1.Inspirational leadership is a less studied, but holistic concept that centers within the presence of a whole mind that is aware of the being and doing of the self and others.
2.As an inspirational leader who gives ideas to others, investing time and effort into self-development is vital. One can only give what’s inside of him/her.
3.The human side of leadership is fundamental for an inspirational interaction between leaders and followers.
4.The most appreciated leadership aspect is the ability to inspire. The capacity to inspire does result in high employee commitment.
5.Inspirational leaders positively influence employee characteristics, such as independent thinking and pro-activeness. These qualities not only foster innovativeness and drive business performance, but also have a positive effect on followers’ happiness at work.
6.The quest for the ‘Why,’ critical thinking, purpose, passion, and caring emotional intelligence all come from within oneself. Self-awareness and autonomy is the foundation for accessing the source of inspiration. Allow your soul to be free.
7.Authenticity is the core of inspirational leadership. Authentic behavior arises when the ‘who you are’ and the ‘what you do’ are aligned. A genuine and ethical leader differentiates between the true needs of his/her inner being as compared to the many and often conflicting demands and conditions of society.
Slides from our 80% is Psychology event, December 12th, 2018 in Tokyo.
1.It is crucial to what role models children are exposed. Babies intuitively follow the eye gaze of their mothers. Little geese adopt the first seen subject after hatching as their caregiver (so-called IMPRINTING). And imprisoned children regard the prison guards as their parents to follow.
2.Followers emulate primarily other followers, not necessarily the leader. A movement is made by courageous followers who show others how to follow too. Therefore it is essential to nurture followers.
3.To form a positive social identity (as everybody seeks to), people use self-categorization. According to SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY, this risks leading to biased social comparison in which people tend to over-favorize one’s own group’s individuals’ positive characteristics while they stereotype and discriminate out-group members having mainly negative traits.
4.PROTOTYPICAL PERCEPTIONS cause people to think that the followers of the group they identify with can be persuaded by information, while out-group followers are mis-perceived as needing to be coerced by force.
5.Individuals who follow a leader against their own moral beliefs or good judgment may do so because they socially identify with the leader and consciously choose to follow his/her MORAL COMPASS.
6.Leaders in a mutually beneficial leader-follower relationship provide public goods to their followership. In return, followers voluntarily pay their costs to the leader in the form of prestige. When leaders gain more relative power, and their high status becomes less dependent on their willingness to pay the costs of benefitting followers, the SERVICE-FOR-PRESTIGE THEORY predicts that leader-follower relations will become more based on leaders’ ability to dominate and exploit.
7.In the phenomena of RECIPROCITY, we should differentiate whether it is about our genuine desire to return favors unconditionally based on feelings of thankfulness, or whether we get trapped into “marketing tricks” that let us act upon feelings of obligation and guilt.
8.A secureATTACHMENT STYLEhelps people trusting in lasting relationships, self-confidentially seeking out and providing social support that empowers themselves and colleagues alike. Insecurely attached people may cause stronger exclusion and exploitation of others.
9.Effective followers as fostered by TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP are those who are not only actively involved, but those who are also critically thinking to influence decision-making and change. Conformist followers who are not challenging the status quo contribute less to innovation and business performance improvement.
10.DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVENESS are vital also from a business perspective because better-connected networks enable more knowledge sharing that is favorable for innovation and improves business performance, which ultimately results in increased profitability.
11.REVERSE MENTORING allows any employees to assume, (informal) leadership roles. Reverse mentoring not only promotes bi-directional knowledge exchange, but it can help isolated older leaders to enter into more egalitarian relationships as well.
12.Utilizing CONSTRUCTIVE HUMOR may be an effective leadership strategy to win trust and commitment from followers as it bridges authority gaps and encourages the both-sided expression of positive emotions even when addressing difficult matters.
1.Whether in a formal position, at work or in private, our influence on others is more significant than we think. It may be your today’s courageous example that inspires somebody else even years later to do the right thing as well.
2.To be a leader means to be a continuous learner, and learners are readers.
3.While leadership theories as a relatively young science are becoming ‘smarter,’ there is also ancient and timeless leadership wisdom based on ‘kindness.’
4.Against persistent myths: Leaders are not born, they are made.
