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“Wine, Laughter, and Deep Discussions : The Unconventional Book Club”

Do you enjoy reading? How would it feel to have a book discussion with the CEO of the company you work for?
Every company has its unique culture. A good corporate culture gives employees a sense of stability and satisfaction, promotes collaboration between colleagues or departments, and consequently brings high productivity. It’s also a crucial condition for sustainable businesses.

Young-Bum Kwon, the founder and former CTO of YoungLimWon Soft Lab(hereafter YLW), has been focusing on creating a good corporate culture since the company’s listing in 2021, taking on the dual role of CEO and Chief Culture Officer (CCO). One of the methods he employs to cultivate a good corporate culture is to read books and hold discussions with all employees. Yes, with approximately 340 employees. CEO Kwon constantly emphasizes the importance of deep thinking, which is why he reads a lot and holds book discussions with all employees.

Except for the period of the COVID-19 pandemic when discussions were challenging, YLW has been holding book discussions with all employees since 2019. This year, employees read a book of their choice from a selection of three, write a book report, and participate in group discussions. The discussions are led directly by CEO Kwon.

The three books for 2023 are: 1. “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle 2. “Spontaneous Evolution” by Bruce H. Lipton and Steve Bhaerman 3. “Value Wars” by Seung-Ug Park. Have you read or are interested in reading any of these books?

So far, most employees at YLW seem to have chosen and read the first book. In this book, CEO Kwon posed the following questions:

  1. Describe the process of ego formation and its influence on people’s behavior.
  2. Why do dissatisfaction and anger arise, and how do they affect people’s minds? What do you think is the solution to relieve these feelings?
  3. What do you think drives all life on Earth, including the human body, and how does it involve the composition and operation of the human body? Also, describe who disrupts the body’s natural peace and how they influence it.
  4. Describe the existence of time and how physical and psychological time should be utilized.
  5. What should one do to achieve spiritual fulfillment in achieving great things, and how does its result appear?
  6. What is the primary purpose of life as a part of the universe and why? What are the three ways to achieve it and how do they work?
  7. In Jesus’ Beatitudes, he said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Who can be considered as the “meek” here? What should be their purpose and goals?
  8. Choose a topic from the book that you think will most influence your life and describe why and how.
  9. Compose one comprehensive question that allows you to hear specific thoughts from others.

These are not easy questions, but thanks to years of practicing thinking, employees of YLW express their thoughts quite proficiently by reflecting on their own experiences and lives. If you’ve read this book, why not try writing your thoughts on these questions?

CEO Kwon believes that asking good questions is very important. Good questions can exert great influence as they can be the origin of thinking and help find answers to unresolved problems. He believes that his role in book discussions is to pose good questions.

The book discussion groups are diversely composed based on gender, age, department, and work. This is to reduce disruption and conflict in communication. It’s also a time for employees to get to know colleagues from departments they were not familiar with.

The official book discussion club ends here, and employees who want to continue enjoying the party move to another location where they enjoy cold beer, chicken, and pizza. If it gets too late, we may even end up in a karaoke room. However, you should be careful, as having too much fun can lead to feeling unwell or having a headache the next day.

Do you think the YLW’s book discussion club is unique?

What kind of corporate culture do you think is good? If you were a CEO, what kind of corporate culture would you create?

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