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March 2017

Korea Voices

Bryan Hopkins Jocelyn Clark Hank Morris Steven McKinney Rodney J. Johnson

Korea Intelligence

2017 Forecast Trade, Finance & Industry Technology


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In This Month’s Issue Founders’ Message

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KBLA Update Upcoming KBLA Events KBLA Night Out KBLA Venture Forum KBLA Dinner

New Members This Month

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Korea Intelligence 2017 Forecast

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Risk Management

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Trade, Finance, & Industry

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Infrastructure/Transportation

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Economics

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Real Estate

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Technology

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Development

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Korea Voices Bryan Hopkins Are Young Korean Lawyers Becoming More Creative?

Hank Morris Korean Presidential Politics -All aboard for the train to changing times- and how will the ride go for Foreign Investors?

Rodney J. Johnson

The data is coming, the data is coming!

About the KBLA

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Jocelyn Clark

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Steven B. McKinney

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The Culture of “only a sort of They”

Job Security: How Do I Get It?

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Founders’ Message

Adventure is calling. S

ome of the best decisions I ever made were the ones I was forced into making. Kids sometimes ask me what they should study in college. My answer is always the same: “Study the hardest, most difficult subject you can possibly handle, whatever it may be. If you do that, what you’ll learn, about the subject, about how to learn, and about yourself, will be so much more than if you just were to study ‘what you love.’ You’ll thank me later.” Do what scares you. Do what makes you uncomfortable. Commit to things you’d rather not commit to and then follow through. Take risks, big and small. The most progress is made with your back up against the wall. The best decisions are sometimes made when there is only one option: staying with your job no matter how much you may dislike it, not giving up on a difficult project, keeping a problematic employee because there is no replacement.

In The Hero’s Journey, the great historian and mythologist Joseph Campbell, explained how mythology across the world, in different forms from country to country, has largely told the same story: heroes are those who answer the call to adventure. Denying the call results in arrested development, stunted growth, and ultimately, a disappointing life. The heroic fight is not just for young people. As we age, our comfort zone grows smaller and smaller. Our range of motion gets less and less. We have to actively fight against it or one day we’ll find we’re just hopping up and down in a very small circle. We must actively work to do things that we find uncomfortable in order to avoid regression and decline. Today, as always... Fight the good fight. Take a chance on the unknown. Dare to do great things.

Jobs turn around. Products get traction. Employees turn corners and blossom. Having no options often helps us avoid our biases and avoid making snap decisions we’d only come to regret later.

Rodney J. Johnson President, Erudite Risk Co-Founder, KBLA

Steve McKinney President, McKinney Consulting Co-Founder, KBLA

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Upcoming KBLA Events

Friday March 24, 2017 Golfzon Park Nonhyun Tournament Center. This event is open to KBLA Members only. Register online at kbla. info or send an email to admin@kbla.info.


Upcoming KBLA Events

Wednesday April 5, 2017 Grand Hyatt, Seoul. This event is open to KBLA Members only. Register online at kbla. info or send an email to admin@kbla.info.

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Upcoming KBLA Events

Friday April 7, 2017 Millenium Seoul Hilton, Namdaemoon Suite. This event is open to KBLA Members only. Register online at kbla. info or send an email to admin@kbla.info.


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New KBLA Members this Month Maria Lee Ask Ajumma CEO Hwang Daniella Mast Industries Korea/Vietnam Associated VP/ Country Manager Justin ByungUk Lee BNP Paribas Cardif General Insurance Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Steve Ahn SeumLaw Attorney at Law Joonho Gabriel Park Emart VP/Boots Business Stephen Wilcox Seoul Luxury CEO Jorgeany Di Trani Keyrus Business Executive


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Korea Intelligence | 2017 Forecast

Equipment Investment Forecast for 2017 On January 25, the Korea Development Bank (KDB) issued survey* results for equipment investment in 2017. According to the survey results, equipment investment will grow 0.1% year-on-year to 179.7 trillion KRW in 2017. A need to upgrade aging facilities was the most common reason listed for boosting equipment investment, while uncertainty was given as the most important factor holding it back. Uncertain business conditions were more likely to persuade large companies not to invest in equipment and facilities, while financing affected small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Equipment investment by SMEs, especially those in the manufacturing sector, is expected to fall sharply, while large companies in manufacturing are expected to be the biggest driver of equipment investment. Large companies are expected to account for roughly 86.0% of equipment investment in 2017, with SMEs accounting for the remainder.

Data KDB, Table and Translation KBLA

An increasing percentage of respondents identified improvements to aging facilities as an important factor in decisions to increase equipment investments. Large companies were more likely to choose upfront investment and increasing domestic demand as factors.

Data KDB, Table and Translation KBLA


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Korea Intelligence | 2017 Forecast The percentage of respondents which named existing surplus capacity and no need for equipment investment as important factors holding back equipment investment increased sharply, although uncertain business outlook was still the most common answer. * KDB surveyed 3,550 companies major companies. Data KDB, Table and Translation KBLA

Domestic Energy Market Forecast for 2017 On February 9, the POSCO Research Institute (POSRI) issued a report on domestic energy market trends in 2017. According to POSRI, domestic energy market growth is expected to gain momentum in 2017. Per the report, the three main domestic energy industry trends for 2017 are increasing competition in the energy sector, a reduction in coal usage, and a proliferation of advanced and renewable energy.

Data POSRI, Table and Translation KBLA


Korea Intelligence | 2017 Forecast

Exports Forecast for 2017 by Region On January 24, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) issued a report on exports in 2017 by region. According to the KOTRA, total exports in 2017 will increase 3.4% in 2017 to 512.5 billion USD. Exports to developed economies are expected to recover, given that economic stimulus programs will continue, while exports to emerging market economies will increase due to infrastructure investment and consumer spending. That said, risks persist due to the possible spread of protectionism, and the increasing competitiveness of Chinese counterparts will continue to be an issue.

Exports to China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, which account for roughly onethird of Korean exports, are expected to grow by 2.5% in 2017, although exports to China are expected remain sluggish due to a slowdown in Chinese economic growth, and the increasing competitiveness of Chinese companies.

Data KOTRA, Table and Translation KBLA

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Korea Intelligence | 2017 Forecast General machinery and automobile parts exports are expected to grow in 2017 (3-10%), due to anticipated recoveries in advanced economies, increases in infrastructure investment, increases in automobile production, and increases in Korean automobile sales worldwide. On the other hand, exports of wireless communication devices and ships are expected to drop between 0% and -10% in 2017, affected by increases in the competitiveness of Chinese goods and moving production facilities abroad.

Data KOTRA, Table and Translation KBLA


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Korea Intelligence | Trade, Finance, & Industry

2016 Online Shopping Trends On February 3, Statistics Korea issued a report on online shopping trends in 2016. Per the report, the value of all online shopping transactions, to include mobile transactions, in 2016 increased 20.5% to 64.91 trillion KRW; mobile shopping transactions alone increased 41.9%, and accounted for roughly half the value of all online shopping transactions. China accounted for a majority of online purchases of Korean goods by those overseas while a majority of foreign goods purchased by Koreans originated in the US.