5.Do not let you blend by the ‘halo effect’ to conclude that people being good or powerful in one area might be consequently amazing in other areas too.
6.Adapt your leadership style according to the situation and development phase of the people needing direction, coaching, support, or delegation.
7.While transactional leaders make today better by rewarding good performance, transformational leaders are focused on making tomorrow better too.
8.For personal charisma, develop your emotional and social intelligence. As a visionary leader, learn how to visualize an attractive and ideal future that inspires others to follow their heart.
9.A majority of employees is disengaged. Increased participation is required to move beyond consumer behavior. Only with emotional and economic co-ownership will people assume more responsibility/accountability.
10.The administration of existing businesses often leaves little room for leadership that involves the creation of new meaning and change. Differentiate a position-based management career requiring short-term profitability goals versus a self-guided leadership desire to make a difference beyond market considerations in the long-term. You always can be a leader!
11.Always re-evaluate your beliefs in symbols and rules, don’t assume, don’t judge, and listen to people for who they truly are. That’s how you can empower yourself and others to become more free, understanding, and creative.
1.Know that the brain has different chemical processes for addictive pleasure experiences (neurotransmitter is dopamine) versus more long-term, empathic, and self-sufficient happiness-related behavior (neurotransmitter is serotonin).
2.Reducedistractions, especially to avoid over-dependence (addiction) to technology and social networks that interrupt your attention and learning.
3.Increase for how long you are able to stay offline and/or exclusively focused for better learning results.
4.Train your brain through exercising, diet, sleep, and alternative learning strategies.
5.Recognize how your consciousness requires the joint operation of brain, body, and the world. Brain activities may be necessary, but not sufficient preconditions for human behavior.
6.Experiment with stretching your sense of time and thinking of cyclical time. The soul/spirit wants to expand. As the earth is not a plate where you can fall off the edges, time may not be a simple line with birth and life ‘abysses.’
7.Do not fear the future. The brain takes even distantly thought threats for real and causes already now suffering, anxiety, and depression.
8.Do not fear loss. If we are only our physical brain, we don’t need to fear any regrets or pain after death. If there is something more permanent than our brain, death isn’t an existential threat to fear either.
9.Useintuition, imagination, and intention to ‘real-life check’ what really counts in everything you learn: Is it meaningful, unlimited, and purposeful? If not, it’s not worth it.
10.Read to activate your brain, increase the working memory’s capacity, and expand attention span.
Although ‘meaning’ isn’t reducible to a state-like single factor , the meaning of a concept (i.e., work) is related to how an individual does experience the significance of a situation that causes related inferential intentions to behave in a certain way . While for many people the primary meaning of work lies in the earning of money for making a living, work provides also for values such as achievement, honor, and social relationships that determine how central the purpose of work is as compared to other life aspects like leisure, family, and community .
Economist and psychologist approach to work
The economist approach to work assumes a transactional exchange of time and effort for money. Non-financial job values have gotten limited attention by economists when examining work motivation and productivity. However, like for example, academics who have highest job security without the need to outperform, and who study beyond working hours without monetary incentives, are motivated by pure contribution to a subject, intellectual stimulation, and the satisfaction from a deliberate exchange of knowledge. Similarly, entrepreneurs enjoy the freedom of autonomous decision-making regardless of ‘pain’ put into it in the form of time and effort. Top talents have been found to prefer to work for social organizations rather than just for the best paying one .
Albeit the financialized political economy  ignores many aspects of work, such as its creative and interpersonal (social) value , the examples show that through psychological satisfaction, work can be a source of meaning beyond merely earning an income .
Cultural features of work meaning
Work creates culture, culture creates work
Culture as a guiding set of material, mental, and spiritual values that are based on a group’s experiences over time, creates meaning on how to behave and work  and, at the same time, its meaning itself is produced by work. Consequently, work should be considered a meaning-making construct of and within culture respectively as the producer and product of people’s mindset simultaneously . A culture, therefore, can be only as rich and meaningful as the work that produces it is itself.
