Research & Findings:

Recently, we asked 30 leaders in the Asia Pacific what was most important in generating performance through leading a regional/ international business that spanned both geographical and cultural boundaries. These were leaders from various international organizations, all within the Asia Pacific region. They include both commercial and functional leaders.

Here are some critical yet relatively simple ideas that emerged from this qualitative research:

1. Define and Communicate Holistic Performance Expectations

It is hard to achieve something if you don’t know exactly what it is. And it was surprising how few senior executives can define organizational performance in one sentence.  Clearly, it includes financial metrics such as EBIT or Operating or Gross Profit, however, these figures don’t tell the full story of performance. Performance for a senior leader goes beyond a number. And if we can define it succinctly and communicate it regularly with the key stakeholders, then it is probable that performance will improve

2. Longer-Term Purpose of the Business over Quarterly numbers

A strategist knows the power of a compelling future. The purpose-led organizations have an energy about them that is often lacking and results in organizations stumbling from quarter to quarter.

3. Link Leadership Development to Strategic Future outcomes

Despite the vast sums of money spent on leadership, it is often still ad hoc and reactive to what emerges in a business month by month. What would be more effective is if leadership development followed strategy and purpose. Organizations should be developing a pipeline of leaders capable of taking the organization into the future. Most competency-based frameworks are backward-looking.