|Asia Needs to Focus on Leadership Development to Sustain Its Growth|
|Thursday, 04 September 2008 14:42|
CEOs in Asia expressed a willingness to develop the next generation of leaders in their respective organisations, but very few of them are proactive and strategic in doing so. The absence of a strategic focus on leadership development will make it even more difficult for the next generation of leaders in the region to successfully assume senior leadership roles. This is according to a recent study conducted by The Gallup Organization and the University of Nebraska's Global Leadership Institute. The study is commissioned by the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore.
To harness the burgeoning talent in the region, organisations need to be more proactive in strengthening its leadership bench strength. They also need to implement more strategic leadership development and mentorship programmes at all levels. Organisations also have to look at new ways to effectively groom new Asian leaders to lead and manage in dynamic environments which they currently operate in, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Such initiatives are imperative for Asia to further sustain its rapid growth.
Conducted this year, the study evaluated leadership profiles of leaders in six Asian cities: Bangalore, Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Shanghai and Singapore. Extensive survey data was collected from more than 300 employees in each of these respective cities, who either worked directly or indirectly for top corporate leaders. 40 top CEOs in Singapore, Beijing and Bangalore were also interviewed for their perceptions on leadership, and on their leadership focus, preferences and styles. Detailed findings of the study will be presented at the inaugural Singapore Human Capital Summit (SHCS), which will be held on 22 - 24 October 2008.
According to the study, while 89% of the CEOs provided mentorship when asked by their employees, only 23% had formal mentoring programmes in place. Mentorship from these Asian CEOs ranged from taking employees to lunch to listening and providing advice on employees' problems. Very few of these CEOs were driving a strategic mentoring programme in their respective organisations.
The interviews also revealed that a majority of the organisations in the region do not have comprehensive leadership development strategies in place for grooming top talent. Most of the leaders who are in their current position were given the role without any formal grooming and training.
Commenting on The Gallup Organization findings, Mr Leo Yip, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Manpower, said: "The findings reinforce the need for companies in Asia to take a more strategic and proactive approach towards their leadership development efforts. This will be a key issue for discussion at the Singapore Human Capital Summit.
"Mr Ong Ye Kung, Chief Executive, Singapore Workforce Development Agency, said: "Organisational leaders may spend 90% of their time running their organisations, and 10% of their time identifying and grooming the next leader. But often it is the latter 10% of the effort that will help solve 90% of our future problems. There are different models to developing leaders, and it will be interesting to hear the experiences of leaders across different Asian countries and cultures at the Singapore Human Capital Summit.
"Perception of Leadership-Shaping FactorsKey findings from the recently completed study include:
The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) enhances the competitiveness of our workforce by encouraging workers to learn for life and advance with skills. In today's economy, most jobs require not just knowledge, but also skills. WDA collaborates with employers, industry associations, the Union and training organisations, to develop and strengthen the Continuing Education and Training system that is skills-based, open and accessible, as a mainstream pathway for