Plan 9 from Outer Seoul

PLAN might be too generous a word for what’s bouncing around in my head, but it’s at least outline-esque.

I’ve got 2 independent threads I want to take this baby.

The first is fairly straightforward: tech consulting with a focus on Agile software development.

It plays to my strengths (communication and tech), and builds directly off my experience at  Cisco: as early as my final interview, I told my manager Ravinder that I envisioned myself not in permanent operational role, but as a consultant working on temporary engagements where I set up, hand off, and move on from one system to the next.

Also, notwithstanding my complete cluelessness as to how to setup and run my own company, it’s actually lets me charter a moderately conservative path.  I’ve known all along that, to make ends meet, I’m going to have resort to teaching English.  Given my experience, I can probably swing gigs that specifically focus on teaching business and technology, which lay the groundwork for establishing my experience, reputation, and contacts.

And like I mentioned before, the latter being the most important, the networking from ToastMasters and PMI all feed into this goal.

Most importantly, I think there is a real niche for this form of expertise.  One of the key precepts of Agile software is sustainability – not of the environment or of machinery, but of employees.  And this is something Koreans desperately need to learn: insofar as their business environments are still oriented around hierarchy and long hours, their fantastic productivity can only continue at the expense of employee’s well-being.  And lest you think Koreans can continue working longer hours than the friggin Japanese, there are signs of discontent as Koreans start rethinking their massive expenditures on English teachers.

My pitch?  Guiding Korean businesses to redesign of their working environment no less dramatically than they did their 

Seoul was recently crowned a design capital so there’s a recognition of the importance of design.  And it shows in a lot of their products, from the Galaxy tablets down to their clever little water bottles.  If I can position myself as a guide in how to redesign their workplace just as dramatically, I just might be able to make a carve out a niche for myself here.

Of course, convincing these allegedly old-school businesses that such dramatic change is something they can and should adopt is a completely separate challenge…

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