In most Western cultures, there is today a less clear boundary between school and work life. In Japanese society though, there exists still a distinct point in time (usually beginning of April every year) that is marking the end of one’s student identity through entering the working world on full-time basis, which means to becoming a ‘shakaijin,’ i.e., a person of society/workforce . Companies use recruitment practices and regular personal assessment throughout an adult’s work life to socialize . Age-based reward and promotion systems also support this ongoing socialization process . More recently, the traditional path to adulthood and ‘companyism’ has become more diverse, and the increasing number of part-time workers and contractors is shaping a changing understanding of the transition to adulthood and work life, one that takes place rather through action than through the acquisition of the ‘shakaijin’ status .
Masculine breadwinner identity
Company respectively work-led socialization reinforces gender roles. The breadwinning role is a priority in masculine identity. After the earthquake in 2011, men’s concern in Fukushima was less related to health than to the loss of their economic situation . As in Japanese patriarchal culture, the father role is still primarily related to company job-related work, childcare duties are culturally assigned to solely to the female role (i.e., mother or grandmother), which provides a widespread potential for work-family conflicts. Shared family and work-related commitments, however, begin to be seen as essential to improve self-worthiness and a sense of meaningfulness in life . Men who don’t exhibit a regular full-time job are more likely to marry late. Also, males with non-standard jobs have the lowest chance of getting children, an effect that is prevalent in Japan, but not in the US, for example .
Given the importance of work as a provider of status, identity, and meaning, it is understandable that Japanese commit with a lot of grit to it . Over time, Japan’s values align more closely with global trends insofar as there is a great emphasis on the economic function of work as well . Will that be enough meaning to engage the next generations of employees as well? Research is showing that lack of meaning at work is reducing work volition and work-related well-being significantly .
Economy of dignity and respect
A further question is how much a collectivist society may be able to reduce the dependency on others and society overall because over-dependency on the meaning of work risks to hamper dignity. The individual capacity to understand and position oneself as a fully recognized societal participant is vital to the notion of dignity as sourced from within. It is to hope that companies and society, not only in Japan, help to create dignity by de-stigmatizing of traditional personhood markers such as employment type and gender roles . It’s maybe such a shift from status-focus to an action-focus orientation that also explains the changing meaning of ‘sonkei’ (Japanese for respect). Formal respect (e.g., towards age-based status) is increasingly recognized as a moral duty rather than an emotion built on genuine love and admiration .
Benefits from meaningful work
The benefit of employees perceiving their work as meaningful come as experiences of greater happiness, job satisfaction, team spirit, and commitment (; ), thus reducing turnover rates and long-term sickness absences. This is because of the positive emotional bondage to the workplace that is an end in itself; a characteristic also called intrinsic motivation . A greater sense of meaning in one’s work can be protective of burnout . Eudaimonia is a term describing the sort of well-being that comes from living an engaging, meaningful, and fulfilling life . Such a spirit at the workplace can be fostered by letting employees feel they contribute to something more significant in connection to a common connection and purpose .
Performance and physical health
Work meaning is also closely linked to better outcomes, such as increased income, quality of work, and job satisfaction . Finally, a sense of purpose and sense of socially embedded growth in and from work (i.e., eudaimonic, meaning-based well-being versus hedonic, pleasure-based job-satisfaction ) was found to be associated with positive health outcomes, for example, by the means of supporting one’s physical resistance against adversities like inflammation or viral infection . The Japanese type of stress-death, the so-called ‘karoushi’ (death from overwork) cannot be seen as a physiological phenomenon only. Rather death is caused by a vicious cycle of depressive feelings, and states of helplessness and unescapable despair combined with overwork .
Fostering meaning at work
A culture of mentorship and nostalgia
For a long time, job satisfaction research has been focused on an organizational perspective without sufficiently considering the role of the job on family, the standard of living, personal development, and on a worker’s larger worldview . It is crucial to understand better situational contexts in which meaning ensues. Researchers found that the highest levels of meaning arise during spiritual practices and work hours, especially when performing social job components such as talking to people. As a general pattern, meaning occurs most during states of increased awareness . An organizational listening climate may facilitate such an awareness , and acting as a self-reflective mentor might be a useful avenue of experiencing meaning at work . Indeed, studies among nursing practices from different countries (e.g., Canada, India, Ireland, Japan, and Korea) confirm that leaders and a culture of mentorship are important for fostering meaning of work for both mentors and the mentees . Also, the induction of nostalgia (i.e., remembering sentimental events from the past) can be used to meet employees longing for wistful affection to the past and may increase an employee’s perception of the meaningfulness of his/her organizational life and therefore the attachment to it .
