Part of the Pentalemma Series on Managing Global Dilemmas
Against the backdrop of an increasingly globalized business environment, this book provides readers with a pragmatic approach to international management of complex issues that arise from the tension between financial goals and social imperatives. If the challenge of management is making decisions in situations of uncertainty, Multi-Hazard Disaster in Japan is the ultimate test of finding business solutions in extremely volatile situations. Based on firsthand experience and years of rigorous research, this book leverages a real-world case of a global company responding to a historical mega-disaster to let readers experience defining moments of managing with limited information, time pressure and a dwindling budget. Almost as if "parachuting" into an escalating disaster scenario, readers form critical relationships with characters that introduce them to management tools and techniques they need to arrive at a successful conclusion. The excitement and intensity of Multi-Hazard Disaster in Japan equips business leaders of today and tomorrow with valuable know-how they can apply to the uncertainties of everyday business in an international context.
1. Disaster Management
You are a manager at a company called Pentalemma Inc., which specializes in stakeholder management. The company took its name from the Greek penta (five) and lemma (assumption), the forgotten wisdom of identifying five solutions embedded within a problem and then choosing the best one.1 Pentalemma’s headquarters are near Geneva, Switzerland, with several hundred employees around the world. The most frequent problem that Pentalemma’s clients have is that their stakeholders disagree with each other. Pentalemma’s competitors are often unable to help their clients find solutions because they can only see two solutions. For them, all stakeholder problems are “dilemmas.”
Pentalemma managers offer a better service because they can see five solutions to stakeholder problems. They find the client’s most difficult problem, usually a disagreement between their stakeholders, and then create five options for them to choose from. Clients try to choose the best “win-win” option for themselves and their stakeholders.
As a Pentalemma manager, you help your clients improve their business performance by working with them to resolve as many stakeholder dilemmas as possible. Most of Pentalemma’s clients are big ←1 | 2→companies with offices in many countries around the world. Some of these offices are in unstable or dangerous places. Your current client is Brighter Brand Japan (BBJ), a subsidiary of Brighter Brand Group (BB), a large multinational with a wide spread of interests and activities across the country.
Basic Background on Brighter Brand
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