Strong leaders crucial in southeast Asia but organisations are developing fewer of them

Author: PM editorial | Date: 9 Mar 2016

New Deloitte report highlights challenges for leadership, and the need for more proactive HR

Strong leadership is increasingly important in southeast Asia, but organisations lack the talent pipelines to develop the leaders they need.
 
That’s the finding of Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016, which surveyed 7,000 professionals around the world.
 
“The leadership challenge is urgent and growing in importance,” says the report. “In 2016, 89 per cent of organisations see leadership as an important or very important issue; up from 87 per cent in 2015.”
 
In southeast Asia, 97 per cent of respondents rated strong leadership as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ – the highest of any region. But only seven per cent of organisations worldwide believe they are ‘excellent’ at developing millennial leaders and only 14 per cent rated themselves as ‘strong’ at succession planning.
 
The report also argues that the move away from a traditional top-down hierarchical structure is creating new leadership challenges. “As organisational design shifts from a structured hierarchy to a network of teams, companies require different types of leaders and inclusion capabilities. As organisations grow flatter and more diverse, and as the global operating environment becomes increasingly more complex, there is a stronger demand for people who can lead at all levels of the company.
 
“Now, more than ever, is the time to challenge traditional organisational structures, empower teams, hold people accountable, and focus on building a culture of shared information, shared vision, and shared direction.”
 
The changing structures apply to HR as well. The report argues that now is the time for a more proactive HR department, which can lead the way – rather than oversee – decisions that have already been made at board level. “Sweeping global forces are reshaping the workplace, the workforce, and work itself,” said the report.“ Amidst these changes, the HR function is taking on a new role as the steward and designer of new people processes.”
 
There was more good news for HR departments in the report, as 60 per cent of organisations felt their HR team is innovative – up four per cent on 2015.