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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Everything Korea, September 19 Episode, Sub-cultures Matter


As many of you know, I work between Korean affiliates and companies. What stands out is how sub-cultures vary even within the same group. Perhaps moving among affiliates sometimes in a single day, I see and experience the subtle differences more than most. This can range from the tangibles like building design, workspace layout, dress code and amenities to intangibles such as what one can sense in day to day employee engagement, morale and comradery. 


In fact, there are sub cultural differences:

1) in Korea between divisions and affiliates, 2) with Korea and their own overseas divisions and 3) as I noted between the local overseas affiliates.
So, sub-cultures do matter.

Digging deeper, I feel recognizing what is common between the companies’ counts, too. This can include intrinsic Group values and norms shared across the organization, or even more common general Korean business practices and expectations. 

To add to the complexity, often the local sub-culture of an affiliate has evolved over time, and very independent of the mother organization in Korea. BTW We’re seeing as Korean Groups have expanded their global organizations into many markets there has been greater effort to now align the overseas operations with the HQ corporate culture. (I’ll provide some more on this in one of my next Vodcast)…

This means when a Korea related issue surfaces in local operations we have to look at with several colored lenses. Candidly, that how I pull apart situations and provide a solid work-through when supporting clients as a mentor and their Korea business strategist.


Learn More:

Have a question or want to learn more about how I support and mentor clients? My personal assistant Stacey at stacey@koreabcw.com can coordinate a time for us to chat by phone, meet or handle by email.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Everything Korea, September 12 Episode, Chuseok 2016 Culture Alert





It’s that time of the year with Chuseok, (the Korean Harvest Moon Festival) right around the corner.

In 2016, Chuseok holiday falls on September 15, the day before and after also celebrated as National Holidays.

Koreans previously followed the lunar calendar, but in recent history, they have followed the solar calendar in line with international practice.

While public holidays are based on the solar calendar, there are a few days that are celebrated based on the lunar calendar. These are the two most important traditional holidays, the Korean New Year’s Day (the first day of the first lunar month) and Chuseok mid-autumn festival (fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month).

In mass, (and I mean a substantial part of the population) families travel back to their home villages. Over the holiday they may perform ancestral rituals at the graves of relatives as well as share time with their family over traditional foods.

For your Korean colleagues (in Korea), you can wish them a happy Chuseok by phone, text, or email on Monday September 12 after 4 PM (Tuesday AM in Korea). Again, most Koreans will have a 5-day weekend starting their Wednesday …

For expat Koreans working outside Korea, here and globally you can wish then happy Chuseok on Thursday September 15.


If you’d like to try, here's a common greeting.
추석 잘 지 내 새요
Chuseok jal ji nae sae yo..

To conclude, even though many things have been changed by Korea’s rapid industrialization, urbanization, and globalization we find in the celebration of Chuseok that family remains one of the bedrock of Korean society.


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Everything Korea September 6 Episode: an Intangible Corporate Culture


One more resource-- 

This week it’s my 2014 book Hyundai Way: Hyundai Speed. In it, I tackled the often-raised question, “What has made Hyundai so successful?” The book also looks to capture my ongoing pursuit to define and share Hyundai corporate culture, which by nature is an intangible

Chapters in the book then explore the ties between Korean and Hyundai heritage with deeply rooted culture and tradition that still strongly impacting the modern workplace. After sharing this background on Korea, I look at the rise of Hyundai under its founder Chung Ju Yung and the current chairman Chung Mong Koo.

Next, the focus is on Hyundai corporate culture, old and then insights into the notable company management styles. The final chapter shares my opinions on a question many outside Korea have asked of this enigmatic system: “Is Hyundai business model globally sustainable?” Again, I tackle this question from the cultural perspective.

To Dig Deeper

Here’s a link to Hyundai Way: Hyundai Speed
http://unbouncepages.com/hyundai-way/ or you can request a PDF from my personal assistant Stacey at stacey@koreabcw.com.

As Always….

Have a Korea-facing situation that needs addressing? Need some insights into Korea-facing challenges? In many cases, we can provide solutions and workarounds.Questions@koreabcw.com


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Monday, August 29, 2016

Everything Korea August 29 Pitfalls and Roadblocks—Korea Perspective

Over the past few weeks, I’ve enjoyed sharing resources. This week it’s my book from 2015, Korea Perspective—which I wrote as a road map to avoid the pitfalls, navigate around the roadblocks, and “thrive.”


In crafting the book I drew heavily on conversations with Western overseas teams, as well Korean leadership and teams.  In particular, both groups openly shared their challenges and pressing concerns along with the inner workings of their companies with hopes for improving communication.

In turn, my goal was to provide a framework, strategy, and solutions.  

