Category Archives: Global Leadership Development

HR Journey: Talent Management in Singapore and Viet Nam

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Gerry Crispin and I are back at it! We’re joining forces once again to lead a delegation of senior HR leaders on an international recon trip. Last year it was Cuba. (Links to blog posts from the Cuba trip are here, here, here and here.) This year it is Viet Nam and Singapore! These two economies are growing targets of U.S. investment and leaders in both countries are dealing with unique talent challenges. Come along with us as we meet with leaders from business, academia and government to get an up-close and personal introduction to each country. We’re partnering with Nanda Journeys to deliver an extraordinary professional and cultural development experience.

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The experience starts from LAX and is 9 days and 7 nights (crossing the international date line is confusing…) The first stop is Singapore and the second is Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Both locations include meetings with HR professionals and the SHRM equivalent there. Next up will be interactions with appropriate government officials and local businesses. Of course cultural activities will be built in so that we’ll feel like we know both the business context and the cultural framework of these southeast Asia business hubs. Click here for the day-by-day agenda.

These HR delegations deliver far more than professional development and cultural learning. You’ll meet and travel with some of the most interesting and accomplished HR leaders around. There’s nothing like traveling internationally with a group of like-minded professionals to expand your own sense of self and profession. You’ll make life-long friends with whom you’ll want to travel again.

Unlike the Cuba trip last year, there will be a Guest Program running side by side with the professional program, so spouses, partners, and other guests are welcome to join you on this grand adventure. The focus of the Guest Program is national history and culture.

Take a look at the itinerary and details. Gerry and I would love to have you join the people who have already signed up. You might want to make your reservation now, because the spots are filling up — and let us know if you have questions.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Gerry Crispin, Global HR, Global Human Capital, Global Leadership Development, HR, Human Resources, Nanda Journeys, Uncategorized

Why Aren’t We Developing More Global Leaders?

Data Point TuesdayThe Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) recently released its 5th iteration of their GLD (Global Leadership Development) study. The report, “Global Leadership Development: Preparing Leaders for a Globalized Market”, examines opportunities and challenges for organizations working to develop “global leaders,” or leaders who have global expertise and can perform in an international environment. With factors like technology making the workforce increasingly global, this is an area of leadership development that organizations should consider adding to their focus. As i4cp discusses in the report, “The purposeful development of global competencies and capabilities among leaders is essential to organizational effectiveness and competitive edge.” Attention is certainly shifting towards GLD. However, despite that the number of organizations focusing on global leadership (through either general leadership development programs or specific GLD programs) has grown from 31% in 2010 to 44% in 2014, this figure still equates to less than 50% of organizations addressing global leadership development. Even among large corporations who may have greater resources to dedicate towards GLD programs, less than 54% report addressing GLD.

I’ve discussed the current importance placed on leadership development in previous posts (here and here), and this holds true in i4cp’s study. Organizations perceive leadership development as a critical area of focus right now, and yet, most organizations report few programs and/or low effectiveness when it comes to their current approach to leadership development. From i4cp’s study of human capital issues specifically, it is reported that organizations are not only ineffective at leadership development, they are increasingly getting worse at it, with 27% reporting effective leadership development in 2010, versus 25% in 2014. This holds true for global leadership development as well, with only 21% of large employers stating they are effective at GLD, despite that 60% view developing global skill in leaders as “highly important.”

Importance vs. effectiveness GLDAdditionally only 53% of large organizations report making an effort to develop global leaders. However on a positive note, those organizations that have either dedicated GLD programs or GLD programs embedded within general leadership development programs, report an increase in focus on GLD (up from 48% in 2013).

Dedicated vs. embedded global leadership development chartOne of several key findings from i4cp’s 2104 study is that for organizations to develop an effective GLD program, they must connect the curriculum to the business at a local level. Leaders should understand how the business is different in relation to region – an example being that one region may have a completely different sales approach than another region. Competencies to include as outlined by i4cp’s report for GLD effectiveness are:

  • Knowledge of cultures/customs in specific markets.
  • Ability to be conversational or fluent in prominent languages within specific markets.
  • Knowledge about customers and/or prospective customers in specific markets.

It should be pointed out that for leaders to gain local perspective or knowledge, they do not necessarily need to physically immerse themselves in a region. Instead, organizations can leverage technology like webcasts, audio/video conferences, and social media, to bring leaders regional-specific learning without incurring the potential costs (both monetary costs like transportation and non-monetary like the impact of relocation on a family) of removing a leader from their current role. I4cp’s study also found that for GLD, consistency in program delivery on global basis, in combination with local customization, correlated to successful GLD programs.

Other key findings included that high performing organizations were more likely to define leaders by influence rather than authority (for example: by their ability to consider/adopt a point of view or excellence in work performance), and that GLD participants should be selected on behavior-based evidence rather than through recommendations by senior leadership or an employee’s direct supervisor. Close to two-thirds of respondents (both LPO’s and HPO’s) currently rely on these methods for selecting GLD participants. However, neither of these selection methods has been proven to increase market performance or GLD effectiveness. Instead, organizations should look to documented evidence of skills, competencies, and performance, when selecting participants, methods that have been correlated to market performance and demonstrate even higher correlations in GLD effectiveness.Evidence Graphic

I4cp’s study also suggests that organizations should develop GLD programs with a focus on the future. Several future focused practices for creating curriculum had strong correlations to both market performance and effective GLD:

  • Determining future-focused critical roles
  • Conducting an internal skills inventory to determine the longer-term gaps in critical roles
  • Identifying the specific skills needed in future-focused critical roles
  • Conducting environmental scanning to determine external skills shortages in future-focused key markets

Of course, as with looking at anything long-term, regularly reviewing assumptions is very important.

No one doubts that every day our businesses, our customers, our stakeholders are getting more global. And in most cases, they are getting more global at high rates of speed. What can explain the lack of speed and focus organizations are employing when developing global leadership competencies and effectiveness? With the current state of global worker demographics and educational readiness for employment in general, it is mystifying that leadership development programs in general – and global leadership development programs in specific – are not among the fastest growing and highest priority issues being dealt with.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Global Leadership Development, Institute for Corporate Productivity, Leadership Development, Workplace Studies