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The Korean Business Toolbox 2017

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I’d like to share a new Korean business Toolbox that provides solutions to a recurring and deep concern by western management of South Korea-based companies. I find this issue surfacing often and so draw upon what I have found to work best to overcome and move forward.

Here’s the Link.  http://www.bridgingculture.com/assets/toolbox-2017_-intervention.pdf

In crafting the Toolbox over the past month and sharing sections as drafts, it’s received considerable feedback and positive reviews. These are always much appreciated.

As always we look for your comments and thoughts, too. So please share.

DS

 

 

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End of Year 2016 Thoughts of Don Southerton

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My EOY thoughts…

http://brandinginasia.com/south-korea-2016/

South Korea 2016: Gazing Back and a Look Forward

Branding in Asia December 31, 2016

It was a challenging year for both western and Korean overseas business teams. We all felt the common sense of worry frustration; coupled with the need to hit steep sales targets, there was the mounting anxiety from South Korea over a declining export economy and a weakening Won.
Not to mention, the political scandals that reached into the very core of Korean business groups—who watched as their Chairmen were called into the National Assembly to be prodded and probed on contributions in exchange for special presidential preferences.

Still, we are honored to support so many in leadership who come to us for advice and perspective—a role we take with utmost seriousness and hold in deep confidentially.

With 2016 came opportunities to share my thoughts and perspective to a wide audience including Branding In Asia who both highlighted work in an interview as well as published a number of commentaries.

So what’s before us in 2017…Trump, the Korean Presidential Election, and Succession?

What stood out at the recent National Assembly grilling of the top conglomerate Chairman, many men in their late 70s, was the targeting of the now de facto head of Samsung, who has assumed his father’s role.
“Trump?”—a name and an uncertainty that surfaces often. I constantly field questions from both Korean and American business leadership on the impact of the election and the new administration. Who would know I would be asked to speak in December about Trump to 45 Korea executives. I also find it interesting that diverse Trump scenarios tied to possible renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Accord by the new administration were mulled at the Hyundai Motor global strategy summit in Seoul.

Looking forward, trade agreements, US military support for South Korea and dealing with North Korea’s nuclear buildup still top the list. On the trade agreement front, my expectation is at some time during the next year it will be looked at deeper by the Trump administration. However, until there is a South Korean president in office, with the impeachment waiting to be upheld by the Courts, we’ll see no Trump-Korean President summit to drill deeper.

Presidential Election 2017

What I will be probing for is the “tone” of presidential hopefuls—2017 an election year in South Korea. One candidate, for example, is already demanding the Chaebol model be dismantled.

In particular, my thoughts were summed up in Forbes, in a timely December Frank Ahrens’ article remarking that an incoming Korean president could “ride into office on a wave of populist anger directed at the nation’s elites. Still, says veteran South Korea business consultant Don Southerton, “a new administration will need chaebol support to drive the economy and jobs or quickly lose public support.”

I’d add we have experienced decades of “love-hate” between the Korean Groups and the government. One minute mandating new rounds of regulations such as restrictions on mutual investments and loan guarantees to curtail chaebols—the next minute persuading chaebol leadership to spur growth. The reality is Group support by Samsung, Hyundai, LG, Lotte and SK is needed to create jobs, invest in R&D and support an incoming president’s initiatives to grow the economy.

Less likely considering the emergence of a more cynical generation that may threaten to upend an old system, nevertheless seeing disruptive politics emerging globally, we could even have a new president promising change but openly allied with the chaebol as engines of growth. We’ll have to wait and see. That said, at least in the short run post-scandal I see Groups coming under pressure in laws and regulations designed to increase financial transparency and accountability of family members.

The Succession issue

What stood out at the recent National Assembly grilling of the top conglomerate Chairman, many men in their late 70s, was the targeting of the now de facto head of Samsung, who has assumed his father’s role. With the mantle of Samsung now handed to the third generation of the Lee family, we may see similar at Hyundai and the other top Groups. In fact, South Korea’s textile giant, Hyosung just announced with year-end the ushering in the era of the group’s third-generation management. I expect more announcements in the weeks to come…

What will this new generation bring forth? For one, Samsung’s successor Jay Y Lee has promised to abolish the conglomerate’s “control tower” the Future Strategy Office in response to criticism about the office’s role in the group-wide business command and control operations. No major decisions such as acquisitions or entering new businesses without the FSO’s scrutiny. On a side note, Hyundai Motor Group is one of the few groups that doesn’t operate a de facto control tower. Unlike more diversified chaebol, Hyundai core business is automotive with its affiliates already aligned in supporting a common interest.

