Tokyo-based business scholar Ikujiro Nonaka explores how consistently superior Japanese companies develop innovative products and services. Drawing from firms such as Toyota, Honda and Cannon, Nonaka-san finds that their success stems from their ability to harness the power of knowledge creation.
Is leadership an art or a science? The question has long been subject to debate. Which side you’re on probably determines whether or not you believe leadership can be taught. But for developing leaders who can respond to the challenges of today’s 24/7 business environment, perhaps the art-versus-science dichotomy is too theoretical to be of use.
In a conference room in Columbia, Md., 78-year-old Edith Seashore sits among 24 young men and women, about half of them U.S. Navy officers or civilian employees working for the Navy. The group, seated in a circle, has come together for a course called “Working with Differences.” Ostensibly focused on diversity, the session is really set up to teach people how to confront the unspoken conflicts, fears, and resentments that make life in organizations painful and unproductive. And as if on cue, right off the bat, two of the participants have gotten into a dispute.