13 episodes

Meet interesting and inspiring and entertaining people who show why Japan is a unique, fulfilling and sometimes frustrating place to do business.
We will discuss how to hire, train and retain talent. How to create values that motivate, and review best practices that have worked and attempts that have failed. David will be speaking to company presidents, CEOs, CFOs, HR professionals, coaches, consultants as well as sharing with you some of my own experiences and opinions discovered over the years in this great country.
The focus is simple: To explore how to succeed in business in Japan.

The FocusCore Podcast Dr. David Sweet

    • Business

Meet interesting and inspiring and entertaining people who show why Japan is a unique, fulfilling and sometimes frustrating place to do business.
We will discuss how to hire, train and retain talent. How to create values that motivate, and review best practices that have worked and attempts that have failed. David will be speaking to company presidents, CEOs, CFOs, HR professionals, coaches, consultants as well as sharing with you some of my own experiences and opinions discovered over the years in this great country.
The focus is simple: To explore how to succeed in business in Japan.

    The challenges of managing local and regional stakeholders in Japan with Jonathan Cant, Executive Consultant

    The challenges of managing local and regional stakeholders in Japan with Jonathan Cant, Executive Consultant

    In this episode, David Sweet speaks with fellow https://www.japan.focuscoregroup.com/ (FocusCore Japan) colleague, Jonathan Cant about the differences between local and regional stakeholders. Jonathan is an Englishman who has made Japan his home first as an English teacher, then by building a career in training and management at Z-kai Inc, and now as the Executive Search Consultant for Finance and Accounting at FocusCore Japan.
    He shares his experience and insights about local and regional stakeholders and what Executives need to know about Japanese culture to succeed in Japan.
    In this episode you will hear:
    Why empathy is key to leading effectively
    Myths about recruiters
    Debunking myths about Japanese work culture
    Changing work culture in Japan - is it the end of nomikai?
    Understanding Japanese HQs - why this should always be a priority!
    The current state of the talent market and where to next

    And we debate the important question - when will the fax machine become obsolete in Japan?
    Jonathan Cant Bio:
    A leading member of the FocusCore team, Jonathan is a UK native who has been in Japan for just under 19 years. With around 15 years of leadership experience, he brings maturity and just the right amount of grey hair to the team. A father of two young boys, he spends most of his free time in the park or playing with Lego. He is also a fan of Newcastle United FC and enjoys photography and cooking.
    Connect with Jonathan:
    Website: https://www.japan.focuscoregroup.com/consultants/jonathan-cant?source=google.com (https://www.japan.focuscoregroup.com/consultants/jonathan-cant?source=google.com )
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathancant/ (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathancant/)
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/jonathancant?lang=en-GB (https://twitter.com/jonathancant?lang=en-GB )
    Links of things mentioned in this episode:
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/managing-local-regional-stakeholders-challenges-cfos-jonathan-cant/ (Managing Local and Regional Stakeholders: Challenges for CFOs) By Jonathan Cant


    Jonathan’s Podcast Recommendations
    https://open.spotify.com/show/1amnggjPO42W9l9R5xXodQ (The Adam Buxton Podcast)
    https://open.spotify.com/show/3WKI7p6tuq6kJRw1xfRS7Q (The High Performance Podcast)


    Connect with David Sweet:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdavidsweet/ (https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdavidsweet/ )
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/focuscorejp (https://twitter.com/focuscorejp )
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/focuscoreasia (https://www.facebook.com/focuscoreasia)
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/focuscorejp/ (https://www.instagram.com/focuscorejp/)
    Website: https://www.japan.focuscoregroup.com/ (https://www.japan.focuscoregroup.com/ )


    Doin’ the Uptown Lowdown,” used by permission of Christopher Davis-Shannon. To find out more, check out http://www.thetinman.co/ (www.thetinman.co.) Support independent musicians and artists.

