THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

November 2020 - The asset management industry is not of the scale of the larger financial institutions, but it is confronted by many of the same challenges. Fundamental parts of how we do what we do – how we collect and analyse data and trade, how we communicate with clients – are changing fast, and even faster with this pandemic. 

October 2020 - Companies have often benchmarked against their key competitors and adopted ‘best practices’ in the industry to enhance their performances. Nonetheless, the revolution of technology, especially in the digital space, has shortened the life cycles of traditional business models. Conceivably, what is the point of becoming the ‘best practitioner’ in a defunct industry? And from what we have learned during the Covid-19 pandemic, should we look differently for directors? 

October 2020 - Covid-19 pandemic has elevated the role of CHROs, more than ever, as they are often visibly helping CEOs manage the present and lead their companies into the future. In this interview, Lilian talks about the essential ingredients for a thriving relationship between CHROs and business leaders, what keeps her awake at night, and the new skills that she looks for in people to adjust to the new normal. 

September 2020 - In a time when many companies are struggling amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, AEM Holdings, which provides advanced chip-testing solutions, continues to grow with a reported surge of 81.7 per cent year-on-year in revenue and 147.9 per cent in net profit for the first half of 2020.  In this interview, Chandran Nair talks about his journey as the new CEO of AEM, including key skills and experiences that propelled him to the role. He also talks about his personal approach to leadership and how the role of the CEO would evolve over the few years in response to board and stakeholder expectations.

September 2020 - Covid-19 has affected every industry globally, and the hotel industry is among the hardest hit. In this interview, Caroline Stevens talks about how Covid-19 has impacted the hospitality business model for new normal, challenges that she faces, and how her role as Chief People Officer has changed over the past year. She also shares the skillsets and mindsets needed to continue to operate, grow and evolve in a time of continuous disruption. 

July / August 2020 - In the context of providing guidance, perspective and oversight - so what should boards do in an arguably ‘black swan event’ like Covid-19? Based on our recent conversations with board directors and CEOs in Asia, we provide some context on how boards can add the ‘most value’ through this unprecedented uncertainty. 

October / November 2019 - The increased recognition of the importance of culture and talent at the Executive team and Board levels of companies has pushed the CHRO role further into the limelight. 

June / July 2019 - Businesses are now demanding much more from their senior HR leaders. The question is whether these leaders are really up to it? Conceivably, the acid test is whether or not the HR leader could double up as the CEO?  

May 2019 - With the ongoing disruption of the market through new business models and technology innovations, new competitors will constantly emerge and traditional assumptions and models of human capital management can no longer hold true. 

Apr 2019 - Leaders need to be comfortable to experiment. You can't simply read a book and then have all the answers. You have to find your own way by driving and adapting transformation ideas to your organization. 

Mar 2019 - Our goal at HP is to empower all our people to be at the forefront of this change – and my leadership style reflects that. I want my teams to dream big and think big; to listen and understand the perspectives of others; to know their strengths and weakness, and to be proud of who they are. 

Nov / Dec 2018 - The key to future-proofing the workforce lies in helping them become aware of the changes that are taking place, enable and empower them to make sense of and understand why changes are required and how and why they take place. This helps to eliminate unnecessary ambiguity and enhance staff engagement. 

Aug / Sep 2018 - I believe that retail cannot be based on how we have run it in the past. Now, it is all about connecting with people, and understanding our customers through deeper analysis of data. It is about being there for them through different stages of their lives.

July 2018 - With the advent and increasing prominence of AI, business leaders may need to re-examine or change the way they lead to stay ahead and thrive.

April / May 2018 - In today’s fast changing environment, you also need to have an HR leadership cadre that can anticipate the future as well as being responsive to opportunities and disruptions that come up on a daily basis. 

October / November 2017 - The recent Asian Leadership Survey have conveyed sentiments that global leaders have on the burgeoning pool of Asian leaders. Conducted by Leadership Advisory Inc. in August 2017 with 85 senior-level executives based in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, the survey sought the opinions of the sample on expatriation and the traits of successful global leaders. 

