Mickey’s Voice

Insights from our CEO

  • Setting goals creates a framework for success. A systematic spreadsheet approach ensures goals can be tracked and will be achieved.

    Set clear goals for your actions: Inside insights on Business-Do

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group, Inc. Hopes and goals are not the same thing.  Both may inspire you. But goals are what will ensure your success.  When you set goals, you create a framework for your forward progress. I call the process “getting to the spreadsheet.” This doesn’t mean you need to click open a file every time you take an action, but it’s the concept o…

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  • Playing catch between your left and right brain is a critical skill when it comes to innovation; each force needs the pull of the other to be successful.

    Play catch with your left and right brain: Inside insights on Business-Do

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. There is something that all successful entrepreneurs have in common but that anyone can try out. You see it at work especially in those “crazy” entrepreneurs – the ones who attempt outrageous innovations that everyone says can’t be done. Entrepreneurs like myself, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Steve Jobs. Innovation accelerator and innovation brake This…

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  • How international education changed the lives of Mickey Mikitani and his father, Ryoichi Mikitani: Diversity drives innovation.

    How an international education changed my life: Diversity drives innovation

    Above image: My father, Ryoichi Mikitani (far left) during his time as a Fulbright Scholar. Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. It was a Fulbright scholarship that led to my father, Ryoichi Mikitani, becoming one of the first generation of Japanese scholars to travel to the United States after World War II to study. Thanks to the program and to the warm hospitality of his hosts, he su…

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  • Mickey Mikitani on why the Hypothesize – Practice – Validate – Shikumika cycle is critical to the successful launch of a new idea.

    Taking Action Leads to Deeper Thinking: Inside Insights on Business-Do

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. You’ve got an idea for something new. What should you do? Should you hold back and plan or get started and learn on the fly? The answer is: yes. Both those things are critical to the successful launch of a new idea. While they seem to be in conflict, in fact, they represent the natural tension that exists in any new endeavor. This topic is especiall…

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  • Mickey Mikitani highlights the Rakuten Ecosystem, mobile network and sustainability as strengths going forward in New Year 2021 greeting.

    A new year, a new decade: Rakuten looks ahead

    Above image: A handwritten prayer for the New Year at Atago Shrine in Tokyo: “To the world winning against COVID-19 and an economic recovery, Mickey Mikitani.” Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. As we say goodbye to 2020, I am looking ahead — not just into 2021 but to the coming decade as well. We are on the cusp of great things. Of course, the year we have all just endur…

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  • Many of us are physically separated from our colleagues: We need an open mindset to hear suggestions and criticisms and make the best possible decisions.

    Mindset, skills and knowledge: Inside Insights on Business-Do

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. At Rakuten, we are deliberately reconnecting to our core principles. Every week, we are holding a reading and Q&A session to explore a principle from Business-Do, the book I wrote to capture these core principles for success. This grew out of our efforts to welcome new recruits during the early stages of the pandemic. To ensure they could connec…

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  • Speed is one of Rakuten's core values, but even as society and business continue to advance, patience remains an essential tool.

    Balancing patience and speed

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. We live in an era of instant gratification. We want everything to be fast — shipping, profits, communication, fashion, food — everything. So when something doesn’t happen swiftly, we are quick to criticize, even if that experience is far faster than it used to be. We are conditioned to value speed. Of course, I’m no different. In fact, you cou…

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  • True innovation often emerges from reimagining how old ideas or systems can – with a creative application – be redeployed with new results.

    Why innovators can find inspiration in the everyday

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. As a global innovation company, we never stop looking for new ways to tackle challenges and achieve our goals. New business models, new services, new ways of empowering society and connecting communities around the world. It can be easy to become obsessed with “the new.” However, a great innovator can often find inspiration, not just by…

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  • Mindfulness, exercise and entertainment: Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani on why we must explore new ways to engage our mental energy while working from home.

    Engage your mental energy

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. Perhaps it wasn’t obvious until it was absent, but we draw a lot of our work-related energy from interaction with our co-workers. On any given day, before the pandemic hit, we might have found ourselves at our desks, perhaps losing focus, mind wandering. But a quick check-in with teammates or a casual chat with a nearby colleague and we were snapped…

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  • Why JANE’s representative director Mickey Mikitani is calling for a review of Japan’s COVID-19 entry restrictions for foreign nationals.

    Why reviewing Japan’s COVID-19 entry restrictions opens our doors to diversity and innovation

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc.Representative Director, JANE The impact of COVID-19 is making us re-examine many social and working norms. Companies who have moved with agility to reposition their workforce and challenge existing norms have found ways to thrive. It’s during times lik­­­e these that we need to draw on all our resources and talent. That’s why I called for a rev…

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