Hyundai Way: Hyundai Speed, New Book Looks at Korean Corporate Culture

Global business expert Don Southerton has authored a new eBook, Hyundai Way: Hyundai Speed, which shares insights into the one of the world’s top automakers.


Korea global business expert Don Southerton has released his latest publication, titled Hyundai Way: Hyundai Speed. Southerton notes, “In the wake of the recent accomplishments of the Hyundai Motor Group and specifically the Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors brands a question is often raised, ‘What makes Hyundai so successful?’ I tackle this question from a cultural perspective.”

The author points out his objective for Hyundai Way: Hyundai Speed is to share insights into the Hyundai Motor Group—a unique inside view of a unique corporate culture.

In addition to the growing number of Hyundai and Kia Motors enthusiasts wishing to learn more about the carmaker, Southerton sees several target audiences for the book. First for the global teams working for the Hyundai Motor Group and its affiliates, Hyundai Way: Hyundai Speed will build upon their current experiences, while providing new understandings.

A second audience is firms and vendors providing services or products to the Hyundai Motor Group. This book will be beneficial in strengthening and maintaining the relationship.

A third readership is companies with significant Korea-based business. Although the book offers specific insights into Hyundai Motor, the broader content can apply to many Korean firms in sectors outside automotive.

The eBook is available through iBook, Kindle, Nook, and Amazon.

About the author

With over 35 years’ experience, Don Southerton is the definitive authority on Korean-facing global business, strategy, branding and market entry–from automotive, golf, retail, and QSR/ food sectors to New Urbanism and Green technology.

Building on a life-long interest in Korea and the rich culture of the country, Southerton writes extensively and provides commentary to the media on modern Korean business culture and its impact on global organizations. This is his thirteenth publication. 

LINK  PRWEB Press Release 


New For 2014: Strategic Services

A Note from Don Southerton

While my services have been well received and highly valued over the past decade, in 2013, I began shifting focus from training programs and coaching leadership to a deeper role with a few select clients.

In other words, rather than standing outside the organization and giving advice, counsel and perspective, I actively facilitated and supervised projects that addressed the companies’ pressing needs. This approach, built upon my understanding the nuances of Korean-based business and their companies, has proven to be extremely successful for my clients.

This new role was driven from ten years’ of listening to teams and leadership share (and, at times, vent) challenges. Frankly, after listening to this dialogue, I felt that this expanded value-added approach—one clearly within my skill sets —would serve my clients well.

As we begin 2014, I look forward to supporting you and would like to discuss how this new service can help you meet your firm’s strategic challenges.

Don Southerton Korea consulting







The Korea Society: Visionary Songdo IBD and Cisco

The Korea Society looks at Songdo and their collaboration with Cisco in the informative and insightful presentation. I am a long time supporter of Songdo IBD and Gale International, the master developer.


Golf, Songdo, Mad For Garlic, Cars and New Media

By Don Southerton, Editor
From my previous post, I’m back from attending the PGA’s President Cup in Ohio. In 2015, the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea will host the event. Look for updates as they unfold.

Over the years, I have worked closely with the developers of Jack Nicklaus Golf Club, NY-based Gale International on their Songdo, city of the future. My cover story on Songdo was recently highlighted in Korea magazine. I see Songdo as ever evolving and becoming a knowledge-based forward thinking hub of East Asia.

Songdo Don Southerton

Over the past two years I have also advised top North America golf retailer Golfsmith International on entering the Korean market, plus I am working closely with Korea’s Mad for Garlic on opening in the US and the ME.

Don Southerton Mad For Garlic

Tasty !

What stands out is…US brands and concepts do well in Korea, and Korean brands do well here in North America.

Hyundai Motor Don Southeton

BTW I still work extensively across the Hyundai Motor Group supporting Hyundai, Kia Motors, Hyundai Capital, Hyundai Glovis—to name but a few. In addition, I support a number of key digital and media partners, which over the years has become one of my areas of expertise. Take Note: I see digital and new media work culture as edgy and very cool.

That said, regardless if its golf, forward leaning Songdo, garlic inspired cuisine, cars or new media–Culture– plays an incredible role. Sharing and communicating the nuances in workplace culture allow projects to move forward smoothly with no delays. In the worst cases, and without a strategy, coaching and support, expectations are not met, projects stall, deadline come and go, and often employee turnover is high with costs escalating.