July / August 2017 - To strive as a disruptor, today’s leaders must not be fearful of change or resist change to protect their current business model with an old-fashioned “information is power” approach, especially when the world is getting increasingly connected and tech-savvy. 

May / June 2017 - Asia Pacific Japan contains some of the world’s fastest growing economies and we continue to see more investment in business operations here. The market has also matured in its view of the role of talent strategy. Companies locally are recognizing the financial benefits of being proactive in building stronger employee engagement and retention. 

2016 - EDBI has a unique dual investment mandate in that we invest to support Singaporeans future growth, create meaningful jobs for Singaporeans and also ensure long term shareholders return. In comparison, private VCs focus purely on financial returns. EDBI is differentiated from private sector VCs in that we work as an integrated team on every investment that we make. 

2016 - Given the economic slowdown, I believe that growth opportunities in the Asia Pacific region still abound. The majority of aircraft deliveries in the next 20 years are forecast to happen in APAC, and Boeing forecasts the region to overtake North America in fleet size in this period.  

2016 - Today, we are at what I would call HR 5.0 - a business partner role. Here, you are a proactive partner, where the leader of the discussion and the business actually take their inspiration from you. Your insights, be it through sharing intelligence on where the best talent is available or where the cost would be optimum, help guide and influence business leaders to make more informed decisions and investments, based on a deeper knowledge of the people strategy. 

2016 - No discussion about Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) would be complete without mentioning China. It is not just the dramatic growth that has happened in the last 20 years, it is the major dependency that most countries globally, not just in APJ, now have on the Chinese economy. It is extremely topical right now given we are witnessing amazing market volatility because of various economic indicators coming out of China. 

2016 - The biggest difference is that Asian executives are not as eager to talk about their organizations compared to counterparts in Europe or the Americas. This has much to do with the Confucian culture where modesty is a virtue and actions speak louder than words. You will find this a common trait of many large Korean companies where order and teamwork are given top priorities. 

2016 - The philosophy of our founder, George Eastman, was to make technology and products accessible to all and easy to use. This is a core value in the company and one you will find common across our portfolio of products and services. The newest example of this is KODAKIT, the service we recently launched in Singapore on March 1st. 

2016 - Asia Pacific is the most dynamic and culturally diverse region in the world. Established markets operate alongside emerging economies and there has never been a better time to be working in this incredible region. 

2016 - At the start of the new year, we caught with some of our clients and candidates to understand their experiences in successful on-boarding and the potential pitfalls. An edited transcript of our discussion follows. 

Leading the Next Wave of Growth

2015 - In this final instalment of our three-part interview, our Advisory Board Member - Mr Goh Sik Ngee explains the need to handle communication challenge and planning (strategic and short term), as the organization grows and becomes more diverse. 

 

Changing Role of Global Leadership

2015 - In this second instalment of our three-part interview, our Advisory Board Member - Mr Goh Sik Ngee shares the challenges of borderless world and what does it mean to businesses. He also explains on how has the role of the CEO evolved over the last few years. 

 

Re-Tooling For A New Age

2015 - With the pace of change in the world accelerating around us, it can be hard to imagine that digital revolution is still in its early stages. In this first instalment of our three-part interview, our Advisory Board Member - Mr Goh Sik Ngee explains the need for a mind set change and believes that effective CEOs need to have the courage to move the company in a radically different direction, even if it means causing unhappiness among employees or foregoing short-term profits. 

Leading Asia | Takuya Yamada, Deputy Group MD of Books Kinokuniya (Asia Pacific)

2015 - Takuya Yamada's career with Books Kinokuniya has seen him working in Tokyo, Singapore, Dubai, and Sydney. The 18 years of experience in the book retail industry has seen him steadily rising through the ranks, from front-facing customer service to the strategic senior management roles he has earned in recent years. 

2015 - Some of these companies discover to their astonishment that they are no longer competing with the usual competitors they are familiar with. They now face a host of unfamiliar new entrants from the technology industries who would destroy the traditional products or services and replace them with more efficient, more sophisticated but cheaper alternatives. 