The need for humanizing the economy
The hope that unfulfilling, unsatisfying, and even health and life-threatening mental stress at work will improve may be overshadowed by the continuing centrality of profit margins and efficiency in corporations. Neo-liberal development in Japan has shaken the traditions of secure long-term employment and a state responsible for citizens welfare. While the need for meaning at the workplace implies rather a humanization of the economy and society, capitalist marketization of everything is continuing. Corporate managers continue to exploit deregulated labor and capital and maintain insecurity and growing competition among workers. . While rhetoric is sometimes trying to convince otherwise, understandably in the light of how grim the reality reveals, capitalism’s ultimate sense is about capital rather than humanity. In case of conflict, business goals come before anything else. Regardless of how meaningful employees perceive their job, no CEO is considered unsuccessful when driving profits within legal constraints and without caring especially about humanistically meaningful jobs. It’s, therefore, as an example, a non-surprising and common observation that such managers only after their retirement turn to a more dedicated anthropological role of contributing to society.
Meaning determines moral and ethical intentions and behavior
It seems that people need to find answers from within because the treadmill of the pursuit of consumption, pleasure, and economic success from work won’t fulfill the potential of greater meaning at work in many cases, regardless of how comfortable or tough the circumstances. It is each and everyone’s responsibility to fill the void of meaning through their sacred awareness, philosophy, and artful approach to put it into practice. And it is critical that we help others to do so too. The meaning of work should be considered simultaneously from an individual, organizational, and societal perspective, considering its psychological function for everyone. Meaning is the basis on which intentions ensue and according actions follow . Consequently, claiming peaceful fulfillment in one’s work is an essential part of and prerequisite for moral and ethical behavior towards oneself and others alike.
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Self-improvement can be intimidating, and personal interactions with other, like in a mentoring relationship might be extraordinarily valuable . In today’s fast-changing world the potential for mentoring, especially if creatively employed, might be an increasingly useful type of relationship . Yet relatively few employees got into a company mentoring program . Traditional mentoring generally takes place between a senior and a junior person in a similar career field , a relationship that is hierarchical and one-directional in the sense that the mentor in its expert position carries the power while the newcomer mentee is deemed to receive learning .
Reverse mentoring for diversity and organizational success
Reverse mentoring, on the other side, can be defined as “pair[ing] younger, junior employees as mentors with older, senior colleagues as mentees to share knowledge” (, p. 569). Jack Welch in 1999 made this approach popular when using it in GE . It is the first time that four or five generation with distinct values work in the same workplaces and have to manage related generational tensions (; ). Reverse (respectively reciprocal) mentoring may be promising transfer processes to support global expatriate female managers as they were found to receive less monitoring than male and domestic colleagues . Cross-racial reverse mentoring is another example of engaging diversity to increase organizational success .
Benefits for the employees
Reverse mentoring was found to benefit older adults with reduced social isolation, improved self-efficacy, and increased technological understanding, and younger colleagues can progress their teaching and communication skills . Intriguingly, by collaboratively fostering the understanding of each generations qualities, inter-generational intelligence can be built . Vitality, enthusiasm, and creativity are predominantly represented by the younger, lower levels of organizations; not surprising when remembering the evidence that toddlers, in general, are creative, compared to the only 2% of 44-year-olds . Reverse mentoring is promising in generating new ideas , which is vital in valuing the human capital and use it for innovation and competitiveness as required for learning organizations . Lane (2018) speculates that this effect might be the more pronounced, the bigger and the more global a firm is .
HR supported implementation for improved employee retention
In a study in the field of academic medicine, it was found that half of the recipients of unsatisfactory mentoring did genuinely consider quit the firm, while positive mentoring experiences reduced this number to 14% . In another study reverse mentoring predicted increased affective commitment potentially decreasing turnover rates among millennial employees . While informal settings may take pressure away from younger persons mentoring their superiors , more formal mentoring provides for clear objectives and plans how to achieve them . It is essential that older leaders get the courage  to open up, demonstrate humility, and enter into egalitarian relationships . Ideally, such openness and the diversification of the workforce  through reverse mentoring is systematically supported by HR too .
