Tag Archive for Korea consulting franchise

It’s That Time of the Year, Again: Christmas in Korea

By Don Southerton, BCW Editor

Its That Time of the Year, Again: Christmas in Korea

 

 

With the year end, Korean Groups are finalizing annual end of year reporting, restructuring, promotions, and new assignments.

Some Korean team members already have begun to share news of the re-assignments, others will find out in the coming days.

Meanwhile expect some change both at senior leadership and across the teams. Those receiving promotions should be congratulated–promotions bring considerable status along with a boost in wages.

On a more personal level…
As the holidays approach, you may wish to greet Korean colleagues with:

Sae hae bok man i ba deu say yo! (Seasons Greetings)

Hint: Break the greeting into: sae hae bok—mahne—bah deu say yo

Sae hae bok man i ba deu say yo! works well both in person, in a card, or an email. It is a common seasonal greeting actually good into the New Year.

If you have a specific questions, feel free to contact dsoutherton@bridgingculture.com

1-310-866-3777

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Its That Time of the Year, Again: Christmas in Korea

A New Case Study: Korean Brand Market Entry

By Don Southerton, BCW  Editor

We provide both strategy and support for bringing brands to Korea, and Korean brands to the US and the international market. This Case Study shares a snapshot of some of our recent work in progress.

For more details, please just email us or schedule a time for a call Dsoutherton@bridgingculture.com

 

A New Case Study: Korean Brand Market Entry

 

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A New Case Study: Korean Brand Market Entry

Coming to America: Mad for Garlic

By Don Southerton, BCW Editor

I am very pleased with the November issue of FSR Magazine. The high profile food industry publication highlighted Mad For Garlic as one of  three international brands entering the US market.

Coming to America By Kirsten Ballard

November 2013

Coming to America: Mad for Garlic
Chef Jungmo Ahn at Mad for Garlic prepares the restaurant’s signature Garlic Foryou Steak. 

First known as the melting pot, and then the salad bowl, the U.S. offers a variety of markets and tastes for international dining concepts. U.S. chains continue to expand internationally, but innovative international concepts are filling niches and gaining popularity here as well.

Mad For Garlic, a Korean restaurant focused on garlic-centric foods, partnered with Bridging Culture Worldwide, a global consulting firm, to make its transition to the U.S.

“This is much different [than a Korean restaurant], it is an Italian garlic concept that originated in Korea,” says Don Southerton, CEO and president of Bridging Culture Worldwide.

Mad For Garlic, which has signature dishes such as Dracula Killer, Garlic Snowing Pizza, Garlicpeno Pasta, Mushroom Risotto, and Garlic Steak, expanded through Asia and the Philippines, and now is seeking franchisees for U.S. markets.

“Korean brands are highly regarded,” Southerton says. “The reception has been phenomenal.” However, Southerton stresses the importance of researching real estate opportunities in each market. “[Before coming to America] the idea needs to be polished and successful, the most successful in its current market,” Southerton says.

Already having success in this country is Mari Vanna, a Russian home-style cuisine concept that has opened in Washington, New York, and, most recently, Los Angeles.

Named for the fairytale grandmother of Slavic folklore, Mari Vanna’s ambiance is a mixture of grandma’s house and garden party, with fairytale design elements that are meant to bring back memories of the diner’s childhood.

The Los Angeles eatery marks the sixth location of the international chain, spearheaded by Russian hospitality group Ginza Project.

“You have to learn the flavor of the area. You have to know everything when you open the restaurant [in a new city] in terms of competition, what the customer wants, and how to market,” says Tatiana Brunetti, Mari Vanna and Ginza Project partner.

“You learn something new at each location. As we are going forward, we learn as we go.”

For instance, she says people in Los Angeles “like more light, the colors of material more bright,” so the Los Angeles design boasts brighter colors and a more airy feel than the London location.

Mari Vanna serves traditional Russian fare, including braised veal with homemade noodles and svekolnik, a chilled borscht with sour cream and diced vegetables, as well as desserts like the Napoleon cake and kislitsa, chilled slices of orange-zested cream sprinkled with caramelized nuts.

Unusual house-infused vodkas, such as pepper, cucumber and dill, and sea berry are a hallmark of the Mari Vanna restaurants. In addition to these, the Los Angeles location offers house-infused tequila—with flavors like red pepper, pineapple, and mixed berry.

