It is difficult—close to impossible—to navigate the subway system in Tokyo if you cannot read Japanese. No matter how smart you are, you need to be competent with the basics of written Japanese.

Competence can be gained with study or exposure to new things. If you move to Japan, you will gain some comfort with written and spoken Japanese.

When organizations take on new initiatives, an internal assessment of their competence is critical. The more truthful the internal view the better. Knowledge, attitude, ability, behavior, and experience all contribute to competence. There is sophistication and complexity in accurately verifying the internal competence of an innovation.

Additionally, it is vital to determine if the competence is sustainable.  What if the person who possesses the key competence departs? What if the type or amount of required knowledge expands or shifts, as it always does? Sustainability of competence is important to consider and fold into your plan for a successful project.

Is it better to learn Japanese or hire a guide for you time in Tokyo?

Key Question – Do you have the internal competence to handle the activity? Is it sustainable?

This is part 2 of 4 in the series In-House or Outhouse.

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