Life (and Business) Lessons from a Japanese TV drama
I’m a latecomer to Netflix (took a subscription only last month) and have, since then, indulged in occasional binge watching. Apart from historical dramas like Vikings, Marco Polo and The Magnificent Century (you know where I’m going with this…good old escapism) I recently came across a very interesting Japanese TV series entitled “Atelier.” In Atelier, a young fabric-obsessed girl from the countryside named Mayuko is hired at Emotion, a haute couture lingerie design house in Tokyo's upscale Ginza district. There, Mayuko learns about the business from Ms. Mayumi Nanjo, Emotion's eccentric founder and lead designer. Ok, it is at times a bit over-done and tacky, but the series is surprisingly engaging and often quite insightful. Offering a window into the Japanese psyche (having spent 7 unforgettable years in Japan, it certainly struck a chord) each episode challenges the viewer on a host of philosophical and yes, business, issues (such as a firm's mission and vision, what is quality, tradition versus innovation, the tenets of high-end branding, customer centricity). Watch and enjoy!