As for succession and an indicator of change at Korea’s second largest conglomerate, Hyundai Motor Group’s heir E.S. Chung continues to take a more visible leadership role. For example, E.S. Chung has sought to break away from the old model of a strictly Korean leadership team to more diverse international team as part of his strategy to better position their brand.

More recently he re-structured the annual year-end global strategy meeting of 50 Hyundai and Kia Motors Korean executives from their overseas branches. What stood out was the collaborative, open discussion based structure of the summit vs. an older conservative and hierarchical format in which the head of each overseas branch would give a one-way briefing to the Chairman.

We can assume E.S. Chung will continue to follow his design-loving passion and consensus-building management style in 2017.

Summing up

2017 may be seen as a year of uncertainties—both domestically in Korea and internationally with the potential for a weakening global economy, more disruptive politics and tightening of budgets and spending. The later is concerning since cutbacks would only hamper sales in what may be a tough market.

 

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Don Southerton Korea-facing Legal Consulting

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C.V. and Contact Information

Don Southerton

President and CEO, Bridging Culture Worldwide

1-310-866-3777

Dsoutherton@bridgingculture.com

http://www.bridgingculture.com

Offices in Golden, CO; Irvine, CA; and Seoul, South Korea

Services Provided

Korea expertise includes: Anti-trust, Licencing, MOU and Agreements, Korean culture and norms, business culture, gender in the Korea workplace, Family, IP, and deep insights into most of Korea major global conglomerates (including, but not limited to Samsung, Hyundai-Kia Motors, and LG). Southerton provides strategy, expert opinion testimony, litigation testimony, and case review for Defense and Plaintiff.

Experience

Don Southerton is an author, advisor, consultant, strategist, and coach working with many of the top Korea-based global corporations, along with major western firms that have ventures related to South Korea.

In addition, Southerton has advised and supported Korean Ministry of Knowledge, KOTRA, Invest Korea, The Korea Society, and US Korea Connect (the Korean Embassy in Washington, DC).

Southerton’s work has recently been covered in The Economist, CNN Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, Automotive News, Bloomberg TV, Korea Herald, Korea Times, Yonhap, Forbes Magazine, FSR Magazine, and a wide variety of local Korea media sources and interviews. He is also an author of 12 books and publications.

As an expert witness, Southerton has worked on cases involving anti-trust, wrongful death, IP, international family law, labor law, and personal injury. By virtue of his education, experience, training, and skills courts in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and California have accepted his testimony and expertise.

 

Education

  1. A. History. University of Colorado, Denver.
  2. A. History. University of Colorado, Denver.

 

Post Graduate Study

University of Southern California (USC).

University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Intercultural Institute of California, San Francisco (IIC).

 

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Everything Korea: Episode July 27 Insightful Feedback and Resources

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I’ve just begun compiling feedback from the new case study. Contributions from readers, like you, show highly engagement in the study as well as many dealing with some common issues.
One that surfaced was although they have achieved much success Korean brands in their overseas operation need to adopt MORE to local norms including accepting failure and missteps. If not, and as a consequence growth will stall and be unsustainable–something of recent concern that we see occurring globally amid strong competition by rivals and changing markets.

To paraphrase one well thought out response that nailed it dead center with this profound statement. With regard to their local Korean business operations “[a] company needs to foster innovation rather than just be a fast follower.

Adding, “The challenge is with ‘Acceptance of mistakes’, which as you noted [ in the case study] is one of the foundations for American’s success. Culturally, failure [for Koreans] is not an option. Until they realize that it can serve as a foundation for success, they won’t be able to go much further.”

Again, in the next few episodes look for a more well thought out feedback, which I share on the case study.

Meanwhile, changing the topic slightly, but sharing as solutions…I’ve offered considerable content over the past several years in video format—first are a series of 5 concise videos, and second a more recent 2015 presentation—all captured in high resolution and quality audio. I strongly encourage you to view.

For the 1st five videos they run 2-3 minutes, and the last video about 26 minutes.

