Over the years I have shared that overseas Korean operations go through times when the local organization experience less oversight by Korean teams. More recently through direct feedback of western teams in America as well as my own observations some overseas subsidiaries are experiencing greater demands by Korean management.
In part this is now due to downturns in China, Russia, and other emerging markets—that Korean brands had high hopes. Under such global pressure ensuring key markets like the U.S. perform well can mean an increased concern, worry, and stress on the part of their Korean teams… in turn this results in increased governance, micro-management and scrutiny, in particular, by Finance.
So what’s the solution?
Frankly most of us recognize that support, especially mentoring for ALL newly hired and western management is needed. This may sound as a simple answer to dealing with a complex issue. I agree. That said, in a time of heightened oversight, teams need even more coaching and mentoring. The alternative is high turnover of the best management and employees, with an increasing difficulty and cost in the replacement of team members, not to mention the ramifications in loss productivity and poor performance across the organization at a time of when many are counting on U. S. sales to buffer the global downturn.
Like the exposed section of an iceberg American teams working with Korean-facing business do recognize there are difference in management style, work habits, body language, food, hobbies, etc.
What is hidden and needs mentoring is to better understand the differences, along with attitudes or beliefs, social norms, cognitive process, popular trends, opinions, viewpoints, preferences, tastes, and specific knowledge of their company and its practices. I provide this hidden side of the iceberg.
I often refer to this understanding as providing as Context over Data—1) the Data as the obvious differences and 2) Context as nuances that require mentoring and drilling deeper—situational and at times broaching on the sensitive.
I’d be happy to discuss how this Context over Data impacts your company and organization. This link shares times we can best discuss.