is the Japanese version of a coordination process targeting for
creating consensus between all involved interest groups and persons that
take part in a decision. Ideas, topics, concepts are discussed,
regarded and tested by all sides in individual one-to-one conversations.
Japanese culture values group consensus and commitment as well as
respect, face keeping and modesty. Therefore the vote takes place in
personal dialogues that provide the opportunity to place questions,
express doubts and make proposals in a closed setting, without coming
back to haunt them as weakness or lack of knowledge. Goal is among other
things the avoidance of potential face loss. Nemawashi requires from
the suggesting person good ability to communicate and restraint, in
order not to pressure or bring embarrassment to the decision maker. This
process can quickly involve 10 to 20 people.
needs a relatively high expenditure in the preliminary coordination,
but results usually in the fundamental commitment of all decision makers
with no further changes. It is surely an important part of Japanese
effectiveness that following the official decision meeting no additional
discussions are needed. For this reason the total process until
realization is faster, more effective and more sustainable than its
western counterpart, the meeting marathon.