Kenichi Ohmae: Biography highlights

A world renowned expert in management and globalisation who is determined to prepare others for the future of business. Known as ‘Mr Strategy’, Kenichi Ohmae is famed for his work translating Japanese business and management wisdom for use by the Western world, throwing in many of his own innovations for good measure.

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Full biography of Kenichi Ohmae

As well as introducing methodology from his native country to global business, Dr. Kenichi Ohmae has also taken strategy he has experienced in other countries back to Japan. With the advantage of being able to choose the best of East and West, Ohmae’s ‘hybrid’ organisational management techniques have transformed businesses and seen him become one of the most sought after gurus of his generation. His 1982 book, ‘The Mind of the Strategist: The Art of Japanese Business’ became one of the most influential strategy books of the 20th Century.

  • Nuclear engineer turned organisational management and strategy expert
  • Advisor to public and private sector organisations
  • Developer of the 3Cs Model, focussing on ‘Customer, Competitors and Corporation’
  • Author of several highly regarded books, including ‘The Mind of the Strategist: The Art of Japanese Business’

Combining the best of strategy from around the globe with personal experience and enviable business acumen, Dr. Ohmae can transform views of management procedure, changing businesses for the better and directing them toward future success.

Having spent his early career working for Hitachi on Japan’s prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor, Dr. Ohmae opted to change direction and to make use of his analytical capabilities in quite a different role, taking a position with McKinsey & Company. His talent as an advisor to clients was apparent and he was soon a senior partner, co-founding the companys business management practice. It was Dr. Ohmae’s job to work with some of the worlds industry leaders, guiding their management teams and enabling performance and efficiency to be increased driving long term success. In his 23 years with McKinsey & Company, he worked with clients from a variety of sectors, including telecommunications, chemicals, rubber, industrial machinery, office equipment and food.

This wealth of experience and Dr. Ohmae’s ability to design (and help implement) creative and effective organisational strategies mean that he is very much in demand as an advisor and as a speaker. He has worked extensively with government organisations as well as with multinational companies.

Dr. Ohmae’s understanding of globalisation has made him a foremost expert in the subject. Throughout his career and in his writings, he has explored how global corporations and regional economies are changing the face of present and future business and politics.

Dr. Ohmae grew up in Kitakysh, Japan. He studied at Waseda University and Tokyo Institute of Technology before taking his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Positions and Honours

  • Founded Reform of Heisei to encourage and enable reforms in the political and administrative systems of Japan (1992)
  • One of The Five Management Gurus in the World, The Economist (1994)
  • Honorary Doctorate, Notre Dame University (1995)
  • Chancellors Professor of Public Policy, UCLA School of Public Affairs (1997)
  • Advisor of Chinas Tianjin City and Liaoning Province (since 2002)
  • Honorary Distinguished Professor of Graduate School of International Studies, Ewha Womens University (South Korea) (2004)
  • Honorary Visiting Professor, Korea University (2004)
  • Dean of Kenichi Ohmae Graduate School of Business BBT University (2005)
  • Director of Team H2O Project 2011 (the team are investigating the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in order to determine what can be done to improve nuclear safety in the future)
  • Member of Tokyo Electric Power Companys Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee.
  • Dean of Attacker’s Business School, Tokyo
  • Board Member of e-System Corporation, Academy Capital Investment (ACI), Graviton, Square Co. Ltd and the Center for
  • Advanced Studies for Management at the University of Pennsylvanias Wharton School
  • Founder of Ohmae & Associates, Business Breakthrough Inc., Ohmae Business Developments Inc., General Services Inc. (GSI) and EveryD.com Inc. (an online platform for fresh commodity delivery)
  • Founder of the Kenichi Ohmae Graduate School of Business
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Watch Kenichi in action

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Kenichi Ohmae on the importance of "cyberleadership" for generating and implementing new ideas
Kenichi Ohmae on the importance of "cyberleadership" for generating and implementing new ideas
01:12
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GHRF2006: Kenichi Ohmae, CEO, Business Breakthrough Inc.
GHRF2006: Kenichi Ohmae, CEO, Business Breakthrough Inc.
57:25
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大前研一 MBA Globalization of a Corporation
大前研一 MBA Globalization of a Corporation
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Financial Times of London

Japan's only management guru.'

Journal of Marketing

Praise for The Mind of the Strategist The Art of Japanese Business: 'In many ways, Ohmae can be considered the modern reincarnation of a much older guru, Adam Smith.'

Praise for The Borderless World: 'Full of insights into the new reality of interlinked economies and international companies. A compelling case for governments to align themselves with the interests of their people-as customers, consumers, and citizens.'

Senator Bill Bradley
Harvard University

Praise for The Mind of the Strategist The Art of Japanese Business: 'A fascinating window into the mind of one of Japan's premier strategists...full of ideas about how to improve strategic thinking.'

Michael E. Porter
Graduate School of Business Administration
Management Today

Praise for The Borderless World: 'Ohmae has few peers. . . . [His] latest is actually a lucid, compelling . . . highly enjoyable race through a business world which is itself doing just that-racing along in a mostly enjoyable and certainly compelling manner.'

San Francisco Chronicle

Praise for The Borderless World: 'A true global corporation, [Ohmae] says, serves the interests of consumers, not governments, and wealth comes from the marketplace, not from natural resources. Like an enthusiastic college professor, Ohmae challenges business's status quo with provocative statements.'

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