When needed, my role is to provide support, strategy, coaching and training.

Pretty much here 24-5


Songdo IBD and PGA’s President’s Cup

President’s Cup

I attended this year’s President Cup in Dublin, Ohio with my friends at Gale International. They are developers of the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, which will be hosting the 2015 Cup. We have high expectations for the event in two years.

Don Southerton at 2013 President’s Cup Songdo Booth

The Details

The Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, located in the Songdo International Business District (IBD), Incheon, Korea, has been selected as the host the 2015 President’s Cup.

The Incheon City skyline is visible from Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, site of the 2015 Presidents Cup.

July 31, 2013

AKRON, OHIO – At Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, where Jack Nicklaus is tonight receiving the Ambassador of Golf Award, Nicklaus joined PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem to announce that Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, located in the Songdo International Business District (IBD), Incheon, Korea, has been selected as the host course and Incheon City as the host city for The Presidents Cup 2015 when the event makes its first trip to Asia. 

Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, which is located 40 miles west of Seoul in the country’s largest economic development zone, celebrated its opening in September 2010 with the Champions Tour’s first official money/official victory event held in Asia. The course hosted the Songdo Championship in 2010 and 2011, and the 2012 Korea Women’s Open on the KLPGA Tour. 

Mayor Song Young-Gil of Incheon City expressed his excitement and was delighted with his city being selected as the host city of The Presidents Cup 2015. “We are extremely pleased and honored to be the first city in Asia to be selected as host of The Presidents Cup,” said Mayor Song. “Along with the upcoming 2014 Asian Games, Incheon City has certainly put itself on the global stage as a choice destination for major international events, and we look forward to welcoming participants, sponsors and dignitaries from around the world to our great city and country.

“Incheon City will work closely with the PGA TOUR, Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea and others to make The Presidents Cup 2015 a resounding success.”

Finchem said, “Just over three years ago, we announced The Presidents Cup would be played at Muirfield Village Golf Club in 2013.  Today, we further strengthen Jack Nicklaus’ commitment and connection to The Presidents Cup with the announcement that the course he designed at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea will in 2015 host the event for its first foray into Asia. Like Muirfield Village, Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea is Jack’s vision and an impressive venue in its own right. We are thrilled to take The Presidents Cup there, which is not only a milestone in the event’s history, but also a significant step in further elevating the game of golf in Korea.”

Nicklaus said, “We’re very honored and proud that Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea has been selected for The Presidents Cup 2015. We have always felt strongly about JNGC Korea as a host venue because of its location in the Songdo International Business District, its proximity to the Incheon International Airport, the quality hotels nearby, and the club’s proximity to a large population area. The facility itself also makes for an ideal location to host The Presidents Cup. We’re very pleased that the PGA TOUR felt the same after evaluating its options throughout Korea.

“Everyone has worked extremely hard to get us to today. I want to extend my congratulations to Mayor Song Young-Gil and the host City of Incheon; the membership and staff at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, as well as the development team from Gale International, especially Stan Gale. I would also like to recognize Chairman Roy Ryu, who has been instrumental in bringing The Presidents Cup to Korea. His vision and leadership were critical throughout the entire selection process. In the end, we’re delighted that the PGA TOUR selected the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea. We think they will present a great event. This will be a tremendous opportunity to showcase on a world stage the beauty of Korea and the country’s passion for the game of golf. Having been fortunate to be involved in several Presidents Cup matches in the past, I know how uniquely special this event is and how it represents to a global audience all that is great about the game of golf.”

Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea features a par-72, 7,413-yard Signature Golf Course designed by the Golden Bear, and offers world-class amenities, including an award-winning, 60,000-square-foot clubhouse. For The Presidents Cup 2015, the course has undergone some minor renovations and the holes rerouted to accommodate hospitality and the match-play format. Songdo IBD is a joint undertaking by Gale International, POSCO E&C, and Incheon City and a model of international collaboration. Songdo IBD is globally recognized as the world’s foremost smart, sustainable city-scale development. In 2012, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) selected a site in Songdo as the home for the GCF Secretariat.  It is believed that many of the sustainable infrastructure and technological innovations being pioneered in Songdo will be applied to GCF-funded projects in developing nations.  