“Everyone has a memory of going to grandma’s,” Brunetti says, and through the whimsical design, Mari Vanna brings customers back to their childhood, whether they grew up eating Russian fare or not.

Another concept that has come to America intent on expansion arrived when Dario Wolos literally drove his restaurant, Tacombi, up to New York from Mexico. The taqueria restaurant, which has been in the U.S. for four years, expanded from a food truck to a full-service restaurant, and Wolos is looking to open a third location.

Healthy home cooking and unique design set Tacombi apart, and Wolos stayed away from the cliché idea of a Mexican restaurant, instead bringing a true taqueria experience to the U.S.

“In New York you get boxed into 15-foot locations,” he says. But after a year of searching, he found a large, open space where he could create the Tacombi experience.

Source:  FSR Magazine

 http://www.fsrmagazine.com/industry-highlights/coming-america

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Coming to America: Mad for Garlic

Golf, Songdo, Mad For Garlic, Cars and New Media

By Don Southerton, Editor
From my previous post, I’m back from attending the PGA’s President Cup in Ohio. In 2015, the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea will host the event. Look for updates as they unfold.

Over the years, I have worked closely with the developers of Jack Nicklaus Golf Club, NY-based Gale International on their Songdo, city of the future. My cover story on Songdo was recently highlighted in Korea magazine. I see Songdo as ever evolving and becoming a knowledge-based forward thinking hub of East Asia.

Golf, Songdo, Mad For Garlic, Cars and New Media

Over the past two years I have also advised top North America golf retailer Golfsmith International on entering the Korean market, plus I am working closely with Korea’s Mad for Garlic on opening in the US and the ME.

Golf, Songdo, Mad For Garlic, Cars and New Media

What stands out is…US brands and concepts do well in Korea, and Korean brands do well here in North America.

Golf, Songdo, Mad For Garlic, Cars and New Media

BTW I still work extensively across the Hyundai Motor Group supporting Hyundai, Kia Motors, Hyundai Capital, Hyundai Glovis—to name but a few. In addition, I support a number of key digital and media partners, which over the years has become one of my areas of expertise. Take Note: I see digital and new media work culture as edgy and very cool.

That said, regardless if its golf, forward leaning Songdo, garlic inspired cuisine, cars or new media–Culture– plays an incredible role. Sharing and communicating the nuances in workplace culture allow projects to move forward smoothly with no delays. In the worst cases, and without a strategy, coaching and support, expectations are not met, projects stall, deadline come and go, and often employee turnover is high with costs escalating.

When needed, my role is to provide support, strategy, coaching and training.

+1-310-866-3777
Dsoutherton@bridgingculture.com
Pretty much here 24-5

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Golf, Songdo, Mad For Garlic, Cars and New Media

Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea and 2015 President’s Cup

President’s Cup

I attended this year’s President Cup in Dublin, Ohio with my friends at Gale International. They are developers of the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, which will be hosting the 2015 Cup. We have high expectations for the event in two years.

Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea and 2015 Presidents Cup
Don Southerton at 2013 President’s Cup Songdo Booth

The Details

The Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, located in the Songdo International Business District (IBD), Incheon, Korea, has been selected as the host the 2015 President’s Cup.

Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea and 2015 Presidents Cup

The Incheon City skyline is visible from Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, site of the 2015 Presidents Cup.

July 31, 2013

AKRON, OHIO – At Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, where Jack Nicklaus is tonight receiving the Ambassador of Golf Award, Nicklaus joined PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem to announce that Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, located in the Songdo International Business District (IBD), Incheon, Korea, has been selected as the host course and Incheon City as the host city for The Presidents Cup 2015 when the event makes its first trip to Asia.

Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, which is located 40 miles west of Seoul in the country’s largest economic development zone, celebrated its opening in September 2010 with the Champions Tour’s first official money/official victory event held in Asia. The course hosted the Songdo Championship in 2010 and 2011, and the 2012 Korea Women’s Open on the KLPGA Tour.

Mayor Song Young-Gil of Incheon City expressed his excitement and was delighted with his city being selected as the host city of The Presidents Cup 2015. “We are extremely pleased and honored to be the first city in Asia to be selected as host of The Presidents Cup,” said Mayor Song. “Along with the upcoming 2014 Asian Games, Incheon City has certainly put itself on the global stage as a choice destination for major international events, and we look forward to welcoming participants, sponsors and dignitaries from around the world to our great city and country.

