Lessons from Japan

9th May 2018

Lessons from Japan

While inspiration and insight can come from anywhere, the Nick Did This leadership team spent time in Tokyo recently to challenge everything we do and draw upon Japan’s multi-layered culture as a reference point for the benefit of our business and clients.

We visited some of the world’s most exciting retail spaces to learn more about how these brands/stores present themselves to their customers in unique and interesting ways, and see how every action is a ceremonial response to respect and honour the customer.

We immersed ourselves in the organised chaos in general, particularly at Shibuya crossing where you see the startling undercurrent of order within frenetic action. Creative businesses too are a combination of order and action, and we contemplated how to enhance our leadership, systems and processes while still being en pointe.

We took in ancient and contemporary art, participated in a tea ceremony and grounded ourselves in the sheer beauty and contrasts of temple gardens to understand and appreciate the perfect balance between the different sides of Japanese culture. In quietness, many things are answered.

Another teacher was the humble sneaker (gym shoes to those of us at a certain age…). In Japan, sneakers are just as popular as the US. But for different reasons. For the Japanese, it’s not about ‘hype’. It is about style and craftsmanship. The sneaker must align with one’s sense of fashion and be well made. The same is true for our work. Hype only gets you so far.

So, our opportunity is to lead together to harness the balance to the different sides of Nick Did This. Creativity and strategy are not conflicting ideas, but are both essential in making up what we do and who we are. And a little bit of art and craftsmanship will always be what we do best.