Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thought of the Day: Korean Global Business # 22

Day 22
In the West, we tend to have many formal meeting to brainstorm, discuss, and decide on a course of action for a project or venture. Open discussion, points of view, and at times arguments can be parts of the process.

With Korean ( and Asian) much of these occurs informally. Formal meeting tend to present details initially, and then share reports at times through-out the process, but as team updates.

A final formal meeting usually provides lots of data and a recommendation to senior management once details are worked out. ( The senior often asks for more information, which can lead to long delays).

It's then up to senior management to chose an option(s) and approve the project, which allows the team to move forward.

BTW Throughout the process, much discussion with Korean teams occurs in a hallway, break room, or outside the building on a cigarette break. Frequent formal meetings are seen as time wasters.

Understanding formal and informal meetings is important for westerners working with Korean teams. Be flexible, mindful, and recognize the cultural differences.

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