“Incheon City will work closely with the PGA TOUR, Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea and others to make The Presidents Cup 2015 a resounding success.”

Finchem said, “Just over three years ago, we announced The Presidents Cup would be played at Muirfield Village Golf Club in 2013.  Today, we further strengthen Jack Nicklaus’ commitment and connection to The Presidents Cup with the announcement that the course he designed at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea will in 2015 host the event for its first foray into Asia. Like Muirfield Village, Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea is Jack’s vision and an impressive venue in its own right. We are thrilled to take The Presidents Cup there, which is not only a milestone in the event’s history, but also a significant step in further elevating the game of golf in Korea.”

Nicklaus said, “We’re very honored and proud that Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea has been selected for The Presidents Cup 2015. We have always felt strongly about JNGC Korea as a host venue because of its location in the Songdo International Business District, its proximity to the Incheon International Airport, the quality hotels nearby, and the club’s proximity to a large population area. The facility itself also makes for an ideal location to host The Presidents Cup. We’re very pleased that the PGA TOUR felt the same after evaluating its options throughout Korea.

“Everyone has worked extremely hard to get us to today. I want to extend my congratulations to Mayor Song Young-Gil and the host City of Incheon; the membership and staff at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, as well as the development team from Gale International, especially Stan Gale. I would also like to recognize Chairman Roy Ryu, who has been instrumental in bringing The Presidents Cup to Korea. His vision and leadership were critical throughout the entire selection process. In the end, we’re delighted that the PGA TOUR selected the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea. We think they will present a great event. This will be a tremendous opportunity to showcase on a world stage the beauty of Korea and the country’s passion for the game of golf. Having been fortunate to be involved in several Presidents Cup matches in the past, I know how uniquely special this event is and how it represents to a global audience all that is great about the game of golf.”

Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea features a par-72, 7,413-yard Signature Golf Course designed by the Golden Bear, and offers world-class amenities, including an award-winning, 60,000-square-foot clubhouse. For The Presidents Cup 2015, the course has undergone some minor renovations and the holes rerouted to accommodate hospitality and the match-play format. Songdo IBD is a joint undertaking by Gale International, POSCO E&C, and Incheon City and a model of international collaboration. Songdo IBD is globally recognized as the world’s foremost smart, sustainable city-scale development. In 2012, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) selected a site in Songdo as the home for the GCF Secretariat.  It is believed that many of the sustainable infrastructure and technological innovations being pioneered in Songdo will be applied to GCF-funded projects in developing nations.

“To build a truly global city, we engaged the world’s leading design, architecture, engineering and technology firms,” said Stan Gale, chairman of Gale International and Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea. “Working closely with our partner POSCO E&C, we selected Nicklaus Design to create a sporting venue worthy of hosting professional golf’s most prestigious international events. As a direct result of Jack’s consistent leadership and hands-on oversight, the JNGC Korea was selected as The Presidents Cup 2015 host location. The PGA TOUR’s decision is emblematic of Incheon City’s global appeal and a reinforcement of the importance of the great game of golf in the Republic of Korea and Greater Asia.”

Previous international venues for The Presidents Cup include: The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (1998, 2011); The Links at Fancourt, George, South Africa (2003); and The Royal Montreal Golf Club in Montreal, Quebec, Canada (2007).  Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Prince William County, Va., hosted The Presidents Cup in 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2005, and TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif., was the host site in 2009.  Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, will host The Presidents Cup the first week in October.

In 2011, K.J. Choi, K.T. Kim and Y.E. Yang competed in The Presidents Cup, marking the first time more than one South Korean qualified for the International Team in event history.

 

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Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea and 2015 Presidents Cup

Mad For Garlic looks West–UK News

The UK food and beverage (F&B) media has done a great job sharing news of Mad For Garlic’s launch.  Special thanks to Big Hospitality.com  and ‘Hospitality and Catering News’

Hospitality and Catering News

SEPTEMBER 6, 2013

Mad For Garlic looks West  UK News

Mad For Garlic, one of Korea’s most popular restaurant chains with 27 outlets and a further 4 across Asia, has announced plans to bring its handcrafted artisanal Italian cuisine into the US, EU and ME markets.

In recent years, South Korea has become well known for its remarkable economic growth and a cultural trend called ‘Korean Wave”, with Korean cultural exports and innovations including cuisine, film and popular worldwide.

