Leadership is the top priority in Southeast Asia: Deloitte

by L&D31 May 2016
Developing effective leaders is a top priority for HR practitioners in Southeast Asia, according to the latest research.

Indeed, Deloitte’s annual survey on human capital trends, titled The new organisation: Different by design, has revealed that 97% of business and HR leaders identified leadership as the most crucial talent issue this year.

However, most organisations said they are unprepared to deal with it, as the research showed a 60% capability gap, up 19% from 41% in 2015.

A capability gap is defined as the difference between the importance of a trend and the perceived readiness of an organisation to handle it. 

The study claims this gap is due to the volatile state of economic affairs, which has forced companies to focus more on shareholder issues than HR ones. 

Looking specifically at Singapore, 93% of the respondents have indicated that leadership is their key priority. 

This is more than the global result (89%) and nearly as high as that of Southeast Asia.

The study also found that Singaporean businesses are not properly prepared in terms of effective leadership development programs.

Indeed, just 6% have a strong succession planning program, while only 12% have programs to build global leadership, millennial leaders and role-based leadership programs. 

Indranil Roy, Head of Deloitte Leadership, Southeast Asia, said there is still much more to be done, even though investment in leadership development has seen a general increase.

“Senior leaders need to take on new coaching roles, and younger leaders need to be identified, assessed and developed early in their careers using more structured and scientific approaches,” said Roy.

“In Singapore, there are senior leaders that possess a legacy hierarchical Asian mindset, and they will need a paradigm shift in their thinking to adapt to the changing trends and challenges.

“Also, more rigorous leadership programs are required to ensure a strong pipeline for building effective leaders for the future.”

Meanwhile, the urgency of organisational redesign is also a top HR issue. 

This is evident by it being in the top five despite being a new trend. Indeed, 91% of business and HR leaders in Southeast Asia believe that this is a key issue, however 53% said they are not prepared to address it.

“Companies globally are overhauling their organisational structure and shifting away from hierarchical and functional business models towards a cross-functional networks of teams," said Nicky Wakefield, Human Capital Consulting Leader for Deloitte Southeast Asia.

"This shift is encouraging greater collaboration, agility, customer focus and employee engagement."

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