    • 43 min
    Finding the power base in Japanese companies with David Sweet

    Finding the power base in Japanese companies with David Sweet

    We are back on the podcast this week with a solo episode with FocusCore Japan’s Founder and CEO, David Sweet. David shares his 25 years of working in Japan experience and wisdom on finding the power bases in Japanese companies. This is a must-listen episode if you are working or joining a Japanese company and want to succeed.
    APAC leaders and Western companies often put Japan in the too-hard basket when looking to expand their markets in Asia but more often than not, it's a failure to understand the power structure of Japanese organizations or they try to change the system.
    This episode is a guide for those outside of Japan thinking of moving to work in Japan and for country managers and expats who are coming to Japan to take up a position in a Japanese company that will help set you up to succeed.
    In this episode you will hear:
    What is the power base of a Japanese company and how it differentiates from Western organizations
    Why job titles in Japan are not what they seem
    Consideration of the systems analysis if you are coming to lead or manage a Japanese company
    Why and who to build relationships with

    Links of things mentioned in this episode:
    The Enigma of Japanese Power by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karel_van_Wolferen (Karel van Wolferen).
    Connect with David Sweet:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdavidsweet/ (https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdavidsweet/ )
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/focuscorejp (https://twitter.com/focuscorejp )
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/focuscoreasia (https://www.facebook.com/focuscoreasia)
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/focuscorejp/ (https://www.instagram.com/focuscorejp/)
    Website: https://www.japan.focuscoregroup.com/ (https://www.japan.focuscoregroup.com/ )


    David Sweet Bio
    ​David Sweet is the Founder and CEO of FocusCore Japan, based in Tokyo. FocusCore provides a broad range of services from executive to talent management and leadership consulting. His particular focus is in Human Resources.
    Prior to establishing FocusCore Group, David was a Director with the Tokyo consultancy Wall Street Associates, leading operations, training, and recruitment in multiple sectors. He also worked for 10 years in the U.S. Treasury Department in labor relations and organizational development.
    He is author of 6 books, including "https://www.amazon.co.jp/-/en/David-Sweet/dp/0768411335/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2X4QMVZGGTLNDandkeywords=sweet+success+david+sweetandqid=1662950223andsprefix=sweet+success+david+sweet%2Caps%2C224andsr=8-1 (Sweet Sales)", "https://www.amazon.co.jp/-/en/David-Sweet/dp/1640951911/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2X4QMVZGGTLNDandkeywords=sweet+success+david+sweetandqid=1662950223andsprefix=sweet+success+david+sweet%2Caps%2C224andsr=8-2 (Sweet Success"), and "Recruit!". He is also a Certified Executive Coach. David earned a MA in Communications from Regis University and a PhD in Leadership Development.


    Doin’ the Uptown Lowdown,” used by permission of Christopher Davis-Shannon. To find out more, check out http://www.thetinman.co/ (www.thetinman.co.) Support independent musicians and artists.

    • 9 min
    5 Steps to Finding a Job with David Sweet

    5 Steps to Finding a Job with David Sweet

    You might be thinking about your next career move if you have stumbled upon this episode. You know you need to craft your resume, apply for a few jobs on LinkedIn, and then you cross your fingers that your resume gets a look and you get an interview. And then you need to jump through hoops with multiple interviews. It’s a lot of work! Trust me when I say this, I have been there. Every career journey has ups and downs. I’ve been there too and it’s frustrating. And with over 25 years in the recruitment industry, I see the same frustration in the eyes of so many qualified professionals.
    On this solo episode of the FocusCore podcast, I’m sharing the top five steps I use with my career coaching clients to successfully find a job.
    In this episode I walk you through five simple steps that can help you land your next job:
    Macro view - what’s your career vision?
    Messaging - what is your WOW statement?
    Searching for jobs - How to stand out from everyone else?
    Preparing for interviews
    Pulling it all together

    So pull out your bento box, grab a pen and paper, and let's dive in!
    Connect with David Sweet:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdavidsweet/ (https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdavidsweet/)
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/focuscorejp (https://twitter.com/focuscorejp)
    Facebook: :https://www.facebook.com/focuscoreasia (https://www.facebook.com/focuscoreasia)
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/focuscorejp/ (https://www.instagram.com/focuscorejp/)
    Website: https://www.japan.focuscoregroup.com/ (https://www.japan.focuscoregroup.com/)


    Doin’ the Uptown Lowdown,” used by permission of Christopher Davis-Shannon. To find out more, check out http://www.thetinman.co/ (www.thetinman.co). Support independent musicians and artists.

