Monday and today were like a whirlwind. We formally kicked off our project on Monday with the help of Governor Woo and leadership from our IBM Korea General Manager, Shirley Yu-Tsui.
With teamwork from the Provincial Government’s press room and MyungHee Son from our IBM communications team we saw more than 70 coverage items including TV, print and online media.
It was a formal kick-off ceremony…
Soon after, we launched straight into our first interviews. This first week is all about identifying a diverse range of views. We have had eleven interviews so far and it is amazing how the team is working together after just a few days. After agreeing our individual roles, we have also started to split based on several key subjects we will need to cover – this will help us use our time more efficiently as we interview more stakeholders.
I mentioned to several people we interviewed that our team had never met, and they were really surprised. In my first post I covered all our different home countries, but there is just as much diversity in our careers – ranging from technical (Ravi is a distinguished engineer, no less! and JK is a CTA) to marketing (HC and me), alliances (Ruth) and consulting (Sampsa). Yet, it seems like we have been working together for a long time, which just shows the strength of IBM values and culture.
We are set up in our new office – the Provincial Government has been wonderful is setting us up with all we need – including producing this special sign in front of the office:
As we gather a stack of information, we have started a routine for the end of every day. This was Ruth’s great idea – each of us nominates one key observation from the day, and one key action we want to consider. With Sampsa’s suggestions, we are also sketching out a preliminary structure to evaluate key items. Ravi is great at challenging us to think laterally, HC has helped pick up some themes we might have missed in translation and JK has given us a great perspective on the ‘big picture’.
I am sure the hardest-working person so far is Ji Hyun, our Korea lead for Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs – always keeping one step ahead of us to help the project.
One thing we are seeing come through our interviews is the ‘spirit’ of Jeju. In tandem with the natural beauty of the island, there does seem to be a unique culture of resilience and independence. Of course, we have much to learn – and much work to do in the coming weeks.