In this month column on Nikkei business daily, Trusted Corporation's CEO Fariza Abidova explored the importance of diverse talent in innovation. Sharing experiences from collaboration with European and Japanese startup ecosystems, Fariza uncovered the unique dynamics contributing to Europe's innovation excellence.
See the English translation below:
"Recently, there were reports that Japan's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) might slip from the world's third-largest to the fourth-largest by 2023, according to forecasts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Despite this, Japan remains at the top tier globally. However, when comparing the per capita GDP, Japan ranks 32nd in 2022, with productivity hovering around 70% when compared to Germany, which ranks 20th. Additionally, the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook places Japan at 34th, ranking lower than Malaysia and Thailand.
GDP is influenced by exchange rates, and these rankings alone may not provide a true picture of a country's economic situation. Despite Japan's solid and high-quality business practices, questions arise about why productivity and competitiveness are perceived as weak.
To explore this, Trusted Corporation's CEO shares insights from a visit to Switzerland, which ranks fourth in per capita GDP globally and second in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook. The focus is on Switzerland's strategic collaboration between industry, government, and academia.
During the visit, it became evident that teams in Switzerland comprise individuals with diverse backgrounds – diverse not only in terms of skills and excellence but also in their origins, upbringing, and gender. These teams are characterized by members who are not only diverse but also passionate about inclusivity, actively contributing to global innovation. While acknowledging that the acceptance of international talent involves considerations such as geographical, historical, political backgrounds, and business strategies, the reality is that Switzerland attracts exceptional talent from around the world.
Switzerland's development is supported by strategic initiatives for each strengthened industry. Being historically a multicultural nation, Switzerland has well-established visa and work permit systems to attract talented individuals globally. Moreover, it possesses state-of-the-art facilities to drive advanced research and development, strengthening collaborations with international corporations and research institutions.
As a result, Switzerland has successfully attracted diverse and talented individuals, as well as global companies and research institutions for each strategic initiative.
Collaboration among individuals raised in different environments allows discussions to occur from a global perspective, leading to the discovery of new viewpoints and solutions. Minor differences due to backgrounds are naturally filtered out in the pursuit of common goals, making diversity a source of innovation and efficient development.
Realistically, immediate mobilitation of human resouces might be challenging for current Japanese companies. In such cases, I propose introducing some new businesses or projects into internationally and strategically acclaimed ecosystems like Switzerland or Germany. By recruiting diverse members and collaboratively driving the initiative, companies can not only promote development in the global market, but also provide valuable opportunities for talent growth through communication with exceptional and diverse team members.
Unlocking the value of diversity and aiming for organizational growth will undoubtedly contribute to the further development of Japanese companies in the future."
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