Italian cuisine with a Korean twist

Originated in Korea in 2001, Mad for Garlic’s creative preparation method of removing the garlic’s pungent smell and its unique way of cooking Italian cuisine with a Korean twist have won the hearts of both garlic and non-garlic lovers. Mad For Garlic is known for its unique and innovative menu with garlic-specialized Italian cuisine served in an atmosphere of medieval European rustic tavern.

“Mad For Garlic is now ready to expand our base of operations to new markets outside Asia,” said Director of International development, Ted Park. “We believe the world is ready for Mad For Garlic – we offer about 50 menu items and every dish has something in common – they are all about garlic. Mad for Garlic aims to present customers with an exquisite harmony of garlic and wine by pairing quality wines. “

Looking for developers in the UK and…

To spearhead its North American, Middle East and Europe expansion, Mad For Garlic has partnered with Bridging Culture Worldwide (BCW), a global consulting firm that focuses on Korea-facing business ventures.

“Mad For Garlic is currently looking for developers in the United States, the UK, Europe, and the Middle East, and we are thrilled to assist in finding the right partners for the brand,” said Don Southerton, CEO of BCW. “If a developer meets our criteria, which includes the financial resources to fund a multi-unit development plan, we’d love to talk further about Mad For Garlic.”

Specific franchise requirements may vary from country to country. Mad For Garlic does not grant franchise rights or explore joint venture agreements without meeting potential partners in person. For more information contact Dsoutherton@bridgingculture.com.

About Mad For Garlic

Since its establishment in 1995, Seoul-based SUN AT FOOD and its leading brand, Mad for Garlic has set the highest standards in culinary excellence and innovation. SUN AT FOOD is a global dining company and has received numerous accolades through the years for its outstanding performance. For more information click here

About Bridging Culture Worldwide

Bridging Culture Worldwide focuses on global Korea-facing business services. Based on over 3 decades of experience, it provides cross-cultural insights to global teams and management. Bridging Culture Worldwide core services include: Market entry, Consulting, Strategy, and Research. For more information click here

Contact:

Don Southerton,

310-866-3777,

dsoutherton@bridgingculture.com

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Mad For Garlic looks West  UK News

Mad For Garlic–US Korea Connect Success Story

Mad For Garlic  US Korea Connect Success Story

Success Stories

See Link http://www.uskoreaconnect.org/business-connect/success-stories/garlic.html

Profile: Mad for Garlic is a restaurant chain that serves a full menu of garlic-specialized Italian dishes. Twelve years after the company introduced dishes like the Dracula Killer and the Garlic Snowing Pizza to Koreans, it is preparing to introduce its brand to American consumers.

Growth: Since opening its first location in Korea in 2001, Mad for Garlic has become one of Korea’s most popular restaurant chains. With the implementation of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) and the 60th anniversary of U.S. Korean Alliance, Mad for Garlic sees now as the time to expand into the U.S. market, where it will benefit from reduced trade barriers, a pro-business environment and strong U.S.-Korea cultural ties.

Expansion in the U.S.: Mad for Garlic sees the success of many Korean brands in the U.S. as a product of the implementation of the KORUS FTA. U.S. Korea connections continue to flourish, from Samsung, Hyundai and Kia to Forever 21 apparel, not to mention the ever-growing appreciation of Korean Wave pop music, film and food. Because Koreans and Americans have increasingly similar consumer interests, Mad for Garlic sees the success of other Korean businesses as a powerful reason to move forward with its own expansion.

Marketing in the U.S.: Still, the decision to expand is not without its challenges. the company anticipates that it will need to adapt to local customers’ needs and tastes in the U.S. “Understanding the local market is extremely important. That’s why we’ve partnered with a U.S. consultancy to help us navigate a successful market entry,” says Mad for Garlic Overseas Business & Franchise Sales Director Ted Park. “We suggest similar outreach for any organization looking to trade under the KORUS FTA. Whether you’re expanding into Korea or into the U.S., finding a partner in your new market with a strong track record of success is critical.”