In Conversation | Zarina Piperdi, Senior Vice President (Human Resources & Fleet Management) of SIA Engineering Company

2015 - The expectations on HR have definitely changed over the years - from an administrative role to a business-partner role. Uncertainties and the effects of economic cycles on companies are more frequent these days, and thus restructuring, cost-reduction, productivity initiatives, reskilling, redeployment are becoming more the "order of the day". And all of these require heavy involvement of HR. 

2015 - The Singaporean values of meritocracy, embracing diversity and pragmatism are values that I carry deep within me. Doing what is right and what is fair, underlines all my actions; while being inclusive, regardless of race or religion, is second nature to me. 

2015 - Asia is an incredibly complex and diverse market... Optimising the way western leaders operate in Asia also calls for an understanding of the history and geo-political elements. 

2015 - The world today is becoming increasing liquid and traditional business models are being transformed. Businesses must be brave and forward-leaning to succeed in today's liquid world as fundamentals are constantly being challenged. 

2014 - Practical considerations such as quality, competition and technology have led to questioning of the traditional forms of people management. These require HR to redefine its focus and skills to deliver tangible results for the business. 

2014 - There are many attributes a leader has to have, but one of the most important attributes, I believe, is to listen humbly. 

2014 - Asia never talks about a flat GDP and this upward trend is here to stay for some years yet, so there is nothing better to motivate you than working in a growing market. 

2014 - Businesses are now demanding much more from their senior HR leaders. The question is whether these leaders are really up to it? In my view, the acid test is whether or not the HR leader could double up as the CEO? 

2014 - In Asia there are geographies where you need to be culturally sensitive as a female executive. Some of the rules are not written down and you learn them over time. 

2014 - Looking at the growth potential across the markets, our assessment is Asia will continue to be the biggest driver for Sennheiser over the next several years.

2014 - Over the next five years, we can expect Asia to equal if not overtake the US and Europe in terms of economic influence. This shift in dynamics will leave to a redefinition of leadership in the corporate world.

2013 - It is often difficult for leaders to stay grounded if leadership is practiced from an ivory tower and business strategies are formulated in isolation and only in consultation with the Board. 

2013 - The one thing I quickly realised when I first moved to Southeast Asia from Australia is just how different your managerial style needed to be. 

2013 - Driving a global culture requires different tools than in the past. You don’t have the luxury of all of your employees in one location, one time zone or even one language. 

2013 - CHRO role is positioned at the heart of the firm, in the intersection of strategy and execution. It needs to have a sound grasp of today's issues, tomorrow challenges and future trends. 

2013 - Expectations from HR have increased manifolds. Businesses are reactive in the recessionary world and they are constantly shifting gears to accommodate their current needs. HR deals with heart and mind of the organization finds this short term mentality challenging. 

2012 - Be realistic. Every organization’s means are limited by today’s economics. Leadership’s responsibility is to execute based on organizational, operational and shareholder deliverables and communicate these clearly to the employee. Misguided egos and impractical expectations unfortunately come coupled like burgers and fries in the disconnected leader. 

2012 - For me, it is paramount that a leader understands and knows his ‘True North’ – his internal compass of cherished values, passions, motivations, as well as his personal connection with the Higher Order - that defines the purpose of his leadership. A leader who is authentic and embodies integrity, conviction and passion will naturally draw loyal followers. 

2012 - “Boundaryless management” is fairly common in Asia, with its dozens of countries and huge scale. We employed that on a global scale at Lenovo, and are doing the same thing now at CHC. Our company is based in Vancouver, but I reside in Texas and other members of our senior leadership team make their homes throughout North America. 

2012 - Especially in times of uncertainty, when the importance of the team is pivotal, it is more crucial than ever that leaders are using the most effective ways to attract, engage and develop the right people. 

2012 - In my view, it is critical to step back from the business from time to time and ask: what should the business look like in 3 years from now, and do we have the right leadership team for 2015? 

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