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The Handy Guide to the Gurus of Management
Charles Handy was, for many years, a professor at the London Business School. He is now an independent writer and broadcaster. He describes himself, these days, as a social philosopher.
Business in Japan
Japan, Tokyo Stock Exchange
Episode 7: Kenichi Ohmae
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Kenichi Ohmae made his mark twenty years ago with his book on corporate strategy. It is still a collection of good sense and clear advice, even though some of the examples may now seem a bit dated.

Successful business strategies, he says in "The Mind of the Strategist", do not come from rigorous analysis but from a thought process which is basically creative and intuitive rather than rational.

Having written what many people regarded as the bible of corporate strategy, Kenichi Ohmae moved on to the changing shape of the world of business.

His thinking on these issues has been nicely brought together in his latest book, which he has called 'The Invisible Continent'. The Invisible Continent is the world in which businesses now operate, which is like a new, just discovered continent.

In the Invisible Continent there are four Dimensions:

1) the Visible Dimension - physical things to buy and make

2) the Borderless World - inevitable globalization

3) the Cyber Dimension - the Internet, mobile phones

4) the Dimension of High Multiples - exaggerated values put on some stocks by the stock market

But Ohmae has bigger concerns on his mind than business. He worries about the governance of the new continent, about a new sort of Cold War, fought by businesses rather than governments, and about the education of our citizens for this new world.

In my next talk we will meet another strategy guru with a different but related agenda: Gary Hamel.

Read Kenichi Ohmae's biography

Some useful business words:

made his mark
became successful and influential in an activity or in a place

old-fashioned, belonging to a former time

rigorous analysis
thorough and exact examination

the bible of corporate strategy
here figurative, the main text guide to business planning

movement towards global or worldwide scope

bigger concerns on his mind
other more important things to worry about

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