Regional HR Leaders Meet in Singapore to Discuss MNCs Shifting Power from West to East
Regional HR Leaders from across industries met over lunch on July 1st at the Singapore offices of Organisation Solutions to explore the organisational shifts underway amongst Western multinational corporations and to share their lessons of experience. This session was jointly hosted by Organisation Solutions and The Chapman Consulting Group.
During the session, the leaders discussed a number of trends they have observed in their company. These included; an increased focus on Asia as the growth engine, restructuring the region and sub-regions to support growth, changing reporting lines within and between countries, and relocating executives, businesses and entire support functions from the US and Europe to Asia.
Dr Alison Eyring, CEO of Organisation Solutions, briefed the HR Leaders on highlights of research conducted over a three year period by Organisation Solutions with leading multinational companies including seasoned global players such as Dell, General Electric, Japan Airlines, Johnson & Johnson, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Kraft Foods, Maersk, Mars, Standard Chartered Bank and UBS.
Between 2007 and 2010, nearly half of the companies in the study moved senior leaders to Asia. Nearly 70% felt that the shift from West to East would accelerate between now and 2013. ”The focus on Asia is building and gaining momentum, said Dr. Eyring, but companies must align themselves to harness the growth in the region”. “Too often, people, processes and structures are being shifted for growth in Asia – yet decision-making authority is not always aligned to this.”
The participating HR Leaders shared data on shifts in their own company over the past year. This data was strikingly similar to data obtained in the earlier study. The key difference, however, was that this group of companies had experienced the same amount of change over 12 months whereas the last group had experienced the same change over a three year period.”
‘With companies pushing towards Asia, the demand for top talent will continue to grow. Companies must ensure that the shifting structures and changes in regional configuration are enabling (and not hindering) their ability to attract and retain top people” said Matthew Chapman, CEO of The Chapman Consulting Group.
The session highlighted important organisational challenges of growth in Asia Pacific. “With growth comes greater complexity and the need to manage the need to constantly adapt and reconfigure the region, whilst maintaining a sense of continuity for employees, concluded Dr. Eyring. HR Leaders who are partners for their company’s growth will help their leaders manage this tension.â€‹
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