Benefits to the U.S.: Mad for Garlic is especially proud of the new jobs its expansion is bringing to the U.S. In addition to partnering with U.S. businesses to develop its brand nationally, Mad for Garlic’s U.S. locations will be locally owned and operated. The owner-operators in turn are being encouraged to source food product locally, supporting area farmers and growers. Thanks in large part to the KORUS FTA, Mad for Garlic has every reason to believe its expansion will bring strong mutual success for the company and its new American partners.

www.madforgarlic.com

http://www.uskoreaconnect.org/business-connect/success-stories/garlic.html

 

Mad For Garlic  US Korea Connect Success Story

Mad For Garlic Expands Globally

In the news… Korea Times August 2013

Italian cuisine with Korean twist

Mad For Garlic Expands Globally
Choo Son-yop, Sun at Food’s director in charge of overseas business, said the company will open Mad for Garlic restaurants in 10 countries by 2015 to generate half of its sales in overseas markets. The firm currently has four overseas branches, two in Singapore, one in Indonesia and one in the Philippines. / Courtesy of Sun at Food

‘Mad for Garlic’ offers customers special dining experience

By Park Si-soo

Pizza, pasta and risotto.

The three typical Italian meals are now everywhere in Korea. Perhaps this proves that they have a far-flung consumer base here, but at the same time they are no longer considered “special dishes.”

Mad for Garlic, a casual-dining Italian restaurant, is flexing its muscles to regain its glory with an increased dose of garlic. Non-garlic lovers don’t have to worry about the vegetable’s pungent smell since the company’s “special” way of roasting, frying or mashing removes the smell and deepens the mildness.

The unique recipe made its debut in 2001 through Mad for Garlic’s first restaurant in Apgujeong-dong, an affluent entertainment and residential district in southern Seoul.

There are currently 27 chain stores across the country. Despite the prolonged economic slowdown, the company showed moderate growth last year to post 80 billion won ($71.9 million) in sales and 15 billion won ($13.4 million) in operating profit.

The Seoul-based firm has four overseas branches ㅡ two in Singapore, one in Indonesia and one in the Philippines.  The combined sales of the four branches last year accounted for 10 percent of its entire sales. The company plans to enter seven more countries by 2015 in an ambitious project of generating half of its sales in overseas markets.

“We have found our competitive edge with garlic,” said Choo Son-yop, director of overseas business and franchise sales of Sun at Food that owns Mad for Garlic.

“There are many people who are reluctant to eat garlic because of its pungent smell. But we have solved the problem with our special way of cooking that completely removes the smell with no damage to garlic’s nutritional benefits.”

Garlic is scientifically proven to help prevent various diseases, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, among others. A recent study by Chinese scientists argued that eating uncooked garlic twice a week can halve the risk of lung cancer.

Choo said the firm gives Southeast Asia top priority when it comes to overseas expansion, adding it will open a chain store in Malaysia, Thailand and India by next year.

“India has a very unique dining culture, so the country’s dining industry still remains untapped by Korean restaurant companies,” he said. “Nonetheless it’s obvious that the market has huge growth potential. We cannot miss out on the opportunity.”

The director said the firm is in talks with an Indian company over its entry into the world’s second-most populous nation with some 1.2 billion people. Representatives of the Indian counterpart will soon visit Seoul for a general inspection of Mad for Garlic restaurants here, he said.

In July, the company announced another plan centered on its expansion into the United States. To spearhead its U.S. expansion, Mad for Garlic has partnered with Bridging Culture Worldwide, an American business consulting firm.

“Mad for Garlic is now ready to expand our base of operations to new markets outside Asia,” Sun at Food CEO Caroline C. Nam said in a statement. “We believe that North America is ready for Mad for Garlic ㅡ we offer about 50 menu items and every dish has something in common ㅡ they are all about garlic.”

Choo said Mad for Garlic’s globalization has just begun, adding his work is focusing on Southeast Asia, India and Japan. The firm has two other overseas business specialists ㅡ one is focusing on China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, while the other is looking into the Middle East and the U.S. market.

He noted that the chain’s global success hinges on overseas business partners.

Specific franchise requirements may vary from country to country. Mad for Garlic does not grant franchise rights or explore joint venture agreements without a thorough check of the potential partners’ attitude and experience in the dining business and capital power, among others.

“The two sides should be on the same page when it comes to business goals and strategy,” he said. “Of course having high profitability is very important. But it’s not the sole goal of our business. We don’t allow anything that challenges the foremost value of our business ㅡ serving healthy food.”

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Mad For Garlic Expands Globally

Working for Korea Inc. Common Misconceptions

Many thanks to my friends at The Korea Society for posting on YouTube segments of recent Korea Inc business discussion.

