Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Everything Korea: April 25 Episode, Do’s and Don’ts: Part 1 Globally Mandated Programs

This is… another one of my two-part commentaries.

A recent Korean Group HQ trend is to address a gap. We now find that within Korea-based Groups where although firmly established internationally a new initiative is to set standards across all their subsidiaries.  There are many initiatives, but as an example in this commentary, we’ll look at Corporate Culture, although the process is similar for other wide-ranging mandates.

Outside Korea, few westerners can discern nuances into the day-to-day Corporate Culture of Korea-based companies. In most cases, local teams working in an overseas operation see their company Culture through a localized lens.

In other words, although they may be a subsidiary of the mother organization, a unique local operation’s culture exists, which has evolved over time. In the best cases, this Culture’s direction is well orchestrated by the local team and reinforces their operations. While in others it has just developed freely over time with minimum oversight.

I have developed, observed, and written extensively about successful models, as well as found those that are poorly received and even ignored. Knowing the impasses that commonly surface in advance will allow for the issues to be mitigated—in other words I have some advice for the Korean teams tasked with developing the program, as well as the overseas teams in the local market that will be asked to implement.
The Process.
In advance of sharing outside Korea, most often a Korean team will work diligently for months developing the global program. This usually takes the form of a dedicated TF (Task Force).

The TF routinely provide updates to the HQ leadership as they study and craft the program.

Before sharing outside the TF, the team will present their findings and recommendations to their senior leadership for approval.

In some cases the TF then present the content in a pre-launch global forum, with for example their Western global HR teams, and look for an endorsement and constructive feedback.

This western feedback is often disappointing and even critical. Comments commonly are that the content it is “a good start,” or “has the TF seen company ABC’s program’s as a benchmark” and even that “their local subsidiary had a solid, proven program in place” (with a veiled message that the new content is lacking and need lots of work)--all not realizing the new program has been approved by leadership and expectations are it be executed as is…

BTW, Two other concerns I have seen voiced 1) budget, as in where is the money coming from for the rollout?  And 2) Time restraints, for their local team (s) workload already stretched to limit.

Less often expressed are local global operations feel ever-increased pressure of global mandates-- many not aligned with local needs—and being forced on them.

Recognizing there will be challenges is one thing, providing a solid solution is another.  We’ll address these and other issues in Part 2 on Globally Mandated Programs, where I’ll share how best for local operations to implement programs that align and support global mandates.

Oh, one more thing…. In the meantime, my book, Korea Perspective is a great resource, too.  Get a free copy here  http://unbouncepages.com/korea-perspective-launch/

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