Tuesday, February 2, 2010

IMD Brown Bag Lunch Series


Today was IMD's 2nd Brown Bag Lunch. The partners are invited to bring their lunch to the school and sit in the auditorium while some of the MBA's lead a discussion on a topic of their choosing. Today's lunch was presented by one of the Japanese students: 

“How Zaibatsu has been operating the business?
“How to survive the Izakaya reception with Japanese clients?”

I had no idea what Zaibatsu was before today or what an Izakaya reception was, let alone how to survive one! 

I am so glad I went, it was really interesting. Zaibatsu is a term to describe industrial and financial business conglomerates in Japan. According to the student, today there are three. He also spoke of the culture of business in Japan and how they focus much more on long-term planning and success than short-term goals. Finally, he had a fun quiz at the end to explain how to survive the Izakaya receptions, my understanding is they are a party or event where there is usually a guest of honor, but not always. Here is the quiz that he gave the group, answers below: 
Question 1: If you are the first one to arrive to the party, where do you sit and why?
Question 2: The waiter approaches you first for your drink order, what do you order? 
a. Sake

b. Beer

c. Whatever you like

Question 3: At the end of the reception, what is the proper response? 

a. to bow

b. to clap

c. to say 'cheers!'


Q1: D. The best seat in the house is B, so you should take the worst seat by the door because you could always be asked to move to a better seat but would be dishonorable to take a good seat when you have other important people who may show up. 

Q2: B. Beer, I cannot remember the Japanese expression, but it means "Beer First!" and he said that you must order beer at an Izakaya reception, even if you do not drink alcohol. 

Q3: B. To clap. He also had a fun expression that I cannot remember, but he said at the end of the reception, the entire table would stand, the one person would say this expression, something that sounded like "Jay...!" and the entire table would then clap one time. He had the entire auditorium stand up and pretend like we were at the end of the Izakaya and did the clap. He then of course bowed ;) 

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