Data Statistics Korea, Chart and Translation KBLA

Online cosmetics sales grew by 46.7%, followed by bags (42.7%). Most other major products and services grew in the 20-30% range.

Data Statistics Korea, Chart and Translation KBLA


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Korea Voices


Korea Intelligence | Trade, Finance, & Industry

The value of mobile transactions increased at a faster rate than total online transactions, with most major products growing in the 30-50% range.

Data Statistics Korea, Chart and Translation KBLA

As of 1Q 2016, the value of Korean goods sold online to those overseas exceeded the value of foreign goods Koreans purchased online.

Data Statistics Korea, Chart and Translation KBLA

China accounted for roughly 80% of e-commerce exports of Korean goods.

Data Statistics Korea, Chart and Translation KBLA

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Korea Intelligence | Trade, Finance, & Industry

Impacts of US-China Trade Disputes on Korean Economy On February 17, the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) issued a report on estimated impacts of US-China trade disputes on the Korean economy. According to KITA, the negative impact of US tariffs on the Chinese economy would have direct and indirect negative effects for Korea, which sends a high percentage of its exports to China. KITA estimates that a 1.0 percentage point cut to China’s GDP growth rate could lead to a 0.5 percentage point cut to Korea’s GDP growth rate. A US-China trade conflict could have both direct and indirect impacts on Korea. Directly, due to the negative impact on Korean goods that are used as components in Chinese goods and then reexported to the US, and indirectly, due to a weakened Chinese economy on which Korean exports are dependent.

National Bureau of Statistics of China via KITA, Table and Translation KBLA

A 1.0%p cut to China’s GDP growth rate would reduce Korea’s GDP growth rate by 0.50 percentage points.

IMF, WSJ via KITA, Chart and Translation KBLA


Korea Intelligence | Trade, Finance, & Industry

Survey on SME Awareness of Chinese Trade Protectionism Following THAAD Announcement On February 10, the Korea Federation of SMEs (KBIZ) issued survey results on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) awareness on China trade protectionism measures. Responses from 300 SMEs were included in the survey. According to survey results, SMEs were much more likely to have felt the impact of apparent Chinese protectionism, chiefly through increasing stringent sanitation certification and quarantine measures, following the July 8, 2016 THAAD deployment announcement by Korea and the US, as opposed to before it. SMEs responded to Chinese trade protectionism by looking for alternative markets and trying to adapt to China regulations, while expecting that the government would resolve issues via bilateral talks.

26.0% of SMEs surveyed responded that they felt some sort of serious impact from Chinese protectionist policies after the THAAD deployment announcement, compared to 5.3% who felt impacts prior to the announcement. Data KBIZ, Chart and Translation KBLA

According to respondents, complicated sanitation certification/authorization procedures and quarantine measures were most commonly applied protectionism measures after the THAAD deployment announcement.

Data KBIZ, Chart and Translation KBLA

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Korea Intelligence | Economics

Impacts of Uncertainty on Korean Economy On February 10, the Hyundai Research Institute (HRI) issued a report on the impacts of domestic and foreign uncertainty on the Korean economy.

According to HRI, when it comes to external influences, volatility in domestic financial markets increased considerably after President Trump came to office. Among domestic influences, ongoing fallout from Korea’s Choi Soonsil scandal, and uncertainty regarding future economic policy, has led to an “uncertainty trap,” a situation when consumption and investment are delayed for the time being. An even larger increase in global and domestic uncertainty would negatively impact both consumer and business sentiment, and bank lending.

Estimated impacts on key economic indicators, given that global and domestic uncertainty index* increases by 10 points. Data HRI, Table and Translation KBLA

Volatility in financial markets is expected to increase, due to the actions of the Trump Administration.

Data White House via HRI, Table and Translation KBLA

* HRI maintains an internal “domestic/global uncertainty index,” (한국 경제의 대내외 불확실성 지수 추정 결과) based on a 0-100 point scale, with 100 being most uncertain.


Korea Intelligence | Economics

Economically Active Population in January 2017 On February 15, Statistics Korea released its figures on economically active population in January 2017. According to Statistics Korea: “The economically active population marked 26,698 thousand in January, which grew 265 thousand persons or 1.0 percent year-on-year. The employment-population ratio recorded 58.9 percent in January, up 0.1%p year-on-year. The unemployment rate marked 3.8 percent in January, up 0.1%p year-on-year.�

Data Statistics Korea, Table and Translation KBLA

Data Statistics Korea

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Korea Intelligence | Economics

Consumer Price Index: January 2017 On February 2, Statistics Korea issued Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for January 2017. According to Statistics Korea the overall CPI increased by 2.0% year-on-year to 102.43 points (2015=100).

Increases in food and non-alcoholic beverages and transportation prices were the sharpest, up 5.3% and 3.8% year-on-year respectively.

Data Statistics Korea


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Korea Intelligence | Technology

Ransomware in 2016, Forecast for 2017 The Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) recently published a report on ransomware trends in 2016, and a forecast regarding ransomware in 2017. Ransomware reports received by KISA in 2016 increased by 86% yearon-year. KISA notes that 2016 saw the emergence of “Ransomware as a Service” (RaaS), so that individuals with no particular computer expertise would still be able to commission those who do. KISA anticipates that 2017 will see an increase social engineering-driven ransomware distribution, such as e-mail spear phishing, spear phishing via social media, and “malvertising.”

While “Locky” represented nearly 80% of the ransomware reported to KISA in 1H, “Cerber” and “Tesla” became more common in 2H.

Data KISA, Chart and Translation KBLA


Korea Intelligence | Technology

KCC Issues Guideline Regarding User Control Over Collection of Personal Online Behavioral Data and Personalized Advertising On February 7, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) issued a new guideline designed to increase user control over the collection of personal online behavioral data and personalized advertising. The new “Guideline on the Protection of Personal Information in Online Personalized Advertising” (온라인 맞춤형 광고 개인정보보호 가이드라인), emphasizes four major principles when it comes to online (to include mobile) personalized advertising. 1. Transparency in the collection and usage of behavioral data; informing users/consumers that data is being collected, how it is being used, and what controls users may exercise. 2. Guaranteeing user control; the guideline describes several methods advertisers ought to use to ensure users have proper control of their behavioral data. 3. Ensuring the safety/security of behavioral data; advertisers ought to refer to KCC notice, “Standards for Technical and Managerial Protection Measures Regarding Personal Information” (개인정보의 기술적. 관리적 보호조치 기준), for ways to ensure that behavioral data is not compromised.

Per the report, the Guideline was issued in order to minimize apparent citizen concerns regarding supposed invasions of privacy related to the collection of data on an individual’s online behavior (websites visited, search terms entered, etc.). For reference, the press release also describes two major methods by which personalized advertising is used. It can either be used directly by e-commerce sites, based on past customer behavior, or behavioral data can be sold or provided to online advertisers, who use it to develop personalized advertising which targets individual users on other, various websites/platforms.

4. Increasing recognition (of the issue) and increased restitution for damages; increasing user awareness of the practices of behavioral data collection/personalized advertising, and making it easier for users to collect damages in the event that said data is allegedly abused.

