Kenichi Ohmae

Advisor on Global Strategy

Preeminent thought leader on global business strategy.

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Biography

Author of over 100 books, including the seminal work The Mind of the Strategist, Kenichi Ohmae has an unsurpassed reputation as an advisor on global strategy to foreign governments and scores of multinational corporations. The Economist selected him as one of five management gurus in the world.

His most recent book in English, The Next Global Stage, explores the dynamics of the new "region state," tomorrow’s most potent economic institution, and offers businesses and governments a practical strategic blueprint for thriving in this new environment.

His landmark book, The Mind of the Strategist, provided both a conceptual framework and practical advice on integrating the "three C's" — Customer, Competitor, and Company — in a strategic triangle that can sustain competitive advantage.

Other books include The Borderless World and The End of the Nation State.

A partner in McKinsey & Company, Inc. for twenty-three years, Dr. Ohmae cofounded McKinsey’s strategic management practice and directed McKinsey’s Japan and Asia Pacific operations. In 2002, he was named an advisor of Liaoning Province and Tianjin City in China.

Kenichi Ohmae is the founder and Managing Director of Ohmae & Associates and has started several other businesses. He has held a number of prestigious positions at universities around the world. Currently, he is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at UCLA’s School of Public and Social Research.

The Mind of the Strategist
In his landmark book, The Mind of the Strategist, Ohmae concentrated on the thought processes behind Japan's successful strategic thinking, described what strategic thinking is and offered both a conceptual framework and practical advice on its application. The key, he proposes, is integrating the three C's — Customer, Competitor, and Company — in a strategic triangle that can sustain competitive advantage.

Globalization
Throughout his extraordinary career, Kenichi Ohmae has explored the ways that globalization is dissolving national borders and redefining the strategic business landscape. In his groundbreaking bestseller, The Borderless World, Ohmae coined the term ‘globalization’ and described the ways in which international business was bypassing national borders. In The End of the Nation State, he argued that nation-states have become inefficient, even impossible, business units in the new global economy, to be increasingly replaced by regional economies. The Invisible Continent described how technology was creating new platforms for generating wealth that transcended borders. In The Next Global Stage, Ohmae returned to his concept of "region states," tomorrow’s most potent economic institutions, with China exemplifying its power. In all these books, his focus has been:

  • What are the forces that are dissolving national borders and building new regional economies?
  • How do you leverage technology and the other new platforms for growth that are replacing the old ones based on national economies?
  • How do you lead a global corporation?
  • What roles should governments play when nation-states no longer matter?

If patriotism is, as Dr. Johnson used to remark, the last refuge of the scoundrel, wrapping outdated industry in the mantle of national interest is the last refuge of the economically dispossessed. In economic terms, pleading national interest is the declining cottage industry of those who have been bypassed by the global economy.

Credentials

  • Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy, UCLA School of Public and Social Research
  • Founder & Managing Director, Ohmae & Assoc, and several other businesses
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, Korea University and Professor Emeritus at Ewha Women’s University in Korea
  • Trustee & Adjunct Professor, Bond University in Australia
  • Dean, Kenichi Ohmae Graduate School of Management of BBT University in Japan
  • Member of the board, ACI (Academy Capital Investment) and IDT International Trustee and adjunct professor, Bond University
  • Board Member, SEI (Center for Advanced Studies for Management), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • Advisor of Lianong Province and Tianjin City in China
  • Founder, Reform of Heisei, a citizen’s political movement

Books

The Next Global Stage: The Challenges and Opportunities in Our Borderless World (2005)

The Invisible Continent: Four Strategic Imperatives of the New Economy (2001)

The End of the Nation State: The Rise of Regional Economies (1995)

The Mind of the Strategist: The Art of Japanese Business (1991)

The Borderless World: Power and Strategy in the Interlinked Economy (1990)

Triad Power: The Coming Shape of Global Competition (1985)

Books

The Next Global Stage

Kenichi Ohmae

A radically new world is taking shape from the ashes of yesterday's nation-based economic world. To succeed, you must act on the global stage, leveraging radically new drivers of economic power and growth. Legendary business strategist Kenichi Ohmae — who in The Borderless World, published in 1990, predicted the rise and success of globalization, coining the very word — synthesizes today's emerging trends into the first coherent view of tomorrow's global economy — and its implications for politics, business, and personal success.

