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Good Risks: Discovering the Secrets to ORIX's 50 Years of Success by David W. Russell

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Chapter 10 The President on Strategy

Tominaga’s briefing on the background of ORIX had filled in many of the blanks, but what was more important in some ways was what I’d read in between the lines. I now had a much better sense of who Chairman Miyauchi was and how he came to be such an integral part of the ORIX story. Now I understood that he was present at the beginning, one of the “founding fathers” of the company, although he was still quite young at the time. And I understood something essential about his clear-cut management style: He had never spent much time in a traditional Japanese company. After his university education in Japan, he went to the United States and studied American business principles. He came back to Japan to work for Nichimen and almost immediately was sent overseas again, this time to study for an “MBA in leasing” at the USLI School of Business.

When Miyauchi returned to Japan a second time, it was to help establish a new company, what would ultimately become his company. It’s not at all surprising that his management style seems part Japanese and part Western: He learned the foreign style overseas and the Japanese style as President Inui’s right-hand man. All that talk about company DNA was making more sense than ever. It meant that one man could have an enormous impact on a company’s growth and culture. Obviously, much of the DNA came from Miyauchi, but now I saw that a fair bit of Miyauchi’s managerial DNA came from his mentor, the original architect ...

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