The differences between the Asian countries – and within many Asian countries – are found in infrastructure, economic development, consumer behaviour and the regulatory environment. They are also found in the extreme complexity that comes with multiple cultures, languages, experiences and beliefs.
The shifting needs of consumers, the quest for differentiation by companies and rapid product cycles all contribute to a culture of ‘extreme’ innovation which is created and applied at lightning pace. The ability to work with ambiguity is paramount to success.
These particular and subtle challenges are behind Korn Ferry’s decision to host The Asian Leadership Program in Singapore in May and November, a program aimed at building leaders with the performance, potential and readiness, to successfully navigate and lead the “smart growth” opportunities in Asia.
This is the era of smart growth – a period where a combination of leadership maturity and learning agility are critical characteristics for those who aspire to lead in Asia. Korn Ferry’s research reveals that a combination of leadership maturity and learning agility are both critical characteristics for leaders who aspire to lead in the smart growth era in Asia.
Working in Asia, with its richness of diversity in almost all factors of life, can challenge your sense of self and your role in the communities and environments you inhabit. Leaders need to develop the skills to cross borders and cultures and understand that success is just as likely to hinge on intrinsic factors, like self-confidence and purposeful leadership, as on external markers of success, such as market confidence or share price.
They also need to be able to lead across multiple domains that include clients, suppliers, regulators and employees and the broader community. Leaders need to build their “multiplier effect” where their actions create a strong legacy, and impact positively on stakeholders. Companies must develop a strong bench of talented leaders who are equipped with the ability to navigate, build and lead in this ever changing region.
Jacqueline Gillespie is Senior Client Partner, and head of Korn Ferry Australasia’s Asian Desk. She will be participating in The Asian Leadership Programs in Singapore.