The “Why” Behind Seeking Alternatives

Another lesson from my Korea facing Global Business Toolbox

More than a decade ago during a group session I hosted for overseas Korean and western senior managers, the discussion turned to the “role” of the westerners on teams engaged in local project development. The local western teams felt very under-utilized and wanted to contribute more. This, of course, was a source of considerable frustration for the westerners because their previous automotive OEM employers had given them considerable responsibility with little direct oversight and more fully utilized their experience and expertise.

Pondering for a moment during the discussion, a senior Korean pointed out that local input was respected, but perhaps this needed to be better communicated. The Korean manager went on to explain that his Korean teams knew how to do things “Korean style”, but what was needed were other ways of approaching work related issues.

Even if the local ideas were not adopted, senior management reviewed those options and took them into consideration. In fact, Korean leadership had high trust in the local teams and their judgment — the local team providing much-needed expertise and know-how.

More recently in early 2016, a senior Korean leader I have been mentoring echoed the similar sentiment. First, how local input was to be sought out and encouraged across the organization. And, second that seeking out “alternatives” was one of the company’s core tenets transcending the Group’s more contemporary updated values — but in actually deeply rooted solidly in the corporate culture.

The takeaway –share wherever possible other ways of approaching work related issues.

In closing, if you have questions regarding my Toolbox or Interested in how I work with companies? Stacey, my personal assistant at stacey@koreabcw.com can coordinate a time for us to chat.

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