• John R Childress

Invest in the roots to get good fruit




What does corporate culture have to do with business performance in the financial services industry? According to Shinhan Card CEO Lim Young-jin, if the organizational culture is strong, the company's performance will naturally follow.


Shinhan Card Co. Ltd. is Korea's largest credit card company. Even during the turbulent COVID pandemic, its 2020 net income for the 3rd and 4th quarters rose 14.4% over the same period of the previous year. According to the CEO, the hidden contributor to Shinhan Card's achievements is an organizational culture based on people and innovation.


To further enhance its corporate culture, the company spent considerable time and resources to translate the English book,

by leadership and culture thought leader John R Childress, into the Korean language. The book was translated by the Shinhan Culture Team and then published for the Korean business market. Culture Leverage is now required reading for all Shinhan Card managers and executives.




One of the many business concepts in LEVERAGE that Shinhan has taken to heart is the “Shadow of the Leader” principle, which shows how leaders, through their day to day behavior, have a strong impact on the behavior, attitudes and work practices of employees at all levels. To cast a stronger, more positive shadow across the company, CEO Lim and his senior managers regularly communicate to all employees about the importance of creativity, innovation, and respect for ideas.


To further solidify its already strong culture, the company carries out various campaigns and events to build flexibility, agility and creativity into the culture. It also strengthens the roots of the organizational culture through organizational culture training and awards for outstanding organizational culture activities for all employees. Recently, a 'Respect Campaign' is being conducted to accelerate a horizontal organizational culture in an effort to avoid functional silo behaviors that inhibit the free flow of ideas and information in many companies.


Culture drives business results, and savvy leaders “invest in the roots to get good fruit”.


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