Thursday, 8 July 2010


The blog is suspended until I say otherwise, likely 3 weeks or so.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Cross-cultural business perspective

Koreans invest a lot abroad, though I have rumours that these are also smaller companies associated under the global Korean brands to make things easier.

Once they invest, like for example here in Poland, in Development Centers (Samsung) it is more or less cool, as engineers have jobs and nice things can be done.

But there are also manufacturing businesses located like LG or others.

The Polish - Korean romance in global business reaches 90's as Deawoo FSO was established to help the FSO save jobs and production. But as the Deawoo collapsed in 1997 during Korean crisis, Daewoo FSO was just quit and shut down despite of good revenues and nice cars produced and sold. Shit happens. Still Llanos is considered one of the better cars with optimal relation of the price to quality.

Later more businesses opened. And people employed started their dream jobs in many corners of Poland touched by unemployment. Soon several companies like Humax and Toshen, but also LG faced criminal charges for worker's rights abuse. Mostly women were forced to work up to 15 hours a day with a very limited payment and with no possibility to use a bathroom or eat a sandwich. If they raised their rights coded in EU law up, they were either beaten or shouted at and threatened to loose their jobs.

There are cross-cultural relations in behavior, attitude and aproach to work. I often advice on cross-cultural European- East Asian misperceptions and miscommunications. But this time I have a message to our Korean counterparts: Once in Rome, do as Romans do. If you enter our culture- adjust and learn as well, this saves trouble for both sides.

If you want to make a Polish person, wether a woman or a man, work efficiently, give flexibility and payrise. Appreciate and motivate. Shouting or yealing doesn't work on us.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Football&National Planning

What one has to do with the other, one may ask?

Even within quantities of work I am of course watching the games sometimes.
Yesterday we have seen a magnificent victory of Netherlands over Brasil in Port Elisabeth.

Another cool thing was watching nice games of South Korean team and their 1/8 final game with Urugway.
This game and also previous games in this WorldCup and any other since 2002 is the illustration of Korean Management and attitude. Money makes success because we will simply copy the best systems and employ the best available couches.

It happens everywhere. In any Korea's global business, any bank, any research institute. And yet, all of it stays Korean. The hell with that we actually employed and paid for success, when the flag is Korean, team is Korean, bank is Korean business is Korean. All remains Korean.

Football is a very interesting topic to study social attitudes and human creativity or else, lack of it. As a collective and team work game it requires collective mind and good group cooperation. Then good East Asian group work and technical accuracy should give good results here, shouldn't it?

And oh yeah, it does. It can exercise and exercise penalties, corner kicks, free kicks and other constant elements on the pitch. And it will exercise and exercise and will not enter any tournament if not mastered all possible regular tricks.

Yet, there is another thing to football, which is not easy to copy-paste into yourself, that's creativity and speed thinking of what can I do with this ball within this moment of time Myself without watching for others, or even more demanding, how can I imagine what pattern is there considering others.

In confucianist societies it is not easy to allow creativity. Not only there, creativity as potentially dangerous factor was also forbidden by the entire education system in communist societies until their fall in 89'. Spirit of creativity is not possible to be simply learnt from someone. That's something one is born with and later in friendly environment can only develop it even more. This is something what a couch is able to train when the team is sealed together in the training center and noone is able to see their growing spirits of individualism. That is what dutch couches taught them and what they seem to use well under their long time manager Jung -Moo Huh. But it takes time before the spirit flows and we will see if bought abroad creativity will be same as might be the innate one.

There are two football teams which combine ideally these two factors: solid team cooperation, efficiency and accuracy, and free spirit of creativity, these are Germany and Netherlands. Both of them buy some players abroad, but not many, and both are the fruit of good training system.

Friday, 2 July 2010


Lol, what a title for a blog post, hah?
No, I am not a heavy drinker, and this is not an AA advice post.

The closer to my arrival to Asia, the more I think about stories, people, places.

If I think now about especially nice sutuations, these were always when I was asked" 어디서 오셨어요?" "where are you from?" by a bartender or waitress or the owner of some small restaurant business somewhere, I replied: "처 는 펄 란드 사람 임니다" "I am Polish" or "I come from Poland" more formal.

Apart from learning immediately that Korean people love Chopin, Pope and Lech Walesa I usually got free siders and Soju.

So what's that Soju?
That's in it's pure form a rice vodka. It can have from 20 to 45% and better be carefull with it. Tastes like a sweet warming almost neutral spirit and really gets into you, especially when you are an "economic drinker" lol.

For polish people, especially guys it's not much of a problem, but sometimes we can find ourselves in non-comforting business situations when we drink. And drink, And drink. And even more drink. Until everyone is under the table- that's Korean way of drinking even in official formal situations.

What then? Well, my chemist academic teacher used to say that alcohol is basically a poison after 150-200g but somehow Polish and Russians are resistant. So compared to Korean person, Polish should survive this heavy drinking and steadily walk home really well.

What if someone is, like me, an economic drinker. Well, then it's better to quickly pretend a state of total knock-off.

In our European heads (don't know many American, sorry) , as we are in our essence non-honest and false people, that raises a question. What comes next? What if someone uses the things we said or stuff we have done against us later especially in  business talks or negotiations?

No fear over here. No need to be afraid that we will be later blackmailed or manipulated. In Korea there is a one magic rule - an amnesia after drinking.

During alcohol parties surpressed emotions come out. People sometimes forget about confucian "non-burden keep-quiet about yourself and your needs" attitude. So our Korean counterparts won't use this against us as they have their dark side as well.

Back to work.