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Daniel Markovitz

Daniel Markovitz: Nemawashi is more than just lobbying

By Daniel Markovitz, - Last updated: Thursday, August 16, 2012 - Save & Share - Leave a comment

Lobbying (and yes, I’m thinking cynically of what happens on K Street in Washington), is an attempt by a small group to influence policy for the benefit of that group. The welfare of the larger institution is secondary to the welfare of the sub-group. Moreover, lobbying isn’t a learning exercise: opposing or alternative views aren’t incorporated into the lobbyist’s position.

Nemawashi is also designed to influence policy, of course. But there are several significant contrasts to lobbying. First, the welfare of the larger group is a real consideration. Second, nemawashi is a dialogue, not a monologue — it’s a discussion in which both the small group and the larger group are able to discuss their points of view, with the implicit expectation that one or both sides will adjust their positions. Finally — and most importantly — nemawashi is designed to accelerate implementation. By the time nemawashi is done, all parties know what’s at stake and why the proposal is important, so they’re able to implement more quickly, with less discussion, less resistance, and less confusion.

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