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The Leadership Gap in Asia Pacific

Leadership Development is Key for Firms Looking for Fast Growth in Asia Pacific

SYDNEY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 7, 2009-- As western multinational companies continue to rely on Asia Pacific to counterbalance slowdowns in other regions, a new study on leadership effectiveness conducted by the Corporate Executive Board (NASDAQ: EXBD), a leading research and advisory services firm with offices in Asia Pacific, highlights a glaring gap in the leadership talent necessary to drive growth. Rising local leaders in Asia were considered a full 10 percent less effective than their peers in Western markets.

“Corporate is demanding growth rates from their Asia Pacific organizations at a multiple of GDP growth. Companies that expect to grow at 20 or 30 percent need to have the talent in place to lead and manage the change that is inherent with such exponential growth,” noted Christy Forest, Executive Director for Asia Pacific at the Corporate Executive Board.

A Corporate Executive Board survey of nearly 1,000 top business executives in the Asia Pacific region highlighted that leaders at western multinationals in China were perceived as skilled at process and relationship management, but are lacking sufficient strategic thinking skills, global market experience, and talent development competencies. In fact, only 1 in 4 local leaders in China were perceived as effective at these latter business-critical competencies.

Many organizations have imported western ex-pat leaders from more mature markets to fill this gap in the short term, but this strategy comes with a trade off – ex-pat leaders most often do not have the same level of sensitivity to the cultural differences in the region and the strong business relationships built over time of their local peers.

Western multinationals that will be most successful in building a sustainable high-growth business are those that pay close attention to and properly focus their resources on leadership development. Executive investment in the development of leadership talent has a greater effect on revenue and profit than any other talent management activity – impacting top and bottom lines by 9% and 10%, respectively.

About the Corporate Executive Board

The Corporate Executive Board drives faster, more effective decision-making among the world’s leading executives and business professionals. As the premier, network-based knowledge resource, it provides them with the authoritative and timely guidance needed to excel in their roles, take decisive action and improve company performance. Powered by an executive network that spans over 50 countries and represents more than 80% of the world’s Fortune 500 companies, the Corporate Executive Board offers the unique research insights along with an integrated suite of exclusive tools and resources that enable the world’s most successful organizations to deliver superior business outcomes. For more information, visit

About the APAC HR Executive Board and APAC CEO Executive Board

In Asia Pacific, the organization is a leading provider of employment brand analysis, best practices research, and decision-support services. The APAC CEO Executive Board accelerates regional CEO capabilities in their mission to: execute on their strategic priorities; build their talent bench; drive the customer experience; and optimize sales. The Board has a proprietary database of more than 100,000 labor market participants in China and India, allowing for detailed analysis of organizations’ Employment Value Propositions (EVP). Published studies and best practices include Accelerating Leader Development in China; Focusing Managers on Talent; Managing Employee Retention in China; and Building Compelling Career Paths in Asia.

Source: Corporate Executive Board

Corporate Executive Board
Joni Renick, 571-303-4074
Melissa Bailey, +61-2-9321-7503