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Summary. Younger employees around the world tend to prefer more professional freedom, meaningful work, and work-life in their work. Asking only older senior HR managers might not provide sufficient insight into the generation Y’s thinking though. Listening directly to the younger employees is vital to positively influence job satisfaction, engagement, and work performance altogether. The youth’s resourcefulness, e.g., in digital media, could be used for backward/reverse mentoring to engage senior management more. Offering millennials more short-term job and internship opportunities can represent a win-win situation to gain experience from both an organizational and young talent perspective. Some examples from a Chinese perspective are presented.
Work ethics and quality of life values
Many of the so-called gold-collar workers (GCW) who demonstrate qualities such as high problem-solving abilities in challenging environments but are also used to extraordinary financial compensation, started to quit their positions in prominent Chinese cities to seek improved work-life balance, including, e.g., increased learning and development opportunities . Today’s younger generations in China, while navigating the collectivist society, can also require, even from authorities, more radical openness and honesty, especially in case of perceived unfairness . Researchers found that more professional freedom, meaningful work, and work-life balance constitute job characteristics increasingly crucial as a high-level tendency across different cultures . Varying work values still need to be differentiated between even various countries in East Asia itself. For example, the Chinese tend to be more individualistic, while the Japanese are more risk-averse, and the Koreans are often found somewhat in the middle .
Insight-led Global Talent Management (GTM) and backward/reverse mentoring
Best practice Global Talent Management (GTM) in Asia is best led by insight into economic and cultural context , including the specific understanding of the youth. When re-assessing HR practices, consulting only with older senior management personnel might not provide sufficient and accurate insight into the thinking of the generation Y employees . A demographic shift also takes place in China where the proportion of the population of over sixty-five years is growing, which is resulting in a shrinking workforce with implication for how to manage the pool of younger talents . Cooperative re-negotiation of employee structures and roles within firms might be needed. The Gallup’s global employee engagement database reveals that two-thirds of Asian CEO’s are not engaged and often feel underdeveloped . Bringing together the younger generations’ digital talent and the older colleagues rich experience in a kind of backward/reverse mentoring would offer an exciting approach .
Short and long-term view for win-win situations
Millennials often plan differently for their future, meaning that they seek more short-term employment (i.e., of one to two years length) to gain experience at the beginning of their career . Consequently, talent management practices have to deal with more employee turnover. However, especially when talent acquisition is challenged due to a lack of matching organizational demand and graduate skills, short-term assignments might offer a win-win situation overall. This is the reason why both firms and candidates see internships as an ideal avenue at professional career start .
Empowering the youth
For the youth being able to bring their potential to the table, managers self-identified their central role as empowering their talents in furthering self-esteem and self-promotion capability . For GTM, listening to the younger generation and consider their expectations is vital to positively influence job satisfaction, engagement, and work performance altogether .
 Roongrerngsuke, S., & Liefooghe, A. (2013). Attracting Gold-Collar Workers: Comparing Organizational Attractiveness and Work-Related Values across Generations in China, India and Thailand. Asia Pacific Business Review, 19(3), 337-355.
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Summary. Although multi-national enterprises (MNEs) in China are looking for talents who can balance domestic and international challenges, the evolving education and Global Talent Management (GTM) systems struggle with the timely identification, development, and retention of a workforce that is matching the required demand of new and future skills. Respect for the Chinese culture and access to so-called guanxi business networks shaped by collectivist cultural values are needed to access business opportunities. On the other hand, the opening up of secretive circles and empowering students and employees for more self-determined and problem-based learning could provide avenues to close the gap between theory and practice as well as more equality in talent development, hopefully resulting in increased entrepreneurship and innovation.
Summary. This article critically sheds light on current socio-economic challenges for Japan and the need for developing a global mindset for companies in a globalizing world. With little chance for getting a management position before the age of 40 and confronted with dominating domestic demand for a monolingual male workforce, Japan’s youth gets blamed for being ‘insular’ and individually responsible for the lack of global mindsets. To improve global success, Japanese HR practices’ global talent management programs have to address the need for highly skilled and globally minded talents in Japan and their expatriates. Japan-specific, step-by-step, and creative alternative solutions may be required to make it happen.
