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Global HR Leaders Networking Series on Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets Ends its European Leg in Sweden

Hosted by: Alcatel-Lucent Boehringer Ingelheim British American Tobacco IPG Mediabrands Mars Mölnlycke Health Care Sodexo Swiss Re

The Chapman Consulting Group has completed the European leg of its Global HR Leader Series this week in Gothenburg, Sweden. Matthew Chapman, CEO and Oscar Fuchs, Director, both presented at the series. Stefanie Cross-Wilson, International President, was not present in person but was closely involved in the organisation of the meetings, and Tim Rayner, Director, attended half of the sessions.

The series, held between 17 and 24 September 2012, involved eight separate focus groups of 15-20 Global HR Leaders, and was held in London (United Kingdom), Frankfurt (Germany), Zurich (Switzerland), Paris (France), Brussels (Belgium) and Gothenburg (Sweden).

The London sessions were hosted on 17 September by Giovanni Giordano, Chief HR Officer of British American Tobacco (BAT) and Alastair Proctor, Global Head of HR of IPG Mediabrands. The BAT session was held in conjunction with Organisation Solutions. At BAT, Giovanni Giordano gave an interesting insight into BAT’s top level HR strategy; Anne Daugaard, Global Head of Talent for the AP Moeller Maersk Group, led a discussion on improving connectivity between global HR and regional HR; and Andrew Wood, Global Head of Talent for Aegis Media talked about misconceptions of working in China and Hong Kong, from his own personal experience of being in these markets. At IPG Mediabrands, Marieke Mangnus, Global Head of Talent, talked about their HR strategy and gave two interesting case studies on the success of Talent Management strategies in its Thailand and China operations.

The third session, at the Boehringer Ingelheim campus near Frankfurt on 18 September, was attended by 20 Global HR leaders and was opened by Thorsten Poehl, BI’s Global Head of Talent Management. The group then had five discussions on Talent Management in Asia Pacific and other emerging markets, led by Mark Hagmann, Global HR Head, Marketing and Sales, Boehringer Ingelheim; Allie Brueck, Global Head of Compensation & Benefits, Dow Corning; Deborah Capill, Senior Vice President, DHL Supply Chain; Angela Evans-Custard, Head of Talent Management for Europe/Middle East/Africa/Asia, Avaya; and Klementia Pejic, Global Talent Management Head, Clariant.

On 19 September, The Chapman Consulting Group moved to Swiss Re’s Centre for Global Dialogue, just outside Zurich. Monika Waber, Global HR Head for Swiss Re’s Reinsurance and Products business lines, could not be with us due to a trip to China, so Richard Teague, a Global HR Leader in the team, welcomed more than 15 Global HR Leaders attending from around Europe. Karin Priarollo, Chief HR Officer of Galenica, talked about her learnings from being a Regional Head of HR of a former company in Asia; and Claudine Lewis, a Global HR Lead at Kuehne + Nagel, led a discussion about the issues of diversity and Talent Management in Asia Pacific.

Paris, on 18 September, saw two fantastic gatherings of Global HR Leaders, firstly at Sodexo’s world headquarters and then later at the global headquarters of Alcatel-Lucent. At Sodexo, Nathalie Blarel, Global Head of Recruitment; Nandini Colin, an HR Lead for Europe and Asia; Cathy Cordier, another member of the global recruitment team, talked to the group on Sodexo’s Talent Management practices in Asia Pacific and emerging markets. This was followed by discussions led by Patricia Waldron-Werner, Global Head of HR, Orange Business Services; Laurence Garrido, Global Head of HR, Virbac; Con De Ruig, Global Head of HR, Corporate Functions, APM Terminals; and Maria Rosario Bonifacio, Global Head of People Engagement, Managed Services, Ericsson.

At Alcatel-Lucent, we were welcomed by Javier Cerrudos, Global HR Head of Customer Delivery, who The Chapman Consulting Group had got to know during his previous assignment as Asia Pacific Head of HR. Javier talked to the group about Alcatel-Lucent’s global HR strategy and gave a snapshot of its key Talent Management practices. The discussion was then led by Jeremy Roffe-Vidal, Global Head of HR for CapGemini, who spoke on the complexities of developing a consistent HR strategy for a workforce of more than 130,000 around the globe. Dennis De Munck, Global Head of Staffing, L’Oreal, followed with a lively discussion about onboarding and engagement practices in Asia.

Next was Brussels, for a lunchtime session at Mars, on 19 September. Gillian Enevoldsen, Global Head of HR for Petcare at Mars, welcomed a great group of participants from around Europe and delivered a very interesting case study on Mars’ talent practices across its fast growing markets. Similar case studies were discussed by James Hulbert, Head of Talent Management, Europe, Johnson Controls; Ricardo Sookdeo, Global Head of Talent Management, ING Insurance; and Wouter Bak, a global HR consultant at ABN Amro.

Molnlycke Health Care hosted the final session of the series on 24 September at their Gothenburg world headquarters. This was the largest of the eight get-togethers with a full room of more than 20 Global HR Heads in attendance. Maarten van Beek, Executive Vice President of Global HR at Molnlycke, opened proceedings, and those in attendance enjoyed other discussions on talent in emerging markets led by Vineet Budhiraja, Global Head of Talent Management Damco; Nete Martinsen, SVP, Training and Development Partner, Novo Nordisk; and Lars Worsoe-Petersen, Global Head of HR for Electrolux.

The Chapman Consulting Group’s Global HR Series on Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets went off well, and we were left the following summary of observations on the latest talent trends:

  • Global HR Leaders are being swept up more and more into Talent Management issues in this part of the world.
  • The term “Asia” still consistently translates as a large focus on India and China across many Europe-HQ’ed companies. But beyond these two key markets, each company still has plenty of focus on other countries in the region.
  • Attraction and retention of key talent is a major issue for many companies, and significant attention is being put into this.
  • Local Asian companies are a headache against multinationals in terms of attracting talent.
  • Global (and regional) headquarters are increasingly being decentralised to reduce inefficiency in reporting and to get closer to markets.
  • Better use of technology is creating a stronger platform for HR to manage geographically dispersed workforces and to generate better quality analytics to measure them.
  • Employer branding and understanding the employee value proposition are key to maximising the potential to attract and retain elite talent.
  • Global HR teams are continually tweaking HR delivery models to cope with rapid growth in some parts of the world compared with low growth in other areas.

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Matthew (Matt) Chapman is the Founder of ChapmanCG. Matt oversees ChapmanCG’s future strategy, innovation and image across the globe. He also personally provides HR search and career counsel to HR leaders whose careers have grown alongside ChapmanCG — some of whom are now the biggest HR names in the world.

Matt has a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Business Law from the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is a Singapore Citizen and divides his time between Asia Pacific, the Americas and EMEA.

Matt is a wellness, self-improvement and fitness addict. He has completed six desert, 250km ultra-marathons in Chile, China, Egypt, Antarctica, Namibia and Madagascar.

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