Above is the exact text message I sent my mother the moment I was accepted to the program in South Korea. I sent her this message without any thought except for my excitement. Yet, looking back I remember when I was in Junior High and the ability to instantly send an SMS message through your phone was a huge deal. I had no idea that one of the companies leading the forefront of that advancement would be a company that I would get the chance to visit in South Korea: SK Telecom.
The innovations in phones and computers that SK Telecom has presented to the world include, but are not limited to, the technology behind the GPS, MMS, video enabled phones and systems similar to Skype. While although astonishing, SK Telecom only represents a small portion of their parent company SK Group which has many varied fields of expertise, from energy resources to marketing. SK Group is one of Korea’s largest chaebol; a Korean word meaning a business conglomerate. SK Telecom was founded on March 29th 1984, even though they are a young company, they have come up with creative innovations that have changed the face of telecommunications forever.
While looking into this company, I noticed their entirely unique management system. SK Telecom was able to come up with a management system that was totally different from the typical, directive management style that most Korean companies use. They call it SKMS. Basically it is an all-inclusive management strategy that is based on valuing the dignity and creativity of each individual employee. Under this management system it is the job of the managers to understand the employee’s capabilities and aspirations in order to inspire them to operate at Super Excellence.
Super Excellence is referred to as SUPEX and is defined as the highest performance level attainable within human capabilities.
It seems to me that this is a lot to ask of an individual, being hard to achieve and even harder to encourage in others. How do they do it?
The short answer is the utilization of unused human resources. SK telecom believes that there are two aspects of human resources, physical engagement and brain engagement. SK telecom strives to fully utilize physical engagement, and the ENTIRE brain. This circles back to SKMS where they add “Dynamic Factors” to the standard management techniques to increase the intellectual engagement of employees.
We hope that while in South Korea, and even in everyday life, we will remember to strive for SUPEX. This will undoubtedly help us become our best and reach our goals. We also can’t wait to engage in this program and learn all of the aspects that have allowed SK Telecom to reach such success.
SOUTH KOREA HERE WE COME!