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Zennovation: An East-West Approach to Business Success

ISBN: 978-1-118-23928-5
256 pages
March 2012
Zennovation: An East-West Approach to Business Success (1118239288) cover image
Combining the principles of Eastern and Western business practices for powerful success

As an entrepreneur, manager, and problem-solver, Tomio Taki has shared advice with businesspeople ranging from managers of mom-and-pops to high-powered executives from across the globe. The Innovation Instinct showcases the author's breadth of life experience and illustrates how the principles of Eastern and Western business practices can be meshed together as a powerful source for success. Lessons range from the benefits of asking the simple questions to the importance of establishing oneself and knowing when to go against the grain.

Tomio Taki has consulted for, financed, or directly managed both private and public companies on nearly every continent. He has been involved in ventures ranging from being the man behind Donna Karen New York to owning and operating private golf clubs around the world. In short, Taki's business and related successes are striking, having helped companies rise from the ashes of potential bankruptcy to streamlining and growing corporate giants. The wisdom he shares in The Innovation Instinct includes:

  • Language is less of an obstacle across borders; instead, cultural differences are what propel and vitiate communication among businesspersons
  • Certain fundamental aspects of business and life cross latitudinal and longitudinal lines

When businesspeople seek to understand the cultures of their counterparts, they will discover lasting success with their global business relationships.

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Preface ix

Introduction xiii

PART 1 JAPAN 1

Chapter 1 Optimism, Entrepreneurship, and Raincoats 3

Chapter 2 Losing My Father 21

Chapter 3 Changing Takihyo with American Brashness 27

Chapter 4 A New Takihyo Headquarters for a New Age 37

Chapter 5 Expansion and Distribution Channel Management: The Late 1960s 51

Chapter 6 Taki Gakuen and Asking the Simple Questions 65

WRAP UP JAPAN: RESPICE, ADSPICE, PROSPICE 73

PART 2 UNITED STATES 85

Chapter 7 The Break from Culture 93

Chapter 8 Outside Factors Wound Takihyo 99

Chapter 9 Now, the Good 109

Chapter 10 The Lion 115

Chapter 11 Negotiating for Anne Klein 125

Chapter 12 Losing a Friend 133

Chapter 13 Finding New Management 141

Chapter 14 Growing Anne Klein 147

Chapter 15 No Kickbacks 157

Chapter 16 Elevating the Designer 163

Chapter 17 DKNY—A New Brand, a Diffusion Line 171

Chapter 18 The Initial Public Offering of Donna Karan International 181

WRAP UP AMERICA: RESPICE, ADSPICE, PROSPICE 191

Conclusion: Zennovation in Retrospect 199

Acknowledgments 209

Index 211

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TOMIO TAKI is credited with bringing Western fashion to Japanese consumers. He guided his family's 250-year-old company, Takihyo Co., through nearly forty years of unprecedented growth, transforming it from a leading kimono manufacturer to a broad-based publicly held company. He was first to implement mass-manufactured sportswear in the US when he bought the Anne Klein Company, ultimately becoming the owner of the company and the man behind Donna Karan. He has consulted for, financed, or directly managed both private and public companies on nearly every continent. He has been involved in ventures ranging from the birth of high-definition television to owning and operating private golf clubs around the world.
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