As one of the world’s leading information technology research firms with over 1,200 research analysts and clients in 80 countries, Gartner has firmly established itself in the U.S. as a primary source of rich information when it comes to predicting industry trends and market pivots. Gartner Japan is similarly engaged in divining the future of Japan and Asia’s newly turbulent and exciting tech sector.
Fully bilingual and comfortable engaging in Western-style business, Nobuhiko Hidaka, Gartner Japan’s President since 2003, is one of Japan’s most insightful thought leaders on the topic of emerging technologies. And, as a former software developer for the 1980s-era IBM, Hidaka is uniquely equipped to translate the business lessons and innovations of the past into relevant indicators for current technology trends and paradigm shifts of the future. With Gartner Japan’s recent Symposium/ITxpo 2010 successfully wrapped up, Hidaka took a moment to give us some insight into his management style.
01 | Journal: How visible/transparent are you to your professional peers?
Hidaka: I make every effort to make myself visible because I want people to know the value of the overall advice and strategic information we are offering here at Gartner Japan.
02 | Journal: What was your most recent, big mistake?
Hidaka: I was unable to arrange a proper time to meet with my respected friend/customer and had to leave the lunch meeting prior to the promised time. These are the sort of things I try to avoid the most as I believe it is extremely rude.
03 | Journal: What percentage of decisions do you base more on logic than emotion?
Hidaka: I try to base my decisions on logic 100 percent of the time. Sometimes, however, I need to make strategic decisions based on my intuition because I have learned that there is rarely an absolute “right,” or “wrong” answer in business.
04 | Journal: When you travel abroad (outside of Japan) what is the thing that most often surprises you?
Hidaka: How common the business issues are in the world and how much closer we are becoming, no matter where you live.
05 | Journal: What are your top three strengths?
- The ability to picture the future of technologies and their use in business based on my background in both.
- Communication skills, including intercultural communication.
- An understanding of business culture in various countries.
06 | Journal: How do you take personal responsibility when you get things wrong?
Hidaka: First, I make everything transparent to every stakeholder. Then, I take full responsibility from an objective viewpoint. Although I always try to minimize risk through prediction, visualization, etc.
07 | Journal: If you were stripped of your current professional position, do you think your ideas and approach would still resonate with those you interact with?
Hidaka: I one-hundred percent believe they would.