Awind of change is blowing through POSCO. However, as POSCO is a steelmaker, change has not been easy. The company recently opened a “creativity playhouse” in its main building and its CEO is acting as a communication channel in the information sharing portal site of the POSCO Group.
Employees are strengthening their power of knowledge by taking part in the company’s emphasis on reading books. CEO Chung Joon-yang is cementing his change-making leadership management. CEO Jung became the skipper of POSCO amidst a global economic downturn. As the company suffered a big slump due to the physical economy, Chung had to face a reduction in production for the first time in the company’s history.
At that time, he emphasized spirit of creativity and innovation. Chung promoted open, creative and environment-friendly management. CEO Chung’s new management strategy has now paid off, with change occurring eight years after he first entered POSCO.
Chung’s first worksite was not the chairman’s office at POSCO but an LNG carrier dockyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries surrounded by noise and welding sparks. After this, Chung visited customers both at home and abroad, proving his reputation as an excellent engineer with long-term vision.
In such a manner, he visited worksites and met with the people there. Chung also emphasized the importance of communication with employees. In April, POSCO opened a CEO blog featuring the management philosophies of the CEO at its information-sharing portal site. The blog was created as Chung wanted to create a communication channel with employees. In July, Chung met with employees and partners in an event called “Talking with the CEO” at Gwangyang Steelworks.
Chairman Chung is practicing creative management on his own. In a special lecture to executives he emphasized, “Executives should become VIPs.” According to Chairman Chung, VIPs are not very important persons but people with Vision, Insight and Philosophy. Chairman Chung also emphasized that employees should become VIPs, too.
In accordance with Chung’s management philosophy, POSCO has expanded its lifelong education program to include Saturday classes and lectures.
Moreover, Chung has enjoyed participating in a book club with employees on the CEO blog. He has also given books to employees as gifts. These are just some examples of his efforts at realizing creative management through knowledge-based management.
POSCO opened Poreka (the combination of Eureka and POSCO), a creativity zone in its headquarters building. Poreka is not a playhouse but a space where employees can develop their creative power through various activities and plays. Poreka consists of three spaces for rest, fun and study.
Several months ago, POSCO launched a green management committee with its major subsidiaries. This signals the beginning of Chairman Chung’s environmental management aim of developing POSCO into a global company that takes the lead in an era of green growth.
In addition, Chung is pushing forward with the development of overseas resources such as titanium and magnesium with the aim of turning POSCO into a complex material company. Chairman Chung aims at turning POSCO into a stronger company that can overcome any economic slumps and take the lead in the global market.
In order to realize this goal, Chung is conducting leadership of change such as open, creative and environmental management. In the third quarter of 2009, POSCO posted 1 trillion won in operating profits for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2008. This means Chung’s leadership has begun to pay off.