To Dig Deeper
Since so many have opted to get copies for my other writings, here, too, is a link to Korea Perspective http://unbouncepages.com/korea-perspective-launch/, or you can request a PDF from my personal assistant Stacey at stacey@koreabcw.com.

As Always….

Have a Korea-facing situation that needs addressing?  Need some insights into Korea-facing challenges?  In many cases, we can provide solutions and workarounds.    Questions@koreabcw.com



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Everything Korea August 22 Episode Seoul Man, The Book

This is a special edition and for a change, I‘d like to share what I feel is a great Korea facing resource—my friend Frank Ahrens’ soon to be a best seller.




Frank's career prior to the 3 years as Hyundai Motor Company’s head of global PR was a journalist for the Washington Post. His vivid accounts of the years with HMC provide readers with a look behind the curtain—some cultural, some personal experiences. All a must read for anyone working for a Korean company.

Speaking with Frank last week, what stands out is his observations and early first hand impressions into the workings of Hyundai—something those of us long involved with Korea-facing business far too often overlook, or take for granted as norm.

I strongly recommend you get a copy. To facilitate, here’s the link.https://www.amazon.com/Seoul-Man-Unexpected-Hilarity-Corporate/dp/0062405241

As Always….

Have a Korea-facing situation that needs addressing? Need some insights into Korea-facing challenges? In many cases, we can provide solutions and workarounds. Questions@koreabcw.com


Monday, August 15, 2016

Everything Korea August 15 Solution-Based Korea Facing




To follow up on last week’s popular commentary, I’d like to also share another resource….my highly regarded book from 2013, Korea Facing: Secrets for Success in Korean Global Business. In particular, it provides solid hands-on solutions to the many challenges in the global workplace. Working with so many of you, I, too, see the issues…daily.

The book’s focus was an ever-growing number of people employed by a Korean-based company outside South Korea. We know the challenges and, in particular, business norms, practices, and the decision-making processes vary across cultures. Expecting teams to "get it" seldom works. Hoping new employees and management can recognize and grasp Korean corporate norms is like throwing someone into a pool and assuming they will swim, not sink.

Who else will benefit?

Likewise, if your firm provides services or products to a South Korean overseas subsidiary or operations the exclusive coaching and consulting service will be beneficial and offer tactics to strengthen and maintain the relationship.

Finally, if your company has significant business in Korea, but leadership and headquarters are located in the West, we offer key management with coaching on how best to deal with pressing issues and challenges that surface.

Frankly, in all three cases I have had extensive experience. In each case I have seen people and companies both fail and succeed. Our coaching service will provide a roadmap to avoid the pitfalls, navigate around the roadblocks, and thrive.

In many cases, Korean leadership and teams have openly shared their challenges and pressing concerns along with the inner workings of the company with hopes I would "assist" in educating their overseas teams in the firm's vision, values, procedures, and methods.

In sum, I have offered hundred of hours of coaching, consulting, and training to both leadership and team employed by Korean firms, and to firms providing key services to their Korean partners.

To Dig Deeper

Here’s a link to “solution-packed” Korea Facing in a Complimentary PDF copy: http://unbouncepages.com/korea-facing/
or you can request a PDF from my personal assistant Stacey at stacey@koreabcw.com.

As Always….

Have a Korea-facing situation that needs addressing? Need some insights into Korea-facing challenges? In many cases, we can provide solutions and workarounds. Questions@koreabcw.com


Monday, August 08, 2016

Everything Korea August 8 Hyundai and Kia-- The early years, Plus some



After a week of travel supporting clients, some new and some longtime, I am reminded how needs vary. In many cases its sharing lessons learned and resources I’ve developed.

One that comes to mind is my 2012, Hyundai and Kia Motors: The Early Years and Product Development. Beyond a comprehensive look of the rise of one of the world’s top carmakers as the brands entered the market, it provides some great insights into Korea’s economic growth. This model at first produced products for their domestic needs then for export outside Korea.
 
In particular, Korea to enter many new markets looked to Japan and the West for a transfer of technology and explicit knowledge, such as blueprints, technical specifications, production manuals, and training of engineers and production teams.

Over time Korean companies developed their own in-house integrated technology research, development, and design not to mention the economies of scale needed for the Korean automaker to compete globally with industry heavyweights such as Sony and Panasonic in electronics and Toyota, Ford, GM, and VW in auto-production.

To Dig Deeper

Here’s a link to Hyundai and Kia Motors: The Early Years and Product Development

https://www.scribd.com/document/283275859/Hyundai-and-Kia-Motors-The-Early-Years-and-Product-Developmen

As Always….

Have a Korea-facing situation that needs addressing? Need some insights into Korea-facing challenges? In many cases, we can provide solutions and workarounds. My personal assistant Stacey at stacey@koreabcw.com can coordinate a time for us to chat by phone, meet or handle by email.