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Korea Intelligence | Risk Management

Survey on Crimes Against Businesses in 2015 On February 1, the Korean Institute of Criminology (KIC) published the results of a survey of 8,140 businesses regarding their experiences with crime in 2015. Of those surveyed, 28.2% admitted to having been the victims of some sort of crime in 2015, mainly property crimes such as theft and fraud. Roughly eight percent experienced some sort of violent crime, mostly “violent interference with business operations� (for example, an intoxicated customer).

Data KIC, Chart and Translation KBLA

According to respondents, fraud and theft by customers were the most common crimes experienced, without roughly twelve percent of respondents having experienced them.

Data KIC, Chart and Translation KBLA


Korea Intelligence | Risk Management “Violent interference with business operations,� was the most common violent crime experienced by businesses.

Data KIC, Chart and Translation KBLA

Drinking establishments were much more likely to experience violent crime than other business types, while retail businesses and drinking establishments had higher rates of property crimes.

Data KIC, Chart and Translation KBLA

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Korea Intelligence | Infrastructure/Transportation

Expressway Travel Figures for 2015 The Korea Expressway Corporation (KEC) recently published important figures on Korean expressway (고속도로) usage in 2015. In general, KEC emphasizes that although vehicle traffic continues to increase, increased expressway infrastructure has shortened travel times between major cities, and led to increased average speed on expressways. A total of 74.6 billion VKT were traveled on Korean expressways in 2015, up nearly twenty-five percent since 2011. However, according to KEC, travel times between Seoul and Busan, and Seoul and Gwangju, have dropped 7.0% and 7.6% over the same period.

Data KEC, Chart and Translation KBLA

Data KEC, Chart and Translation KBLA


Korea Intelligence | Infrastructure/Transportation

KORAIL Metropolitan Railroad Travel Figures for 2016 On February 9, KORAIL published passenger numbers for the KORAIL Metropolitan Railroad system* in 2016. A daily average of 3.15 million individuals rode on the fifteen constituent lines of the KORAIL Metropolitan Railroad system in 2016. With over 700,000 daily passengers, the Gyeongbu Line was the busiest line, while Yeongdeungpo was the busiest station. Average daily ridership peaked in the spring and fall.

Data KORAIL, Table and Translation KBLA

Ridership for the total KORAIL system peaked in the spring and autumn at around 3.3 million passengers per day. * The KORAIL Metropolitan Railroad (코레일 광역철도) operates several major lines throughout both the Seoul Capital Area and the rest of the country. Data KORAIL, Table and Translation KBLA

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Korea Intelligence |

Real Estate by Cushman & Wakefield


Korea Intelligence |

Real Estate by Cushman & Wakefield

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Korea Intelligence |

Real Estate by Cushman & Wakefield


Korea Intelligence |

Real Estate by Cushman & Wakefield

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Development

Thinking about what a fourth industrial revolution manufacturing center will look like W

e are told that the industries of the fourth industrial revolution will transform the 21st century economy, but what should a 21st century industrial estate look like that houses these industries look like. The planners of Dangjin New Industrial Town invite KBLA leaders to join in the debate and assist in planning what is to be billed as a fifth generation green new city which will be a hub for all the industries that make up the fourth industrial revolution.

expressway to Daejeon and a rapid train ride to Seoul. The planners want this to be a forerunner of a new Korea and hope KBLA will provide ideas and maybe even invest in the city where construction will start in late 2017 and early occupants move in early in 2018.

Planned as a small city of about 150,000 people, located on the southern shore of Asan Bay currently linked to Pyongtaek by the West Coast expressway 15, the new Dangjin town’s exit is immediately after the bridge. An extensive new infrastructure network either under construction or planned brings a second bridge to Asan, Pyongtaek and expressway 17, a new east-west

and nanotech is expected to join. As many of these industries will be SMEs, conventional factories may not be the norm, rather a more technopark structure can be expected as well as larger plants. The potential for flexible smart contract manufacturing plants which can put the ideas of the SME into instant scalable production is under consideration. 3D printers also need

Each industry association is pegging out a centre for itself and its members at the city, 3D printers, drones, robots, medical equipment, IoT, VR & AR are already committing

Tony Michell, KABC Ltd Jenny Yoon, GIC Holdings


Development sizeable sheds if they are producing parts for robots, other mobility functions, medical plants and items which go into gadgets that make IoT work. A cloud warehouse zone is also planned to take advantage of the global internet connections which come ashore near the city. It is hoped that software security companies work side by side, making IoT and the connected world safe from hackers and criminals. But a fifth generation green industrial city should be a liveable city. Attractive housing will be built along the coast, greenways run through the city for pedestrians, electric bikes and vehicles, and workers have day release to study more at the proposed STEM + C institute which will offer advanced courses and basic courses in the new technology. C stands for culture which should be combined with design and humanities in what the west is calling STEAM. This institute is intended to add to Korea’s limited number of technical institutes and tie up with technical universities and institutions around the world. It is hoped that some of the researchers working for their own or other companies will help fill the faculty. Jenny Yoon of GIC Holdings who is one of the key idea machines for the city wants to hold the quidditch Olympics in Dangjin early in the 21st century. A multipurpose stadium could host it, and Jenny and the Drone Association hope to create Drone Quidditch as well as the current form of “Muggle” Quidditch, Korea already has two Quidditch teams. A theme park is planned which will continue the idea of magic and science fiction. The theme park will allow the companies in the city to test certain beta products or build bespoke items for the global theme and amusement park business. Tie up with Korean game companies is expected to augment this. Additional features will be the largest

children’s’ library in Asia (but think that this will be a culture fest of activities for children from writing, film making, acting and viewing as well as reading. Investment and support from the Korean Women’s Venture Association is intended to assist in making this city a woman and child friendly city with multicultural schools and other activities. Pyongtaek is the place more than a third of Chinese tourists coming by sea arrive. The STEM+C institute is intended to be multinational with tuition in English, Korean and Chinese. For expatriates, there is a planned English themed place to live, work and drink to be named Queenstown. But what should the city look like? What are appropriate designs for 4th industrial revolution factories and workshops. How can its green footprint integrate with the busy roads full of industrial traffic around the Asan Bay. How can the desire of SMEs to rent space be matched against the Korean government’s dictate that industry should buy land? The land is cheap enough, just over one million won per pyeong for industrial land and two to three million won per pyeong for commercial and residential land – one tenth of the price in Seoul and one third of the price in Dongtan and the expanding Seoul industrial fringe. But can Koreans be drawn away from Seoul to enjoy a 21st century life of good environment and green living? Jenny wanted to use concentric circles for emphasis that in the 4th Industrial Revolution everything is connected to everything else. This is in contrast with older industrial estates which have a grid pattern. The map shows the phase 1 provisional design, before the logistics area is reclaimed from the sea. The present view and below the developed view at the end of stage 1. In stage 2 a logistics area will be

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Development created by reclaiming land from the sea to the seaward side of the main national road running east-west. To the left in yellow is a proposed smart farm area which will be developed by Hyundai Motors Trade Union to provide income and work for their

former members. (Hyundai Motors Asan Plant is about 20 minutes drive away from the site). GIC Holdings and KABC Ltd are collecting opinions and ideas to make this development successful and have an online questionnaire, but also welcome comments via email to Tony Michell (tonymichell@ kabcltd.com). KBLA will be holding a seminar on April 5th to allow members to discuss this project and how KBLA could become more closely involved.


