For years I had been the only foreigner representing the interest of an electronics company within the very Japanese joint venture partner’s operation. Through years of studying and working in Japan, I was fluent at Japanese. I read Tom’s Japan Times books and they made sense.

In 1993 I had a chance to essentially start and build-up a professional, medical health care products and services company for Kimberly Clark. This involved building up a nationwide sales-force to sell mostly disposable products directly and through distributors to the thousands of hospitals, doctors, and dentist offices throughout Japan. We needed to get our sales-force to sell from their homes, without the costs of an office, and without day-to-day supervision.

How do you design an appraisal, and performance management sales incentive system that works and keeps people hustling? Well with the help of TMT’s personnel systems, and a strong foundation in terms of Rules of Employment, employment contracts, bonus, pay and retirement systems, we greatly succeeded.

TMT also helped us in the recruiting area, providing us with some good people.

In the process of running a company in Japan, a lot of bizarre things can happen — for example, dealing with a weak and ineffective grown man, who had his mother come in and try and handle his dehiring process.

With a sense of humor, and sharing a few chuckles together, over the years it has been good to have Tom and TMT around to talk such things through. It’s good to be back in the States after so many years, but I enjoy Japan, and like Mac Arthur, I am sure someday “I shall return.”

I am also sure on that occasion I will be in touch with Tom Nevins and TMT again.

Dean Wagner
(former) Registered Representative
Kimberly-Clark PHC International Inc.
January 2001