    • 17 min
    Diving into Diversity and Inclusion with Yuta Hasumi, Ikigai Authentic

    Diving into Diversity and Inclusion with Yuta Hasumi, Ikigai Authentic

    This week’s episode with Yuta Hasumi, Managing Director of https://www.ikigaiauthentic.com/en/home (Ikigai Authentic) is brought to you, especially to celebrate Pride Month. We dive into diversity and inclusion (DandI) in the workplace and discuss the key difference between Japanese and international organizations approaches to diversity and inclusion.
    When foreigners make up only 2% of the population of Japan, you would be forgiven for thinking that diversity and inclusion in the Japanese workplace just don't apply. Yuta has built a global career in DandI and is working with companies and organizations in Japan and the UK to change the way they think about diversity and inclusion.
    In this episode you will hear:
    How Japan is at a pivotal point to address gender inequality
    Local challenges when it comes to diversity in a homogenous country
    How people can develop a career in diversity and inclusion and get involved in their current workplaces
    Why it just makes commercial sense to have diversity and inclusion policies
    Easy steps companies and individuals can take to be inclusive (e.g.Gender Pronouns)
    Yuta’s top advice for companies to attract and retain talent
    How can SMEs be inclusive and bridge gender gaps
    How one hair salon in Tokyo changed their labeling of hair pricing to be more inclusive and has now built a reputation in Japan as inclusive for transgender and LGBTQ+ clients setting them apart from their competitors

    https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/9716540427984/WN_PrF_QmdRQfWOEv_UDFpuqA (Register) to join the next FocusCore Webinar Walk the Talk for LGBTQ Inclusion with David Sweet, FocusCore Japan, and Yuta Hasumi, Ikigai Authentic.
    June 23 2022, 6.30pm (JST)
    Yuta Hasumi Bio:
    With experience in the Asia Pacific region and global human resources and talent management for overseas firms, as well as overall responsibility for promoting diversity and inclusion in Japan and the South Korean region, Yuta now operates with two bases, one in Japan and the other in the UK. He provides management consulting that makes the most of diversity, advising businesses and other organizations in planning and execution of lectures and training, coaching for management, promoting women’s participation in the workplace, and work style reforms. Yuta holds an MBA from Waseda Business School.
    Other responsibilities
    • Certified Coach, COF Rosinski and Company
    • Director of GEWEL, Japan
    • Chair of DandI Advisory Board, Medito Foundation, Netherlands
    • Member of U.S.-Japan Council, US and Japan
    • Member of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the UK


    Connect with Yuta Hasumi:
    Website: https://www.ikigaiauthentic.com/en/home (https://www.ikigaiauthentic.com/en/home)
    Email: yuta.hasumi@ikigaiauthentic.com
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yuta-hasumi/ (https://www.linkedin.com/in/yuta-hasumi/ )


    Links of things mentioned in this episode:
    FocusCore Webinars: https://www.japan.focuscoregroup.com/webinars (https://www.japan.focuscoregroup.com/webinars)


    Connect with David Sweet:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdavidsweet/ (https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdavidsweet/)
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/focuscorejp (https://twitter.com/focuscorejp)
    Facebook: :https://www.facebook.com/focuscoreasia (https://www.facebook.com/focuscoreasia)
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/focuscorejp/ (https://www.instagram.com/focuscorejp/)
    Website: https://www.japan.focuscoregroup.com/ (https://www.japan.focuscoregroup.com/)


    Doin’ the Uptown Lowdown,” used by permission of Christopher Davis-Shannon. To find out more, check out http://www.thetinman.co/ (www.thetinman.co). Support independent musicians and artists.

