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Regional HR Heads Gather at Quintiles as part of The Chapman Consulting Group's APAC Series

Hosted by: Quintiles

A lively and vocal group of 25 APAC HR Heads gathered at Quintiles offices in Singapore to share insights and best practice. This was part of The Chapman Consulting Group’s mid-year APAC HR leader series and included representatives from Thomson Reuters, Bayer Healthcare, VMware, Stryker, BHP Billiton, Applied Materials, Cisco and Monsanto, to name a few. The session was facilitated by Matt Chapman, CEO of The Chapman Consulting Group and included four mini presentations.

Our host, Quintiles, gave some insight into improving line manager capability and shared some examples of what had worked for them. Some key take-aways included:

  • Frank exchanges on ‘good to great’ are vital.
  • Management assessment undertaken by a third party helped isolate key competencies.
  • While countries within Asia share similarities, it’s important to assess each country individually as large differences do exist, especially in India.
  • Solid management is crucial in a niche market and a highly competitive space as most attrition was linked to inadequate management.

A senior HR leader from BHP Billiton then shared some of the key changes they had embarked upon whilst driving a refreshed Diversity & Inclusion agenda. This was a hot topic for many of the attendees. His advice on driving Diversity & Inclusion included:

  • Inclusion is of more importance than Diversity as Diversity will come naturally.
  • Appoint a D&I leader.
  • Think about unconscious bias and the impact this can have on hiring and team organisation.
  • Establish more external market mapping. This will help to enable a balanced and broad pipeline.

During this discussion, an attendee shared a new piece of legislation that will take place in Germany in 2017. From then, every German company will be required to have 25% female representation. This spurred some great discussion around the unique approaches that can be taken to enable retention and the return of female talent to the workforce after maternity leave. Some specific examples included:

  • providing travel costs for nannies, and children, for the first 12 months after a female leader returns to work.
  • enabling family travel alongside female leaders for a certain number of international business trips a year.

The next topic covered a successful Talent Management Programme used by an HR Head in the Clinical research industry. One of the most interesting approaches surrounded mentoring. Rather than dictate who would be a mentor, mentors were selected based on their interest in this role. The mentor was then required to create a sales pitch about themselves and what they could offer. The key talent group then matched themselves to the mentor and to their 360 development areas.

Finally we heard from the APAC HR Head at Millward Brown. He discussed an extremely innovative ‘brain improvement’ scheme that was used within the organisation, but with little success. He shared that while the initiative may not have worked as such, it did teach the business heads, and himself, many valuable lessons. His parting words were “’keep innovating, even if it doesn’t always work!”

The next APAC HR Leader series will be in September.


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Key Contributors:

Matthew Chapman
Matthew Chapman


Global Management
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Matthew Chapman
Global Management

Matthew Chapman


Matthew (Matt) Chapman is the Founder of ChapmanCG.

He has also created the Thrive HR Exchange, a global community platform for people leaders and HR professionals to find and exchange inspiration, ideas and insights. Discover some of his interviews with HR leaders here.

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.

EA Registration Number: R1111550 Licence Number: 08S3543