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Korea Voices

Are Young Korean Lawyers Becoming More Creative? One of the things that impressed me about the young Korean lawyers I come into contact with is the ability to think outside of the box. In essence, the younger lawyers I meet have shown a greater willingness to think creatively as opposed to older generations. Perhaps it is the embrace of technology at a young age, the ability to travel and study abroad that their parents or grandparents were unable to do, or both. Or perhaps, it is also a symptom of a society in transition that is questioning itself and the customs and traditions that have until now played an integral part in Korean society. As a lawyer, now is a great time to be in Korea. Korea is adopting laws from other countries at a fast pace in order to reflect changes in international law. Many government agencies are taking a more international outlook. In the case of the KFTC, becoming a leader as it tackles cutting edge issues that many countries are afraid to address. The courts are becoming more international as well in outlook, and are in fact looking at the legal systems of other countries in order to modernize. In Korea, the practice of law is changing and even the study of law is changing. It is a civil law system that is starting to look at common law concepts and practices. This dynamic change (if you consider law to be dynamic) is turning things upside down. Unlike Japan, which has not adopted the principle of change as rapidly or as to the same degree as Korea, Korean society is willing to challenge the status quo. This reminds me, of why I love Korea. Thirty years ago, I became the first foreign lawyer to be hired full time by the Samsung Group. Not only did this position expose me to international corporate law like no other position did (many of my law school peers were working for law firms in Florida, blissfully unaware of

the Asian marketplace) it also exposed me to Asia in general and of course Korean culture and business practices. Working in house for one of Korea’s largest multinationals not only changed my career but my life. I was able to meet people from all over the world. As the expat community in Seoul is rather small, I had the opportunity to share a beer with many foreign businessmen such as a president of a US bank, a CFO of a company from Germany, a VP from Japan, a senior partner of a large and prestigious US law firm (that never would have hired me if I had stayed in the US) and an engineer from India. I also had the opportunity to witness Korea embrace democracy, force its dictator to retire and to hold democratic elections. And of course I witnessed firsthand and the expansion of Samsung companies including Samsung Electronics around the world. I still cannot believe how dramatically my life and career changed by moving to Seoul so many years ago. Looking back, I realize that my success was due to the willingness to change, to explore, to in essencechallenge the status quo and think outside the box. When my peers were slaving away in Big Law in the US, I was working for one of the largest multinationals in Korea. I was given the opportunity not only to see a different culture, but to experience a society that was transforming itself into a global power. This only happened because I made the decision to try something different, to explore, and to look at things differently than most of my law school classmates. To look at things more creatively. Young Korean lawyers today are also willing to think outside the box, to look at issues from a creative standpoint. It is amazing to see how many young Korean and Korean-American lawyers I talk to that are looking at things differently than older generations.

Bryan Hopkins Special Counsel, Lee & Ko bryan.hopkins@leeko.com


Korea Voices The practice of law not only consists of working for a big Korean law firm, but of going in-house, working in other countries, studying abroad, pushing the edge of the envelope so to speak. I noted in an article I published a number of years ago that Korean law schools were being pushed to graduate a more competitive bunch of students. I argued that Korean law schools had to educate a large number of bilingual world class internationally focused lawyers in order to compete with Singapore and Hong Kong. I asserted that an emphasis must be placed on graduating bilingual law students who can think on their feet and not just pass bar exams. A premium must be placed on business and legal acumen in an international context. Lawyers need to have a basic understanding of business to advise clients in the fast paced commercial world of today especially in light of instant communications that every business faces in the current global environment. It appears I was right. The Korean law schools have taken steps to educate internationally focused lawyers. Young Korean lawyers are becoming more bilingual than ever before and are becoming more and more business savvy. More foreign law professors are teaching at Korean law schools. The threat of competition from Singapore and Hong Kong has pushed Korean lawyers to become more creative in how they address legal problems and how they resolve complex legal issues. Foreign clients expect more from Korean lawyers than in the past and the new generation of Korean lawyers are willing to rise to the challenge.

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Korea Voices

The Culture of “only a sort of They” All good people agree, And all good people say, All nice people, like Us, are We And every one else is They: But if you cross over the sea, Instead of over the way, You may end by (think of it!) looking on We As only a sort of They! —Rudyard Kipling, last stanza We and They (1926) Back when I aspired to become a diplomat or a secret agent, I took a course in the Government Department at Harvard called International Relations East Asia (IREA) from Alastair Iain Johnston who was there as the Governor James Albert Noe and Linda Noe Laine Professor of China in World Affairs. Professor Johnston, now well known for his writings on socialization theory, identity and political behavior, and strategic culture, mostly as those relate to the study of East Asian international relations and Chinese foreign policy, was, at that time, a young man. I was excited to take his course. During the first week of class, standing in front of us with his reddish hair in a khaki GDR army jacket (or maybe it was PLA), he proposed to us that, from the perspective of the social sciences, there was no such thing as “culture.” He then challenged each and every one of us to prove him wrong by coming up with a definition to go with this all-important but amorphous concept. None of us could, though not for lack of trying. I encourage you to try this little assignment yourself right now. How do you define “culture”? Richard Ned Lebow writes in the 2011 Millennium—Journal of International Studies, “Even by the loose standards of social science, culture is a vague, catch-all term that has been used in so many ways for so many ends that there is little to be gained, and perhaps much to be lost, from attempting to impose my own definition, especially the kind of narrow and technical understanding essential to

“operationalise the concept.” Professor Johnston said much the same thing to our class before proceeding to shoot down every definition we came up with. In the end, we could only agree: “There’s no such thing as ‘culture.’” The first place we got hung up in our IREA class was thinking about culture, as you may have as well, in terms of the nation state— the traditional arts of nation states, in particular. We were also including in our desperately forged definitions of culture things like language and sports and cuisine. It was an international relations class, after all, so we tried to corral the question by placing it in its familiar international contexts—Korean culture, Japanese culture, Chinese culture . . . . Johnston countered that it might actually be easier for us to drop the map-line construct (which, of course, we should recognize as little more than a product of human imagination) and contemplate culture as something that can be more easily shared, for example, by people who work globally in the IT industry, regardless of nationality. Lewis Henry Lapham, great grandson of the founder of Texaco, argues similarly in his 2015 Lapham’s Quarterly, that “Beverly Hills and the Upper East Side of Manhattan belong to the same polity [read culture] as the sixteenth arrondissement in Paris or the Peak in Hong Kong; the yachts moored off Cannes and the Costa Brava sail under the same admiralty that posts squadrons in Bali and Miami Beach. . . . [To these people] the downmarket American becomes as foreign and frightful as a wandering Arab.” Lapham appears to be arguing that the culture of shared class transcends national boundaries (as long as one is not in the first place Arab). Professor Johnston might have agreed. In a recent issue of the New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert reports on an experiment called the “illusion of