    • 44 min
    Talent Acquisition for the luxury brand industry with Naomi Takase, LVMH Japan

    Talent Acquisition for the luxury brand industry with Naomi Takase, LVMH Japan

    Naomi Takase is a Kiwi living in Japan who has built an 18-year (and counting!) career in recruitment having worked both agency and corporate sides. She’s currently the Talent Acquisition Director at https://www-lvmh-co-jp.translate.goog/?_x_tr_sl=jaand_x_tr_tl=enand_x_tr_hl=enand_x_tr_pto=sc (LVMH Japan) and shares her top advice for those wanting to work in the luxury goods industry or have a listen even if you just want to know a little bit more about talent acquisition for a major global organization in Japan.
    Naomi shares how she came to live and work in Japan which started with a phone call from FocusCore podcast host, David Sweet, for a job interview (you have to listen to find out the full story), and how she has built her impressive career as a Kiwi living in the land of the Rising Sun.
    In this episode you will hear:
    How to market your company to attract great talent
    Employer branding and employer reputation and why these are important for recruitment
    Why she prefers to be paperless in interviews
    Her frustration when candidates undersell themselves, especially women returning to work after caring for children
    The value of executive search recruiters and how she uses them to tap into hidden talent
    Why Naomi wants to have lunch with fashion powerhouse, Stella McCartney
    How reading https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=good+to+greatandadgrpid=52809635466andgclid=Cj0KCQjwvqeUBhCBARIsAOdt45ZDLBPFG3JaJ0697nZf3AfC5ZvZ8d0bnG8Txh_EaOJkzcb7t20i8JwaAjQ3EALw_wcBandhvadid=259049600310andhvdev=candhvlocphy=9045909andhvnetw=gandhvqmt=eandhvrand=1730147171971412549andhvtargid=kwd-298559104737andhydadcr=28148_1724781andtag=googhydr-21andref=pd_sl_60hdy930ey_e (‘Good to Great’ )by Jim Collins has been instrumental in her career and personal decisions

    Naomi Takase Bio:
    Born and raised in New Zealand, Naomi is a Kiwi at heart but Japan is where she now calls "home". She has been recruiting in Japan for 18 years with experience in both the agency side and corporate talent acquisition functions. At LVMH Japan, Naomi strategically sources for key positions and welcomes the opportunity to speak to executives who are open to learning more about the LVMH Group for future opportunities. Naomi is also happy to connect potential candidates to some of LVMH Maison, so feel free to send her an in-mail and /or connection request on LinkedIn.
    Connect with Naomi Takase:
    Website: https://www-lvmh-co-jp.translate.goog/?_x_tr_sl=jaand_x_tr_tl=enand_x_tr_hl=enand_x_tr_pto=sc (LVMH Japan)
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/naomi-takase/?original_referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Egoogle%2Ecom%2FandoriginalSubdomain=jp (https://www.linkedin.com/in/naomi-takase/?original_referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Egoogle%2Ecom%2FandoriginalSubdomain=jp)
    Links of things mentioned in this episode:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=good+to+greatandadgrpid=52809635466andgclid=Cj0KCQjwvqeUBhCBARIsAOdt45ZDLBPFG3JaJ0697nZf3AfC5ZvZ8d0bnG8Txh_EaOJkzcb7t20i8JwaAjQ3EALw_wcBandhvadid=259049600310andhvdev=candhvlocphy=9045909andhvnetw=gandhvqmt=eandhvrand=1730147171971412549andhvtargid=kwd-298559104737andhydadcr=28148_1724781andtag=googhydr-21andref=pd_sl_60hdy930ey_e (“Good to Great” By Jim Collins)


    Connect with David Sweet:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdavidsweet/ (https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdavidsweet/)
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/focuscorejp (https://twitter.com/focuscorejp)
    Facebook: :https://www.facebook.com/focuscoreasia (https://www.facebook.com/focuscoreasia)
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/focuscorejp/ (https://www.instagram.com/focuscorejp/)
    Website: https://www.japan.focuscoregroup.com/ (https://www.japan.focuscoregroup.com/)


    Doin’ the Uptown Lowdown,” used by permission of Christopher Davis-Shannon. To find out more, check out http://www.thetinman.co/ (www.thetinman.co). Support independent...

    • 24 min
    World-class learning and development with William Nealy Jr.

