Critical Support for Korea Facing Business–2023

Most western executives hired to run Korean business divisions are veterans of their industry, but many can use critical support for Korea-facing business. That said, they know their business. They are experts. Sadly, they often assume they know but understand little of Korean business practices and norms. Most often feel their past work knowledge is sufficient.

Critical Support for Korea Facing Business
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Even more significant, I found that some western executives feel that, if just given enough time, they will get their Korean teams to do business their way. In some cases, a business model and methods they polished and acquired working for other firms—often a U.S., Japanese or German company.

Contrary to this hope and recognizing the considerable work practices and corporate structure changes underway in Korea, such as dress codes, fewer hierarchical titles, and a more balanced workday, I do not see Korean firms changing much in their core and deeply rooted business values and processes. More so, American, German, or Japanese business practices like Korean are rooted in their own respective intrinsic cultures.

I suggest that division executives eager to bring change first become fully versed in Korean methods. Learn about the company and its partners. Learn how Koreans manage. Drill deep!

This learning does not occur without considerable insight, mentoring, and coaching. In turn, once this groundwork is completed, I have found and can offer some sound approaches for introducing new business methods and practices without pushback.

For Korean teams and leadership
Ongoing support of non-Korean management is a must for all Korea-facing organizations. Mentoring and coaching is the key. Experience and skills vary, so support must be tailored to individual needs.

More significantly, mentoring requires a deep mutual understanding of both Korean and western business, not to mention the specific Western and Korea-based firms and the industry in general.

I am open to catching up by Zoom or MS Team. Let’s find a time to connect.



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