To view the full YouTube Working for Korea Inc. series go to:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYTdCvotGB1QKPCB5zVzabQD6NG9I2VkZ

DS

Working for Korea Inc. Common Misconceptions

Korea Herald: No Two Chaebol Are Alike

Many thanks to Korea Herald and reporter Elaine Ramirez, the article shares my views on Korea facing global business.

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20130408000691

No Two Chaebol Are Alike, Author says

By Elaine Ramirez
While Koreans’ rising presence on the global stage is hard to
ignore, how to do business with them as a non-Korean is an
increasingly tricky area little covered in English-language
literature. Don Southerton explores the niche with his recently
published book “Korea Facing: Secrets for Success in Korean Global
Business,” which picks apart how to work with a Korean conglomerate
from the ground up, for non-Koreans working in Korean branches
overseas.

“Over the years I witnessed firsthand cross-cultural issues that
surfaced as Korean companies expanded globally. My role has been to
address these issues such as poor trust among the Korean and
Western teams, lack of communication, local employee turnover and
managing expectations,” Southerton said in an email interview with
The Korea Herald.

Although he has long been aware and exposed to the cultural
differences in Western and Korean business settings, he said, it
was when he began working at a Korean subsidiary in the U.S. in the
early 2000s that he witnessed the differences between how U.S. and
Korean teams managed the company.

He noted that the differences in decision-making processes, for
example, had been a particular source of friction between Korean
and Western teams: Key decisions were always deferred to the parent
headquarters in Korea, and Koreans in the overseas branches needed
to scrutinize and approve even the most mundane matters, regardless
of the Western team’s experience in the field.

He discovered, as he writes in “Korea Facing,” that all too many
frustrations were rooted in not knowing how to do things “Korean
style” ― or, for the Korean side, not knowing any other way.

In “Korea Facing” he shares his personal experiences from working
particularly for Hyundai-Kia overseas branches as a coach,
consultant and trainer with those Korean and Western teams, and
offers experience-based advice for overcoming those workplace
challenges.

His chapters explore basic business culture lessons, from the
levels of the Korean managerial hierarchy, to nuances on the right
timing for getting approvals, meeting protocol ― upon meeting
foreign teams, Koreans line up their business cards on the table to
match their seating order, and he advises doing the same ―
identifying and resolving conflicting expectations and ambitions of
Korean and Western teams, and insight on just how much the Korean
chairman’s wife might influence the direction of the company.

But Korean companies are gradually loosening their neckties and
adapting to Western business practices, he notes.

“I feel the Korean groups have seen the need to be flexible and
adapt quickly to changes in global economic fluctuations,” he said.
“For example, in the recent global recession they saw an
opportunity to expand when others pulled back in production, R&D
and marketing. They capitalized on this opportunity to leapfrog
ahead of the competition.”

Additionally, young Korean employees sent overseas have often
attended school or lived abroad, and increasingly more Korean
executives have worked overseas as expats. And as the overseas
businesses are increasingly using English to communicate, so, too,
do they adapt more casual Western business norms and practices, he
added.

Beyond all the differences between Korean and non-Korean working
cultures, Southerton noted, Korean companies deal with many of the
same challenges: How quickly projects can be approved and executed
depends on the individual company; Korean and Western companies
both struggle with generational gaps when trying to create harmony
and cohesiveness within their ranks; and no two Koreans or Korean
companies are alike, nor should they be approached as such.

The last is a theme he drives throughout his book ― affiliates
under the same chaebol and even sub-divisions of affiliates have
entirely different business cultures, and it is important not to
work on assumptions based on experiences with other companies, he
emphasizes.

“One common mistake by Western teams outside Korea is assuming that
because they might have worked for other global companies such as a
Japanese firm that they will have few challenges adapting to a
Korean company,” he said. “Norms, expectations and mindset differ,
even with Korean groups.

“Many Western overseas teams have stereotyped Koreans, often based
on their interactions with the early expats dispatched to the local
operation. Like Westerners, experience, training and skills vary ―
some Korean expats do well while others struggle,” he added. “In
global business we need be mindful of others, and recognize that
Korean teams and leadership vary in their approaches to challenges
and management.”

“Korea Facing: Secrets for Success in Korean Global Business” is
available through iBook, Kindle, Nook and Google Books.

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Korea Herald: No Two Chaebol Are Alike