“To build a truly global city, we engaged the world’s leading design, architecture, engineering and technology firms,” said Stan Gale, chairman of Gale International and Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea. “Working closely with our partner POSCO E&C, we selected Nicklaus Design to create a sporting venue worthy of hosting professional golf’s most prestigious international events. As a direct result of Jack’s consistent leadership and hands-on oversight, the JNGC Korea was selected as The Presidents Cup 2015 host location. The PGA TOUR’s decision is emblematic of Incheon City’s global appeal and a reinforcement of the importance of the great game of golf in the Republic of Korea and Greater Asia.”

Previous international venues for The Presidents Cup include: The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (1998, 2011); The Links at Fancourt, George, South Africa (2003); and The Royal Montreal Golf Club in Montreal, Quebec, Canada (2007).  Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Prince William County, Va., hosted The Presidents Cup in 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2005, and TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif., was the host site in 2009.  Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, will host The Presidents Cup the first week in October. 

In 2011, K.J. Choi, K.T. Kim and Y.E. Yang competed in The Presidents Cup, marking the first time more than one South Korean qualified for the International Team in event history.




Korea Magazine Shares Songdo’s Vision

The cover story for the August edition of Korea magazine  looks at Songdo and it’s vision for the future.

Thanks go the Robert Koehler and his team… As the story’s writer, I appreciate the opportunity to share my views on Songdo.




News: Mad for Garlic Looks West For International Expansion

Italian fare with a Korean twist–Brand Plans Expansion into US Market

Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) July 18, 2013 — Mad For Garlic, one of Korea’s most popular restaurant chains, has announced plans to bring its handcrafted artisanal Italian cuisine into the US and North American markets. In recent years, South Korea has become well known for its remarkable economic growth and a cultural trend called ‘Korean Wave”, with Korean cultural exports and innovations in film, music and cuisine popular worldwide.

Originated in Korea in 2001, Mad for Garlic’s creative preparation method of removing the garlic’s pungent smell and unique way of cooking Italian cuisine with a Korean twist have won the hearts of both garlic and non-garlic lovers. Mad For Garlic is known for its unique and innovative menu with garlic-specialized Italian cuisine served in an atmosphere of medieval European rustic tavern.

Steak Mad for Garlic  Don Southerton
Mad For Garlic

“Mad For Garlic is now ready to expand our base of operations to new markets outside Asia,” said CEO and Founder Caroline C. Nam. “We believe that North America is ready for Mad For Garlic – we offer about 50 menu items and every dish has something in common – they are all about garlic. Mad for Garlic aims to present customers with an exquisite harmony of garlic and wine by pairing quality wines. “

With unique signature dishes such as Dracula Killer, Garlic Snowing Pizza, Garlicpeno Pasta, Mushroom Risotto and Garlic Steak that have gained cult followings in Korea and Asia, Mad For Garlic looks to offer food lovers worldwide a truly unique “Garlic-licious” dining experience that is different from other restaurants.

To spearhead its North American expansion, Mad For Garlic has partnered with Bridging Culture Worldwide (BCW), a global consulting firm that focuses on Korea facing business ventures.

“Mad For Garlic is currently looking for developers in the United States, and we are thrilled to assist in finding the right partners for the brand,” said Don Southerton, CEO of BCW. “If a developer meets our criteria, which includes the financial resources to fund a multi-unit development plan, we’d love to talk further about Mad For Garlic.”

Specific franchise requirements may vary from country to country. Mad For Garlic does not grant franchise rights or explore joint venture agreements without meeting potential partners in person. For more information contact

About Mad For Garlic
Since its establishment in 1995, Seoul-based SUN AT FOOD and our leading brand, Mad for Garlic has set the highest standards in culinary excellence and innovation. SUN AT FOOD is a global dining company and has received numerous accolades through the years for its outstanding performance. We are currently on track with our goal to create the globally dominant restaurant network and serve the world a unique and unforgettable taste of life.