Ohmae explores the dynamics of the new "region state," tomorrow's most potent economic institution, and demonstrates how China is rapidly becoming the exemplar of this new economic paradigm. The Next Global Stage offers a practical blueprint for businesses, governments, and individuals who intend to thrive in this new environment. Ohmae concludes with a detailed look at strategy in an era where it's tougher to define competitors, companies, and customers than ever before.

This book doesn't just explain what's already happened: It offers a roadmap for action in the world that's beginning to emerge.

  • New economics for a borderless world Why Keynes' and Milton Friedman's economics are history — and what might replace them
  • Leveraging today's most powerful platforms for growth From Windows to English to your global brand
  • Technology: driving business death — and rebirth Anticipating technological obsolescence — and jumping ahead of it
  • Government in the post-national era What government can do when nation-states don't matter
  • Leadership and strategy on the global stage Honing your global vision and global leadership skills

Wharton School Publishing (March 21, 2005)

The Invisible Continent

Four Strategic Imperatives of the New Economy

Kenichi Ohmae

The internationally renowned business consultant and bestselling author of The Borderless World offers invaluable advice for the economies of the 21st century.

Kenichi Ohmae has been called one of the "century's best business thinkers" by the U.S. Journal of Business Strategy. In The Invisible Continent, this top corporate strategist charts a course for the coming economic revolution. Expanding his theory of borderless economies, he superimposes two additional dimensions: cyber-economy and multiples-based economies. The winner in the next century will have to be able to work not only in the local and national economies, but all three new dimensions of the battlegrounds. In this book, Kenichi Ohmae opens up a totally new world in which the economic war between the companies and countries will be fought. His ideas on innovative actions from the Internet to e-commerce, and banking to telecommunications are a must-read for managers, CEOs, entrepreneurs, day traders, and businesspeople everywhere. With many examples from today's cutting-edge companies like Cisco, Dell, and Microsoft, Ohmae shows how the traditional boundaries that defined economies are breaking down. In their place, he sees a "new continent" where what he calls Godzilla corporations, with their high multiples and cyber skills, grow ten times faster than any other corporations before, and the battle between them to control the platforms on which the future of global commerce is built. Like Ohmae's groundbreaking book The Borderless World, The Invisible Continent will soon be seen as a seminal business book of the technology age.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing (May 10, 2001)
HarperBusiness; 1st Edition, 1st Printing edition (July 3, 2000)

End of the Nation State

The Rise of Regional Economies

Kenichi Ohmae

In this work, Ohmae argues that not only have nation states lost their ability to control exchange rates and protect their currencies, but because they no longer generate real economic activity, they have forfeited their role as critical participants in the global economy. Ohmae contends that five great forces — communication, corporation, customers, capital and currencies — have usurped the economic power once held by the nation state. He explains how communications control the movement of capital and corporations across national borders, how demanding consumers determine the flow of goods and services, and how harmful governmental policies are increasingly disciplined by the actions of informed consumers, profit-seeking corporations, and currency markets. The result, Ohmae claims, has been the rise of the region state, the natural economic zones that have emerged, for example, between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. Ohmae argues that to establish a presence within these regional markets, corporations must jettison their "country strategies" and instead focus on special strategies for particular regions.

Harpercollins (August 19, 1996)

The Borderless World

Power And Strategy In The Interlinked Economy

Kenichi Ohmae

Since 1990, when it was first published, The Borderless World has changed the way managers view the world and their businesses, and how they invent, marker, and compete in our new globally interlinked economy. Kenichi Ohmae's groundbreaking bestseller argues persuasively how national borders are less relevant than ever before and identifies key characteristics of top — performing nations and corporations.

