In business context, with average workers:
Brain storming the Japanese way: In order for one to have a successful brain storming session with Japanese, setting time, meeting in a formal conference room, to have a high ranking superior attend will not be a good set up. If such set up is used, it will take some coaxing of free exchange of ideas, and it takes time. Presence of superior will restrict the session since people are thoroughly trained for obedience by the education system. If one was to round up a few people in a moment’s notice in an open area, one has better chance of good brain storming session. Whichever the way, a good facilitator who keeps the group focused is a must.
Brain storming the North American way: Easy to have a good brain storming session, since most people are self initiating. Not much encouragement is needed to get ideas flowing. Although space factor do exist, wherever the session is conducted, workers are less reserved than Japanese.