• Bernal Cespedes

Why companies need to have a "Englishnization" strategy?

Every organization is trying to achieve growth. In the top of mind of CEO´s and training and development lies a challenge to develop the skills to think globally. An example of rapid success is Japan’s largest online retailer Rakuten which is rapidly expanding into global markets. In order to ensure the success of the organization, but also to break down linguistic and cultural boundaries in Japanese society, CEO Hiroshi Mikitani mandates "English proficiency within two years for all employees". ‘Englishnization’ is the word coined by Mr. Mikitani to refer to English being the English language of the world as official common language. At Rakuten” — the thinking behind Mikitani’s mandate and why there’s such a strong connection between language and globalization. Rakuten is similar to Amazon in which people who are members can make purchases, do online banking and general e-commerce needs. Their goal is to move from being a local business in Japan to a global one.

Their strategy to increase their collaborators skill was to create an achievable goal for everyone in the organization. Different positions require different profiles so expecting everyone to speak at the same level may not be reasonable. A key element to increasing English is creating a culture in which people are engaging with each other by creating English meetings, cultural activities and aligning hiring practices to the desired levels.

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