Today was the start of a 3-day conference organized by the ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) and STADA (Singapore Training and Development Association). This is the first time that ASTD is holding a conference outside of the US.
According to the organizers, there were 800 participants from 24 countries and 87 speakers from 13 countries. Good show.
Fons Trompenaars led the keynote of the day with a discussion cultural leadership. According to Trompenaars:
- Most leadership books are culturally biased. Thus, what books does one read read in a culturally diverse setting?
- It is not about having a Centralized or Localized organization build a Transnational organization, factoring in cultural best practices.
- Culturally-balanced team work: reward teams for individual creativity & reward individuals for team work.
- Servant leadership in multi-cultural situations. Have more authority at the end. Consider the parent and child relationship.
I thought Stephen Krempl’s topic on bridging cultural differences between Western and Asian management expectations might be interesting. He talks about Global Executive Mindset.
- Your personal self image affects your performance, ultimately impacting your results. However you see yourself has a huge impact on your performance.
- In most organization, one have to be performing the function (Do) of a director (Be) before you are given the title (Have). The concept of Do – Be – Have. Most people get it wrong, where the expectation is to be given the title before the do the next-level role.
- Krempl also talks about playing by the rules of the game. Using a sports analogy, you can’t use cricket rules in a baseball game and vice versa. But a good athlete can play multiple sports. Thus, to strive ahead in a Western MNC, Asians need to be more adaptable to western culture practices by 5%.
I’ve written on topics of Asia leadership challenges and bridging the cultural divide.
Future of Leadership
Richard Wellins of Development Dimensions International was the Super Session speaker on the Future of Leadership.
- Pulling data from DDI surveys, he noted that only 24% of China respondents had strong pipeline of leadership supply to critical roles. That means the other 75% have a critical gap in leadership planning and development.
- Wellins showed another survey where 73% say formal classroom training is best method to train leaders. Shocking! Most of the audience members would not have placed classroom training high on the list.
- Younger leaders value coaching from the boss is higher rated (71%) vs from a mentor (54%).
All in all, a good first day. Continue to watch out for live tweets at #asap2011.