Opportunities and Challenges
https://www.youtube.com/watch

Common Misconceptions
https://www.youtube.com/watch

Lesson in Localization
https://www.youtube.com/watch

Competitive Advantage
https://www.youtube.com/watch

A Shift in Korean Management Styles
https://www.youtube.com/watch

Korea Perspective
http://www.koreasociety.org/corporate/korea_perspective.html

As always I’m happy to answer questions, please direct them to questions@koreabcw.com

Until next time…

‪#‎everythingkorea‬ ‪#‎localnorms‬ ‪#‎acceptingfailure‬ ‪#‎globalmarket‬ ‪#‎innovation‬‪#‎failureisafoundationforsuccess‬ ‪#‎lessonsinlocalization‬‪#‎competitiveadvantage‬

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Bridging Culture Worldwide Launching Korea Culture Training On-line

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Beginning with its highly popular Korea 101, the Korea facing consultancy now offers programs on-demand via digital download.

Golden, Colorado (PRWEB) April 10, 2015

Bridging Culture Worldwide (BCW) provides a wide range of Korea-focused training, coaching, and consulting services beginning with Korea 101, the consultancy’s most popular workshop. For more than a decade Korea 101 has been offered in corporate live and Webinar sessions both in the United States and internationally. Thousands of participants have benefited from this training and the insights shared.

BCW CEO Don Southerton notes, “For the first time we are offering the Korea 101 in an on-demand online learning format. Over five lesson sessions the course builds upon current experiences, while providing new knowledge.”

Southerton adds, “Building teamwork and cross-cultural understanding is paramount to success. Misunderstandings and stress created by the differences in culture impact productivity and interfere with smooth business operations. Cross-cultural education is recognized as a solution to cultural challenges in the workplace.”

Korea 101 is a timely overview approach to Korean culture, modern history, norms and business culture. The goal of the program is to foster a better understanding of Korea and its business culture.

Topics covered include: Business and social etiquette; History and the economy of Korea; Culture (music, art and cuisine); U.S./Korean relations including North Korea; The Korean workplace, management structure, and decision-making; Popular culture and New trends, as well as, Cross-cultural insights.

The program is conducted by noted author, strategist and lecturer, Don Southerton. Don works closely with many of Korea’s top Groups including Hyundai Motor and is an experienced specialist in bridging cultures between Koreans and non-Koreans.

Don has authored numerous publications with topics centering on culture, new urbanism, entrepreneurialism and early U.S.-Korean business ventures. Southerton also extensively lectures and writes and comments on modern Korean business culture and its impact on global organizations. He is a frequent contributor to the media (WSJ, Forbes, CNN Fortune, Bloomberg, Automotive News, Korea Times, Korea Herald, Yonhap, Korea Magazine, tbs eFM Koreascape and FSR) on Korea facing business and culture.

To learn more, go to Korea 101 On-line at http://unbouncepages.com/korea-101-buy-now/

About Bridging Culture Worldwide

Since its founding, Bridging Culture Worldwide has focused on global and Korea-related business services. Based on over 3 decades of experience, they share cross-cultural insights to global teams and management. Bridging Culture Worldwide core services include: Consulting, Strategy, and Research; Publications; along with Franchise and Licensing Development, Market Entry, Product Launch, IP, and Trademark. Visit http://www.bridgingculture.com

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Korea 101 On-line Launched

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Building teamwork and cross-cultural understanding is paramount to success. Misunderstandings and stress created by the differences in culture impact productivity and smooth business operations. Cross-cultural education is recognized as the chief solution to cultural challenges in the workplace.

Bridging Culture Worldwide (BCW) provides a wide range of Korea-focused training, coaching, and consulting services beginning with Korea 101.

What is Korea 101?
Korea 101 is a timely overview approach to Korean culture, modern history, norms and business culture. The goal of the program is to foster a better understanding of Korea and its business culture.

What are topics covered?
Business and social etiquette
History and economy of Korea
Culture (music, art and cuisine)
U.S./Korean relations including North Korea
The Korean workplace, management structure, and decision-making
Popular culture
New trends
Cross-cultural insights

Tell me more
For the first time we are offering Korea 101 in an on-demand online learning format. The intent of each of the five lesson sessions is to build upon the current experiences, while providing new knowledge and insights.

Korea 101 has been offered in corporate Live and Webinar sessions both in the United States and internationally for more than a decade. Thousands of participants have benefited from training and the insights it shares.

