together a diverse group of motivated people interested in global leadership and furthering Japan’s role on the world stage. Business professionals from a variety of professions including human resources, finance, and leadership coaching gathered together with artists, MBA students, and others with the purpose of answering one important question, “What is Japan’s contribution to global leadership?”

Using a specific method of conversation called the World Café to engage and involve all participants, the Café is able to draw upon the collective wisdom of the group and even allows participants to discover and explore deeper themes connected to the original topic or question.

The venue chosen was the Wesley Foundation-a meeting space dedicated to deepening international understanding and mutual respect throughout the world-and of course here in Japan.  And, as men and women of a variety of nationalities and cultures eagerly walked up the stairs of the conference hall, it was obvious that this was the right location for the event.

While some people admitted to being nervous at first, most of the participants were excited to have the opportunity to meet new people who also have a serious interest in widening their perspective, having an international experience, and inspiring themselves with new ideas. Over the course of two hours, the participants engaged in a series of discussions and interactions that were so engaging that most people continued to converse as they walked out the door-and thus the conversation poured out into the street.

The energy and excitement of the 1st GLC made it obvious that a new community of open thinking had been born. Afterwards, there was no question about whether to hold the next café.

For those who want to get involved in the conversation, check out the next Global Leadership Café.