    World-class learning and development with William Nealy Jr.

    We hope everyone had a wonderful Golden Week. We’ve taken a little break from podcasting but host, David Sweet is back with a brand new guest on the show this week. William Nealy Jr. started his career journey in Japan as a teacher on the JET programme and turned his early education teaching experience into a successful career in senior management in Learning and Development where he has worked for some of the world’s most well-known brands including Adidas, Nissan, and Cartier in Japan and America.
    In this episode you will hear:
    How teaching in Japan started William on his career journey
    How playing tennis and sport develops a growth mindset and how that benefits working in a business
    What are company values and why are they so important - it needs to start from the top
    What pitfalls can companies avoid
    How companies can do better for their staff when it comes to developing their careers
    How to provide learning and development for staff when you have a limited budget
    Importing international organizational values to Japan versus creating company values in Japan

    William Nealy Jr. Bio:
    I work inside a business to align people development initiatives with the overall business strategy. In this position, it has been my privilege and honor to work with individuals around the globe. I've worked in the USA, Spain, and Japan, the latter for nearly 18 years. During my time in Japan, I fell in love with the people and the culture, and developed a deep understanding and respect for Japanese workplace practices.
    My background includes working closely with senior managers to identify opportunities for improvement and managing change at the local and global level. I'm accustomed to creating and managing talent development programs, coaching high-potential talent, and facilitating training programs. I love the rush and satisfaction of helping my co-workers around the world achieve their goals.
    Connect with William Nealy Jr.:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/williamnealy/?originalSubdomain=jp (https://www.linkedin.com/in/williamnealy/?originalSubdomain=jp)
    IG: https://www.instagram.com/williamtokyo/ (https://www.instagram.com/williamtokyo/)
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/williamtokyo?lang=en (https://twitter.com/williamtokyo?lang=en)


    Links of things mentioned in this episode:
    https://hbr.org/the-latest?utm_medium=paidsearchandutm_source=googleandutm_campaign=subscribetohbr_gbb_intlandutm_term=Brandandtpcc=paidsearch.google.brandandgclid=Cj0KCQjwmuiTBhDoARIsAPiv6L_7KaOZsLxM5pToar9VqgKyXJcrabgvEtW9VjNy6TUd4fa-oY3CyCMaAi2pEALw_wcB (Harvard Business Review)
    https://www.linkedin.com/learning/?src=go-paandveh=sem_src.go-pa_c.LLS-C_EMEA_UKI_T1_EN_SEM_SEM_GoogleAds_NA_All_NA_NA_Core_NA_LIL-HeadTerm-MKAG_Brand_Exact_pkw.linkedin%20learning_pmt.e_pcrid.311040980383_pdv.c_plc._trgid.kwd-310582843911_net.g_learningandtrk=sem_src.go-pa_c.LLS-C_EMEA_UKI_T1_EN_SEM_SEM_GoogleAds_NA_All_NA_NA_Core_NA_LIL-HeadTerm-MKAG_Brand_Exact_pkw.linkedin%20learning_pmt.e_pcrid.311040980383_pdv.c_plc._trgid.kwd-310582843911_net.g_learningandmcid=6841864363146670249andcname=andcamid=1399342497andasid=54056821126andtargetid=kwd-310582843911andcrid=311040980383andplacement=anddev=candends=1andgclid=Cj0KCQjwmuiTBhDoARIsAPiv6L9aW8xeP60F9d-EmeqUIbNpBqDVb3Vk9rXviaVUnQq732JjCkUKeFEaAozcEALw_wcBandgclsrc=aw.ds (LinkedIn Learning )
    https://www.jim-loehr.com/ (Jim Loehr)


    Recommended Reading:
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/378339.The_New_Toughness_Training_for_Sports?from_search=trueandfrom_srp=trueandqid=021QwQpR1Zandrank=8 (The New Toughness Training for Sports by Jim Loehr)
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/68985.The_Power_of_Full_Engagement?from_search=trueandfrom_srp=trueandqid=021QwQpR1Zandrank=1 (The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal by Jim

    • 45 min