About Bridging Culture Worldwide
Since its founding, Bridging Culture Worldwide has focused on global Korea-facing business services. Based on over 3 decades of experience, we provide cross-cultural insights to global teams and management. Bridging Culture Worldwide core services include: Market entry, Consulting, Strategy, and Research. Visit 


Korea Inc.–Common Misconceptions

Many thanks to my friends at The Korea Society for posting on YouTube segments of recent Korea Inc business discussion.

To view the full YouTube Working for Korea Inc. series go to:


Working for Korea Inc.

An evening discussion with Don Southerton

The Korea Society

Hosted by The Korea Society, NYC

June 27, 2013  5:30 PM

Korean firms operating internationally employ non-Koreans at all
levels. Don Southerton, CEO of Bridging Culture Worldwide and
author of Korea Facing: Secrets for Success in Korean Global
Business, shares insights on working for Korea-based companies and
understanding Korean operational norms for goods and services

THE KOREA SOCIETY is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization
with individual and corporate members that is dedicated solely to
the promotion of greater awareness, understanding and cooperation
between the people of the United States and Korea.

In pursuit of its mission, the Society arranges programs that
facilitate discussion, exchanges and research on topics of vital
interest to both countries in the areas of public policy, business,
education, intercultural relations and the arts. Funding for these
programs is derived from contributions, endowments, grants,
membership dues and program fees.

From its base in New York City, the Society serves audiences across
the country through its own outreach efforts and by forging
strategic alliances with counterpart organizations in other cities
throughout the United States as well as in Korea.

For more info


Kia Motors America, A Bridging Culture Worldwide Case Study Success Story— A 2013 Revisit

By Don Southerton

As a disclaimer, the viewpoints of this report are solely the opinions of Don Southerton and Bridging Culture Worldwide.

Kia Motors

Kia Motors America

I support a number of Korea-based global organizations. Many are in the automotive sector. This is because the top Korean auto maker (Hyundai and Kia Motors) has a huge overseas operations and the auto sector requires extensive infrastructure and staffing to support their network, including parts, sales, marketing, logistics, manufacturing, finance, R&D, design, legal, and compliance with a myriad of local, state and federal regulations.

Moreover, tier 1 vendors and suppliers now support the carmakers. This creates the need for these third party partners to better understand the mindset and corporate culture of Korea-based firms, such as Hyundai and Kia Motors.

First reported in 2010 and updated again the following year, I prepared a case study sharing how Kia Motors America, a subsidiary of the Hyundai Motor Group, highly proactively provided their team with support. This included Korean culture training for new employees and ongoing Korean cross-cultural workshops for the team.

For over 7 years and in cooperation with KMA’s Human Resource Organizational Development team Bridging Culture Worldwide has offered multiple week sessions of Korea 101 and 201 cross-cultural training. Program lengths vary to accommodate schedules but usually the first 6 weeks focus on history, Kia heritage, and popular culture. A second six weeks program looks at the modern Korean workplace and its norms, practices, and expectations.

In May 2013, we extended the training outside the corporate offices in California to a well-received web-based program offered to Kia Motors’ ever-growing US nationwide team.

Kia has also provides ongoing support and coaching to key management and leadership. This includes Korea culture coaching to new non-Korean executives. Here we share Korea’s heritage, Kia history and corporate culture, workplace expectations, and etiquette, while providing answers to questions that surface day-to-day. We also prepare executives for their first visit to Korea and the norms/ expectations for meeting with senior Korean leadership and high-level meetings at Kia Motors HQ, R&D Center, etc.

Over the years we have supported KMA marketing teams, public relations, service, product planning, HR, legal and strategic developments teams. Our support has been diverse from working with Kia technicians competing in Kia Motors Company’s Global Automotive Technical Skills Competition in Seoul to sharing insights into the Korean workplace with university students working as interns at KMA each summer.

In closing the key to the success of Kia Motors America’s Korean cross cultural training has been the strong endorsement of the firms’ CEOs, senior American and Korean management, and the HR and OD team. As an organization they realize that their teams need support. In turn, we craft programs targeting their needs and flexible enough to meet demanding and ever-changing work schedules. Expecting employees to “ get it” without training and coaching rarely works. We are proud to work with Kia Motors and their team.

If you have questions on implementing a program to support your team, please feel to contact us at or call 1-310-866-3777

Copyright 2013 BCW

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