The challenges that Happy Bridge shared with DOT were about how Happy Bridge staff could increase their awareness of leadership to lead a team-of-teams based organization and how Happy Bridge could create new relationships and opportunities on an open innovation framework. Really exciting working framework having into account the importance of this company in South Korea and their willingness to continue innovating and showing the way to other Korean companies, social ventures and public agencies involved in the social enterprise and coop sector in South Korea.


New era organizations in South Korea

About Happy Bridge

Happy Bridge (해피브릿지 협동조합) is South Korea’s biggest Workers Cooperative and one of the most inspiring example of the new era companies in Asia: hybridizing high quality services with social impact. Happy Bridge Cooperative successfully runs a network of +500 restaurants (divided into 7 chains, being Noodle Tree the most popular one with 389 restaurants) all over South Korea. Inside the Happy Bridge Coop. Group we can also find the Happy Bridge Culinary Center, HBM institute, Happy Coop Tour travel agency and the Kunyu Factory for food production.

For the last 3 years Happy Bridge has lived a deep structural and organizational change transforming the company into a Workers Cooperative and increasingly creating new intrapreneurial businesses.

Happy Bridge Cooperative has strong values for happiness and harmony creation, wealth distribution and labour creation, excellency in delivering services and fostering intrapreneurship and new business creation. All these makes Happy Bridge a referent on cooperativism, social economy and social innovation in South Korea and in Asia.

We were invited by Mr Inchang Song, (Co-Founder and President of Happy Bridge Cooperative and President of the Korea Cooperative Federation and a key figure on social economy sector and social innovation sector in South Korea), Mr Lee (CEO of Happy Bridge Coop. and responsible of the new Happy Bridge strategic planning), Mr So (Director of HBM institute) and Mr Martin (Program Director at HBM institute) to work together with them.

We worked on: 

Together with a multidisciplinary Happy Bridge team we co-created the “Leading the new era DOT grow program” focused on the following points:

– Team-Intrapreneurial Leadership on a cooperative environment.

– Creation of new Leading Thoughts to lead the emerging future of Happy Bridge (specially designed for the ) Open Innovation practices on the social economy sector and the design of changemaker multi-sectorial alliances (Social Enterprises, Coop Sector, Korean new law on social economy and the Korean self-sufficient development agencies)

During the whole program the President, CEO and all the board members and strategy planning team of Happy Bridge Coop. took part.

After the program they were able to define the Happy Bridge Leadership Standard, the new company leading thoughts (ready to be shared on the next general assembly) and a defined process to implement the new strategy and vision. In addition the key members of the company received training on Intrapreneurial Team Development and Open & Collective innovation processes design.

It was a big honor and satisfaction to work together with such inspiring team and vivid ecosystem like Happy Bridge Coop. Looking forward to continue with the next steps.