Japan’s current unclear development of its role in global economy comes from various challenges such as two decades lasting economic stagnation  and increased competition from China and India . Salary men sweat devotedly for the big companies and government agencies for the return of stable careers, while their wives take care of raising the next generation guaranteeing the continuation of the system that has become antithetical to fast-paced global changes . A global mindset is needed for many Japanese organization, and there are calls for a related shift in education (; ). However, most Japanese companies favor domestic monolingual male workforce , which informs higher education in the way that fewer and fewer students in Japan envision to study abroad . The collectivist Japanese culture might emphasize that trend as the unity of family raises expectations for children not to stay away from their family and take care of their parents .
Japanese see the development of a global mindset as an individual rather than an organizational burden. Due to seniority-based promotion systems, only 9% of Japanese managers are below the age of 40, compared to 62% in India and 76% in China . Ironically, the lack of talents with global mindsets has not been associated with strict hiring practices, bigoted immigration policies, or with conservative firm cultures but instead the ‘insular’ young people, the so-called ‘uchimuki,’ are blamed for keeping the island inwardly retreated .
Japanese HRM practices’ global talent management initiatives have been reported to not being suitable to attract sufficient talent with a global mindset for multinational enterprises . English in Japan is still treated as belonging to the US or UK rather than being a global language . HR brokers until today have mostly focused on low-skilled short-term immigration . Therefore, not surprisingly, Japan ranks last behind all major industrialized nations regarding the percentage of foreign academics and engineers employed .
A trend of an increasing number of Japanese self-initiated expatriate entrepreneurs to developing countries in Asia indicates the presence of not only entrepreneurial but also global mindsets as related to social and sustainability missions . Japanese multinationals, however, comparatively have difficulties to go international with their often highly successful local businesses in which the home-country expatriates obviously need to re-assess their globalization abilities . For example, Japanese business men are used to relationship-based marketing  and would need to adapt to a more need-based style when selling abroad . Maybe hybrid forms of globalization activities, developed through Japan-based HR training can advance the integration of cultural differences to promote global success . Anti-globalization sentiments after the nuclear plant accident in Fukushima in 2011 and perceptions of unfairly exploitative global businesses may require an alternative kind of globalization as happening in the arts that, e.g., builds on alternative smaller destinations . Step-by-step quick wins could increase confidence in more long-term investment into global mindsets to improve results from globalization .
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This article reflects on example biases that could impact one’s intercultural behavior and decision making and how the role of the media is shaping ideas about cultures. Finally, specifics of the European culture are analyzed as relevant for global talent management issues.
Culture is an unconsciously learned way of thinking and living of a particular group of people that reinforces that worldview through its in-group similarity . To change ‘cultural DNA’ requires time, although the term refers to a psychological instinct built through the adaption of societal norms rather than through a genetic constitution. Different environmental challenges brought up intellectual orientations, which cannot be judged; they are just different. While empathy is considered to allow understanding between people, the bridges built between some may be the boundaries for others. This risks to cement in- and out-group hierarchies . Besides empathy, enhanced critical thinking abilities are necessary to unveil moral subjectivity and contribute to increased cross-cultural understanding .
Humans everywhere have the same desires, fears, and motivations . Cultural differences shouldn’t be judged but seen rather relative  and therefore not to be blamed . Judgments can unavoidably happen from unconscious biases triggering stereotypical exaggeration, or simplification out of context that result in prejudices. These are not immutable though in the sense that between bias and action critical thinking was not possible . People have a psychological tendency to accredit more humanness to oneself than to others  The level of empathy is predictive of the strength of this in-/out-group bias . Research found that more collectivist cultures show stronger empathy for in-group members . If in an individualist culture, an individualistic mindset is activated though, all but the self may be considered as out-group members . Contact with other cultures is the best means to anticipate such bias  and relationships with outgroups potentially reduces prejudice .
Be it for peace between countries or the functioning of multi-national organizations, intergroup empathy has become an increasingly important global challenge . How balanced the media selects and presents its news is playing a vital role in shaping the cross-cultural understanding of individual, group, and societal identities. Media literacy, therefore, is a key strategy to develop cultural perspective-taking .