Professor Jocelyn Clark Pai Chai University KBLA Arts Ambassador jocelyn.clark@kbla.info

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Korea Voices explanatory depth,” in which two professors show that people believe we know much more than we actually do. To prove their hypothesis, the researchers turned to that indispensable cross-cultural icon, the toilet. Most people have used one. But do you really know how it works? The professors asked Yale graduate students to explain in detail, in writing, how a toilet operates, and then to rate their performance. “Toilets, it turns out,” writes Kolbert, “are more complicated than they appear.” And the study revealed most of us know close to nothing about their mechanics. She goes on to weigh the cost of this practical ignorance against the cost of political ignorance—how we treat public policy the same a flushing a toilet, as if we are all experts by simply possessing the ability to press a lever: “It’s one thing for me to flush a toilet without knowing how it operates, and another for me to favor (or oppose) a [public policy] without knowing what I’m talking about.” I take this to mean that, in my relationship with my toilet (as opposed to that with my government), it makes no difference to either the toilet or me if I understand the series of events that occurs when I compress the handle (or pull the chain, or simply exit the stall—it seems even the assertion of a common reference to bathroom culture now no longer holds water). Though Kolbert’s article doesn’t exactly match the point I am making here, when I read it, it did occur to me that the study’s “illusion of explanatory depth” describes well the dilemma we were faced with in our International Relations class. We (speaking universally, here, in one of the very rare contexts universalism holds up) empty our bladders often, and, in the narrower context of the English-speaking world, we speak the word “culture” almost as often. But do any of us actually know what it means? In Korea we use the word munhwa 문화 文化 (wenhua in Chinese), a word that is tied to being literate and civil. The connotations are different than in the English “culture,” though, which originally related to agriculture. Chinese often refer to a person as having or not having wenhua, a word indicative of class, similar to the use of

“cultured” to mean “classy” in English. When two people speak of culture, what are the chances both are ascribing the same meaning to that word? And what in the world is meant by terms like “culture wars”? Is it the same as a “clash of civilizations?” We students of Professor Johnston walked into class one morning believing we knew what culture was; two hours later, we had come to begin to realize the “depth” of our “explanatory illusion.” A great teacher might be defined as a person who asks a question you continue to think about over the course of your lifetime. By this measure, young Professor Johnston was one of the greats. Ever since that day, I have been trying to come up with a definition of culture—not one that I can “operationalise” but simply a definition roomy enough to contain the many worlds I have encountered in my voyages across so many of Kipling’s envisioned “seas.” By their nature, words (especially, it often seems, English words) are not built for roominess. As many scholars have written about at length, the job of words is to circumscribe/ contain/compartmentalize our vast interconnected and otherwise incomprehensible universe—not to provide loosey-goosey definitions for life’s margin-less moments. Nevertheless, Professor Johnston’s challenge continues to poke at me. But I may be beginning to hone in on something that might work, if not for him, at least for me—a notion that culture is what happens at the points at which we intersect—those bits of shared territory we co-occupy at any given time. Without being, as they say in the world of Law, “void for vagueness,” this loose definition is open enough to accommodate the ways we commonly use the word, e.g., “business culture,” “arts and culture,” “Korean culture,” “youth culture,” “popular culture,” “Cultural Revolution,” “culture wars.” According to this definition, as few as two people may share a culture. We are used to thinking of culture as representing some sort of critical mass, e.g., “national culture” or “religious culture.” But is a friendship,


Korea Voices especially a long one, also not a kind of culture? At the other end of the continuum, my airy definition of “culture” even encompasses the seven newly discovered earth-sized planets around a sun in a different galaxy— for the minute we “discover” these cosmological entities through the lenses of our magnificent telescopes, (and the possibilities they present for extraterrestrial life), we create the intersectional territory needed to qualify for that definition. Meanwhile, back here on earth, let me come back to the culture-sceptic Professor Johnston’s biography, in which he references something called “strategic culture” which he elsewhere defines as “an ideational milieu that limits behaviour choices.” Here one might demand, in the spirit of the day (or this article, at least), “Define milieu!” If you do look it up, you will find “milieu” means something like “a person’s social environment”—which would seem to have us wading into waters at least as murky as those of “culture.” Johnston elaborates: “[S]trategic culture [comprises] shared assumptions and decision rules that impose a degree of order on individual and group conceptions of their relationship to their social, organizational or political environment.” I am happy to find the Professor and me headed in the same direction on our common quest to resolve the query he presented so long ago. “Shared assumptions and rules that impose order on a group” might be governing principles or at least a regulatory regime for the shared territory at the point of intersection I have come to in my current working definition of culture. I am not sure that the points have to impose order if we are not talking strategy, though— often, groups with a high degree of shared points of intersection are those most passionately in conflict with one another, i.e. black and white Americans, Israelis and Palestinians, North and South Koreans, Jeolla Provincers and Gyeongsang Provincers, Europe in general—but they provide a shared frame of reference from which to proceed into relationship. I suspect the current longing of the

old folks for the good ol’ days has something to do with a longing for a time when “Us” and “We” shared more points of intersection—in other words, when “We” shared “a” culture—an anchor that prevented “Us” (우리) from untethering and floating into the great and infinite world of “They” (남) and “They” from getting not only across “our” borders but into “our cultural space.” When Hitler declared in 1924, “All the human culture, all the results of art, science, and technology that we see before us today, are almost exclusively the creative product of the Aryan,” he was proclaiming the purity of the Aryan culture as much as he was defending the primacy of the Aryan race. Edward Said, in Orientalism, points out that physical and mental— psychological (that is, cultural)— boundaries are more or less the same thing. Alluding to the fact that the word “culture,” in the Middle English sense, stood for “cultivation of the soil,” Said writes: [T]his universal practice of designating in one’s mind a familiar space which is “ours” and an unfamiliar space beyond “ours” which is “theirs” is a way of making geographical distinctions that can be entirely arbitrary. I use the word “arbitrary’ here because imaginative geography of the “our land/barbarian land” variety does not require that the barbarians acknowledge the distinction. It is enough for “us” to set up these boundaries in our own minds; “they” become “they” accordingly, and both their territory and their mentality are designated as different from “ours.” “Ours” is when, in the good ol’ days, “we” all watched “the” news together at 6 p.m. “We” went to “the” movie, or “the” concert, or drove out “the” road to “the” supermarket. “We” bought “the” number one song at “the” record store. Even in cities, choices were bounded in a way they are not anymore. “Our” shared “culture” created community—a place where “We” agreed on facts and felt safe to speak our minds because “We” were all coming from the same reference points. Today, those pesky “Tubes” (the Internet) have turned a

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to Canada to avoid being sent by the U.S. government back to his home country, where being mistreated on the basis of his religion is not out of the range of possibilities.

