Nemawashi (根回し) in Japanese means an informal process of quietly laying the foundation for some proposed change or project, by talking to the people concerned, gathering support and feedback, and so forth. It is considered an important element in any major change, before any formal steps are taken, and successful nemawashi enables changes to be carried out with the consent of all sides.
Can’t stress how important this is. I did use this a lot, and more so in Japan than when I am in Australia, and I refer to it as the “Othello Way”. That is, to flip the surrounding pieces first, and the target piece will flip too. But it’s interesting that the Japanese have a word or term for it, because this is more than just ‘laying the groundwork’. This is “laying the groundwork with the intent of achieving a specific objective”