Monday, January 14, 2008

Part 2: Some Do’s and Don’ts for Management: A Revised List for 2008

Thoughts and Recommendations

In Part 2 of my 2008 commentary, I will share some recommendations for 2008.

Leadership Issues
Do offer both your non-Korean and Korean management teams cross-cultural training. Encourage cross-cultural, management, and trust-building skills training for Korean overseas executives, especially those who are newly assigned to work with your team. Also, ensure your non-Korean teams have the skills to work closely with Korean teams.

Don't fail to recognize that most people have little cross-cultural training—even those who have traveled extensively. Expecting executives to have cross-cultural skills, especially expecting non-Koreans to understand Korean culture and its changing workplace, is like throwing someone into a pool and assuming they will swim, not sink.

Do offer key executives one-on-one coaching sessions and support in addition to training programs. Most executives benefit from (and appreciate) an opportunity to discuss work-related cross-cultural and workplace issues privately and confidentially.

Driving Corporate Change
Don't hire a high profile global management consulting firm that has no practical experience with Korea 2008 and contemporary corporate cultures to align, mend, or spur change in your organization. Many western consulting firms have an amazing record of success, but when working in Korea-based organizations they perform poorly. Expecting Korean teams to participate and embrace these programs rarely works. Building support from the Korean team takes special skills and insights.

BCW Can Help
As I work with global and domestic organizations, I see gaps, strengths, and weaknesses. On a positive note, more top management is becoming quite skilled in handling cross-cultural issues within their organizations. However, a company’s success is highly dependant on the team’s collective grasp of global markets and cultural differences.

Unfortunately, few individuals develop cross-cultural understanding without training and coaching. It just does not “happen.” Letting cross-cultural understanding unfold over time is a recipe for failure and high employee turnover. BCW will continue to support, coach, and educate you and your team members. BCW’s mission is to better Korea-focused cross-cultural communications.

To conclude, BCW looks forward to serving and supporting your organization. Your feedback and thoughts are always appreciated.

Don Southerton
January 14, 2008

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