SK Executive Young-Woog Song on partnering with Minerva to build the next generation of female leaders

Minerva Project
October 3, 2021

Young-Woog Song is the Executive Vice President of Strategy Planning for mySUNI, the professional learning arm of SK.

What is SK’s professional learning strategy?

Our learning strategy at SK is to equip our employees with skills that allow them life-long employability. In 2017, our chairman, Chey Taewon, triggered the “Deep Change” initiatives throughout every SK affiliate to address the challenges of the business environment, including attracting and retaining the right talent.

mySUNI is SK’s unique answer to this challenge. mySUNI focuses on areas that are being disrupted or will be key to future technological changes, such as AI/DT, happiness, social value, leadership, semiconductors, the environment, etc. The topics are carefully selected to be aligned with SK’s long-term strategy.

How does the Minerva program fit into this strategy?

Beyond the topics that it has selected, mySUNI is also trying to give its learners the best learning experience possible. It has built its own learning platform (LMS) and learning record storage (LRS) to accumulate/analyze data and apply cutting-edge technologies to enhance the learning experience and effectiveness of learning outcomes.

In doing so, mySUNI has built partnerships with many players in this field, not just limited to content players, but also with those players with technologies and learning solutions. Although much of the learning content is based on video on demand to serve the mass of our learners, we are very serious about how to promote the learning effectiveness for our learners.

This led to the collaboration with Minerva Project, which has greatly impacted the field of learning through its beliefs in the science of learning and active learning.

How does SK incentivize employees to participate in mySUNI or what motivates them to participate?

Since we aim to satisfy our learners, mySUNI conducts learner surveys periodically.

According to our previous survey result, providing the most up-to-date knowledge aligning the company’s long-term strategy with cutting-edge learning technology was one of the key drivers for our learners to participate in the mySUNI learning experience.

In addition, mySUNI cooperates heavily with its counterparts in SK affiliates, the HR team of each company, to promote the culture of learning so that our learners feel confidence in everyday learning. In accordance with affiliated companies, SK encourages its employees to use 1/10th of their working hours on learning. By doing so, the average learning hours of SK employees last year reached more than 100 hours which we believe is one of top numbers in global leading companies.

Please describe your Minerva program: number of learners, profile of learners, courses they take, etc.

This year, mySUNI implemented a “Behavioral Science of Leadership” course for its pre-selected group of learners. There are about 70 learners and they are one of the core learner groups in mySUNI this year. All of the learners are female senior managers of SK affiliated companies, who are trained to become the next generation of leaders in SK. In an era where ESG is gaining more importance day by day, mySUNI believes that nurturing female leaders is one of the key requirements for learning institutions.

What are some of the most positive pieces of feedback that you have received about the program from participants?

Many of the participants gave positive feedback on their Minerva experience. Some of the feedback was:

  • “The learning experience of active learning was very unique. The engagement level among participants was very high compared to one-way teaching methods. Since most of us are used to one-way teaching from when we were students, it was interesting to learn from our peers from various SK companies.”
  • “The atmosphere to express oneself freely was quite impressive. I felt myself getting deeper while going through many stages of discussion.”
  • “The learning experience that encouraged me to look back at myself, and analyze how I performed in specific settings and share with others, was a very valuable experience to me.”

What results have you seen from the program? How do you anticipate that the participants will be better leaders because of what they learned in the course?

We will be able to measure the impact that the Minerva “Behavioral Science of Leadership” course has brought to our participants when they get the chance to lead their own teams in the future and have the opportunity to exercise what they’ve learned about leadership.

Last, but not least, mySUNI is also deepening its ability to set-up and apply active learning methods to broaden our capacity to give better learning experiences to our employees. mySUNI is focused on providing learning experiences for the future needs of our learners (SK employees) just like Minerva University aims to provide to its students. We look forward to tightening our relationship with Minerva Project in that course.

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