Despite Europe’s diverse composition of nations, the continent’s genetic base is much less variable than that of many other global regions. Europe is (to stay with the example) characterized by high in-group equality, which, on the other hand, may also degenerate into out-group domination. European leaders tend to be inclusive . Indeed, German SME’s, for example, include all or most of the employees in Talent Management practices, which is in contrast to typical multinational enterprises . Egalitarian attitudes within Europe cause leaders to backup leadership processes with bureaucratic rules that come with a loss in speed compared to other cultures. The European focus on individual rights, creativity and innovation, professional relationships, and the use of evidence-based data (in comparison to more intuitive thinking) might be an asset for fostering objectivity in global talent management practices . This is important for talent-based economies as found in Western Europe  to remain competitive in the sourcing of global talent .
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1. The role of job analysis in Global Talent Management
2. Japanese tendencies and the focus on people vs. positions
3. Towards systematic talent identification
1. The role of job analysis in Global Talent Management
The identification of talent is a central aspect of Global Talent Management (GTM) practices in multinational enterprises (MNE’s) . Job analysis respectively competency analysis constitutes a required input for talent identification . However, traditional job analysis that has represented a fundamental necessity for many HR activities seems to have become increasingly outdated . Indeed, the number of current articles about job analysis is decreasing, while, in contrast, related fields such as competency modeling and work analysis describing more broadly and evolving organizational roles are trending . The relative popularity of competency models may be explained by its alignment with organizational strategy and related performance goals .
The diminishing relevance of the use of job analysis results such as job descriptions, may come from the shift towards recruitment strategies that are led not by vacancies but rather by onboarding talents to be able to fill strategic roles when they arise. Therefore, rather than looking at existing job tasks, companies strategically may look, especially concerning their leadership competency profiles, for visionary talents who are well connected, cross-culturally skilled, and whose values match well with the firm culture .
Another essential consideration in evaluating the utility of job analysis in Talent Management is the level of detail that is elaborated to describe job requirements. While more holistic approaches result in more generic and abstract information convince through their cost-efficiency, the gathering of more detailed data is supporting the judgment process of what specifics contribute to the overall ratings of importance . Researchers argue that the psychometric quality of competency models decline when judgments are based on broad job descriptions .
2. Japanese tendencies and the focus on people vs. positions
Japanese talent acquisition practices are strongly shaped by domestic approaches , which the interview results of this study also confirm. The identification of skills, abilities, knowledge and other characteristics (KSAOs) informs talents identification. Although methods such as, e.g., job analysis  focusing on jobs as a starting point for Talent Management are a promoted view , Japanese (multinational) companies tend to work the other way around, i.e., starting with people and then figuring out where to go with the workforce.
The concept of lifetime employment is still alive in Japan. When keeping people is an overarching goal of an organization, job descriptions, and missing job descriptions respectively would limit maneuvering room. Line managers’ expectation rather than job requirement and talent assessment documentation is determining who’s considered to be a talent suitable for what position. This relational focus on work, however, is an important aspect of complex job roles in general and everywhere . However, a tendency towards influencing employee behavior subjectively from manager’s perspective versus a more objective reliance on job descriptions  was identified a specific feature of Japanese talent management.
While modern talent approaches may shift from input to a more output-oriented view , past achievements (e.g., education and type of university), as well as seniority, are decisive for the employee payments and promotions . On the other side, HR positions often get occupied by staff who is rotated, even against their will. The interview repeatedly pointed to the need for more education to address the lack of HR and talent management capabilities as measured against good global practices and evidenced anecdotic by especially young talents who seem to expect more consideration for their career aspirations. As for job analysis, inexperience, in contrast to carelessness, would not necessarily have to result in low quality judgments though .
3. Towards systematic talent identification
Job analysis can uncover needs for improvement in work environments  and have positive effects on talent management, such as objective and talent-focusing development. Improper job descriptions leaving employees unclear about their duties and competencies can also lead to legal issues . As, for example, Hitachi demonstrated, the implementation of systematic talent identification and evaluation can improve multinational operations . Albeit talent selection by fixed job characteristics might have become an insufficient method , the usage of some work profiles to create good matches between individuals and jobs would be advantageous for staff and organizations alike . A better (psychological) understanding of strategic jobs from an organization’s HR perspective would for sure help underline the importance of talent management  in achieving the increasingly complex and global organizational goals.
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(1) Distinct Co-operative Governance Challenges, (2) Distributed Leadership (DL), Self-awareness, Servant Leadership, and Safe Learning Spaces, (3) Empowerment for Service, Democracy, and Value-based Management, (4) Accountability for Strategic Leadership Processes: “Leading is a function, not a status.”
