This top executive of an IT firm, which has significant operations in Japan, came across this very Japanese phenomenon since he started closely working with Japanese clients—Nemawashi. "You know what Nemawashi is?" he asked. It is the informal process of laying a foundation for a project before the formal meeting takes place. "So it is sort of like a pre-meeting before a meeting to decide what to do, discuss in the meeting," he said. He was forced to reckon with this process, he recounted, after a particular remote meeting, which he thought went spectacularly well. "I got an escalation soon after," he said, still bewildered. "They were like, 'Why don't you tell us what you want to discuss?'" The 45-year-old executive has primarily worked in the US market, where decision-making is swift and more direct. Of course soon after got over being frustrated, the dynamics in Asia have given him more than a few chuckles!