In Japan, as early as the 9th century, monks created a whole new syllabary for imported vocabulary from China called katakana. Extended to all foreign words in modern usage, this system keeps foreign words from infecting “pure” Japanese on the page. In America today, at the countryʼs highest levels of government, the erosion of the imagined “Us” is being attributed to infiltration of national borders—to the disintegration of physical (and racial and ideological/religious) space. But the breakdown of “community” is happening even in the (mythically) monoethnic, homogenous society of Korea. I suspect the “Them” here are primarily the old folk (who are also often rural). Many would argue this also to be the situation in America today at the moment when young Americans were asked to choose between two candidates who tied Ronald Regan for the oldest in history. Thus, the point of intersection contemplated in my definition must be seen as inhabiting not only a common physical (or digital/ virtual) space, but a shared temporal space, as well. As the British author L.P. Hartley famously wrote in the opening lines of his 1956 novel The Go-Between, “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” In the land of the Millennial, the aging Baby Boomer becomes more a foreigner and less a naturalized citizen with each passing digital day.

The world is intrinsically, and increasingly so, made up infinite points of intersection. It’s not that we enjoy less commonality in our bounded spaces, but that those spaces increasingly intersect with the spaces of others. Culture thus continuously changes both places and the people residing in those places, as it flows across visible and invisible borders looking to create a new iteration of itself. The possibilities for combinations of intersecting points increase exponentially. Amidst all of this unavoidable change, if we can accept that culture is something we do instead of something we have, maybe we can begin to wield its power to build a new Golden Age, rather than seeking to prop up a feeble and always, from the view point of now, imagined “great” past.

I may still be struggling to nail down an answer to Professor Johnston’s question, but what is clear is that the spatial or temporal point of intersection is a place of immense power. If culture were a thing, the shared territory might be a more static space. But what my professor, Mr. Said, and I all seem to be in agreement on is that culture is not a thing but a process. We may begin by forging an “Us” out of individual identity. We may be able to fool ourselves into thinking we have no use for “Them.” Until the only thing that’s running harder than my broken toilet in Alaska is my Iranian Baha’i plumber who is fast making his way


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Korean Presidential Politics -All aboard for the train to changing times- and how will the ride go for Foreign Investors? Since Korea’s parliament, the National Assembly, passed the bill of impeachment against President Park Geun Hye on 9 December last year, nothing has been operating normally in Korean politics. The political drama surrounding impeachment has been played out against the backdrop of the on-going investigations into the principals involved the scandal, including the president herself, and their alleged wrong-doings that in turn led up to the vote for impeachment. But equally these dramatic events have resulted the almost non-stop appearance of many of the senior political figures in Korea in the local media as the major political parties and major politicians jockey for greater public recognition and standing. The purpose of this column is not to debate the pros and cons of the charges against President Park and the others alleged to have broken Korean law, but rather to highlight the upcoming Korean presidential candidates who are essentially already contending for presidential nominations from their political parties, regardless of whether the election itself will be in two or three months if impeachment is upheld in the Constitutional Court, or in December if the Constitutional Court declares President Park not guilty of the impeachment charges, and to consider what their political policies might have in store for foreign investors. The first political party upheaval to consider involves the conservative Saenuri party that has often been the party of parliamentary majority in recent years. It has now changed to a new name, the Liberty Korea Party and split into a rump of politicians loyal to President Park, and who continue to stay affiliated with the Liberty Korea

Party, and defectors who have left this party and have recently founded a new party, the Bareun (‘Proper’) Party. The defectors from Liberty Korea who have founded the Bareun Party claim that their new party will be a ‘true conservative party’, and they currently have around 30 deputies in the National Assembly. The main opposition party, the Minjoo or ‘Democratic’ Party, which has 121 deputies, has several senior politicians who are now unofficially contending for their party’s nomination for the presidency, including the former presidential candidate, Mr. Moon Jae In, along with the current governor of South Chung Cheong Province (located in the central part of South Korea) Mr. An Hee Jung, and Mr. Lee Jae Myung the mayor of a suburban city on the southern outskirts of Seoul called Seongnam City. The Bareun Party, perhaps due to the fact that its deputies in the Korean parliament were previously members of the Park Geun Hye-led Saenuri Party (now the Liberty Korea Party), have not been as active in putting themselves forward as possible candidates for the presidency as yet. The Park-loyalist deputies who continue to belong to the Liberty Korea Party are likewise keeping a fairly low profile personally, aside from registering that they continue to be loyal to President Park and hope that the Constitutional Court will overturn her impeachment. Some deputies in the Liberty Korea and the Bareun parties were hoping that Mr. Ban Ki Moon, who recently retired as UN Secretary General, would choose to run as a Liberty Korea or Bareun presidential candidate. But before he could even announce if he had any interest in joining any political party in Korea as a right-of-center candidate,

Hank Morris Argentarius hank@argentarius-group.com


Korea Voices Ban decided that Korean politics was simply too strange for his tastes and excluded himself from consideration as a candidate. The third raking party in Korea, the People’s Party, has Mr. Ahn Cheol Soo as its potential presidential candidate but with fewer than 40 deputies in the National Assembly, it is not in a strong position currently. The People’s Party is similar to the Minjoo party in its left-of-center positions on the issues, but its deputies come mainly from South Jeolla Province, which includes the major city of Kwangju, and a few districts in Seoul. Mr. Ahn is well known nationwide since his foray into politics in the last presidential election when he declared himself a candidate despite not being affiliated at the time with any Korean party. He did well enough in the polls to have ensured that Mr. Moon would lose by splitting the votes of the left between himself and Moon, but a few weeks before the vote he pulled out of the election and declared support for Moon, who then lost narrowly to Park in the 2012 election. Following the election, Ahn joined the Minjoo Party but a dispute over the party’s presidential nomination process resulted in Ahn’s departure from the Minjoo at the end of 2015 and then he and some disaffected South Jeolla Province deputies who also split off from the Minjoo, founded the People’s Party in January of 2016. In the most recent of Korean opinion polls released 10 February, Mr. Moon dropped from almost 32% in popularity with a sample of the voting public to 29%, while Mr. An the Choong Chung Province governor, rose to 19% from about 10% in the previous poll a week earlier. The only other politician in double digits in popularity was the prime minister, Mr. Hwang Kyo Ahn, who is now acting president as well during the impeachment trial, who came in at 11%, while Ahn Cheol Soo of the People’s Party came in at 7% and Mayor Lee of Seongnam was also in single digits. The sharp rise in just a week by Governor An came as something of a surprise and he is now considered a serious challenger to Moon for the Minjoo presidential nomination. To stoke up support from party members and citizens in general, Moon participated in one of the large political demonstrations of

anti-Park citizens in downtown Seoul on last Saturday, while An attended a similar demonstration in Kwangju. These popular demonstrations, where the demonstrators take to the streets holding candles, chanting slogans and signing in peaceful protests that, if not approved then are at least tolerated by the Korean police, appear designed to put public pressure on the justices of the Constitutional Court to confirm President Park’s impeachment. If the justices do confirm Park’s impeachment in a decision that may come between now and the 13th of March when another justice on the court is scheduled to retire, that will result in Park’s immediate removal from office and signal the start of a 60 presidential campaign period at the conclusion of which is the election that determines the next Korean president. The winner of this special presidential election would be sworn into office the day after the election results are announced. This process would short cut the normal election cycle which will take place if Park is found not guilty by the Constitutional Court. In that case, the presidential election will be in mid December and the candidate who wins will take office when Park steps down in late February of next year. Although it seems very likely that if the impeachment is confirmed soon and the special presidential election were then to be held in the near future as a result, Moon would be the Minjoo candidate most likely to win both his party’s presidential nomination and the election as well, that does mean that Moon can count on an easy ride to the Blue House. Governor An’s surge in popularity in the space of just one week suggests that he is seen by increasing numbers of voters as a real alternative presidential candidate for the Minjoo party’s nomination. Ahn Cheol Soo, the People’s party’s leading contender might also be thinking of another run for the presidency, and two left wing candidates vying for support from the electorate might tip the balance in favor of a conservative presidential candidate. But in the most recent poll Mr. Yoo Seong Min of the Bareun Party came in at just 3%, far below Prime Minister Hwang’s 11% rating. Hwang remains only a potential candidate at this stage as he has been

