Amid all the travel, I study the corporate Korean workplace. It’s the sub-culture within the different Groups and their affiliates—nuances-- that capture my attention. Marketing teams, for example, dressing ever more casual, ties less and less commonplace, meetings in coffee shops adjacent to corporate offices, not to mention many teams working Remote in the cafes with easy to access Wi-Fi.
Still often we see some constants—older senior executives in their company car, usually black Mercedes, BMWs or Hyundai Equus (now Genesis G90, but badged in Korea as EQ 900), the exchange business cards, although less formal in how they are presented, the dominance in the local market of the top Groups—Samsung, Hyundai, SK, LG and Lotte, as well as annual strikes underway—on this trip Hyundai Motor Company’s union and the subway and railway unions.
All said, what continues to linger in the workplace is rigid canons in the Day to Day -- hierarchical top down management and communications, risk avoidance and zero-sum mindsets, and although companies boasting their globalism, few wanting to move beyond the standard response “That wouldn’t work in Korea” when international teams seek to share their global approach to business.
Of course this is where I come in… giving perspective, providing context, sharing workarounds and facilitating change.
Care to discuss?
My personal assistant Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org can coordinate a time for us to chat by phone, meet or handle by email.