In this revised, updated edition, which features a new introduction by the author, Ohmae attributes the American economy of the 1990s to its seamless entry into the borderless world and looks forward toward an uncharted future. He casts a critical, though ultimately hopeful, eye on the financial crisis in Asia and especially in his home country of Japan.

HarperBusiness; Revised edition (May 19, 1999)
Ballinger Pub Co; 1ST edition (June 1990)

Topics

Kenichi tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

The Next Globalization Phase

Back in 1990, Kenichi Ohmae first coined the word globalization, predicting its inevitable rise and growing power. Now, he says that globalization, led by developments in communications, free flow of capital and consumer power, has created a new interconnected, interactive, global economy, no longer constrained by traditional nation-based influences, which challenges both the way we see business and the way we do business. The new global economy, in which companies and people can transcend their nation-state, means it is tougher to define competitors, companies and customers than ever before.

If patriotism is, as Dr. Johnson used to remark, the last refuge of the scoundrel, wrapping outdated industry in the mantle of national interest is the last refuge of the economically dispossessed. In economic terms, pleading national interest is the declining cottage industry of those who have been bypassed by the global economy.

The Corporate Future – A Radical Change

The impact of globalisation is so massive that basing corporate strategy on the rules of the past or the case studies taught in business schools will no longer be a recipe for success. The successful company in the new global economy will be — and must be — a new phenomenon, owing little to the precedents of the past. The problem is that no one knows, or can know, what the new rules are: “By the time any rule book or user’s manual appears...the ‘new rules’ will already be obsolete.”

The world in which we live now is so different from the past it is like discovering a new continent.

Companies therefore must be courageous and prepared to make radical changes and decisions if they are to succeed in a world in which following preconceived rules doesn’t work. This means wall-to-wall rethinking of corporate mission, strategy, and organization. Companies must cut loose from their “ancestry” and (for instance) compete by selling the very products that threaten them. Clinging to the core, as Kodak did in the face of predation by digital-camera makers, is now a recipe for failure. Companies that want to thrive must essentially be “homeless”, casting off their attachments to their nation and competing by selling the products that even threaten their traditional markets. In this presentation, Ohmae describes the companies he has met across the world that have succeeded by being courageous in their strategies for the future.

What Does Globalization Mean To The Customer?

The new global stage compels businesses to re-evaluate once-popular notions about dealing with customers. Now that customers can seek products and services through multiple channels on a global stage, innovation in the customer interface has become a prerequisite for corporate success.

Ohmae will address the many innovative ways in which corporations are changing their marketing strategies to address this new customer environment.

It is a paradox that, in a world that is stretching toward farther and hazier horizons, success with customers demands greater attention to the personal and the intimate.

Leadership In The Next Global Stage

Since there are no rules for this radically changing global economy, leaders will need to be bold. They must have the courage to look into the future and to act according to time scales longer than the present accounting period. As the global economy is a new phenomenon, it does not have the certainties of the past, the mental and psychological crutches upon which leaders in the old economy supported themselves. In such an environment, the need for strong, decisive and courageous leadership is overwhelming. To succeed and compete on this new global stage, leaders must become visionary facilitators without preconceived attitudes about their roles, ready to embrace new ways of doing business. There can be no half measures in this radical transformation, no testing the waters before taking the plunge.

Videos

Feedback

A regional competitiveness forum sponsored by an energy company:
I wanted to extend my personal appreciation for the key role you played in our Forum. Your remarks were thoughtful and provocative, and began our day with just the right level of "push" to think beyond the bounds of state lines and traditional wisdom.

We all benefited from hearing your examples of successful regional collaboration, and we're taking the good lessons you shared to heart as we tackle our own challenges. I look forward to a continuing dialogue with you as we make progress toward the goal of reinvigorating [our regional] manufacturing base. We have much work ahead of us, but the Forum provided good momentum, as well as early consensus around some key issues and imperatives. That's a good start, and I'[m committed to the long haul. Who knows, perhaps one day our region will be a success chapter in your next book.

Again, thank you for your involvement and interest in the [regional] Competitiveness Forum.

Articles

— Forbes