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Korea Voices completely non-committal about his interest or lack thereof in running in the upcoming presidential election. That is a natural stance at this point since he does not know if Park’s impeachment will be upheld or not. If it is then he continues as acting president during the 60 special presidential election period and is able to run if he wishes, but if Park is declared not guilty then she resumes the presidency and perhaps also control over the Liberty Korea party and can influence its selection of a candidate. In any case, having been chosen by Park as prime minister, Mr. Hwang would be seen as having been associated with the president and that could obviously be a liability for a conservative candidate. He would also be tagged with having been too supportive of the chaebol system, and since some of the major Korean conglomerates have been involved in the impeachment scandal, that has tarnished their reputation and most likely that of their political supporters. If Mr. Hwang does run, he could continue as acting president for the first 30 days of the 60 day special election period, but would have to hand over the acting presidential duty to Deputy Prime Minister Yoo Il Ho for the latter 30 days since candidates for the election are not permitted to be acting president in that period. Given the fact that the Minjoo candidate, whether that turns out to be Mr. Moon or Governor An, is the most likely candidate to win the next presidential election whenever it is held, it may be useful to consider what the policies of a Minjoo president might look like, particularly in regard to foreign companies and investment in Korea. The fact that Minjoo party politicians often talk of the inequality of income and social privilege in Korea suggests that if the Minjoo candidate wins, the next Korean administration will seek to enact a more robust left-of-center political economic plan that would include enhancing social welfare benefits for lower income Koreans along with improvements to the coverage of the national health insurance system along with some measures designed to increase the incomes of middle and lower income Koreans. The latter steps could involve some tax breaks as well as decreases in fees paid for higher

education and also higher salaries for government employees and a higher minimum wage level. These increases in benefits across the board along with lower taxes on middle and lower income Koreans could only mean that the next Minjoo administration must be thinking of increasing taxes on major chaebols, the conglomerates that dominate business and industry, and the wealthy families that control the chaebols. In addition to these relatively easy targets, the incoming administration may also target large foreign companies and businesses in general to increase tax yields. Yet another way for the incoming administration to enhance its position with its supporters that would also increase costs potentially for foreign and Korean businesses alike would be for the new administration to approve Seongnam Mayor Lee’s suggestion of making annual leave mandatory for all. In other words, employees who are due at least two weeks holiday per year and often more, would be required to take all of their leave time every year. Similarly, new regulations might restrict working hours greatly, following the practice in France for example. While these changes would not involve tax consequences, they would saddle businesses in Korea with greater costs. But if the Minjoo candidate is elected, whether it is Moon, An or someone else, the new president will need to try to deliver on campaign promises made to the voters, and that would likely mean some combination of more taxes or changes in operating procedures that will add costs to the total costs of operating a business in Korea. Foreign and Korean businesses, particularly the larger companies that provide much of the GDP growth for the Korean economy, may find the new administration a real challenge. We will perhaps soon see how well prepared these businesses are in coping with the probable challenges that may lie ahead in the very near term. As the ancient Asian saying goes, ‘we live in interesting times’.


Korea Voices

Job Security: How Do I Get It? How To Manage Your Career in 8 Steps. Job security everyone wants, but few do anything about achieving it. Perhaps it is because the first step is the hardest step. Following a pattern or proven strategy can be helpful in getting that first movement towards an objective. Start here and discover the eight steps that will help you manage your career and gain the job security that you desire. So, what is the concept? Managing a career by establishing goals and objectives is understood. The mystery is what strategies are proven to be the most effective in achieving the selected goals and objectives. Is there one plan that fits all, or rather principles applied to the process that produces results based on the uniqueness of each. I believe that it is the latter. Learn these principles to develop a career management strategy which in turn will increase job security. Why is this important? Managing careers used to be the job for inhouse human resource professionals, not anymore. Now, it is up to the individual to take charge of their careers. A systematic evaluation of progress toward the achievement of selected goals/objectives and modification of the strategy is now more than ever in the hands of the individual. However, too many executives are unprepared to manage their careers and don’t even know where to begin. There is a misconception that a good resume and a good head hunter is all you need to manage your career. Or, that a career coach will revise your resume and then give you the job you desire like ordering pizza. Both concepts are fallacies and just wishful thinking by people not wanting to put in the work required.

As an executive search consultant and executive coach for over 17 years, I have placed 100’s of “A” level candidates, witnessed first-hand how successful people managed their careers and coached many who have realized their potential. Unfortunately, I have also observed those who have failed to give their careers the attention it deserves. Their stories have usually ended with unfulfilled dreams, wasted potential, and careers cut short. Your career does not have to end this way. Consider and implement these eight things to effectively manage your career. 1. Self-assessment. There are numerous psychometric self-assessment tools like MeyersBriggs that you can use to getting a better grip on how you think and the preferences that you have. Check these out and take the results with a grain of salt. Don’t believe everything they say but consider that most of the feedback is probably right on. If you like, here is a link to one that you can take for FREE. http://www.humanmetrics.com/ personality 2. 360 Assessments. After you have done a selfassessment, it’s good to see how other perceive you by taking a 360 assessment tool. People that we associate with or stakeholders often perceive us differently than we want to be perceived. It is possible to send the wrong messages to others repeatedly if we do not realize that it is happening. We sometimes refer this as blind spots. By doing a 360 assessment potential, blind spots can come to light. Here is a FREE 360 leadership survey, it covers ten leadership characteristics. They are Strategy, Communication, Knowledge, Learning, Influence, Relationships, Delegation, Priorities,

Steven B. McKinney McKinney Consulting Inc. steve.mckinney@kbla.info

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Integrity, and Confidence. http://www.leadership-tools. com/360-degree-feedbackleadership.html 3. Career coach. Identify and hire a career coach. A good coach can help you every step of the way and mentor you to success. Find one that you like and is educated in the discipline, not just anyone off the street. Usually, coaches belong to one or more global organization. For example, the International Coaching Federation, https://www.coachfederation.org/, International Coaching Council, http://www.international-coachingcouncil.com/. However, the individual’s personal credentials are the most important thing to consider. 4. 3 Sentence Narratives. Identify ten achievements that you are the mot proudest of. Once assembled, write them in a three sentence narrative. This narrative should describe (1) “WHAT” the achievement is. What was done? Key activity; for whom. Generic. (2) “HOW” you made the achievement. How was it done? Step-by-step. Two to three major elements; statement; statement; statement. (3) The

“RESULTS” of the achievement in quantitative terms. What were the results for the organization? Quantify $ %. Here is one example provided by Bernard Haldane. Researched and investigated reasons for a financial paper backlog for two accounting departments of a major insurance company. Identified problems; assessed internal capabilities; set goals for completion; planned and implemented procedures to correct the problem; reorganized the two inefficient departments into one effective department. Results: Cleared 5,000 items and 5-year backlog; reduced staff by ten employees through natural attrition in less than 15 months, realized savings more than $120,000 annually. 5. Success Factors. After completion of your three sentence narratives, analyze your achievements and identify the 5 or 6 success factors that occur most often in your achievements. These factors typically come under categories of skills such as management, communication, research, technical, teaching, financial, and creative, etc.