The program is conducted by noted author, strategist and lecturer, Don Southerton CEO and President of Bridging Culture Worldwide. Don works closely with many of Korea’s top Groups such as Hyundai Motor and is an experienced specialist in bridging cultures between Korean and non-Koreans. His firm, Bridging Culture Worldwide, is a Golden, Colorado, Irvine, California, and Seoul, South Korea, which offers programs and consulting to help management and employees appreciate and understand Korean culture and business relations.

Don has authored numerous publications with topics centering on culture, new urbanism, entrepreneurialism and early U.S.-Korean business ventures. Southerton also extensively lectures and writes and comments on modern Korean business culture and its impact on global organizations. He is a frequent contributor to the media (WSJ, Forbes, CNN Fortune, Bloomberg, Automotive News, Korea Times, Korea Herald, Yonhap, Korea Magazine, eFM tbs Koreascape and FSR) on Korea facing business and culture.

Outcomes include:
A strong understanding of Korean cross-cultural differences and their relevance to Korean workplace culture.
Reduce tensions and frustrations rooted in cross-cultural issues.
Better morale and team spirit.
Support for interacting with Korean teams assigned to local operations.

The Cost for the 5 web-based on-demand learning sessions in $495.00.

To learn more, CLICK.

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Korean Business Expert Don Southerton Releases Ground Breaking Book

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Korea Perspective offers a road map to avoid common pitfalls while overcoming challenges, addressing issues that frequently surface with Korea.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/01/prweb12479689.htm

Golden, Colorado (PRWEB) February 02, 2015
Korean global business consultant Don Southerton has released his latest publication, titled Korea Perspective. Southerton notes, ” As a result of my interacting with Korea facing business on an almost daily basis, Western overseas teams, as well Korean leadership and teams, have openly shared their challenges and pressing concerns. In turn, I have worked to provide them with a framework, strategy, and solutions. This book is based on these daily interactions.”

The intended audiences, the author points out, are Westerners employed by Korean-based companies outside South Korea, firms providing services or products to a South Korean overseas subsidiary or operations and global companies that have significant business with a Korean company.

Southerton adds, “All in all, this book offers a road map to avoid the pitfalls, navigate around the roadblocks, and thrive.”

Korea Perspective is available through Amazon Kindle, Nook and most popular booksellers.

About the author
Don Southerton has a life-long interest in Korea and the rich culture of the country. He has authored numerous publications with topics centering on culture, new urbanism, entrepreneurialism, and early U.S.-Korean business ventures. Southerton also lectures extensively and writes and comments on modern Korean business culture and its impact on global organizations.

He is a frequent contributor to the media (WSJ, Forbes, CNN Fortune, Bloomberg, Automotive News, Korea Times, Korea Herald, Yonhap, Korea Magazine, and FSR) on Korea facing business and culture. He heads Bridging Culture Worldwide, a Golden, Colorado based company that provides strategy, consulting and training to Korea-based global business. An avid martial artist, Southerton has pursued the study and practice of Korean traditional arts for more than forty years.
The author is available for media interviews.

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Korea Perspective By Don Southerton Publication Date: January 2015

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Overview Korea Perspective is based on daily consultancy interactions in the support of the Korean automotive, golf, land development, Green sustainability technologies and retail sectors. Western overseas teams, as well Korean leadership and teams, have openly shared their challenges and pressing concerns along with the inner workings of their companies in the interest of improving communication. In turn, I have worked to provide a framework, strategy, and solutions.

About the new book This book builds considerably upon topics shared in my two previous and well-received publications: Korea Facing: Secrets for Success in Korean Global Business and Hyundai Way: Hyundai Speed. In particular, the new book explores more deeply into issues many working for Korean based companies may experience. The target audience and focus is the ever-growing number of Westerners employed by Korean-based companies outside South Korea. This book will provide you with greater awareness into the Korean workplace and mindset.

Likewise, if your firm provides services or products to a South Korean overseas subsidiary or operation, this book will offer tactics to strengthen and maintain the relationship.

Finally, if your company has significant business in Korea, but leadership and headquarters are located in the West, we offer suggestions to key management on how to effectively deal with pressing issues and challenges that surface.

All in all, this book offers a roadmap to avoid the pitfalls, navigate around the roadblocks, and thrive.

