Moon Kook-hyun, CEO of Hansoll Textile and a former congressman, discusses “Green Responsible Leadership” at ‘CKGSB TALK.’ Throughout the session, Moon shared his experiences and philosophy as a leader and encourages the audience to find opportunities to better serve the environment. He also emphasized the importance of humanistic management as good leadership.
Moon Kook-Hyun, CEO of Hansoll Textile and New Paradigm Institute, as well as an alumni of CKGSB Korean EMBA program, talked about ‘Green Social Responsibility Management’ at a recent CKGSB TALK event held in Seoul.
CKGSB TALK is a talk concert held for students in the China EMBA course, CKGSB alumni and the public, to share experiences and life philosophies. The event was held for Korean EMBA students specifically, providing lectures and Q&A sessions.
“Green Social Responsibility Management” refers not only to environmental leadership, but also humanistic leadership. Mr. Moon shared stories of this leadership model through his years of ‘Green Social Responsibility Management’ when he had served as a former CEO at Yuhan Kimberly, a joint venture between US pharmaceutical company Kimberly Clark and a Korean paper company.
He emphasized the importance of seeing a crisis or issue as an opportunity by starting with Peter Drucker’s quote “A crisis brings great opportunities and responsibilities”.
His first experience with the green responsible leadership was the project called ‘Greening the country’. In 1970~80s, land devastation was one of the biggest global issues. Land devastation brought about desertification, which affected the entire Asian region and parts of Canada. He allocated 1% of the company sales towards this cause. His project ‘Green Way’ Seoul Green Vision 2020, was created to help replant gardens and forests in 7,500 schools and factories. “We have also spread to North Korea, contributing to the environment and food shortage by creating the world’s largest chestnut forest with more than 1.3 km2”. They also provide financial and technical support in Mongolia and Southeast Asia. He says that global environmental problems such as desertification can be solved through long-term commitment. He says ‘green social responsibility management’ is humanistic leadership.
Moon said the most difficult thing to do as a CEO is ‘laying people off’. He always finds it the most difficult task. He says, Peter Drucker’s quote, ‘abandon unnecessary items and processes, not people’ really resonated with him. Instead of dismissing employees, he introduced a system in which these employees only worked half time and the rest would be used to study and skill up. Before him, this idea has never been done in Korea.
This new initiative revolutionized the company’s talent quality, tripled productivity, reduced accident rates, and outperformed the industry’s largest competitor by a net profit of 15%. He not only turned the company around but also gave employees a lifelong learning opportunity.
Finally, Mr. Moon stated that it is important to consider each employee’s objective and their family’s objective with the corporate’ objective. Only in this way can social, economic, and environmental performance produce the best results.