Korea Voices 6. Draft your resume or CV. Armed with your success factors and achievements you are ready to prepare your resume and reveal your proven pattern of success over time to potential new employers. Armed with your work history, education, and knowing what success factors you employ time and time again to succeed you are ready to create your career marketing tool the resume or CV. 7. Update your social media channels. There was a time when our work and private life was a mystery. That is no longer the case we are all pretty much an open book. Keep your LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media channels updated, and be careful what you say, or it could come back to haunt you. 8. Cross-cultural training. In today’s workplace, we interact globally or at least communicate with colleagues and clients from different places and cultures on a daily basis. If we do not understand at least a little bit about how the people that we associate with think we cannot build successful partnerships. Recently, I coached a couple of oil industry leaders here in Korea. Upon completion of the all day session, one of them made the following statement. The coaching was excellent, no question about it. But there is one area that we should receive more coaching on and that is how we interact within our company. This coaching was good for us to learn how to deal with Koreans, but what about the people in our company that is so diverse? We have employees from Turkey, Mississippi, California. Texas and Lousiana. How can you begin to apply this concept to your career? First, recognize that managing one’s career is not an option any longer. No one cares more about you than you. This article is not all-inclusive but rather a starting point for you to develop your strategy. Read and try to apply these principles in

your career. Do you have any other suggestions, thoughts or successes in managing your career to share? I am all ears. Please write back and share your experiences. With a little guidance and effort, you can have a successful career story to tell your grandkids. Take charge of your career and don’t leave it to chance. Steven B. McKinney is the founder & President of McKinney Consulting Inc. (IRC Korea) a partner firm of IRC Global Executive Search Partners (Top 3 Globally) with over 17 years of experience as a consultant in executive search and leadership consulting placing 100’s of executives in multinational companies in Korea and Asia-wide. He earned the distinction of Certified Master Coach from Behavioral Coaching Insitute and a certificate in Leadership Coaching Strategies from Harvard University. Previously he managed global footwear R&D efforts for Adidas International and oversaw manufacturing production for Reebok International. In 2007 he was awarded Honorary Citizenship of Seoul.

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The data is coming, the data is coming! Today, professional management is increasingly about obtaining and utilizing mountains of data. Business analytics and big data are the buzz words of the day. Managers believe all good things flow from good data. While getting and understand good data are laudable goals, it is not always possible to make decisions on good data. Sometimes we need to just trust ourselves and make decisions based on our own understanding and experience - whether we have data or not. And that’s okay. Often, the issue is not whether or not we can make good decisions without good data, but whether or not we can sell those decisions to the rest of the decision’s stakeholders in the organization. How difficult a decision is perceived to be, the availability of data, and how much experience we have facing these types of decisions, all play roles in deciding how difficult it will be to get people onboard. Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. Some types of problems are widely known to be too difficult to solve. Any problem related to people and people management easily falls into this category. We don’t worry about building flawless policies and procedures around people management, because everyone involved already believes perfection is impossible. Any problem tamped-down today is just going to pop up again tomorrow. We don’t ever “solve” these recurring problems. We “manage” them on an ongoing basis. Other problems we believe should be solvable if we only had the right data. We handle these problems through estimation. If it is clear that we aren’t going to be able to gather the data we want, we estimate what the data is likely to be and make decisions based on our guesses. This is not optimal, of course, but because it is as good as anyone can do, there is no fault in using this approach. Everyone understands that it is the best we can do.

Finally, there is a class of problems that seem to be easily solvable, but for some crazy reason just aren’t. Year after year we work on them and wonder why our results are alway sub-par. It turns out there are many problems we believe should be solvable but, in reality, are too difficult to solve. They are not just intractable for us, they are intractable for anyone. The “traveling salesman problem”, first formulated formally in 1930, is just such a problem. “Given a list of cities and the distances between each pair of cities, what is the shortest possible route that visits each city exactly once and returns to the origin city?” Can’t be that tough, can it? Similar problems include picking up tennis balls on a tennis court, utilizing key assets like satellites, running delivery routes in a distribution schedule, etc. It turns out there is often no optimal route or that finding one is so computationally difficult that even when using the world’s most powerful supercomputer, the sun would burn out before we could find it. Mathematicians and computer scientists have devised a variety of algorithms to attack the problem, some seeking actual answers, some involving relaxing constraints to make the problem easier. Solving similar, simpler problems has enormous value. We can determine the upper and lower bounds of the answer, for example. We can determine the nature of the answer and potential places where our thinking is just too fuzzy. Cognitive scientists have found that humans, however, can estimate very, very good answers to traveling salesman-type problems in a matter of minutes. The answers humans give are not perfect, of course, but they are goodenough, even competitive with those given by rigorous computation. If the data comes, great. If it doesn’t, that’s also fine.

Not all problems need to be solved all the time.

Rodney J. Johnson President, Erudite Risk Co-Founder, KBLA rodney.johnson@kbla.info rodney.johnson@kbla.info


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About the KBLA Korea Business Leaders Alliance Our mission is to serve leaders in Korea, primarily business leaders, but also academics and arts leaders. We bring peer leaders together, help them build relationships, expose them to new ideas and best practices, give them opportunities to interact, publish, demonstrate expertise, and just spend time getting to know one another. We provide information tools and channels for them to interact online and to be informed.

The KBLA also serves business leaders around the world who have a stake in the Korean business environment through our business intelligence reporting service: Korea Intelligence Package.

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About the KBLA Value Chain Advertisers Index EDITOR IN CHIEF Rodney J. Johnson

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CONTRIBUTORS Arthur Sabalionis Kyle Johnson Tony Michell Jenny Yoon Bryan Hopkins Jocelyn Clark Hank Morris Steven B. McKinney Rodney J. Johnson

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Value Chain is published monthly by the Korea Business Leaders Alliance on the ground, in Seoul, Korea. Value Chain is a digital-only publication available in PDF and online forms. For advertising and distribution inquiries contact us at admin@kbla.info.

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“If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.� -- Jim Rohn -

Value Chain March 2017 Edition  
Value Chain March 2017 Edition  

Value Chain is the monthly magazine of the Korea Business Leaders Alliance