About the author Don Southerton has a life-long interest in Korea and the rich culture of the country. He has authored numerous publications with topics centering on culture, new urbanism, entrepreneurialism and early U.S.-Korean business ventures. Southerton also extensively lectures and writes and comments on modern Korean business culture and its impact on global organizations. He is a frequent contributor to the media (WSJ, Forbes, CNN Fortune, Bloomberg, Automotive News, Korea Times, Korea Herald, Yonhap, Korea Magazine, and FSR) on Korea facing business and culture. He heads Bridging Culture Worldwide a Golden, Colorado based company, that provides strategy, consulting and training to Korea-based global business.

The Author is available for interviews.

Contact:

Don Southerton c/o Bridging Culture Worldwide

dsoutherton@bridgingculture.com

1-310-866-3777

Offices in Golden, CO; Irvine, CA; and Seoul, South Korea

 

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US Korea Connect and Golf

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Success Stories

Golfsmith
Golfsmith
Austin, Texas
Profile Golfsmith International, based in Austin, TX, is a specialty golf retailer operating in the U.S. and Golf Town stores in Canada. The business operates as an integrated, multi-channel retailer. Golfsmith International offers extensive product selection of premier branded golf equipment as well as its proprietary products, club-making components and pre-owned clubs.
Exports The popularity of golf in Korea presents a major opportunity for Golfsmith to expand into the market, which they did in 2013 by signing a definitive licensing agreement with Seoul and Daejeon headquartered Golfzon Co. Ltd. to create a retail chain in Korea under the Golfsmith brand. At its locations in Korea, Golfsmith offers a selection of popular golf brands with a focus on U.S. sourced products. In addition to clubs, balls, shoes, tees and other golf essentials from brands like Titleist, PING, Callaway, TaylorMade, Cobra, PUMA, Nike Golf, and more, Golfsmith Korea locations offer a wide selection of authentic golf apparel brands and fashions not found in Korea.
Growth Golfsmith is the world’s largest specialty golf retailer. By expanding into Korea, which has around 3 million golfers, the company puts itself in a position to continue leading the industry. Korea’s golf-related market has an estimated worth of more than $15.7 billion. In addition to its current location, Golfsmith will continue opening more locations in Korea over the next several years.
Lessons Learned: Golfsmith International’s first retail venture outside North American success was ensured by partnering with Golfzon and its keen understanding of the local Korean golf market. Moreover, Korea’s free economic zones as something not to be overlooked by companies seeking expansion into the market. Currently, Korea has eight such zones, which encourage foreign investment through tax incentives, reduced regulations such as tariffs and high-quality administrative services and infrastructure designed to attract an international audience through benefits as advanced as ultra-modern airports and as simple as English-language traffic signs.

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

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Hyundai Way: Hyundai Speed, New Book Looks at Korean Corporate Culture

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Global business expert Don Southerton has authored a new eBook, Hyundai Way: Hyundai Speed, which shares insights into the one of the world’s top automakers.

 

Korea global business expert Don Southerton has released his latest publication, titled Hyundai Way: Hyundai Speed. Southerton notes, “In the wake of the recent accomplishments of the Hyundai Motor Group and specifically the Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors brands a question is often raised, ‘What makes Hyundai so successful?’ I tackle this question from a cultural perspective.”

The author points out his objective for Hyundai Way: Hyundai Speed is to share insights into the Hyundai Motor Group—a unique inside view of a unique corporate culture.

In addition to the growing number of Hyundai and Kia Motors enthusiasts wishing to learn more about the carmaker, Southerton sees several target audiences for the book. First for the global teams working for the Hyundai Motor Group and its affiliates, Hyundai Way: Hyundai Speed will build upon their current experiences, while providing new understandings.

A second audience is firms and vendors providing services or products to the Hyundai Motor Group. This book will be beneficial in strengthening and maintaining the relationship.

A third readership is companies with significant Korea-based business. Although the book offers specific insights into Hyundai Motor, the broader content can apply to many Korean firms in sectors outside automotive.

The eBook is available through iBook, Kindle, Nook, and Amazon.

About the author

With over 35 years’ experience, Don Southerton is the definitive authority on Korean-facing global business, strategy, branding and market entry–from automotive, golf, retail, and QSR/ food sectors to New Urbanism and Green technology.

Building on a life-long interest in Korea and the rich culture of the country, Southerton writes extensively and provides commentary to the media on modern Korean business culture and its impact on global organizations. This is his thirteenth publication.

LINK  PRWEB Press Release

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