Kyunghyung Daily, Oct. 28, 2014
At present, China looms over Korea in the form of either a strong competitor or its greatest customer. In other words, its presence corresponds to a market or a partnership. China is a country that is important beyond measure. Opportunely, Koreans share a special ‘yeonjool’ (or ‘connection’) with China, since many of the same surnames are used in both countries. To merely stand and stare blankly at such a country is nonsense. There is no other country that is a better fit with whom to face the trends of this age. In the next 500 or so years, success will not come to those who are not acquainted with China. Instead of criticizing such thinking as toadyism, it is necessary to make the most of our neighbor while protecting Korea’s self-sufficiency.
A short while ago, there was a seminar that specifically lectured on the ‘New China, New Global Standard.’ For many enterprises, the most difficult thing when entering China is ‘guanxi’ (relationship). It is necessary to compare and analyze China’s ‘guanxi’ to Korea’s ‘yeonjool’ in the aspects of their starting points, durability, progression direction, and effectiveness. Unlike the past-oriented Korea’s ‘yeonjool,’ which centralizes on kinship, regionalism, and school relations, China’s ‘guanxi’ is future-oriented. Therefore, stressing the strongest of caution in not making mistakes. Because our nation is strongly rooted in school relations and regionalism, mistakes are graciously forgiven. On the contrary, we have no such roots with China. Mistakes are out of the question. In other words, don’t be careless!
Foreign business people, who do not have a ‘yeonjool’ culture, are cautious in forming ‘guanxi.’ Vice versa, Korean business people often mistake the ‘guanxi’ culture to be like ‘yeonjool,’ consequently leading to more mistakes. Instead, it is key to sincerely and genuinely spend time with the Chinese people.
If you look at China’s history, the nation always stays put and swallows instead of purposely venturing out to fight. Just like a hippopotamus with its mouth wide open, feeding on approaching bugs. Instead of focusing on being suspicious of China, we need to develop a strategy. The only way to survive is to possess distinctive skills and strengthen our competence. Take a look at Finland. During the Cold War, when trade between West and East Europe was beginning to climb, Finland advocated neutrality by advocating intermediary trade. For this, they enjoyed international renown and power through IT design. Russia’s population is three hundred million while Finland has six million. Yet, Finland does not worry about being gobbled up by Russia. Rather, it is focusing on the world market, not just on Russia.
CKGSB is China’s first nonprofit private business school founded in 2002 by the Li Ka Shing Foundation, whose namesake is the Cheung Kong Group Chairman as well as the wealthiest man in Asia. The school offers MBA, EMBA (Executive MBA), FMBA (Finance MBA), and CEO courses. The faculty is made up of world-class erudite scholars from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, MIT, Berkeley, and other top-notch universities in Europe and the US who have been given tenure. Campuses are located in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, while overseas offices operate in Hong Kong, New York, and London. This institute’s purpose is not to globalize Chinese enterprises by producing talents with international capabilities. Rather, it is to sinicize global enterprises and systemize them to align with China’s history and culture. This is not a ruse but a means to throw the doors wide open while looking at the bigger picture. CKGSB’s tuition is costly and its admission process is complex. Nevertheless, admittance means access to the choicest of networks and opportunities. For five years I will be responsible for teaching my specialties of mechanism and strategic studies in the MBA program. CKGSB is offering various scholarship systems in Korea to recruit brilliant talents. Every year, one Korean student is selected for the ‘CKGSB Jang Bo Go Scholarship’ that provides a full ride to the MBA program. I suggest all to step up to the challenge.
Read [Interview] CKGSB Professor Cho Dong-Sung: “Success Will Not Come to Those Who Are Not Acquainted with China for the Next Five Centuries” on Kyunghyang Daily website.