Distinct Co-operative Governance Challenges
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and Co-operatives that are run according to cooperative principles, face distinct challenges compared to governments or for-profit organizations. About 90 percent of contemporary leadership research is not directly relevant for the NGO context. . Furthermore, the available approaches to co-operative leadership need to be tailored according to organizational structure and maturity, economic sector, and membership size .
In a time of mystification and celebration of top-down leadership , capitalist shareholder dominance, and the absence of teaching foundations of cooperative democratic principles in schools, NGOs and Co-ops nevertheless continue to prioritize cooperation, especially by democratic and participatory principles that foster the inclusive membership’s well-being beyond pure business goals (Pinto, 2011). The cooperative governance model developed over decades by the CDS Consulting Co-op  has proven to provide leadership guidance to meet these unique needs by structuring governance elements into the four pillars of (1) teaming, (2) accountable empowerment, (3) democracy, and (4) strategic leadership. The following selected possible leadership program aspects are recommended to address the governance challenges of early-stage, still small cooperative organizations with a diverse and growing volunteering membership base.
Distributed Leadership (DL), Self-awareness, Servant Leadership, and Safe Learning Spaces
Protagonist leaders not sharing appropriately information are roadblocks to the active participation of co-leaders (e.g., other board members) and other members as everyone is supposed to participate in the democratic process . Mutually owned solution development involving all stakeholders (i.e., diverse member categories and other stakeholders in a multi-stakeholder cooperative) cultivate creativity . The risk of stakeholders pursuing their individual career goals at the cost of enhanced social networks and shared knowledge has to be prevented . Cooperative enterprises require concerted collective action . Such a collective capacity  is necessary to sustainably pool resources and know-how and can be addressed by the distributed leadership (DL) paradigm . Co-ops may foresee to offer leadership education that is addressing the dimensions of DL, which are “bounded empowerment, developing leadership, shared decision and collective engagement” (, p. 693).
A higher self-awareness may be needed for individuals to make sense of the broader cooperative perspective . DL suggests a culture of intensified inquiry among individuals  that can be positively influenced by increased self-efficacy, job satisfaction, and creative behavior among the members. A co-op can consider administering the validated DL instrument as the basis for its leadership development . Especially at early stages of forming an organization, group coaching as proposed by Fusco, O’Riordan, and Palmer (2015)  to develop authentic self-leadership within the team can be an appropriate activity as well. Servant leadership characteristics showed global validity and could inform the coaching approach and the creation of safe learning spaces for experimentation , which can be of high value especially in multi-cultural and human-oriented communities .
Empowerment for Service, Democracy, and Value-based Management
It was a misbelief that paid Board members would remain solidary to volunteer work . Rather, a study with students found that independent commitment to service provides for meaningful learning experiences and collaborative capacity building . Democracy offers a meaningful collective leadership approach  that can enhance innovative behavior and commitment among the members who have the possibility for representation in the governance of the organization .
The members need to be offered the potential for own socio-economic success as a result from collective operation , best based on a stakeholder analysis allowing for alignment of different members’ incentives . Engagement comes from understanding the purpose, vision, and values of the organization . Indeed, value-based management helps to create a shared sense of belonging to all stakeholders , which is vital team-building success. More specifically, a formal value statement can help keeping up values required for shared leadership development. A clear positioning against external competition might eliminate internal competition , which can be achieved by training . Another proposition is journaling to analyze how members experience their service contributions, a measure that has been able to confirmed the joy of service .
Accountability for Strategic Leadership Processes: “Leading is a function, not a status.”
Every minute of volunteering should be appreciated, and different levels of engagement between and within members over time accepted. Therefore, rather than defining and assigning roles and responsibilities to which it could be challenging to adhere to, accountability should be promoted. That way leaders can freely emerge without conflicts with non-matching role descriptions . As Cannell (2018)  puts it aptly, “leading is a function, not a status.” Any, and especially also young members should be encouraged to self-nominate for leadership and management roles . Technology can support strategy processes, planning, budgeting, member and associate management, as well as communication and media . The Social Change Model of Leadership offers a framework on which leadership development programs could be built on to facilitate value-based collaborative group processes for social change  and the encouragement of new leaders .
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