It is generally agreed that the Western and Chinese approaches to leadership differ. Perhaps what is more important to consider is that due to rapid growth and change in China, individuals do not often have sufficient time in a role to develop soft leadership skills. Importantly, such individuals also will not necessarily remain in a role long enough to witness the consequences of their actions and learn from them.
Education about the impact of cultural differences on expectations for leadership certainly is a fundamental first step in addressing this dilemma. Both Chinese and Westerners need to understand what “success” means in China and what “good output” looks like, and these concepts may well be hybrid. A high level of patience is required to understand the cultural differences and to find ways of working together. In addition, those in leadership functions in China need to be given opportunities to apply their thinking, make things happen and witness results. Testing leaders’ abilities to make things happen through others—including holding people accountable, confronting them when things go wrong and dealing with the consequences—is the only way to truly accelerate the development of strong leaders who deliver sustainable results.
This excerpt is taken from our recent paper Six Talent Dilemmas Facing Multinational Companies in China which you can read in full by clicking here.
Asia Pacific Region HR Moves
A. Schulman, Inc.
- Charles van Heerden has been appointed Human Resources Director of Asia Pacific for A. Schulman, Inc. Mr. Van Heerden will lead the company’s human resources activities for its operations in Australia, China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. With more than 20 years in human resources management, Mr. Van Heerden has knowledge of a broad range of industries including information technology, mining, engineering, consulting and research. He was most recently the General Manager for WaveBox Pty Ltd, a HR consulting firm. He has extensive experience in Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and has worked for other companies and organizations such as Feltex and Warrnambool Cheese and Butter. (Australia)
- Hiroki Suda has been appointed as Executive Officer of Human at Ace Insurance in Japan. Previously, Mr. Suda served as a Director of Global HR at Mizuho Securities. Prior to that, Mr. Suda was at Merrill Lynch Securities Japan as the Vice President of Staffing HR. (Japan)
- Hans-Christian Marxen has been appointed Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Asia Pacific. He succeeds Peter Johann who will join the Human Resources Competence Center and Talent Management as Senior Vice President in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Mr. Marxen was most recently Managing Director of Human Resources, Finance & Administration at BASF Schwarzheide GmbH in Schwarzheide, Germany. From 2005 to 2010, he was the Director of Human Resources at BASF-YPC Company Ltd., in Nanjing, China. He also held the role of Director of Human Resources Coordination and Human Resources Policies & Systems Site in Germany previously, and started his career with BASF since 1988. (Hong Kong)
Boston Scientific Corporation
- Seok-Chin Saw has been appointed Asia Pacific Vice President of Human Resources for Boston Scientific Corporation. Ms. Saw will be responsible for developing and implementing the Human Resources strategy to support the strategic growth objectives of the Asia Pacific organisation. Ms. Saw recently served as Director of Human Resources of Asia Pacific at Becton Dickinson. Prior to Becton Dickinson, she spent 10 years at Johnson and Johnson where she was the Asia Pacific Vice President of Human Resources for the Medical Devices & Diagnostics (MD&D) division, and a member of the MD&D Global HR Council. Before Johnson & Johnson, she held HR positions of increasing responsibility with IBM Singapore where she worked for more than 16 years. (Singapore)
- Siran Synn has been appointed as Global Head of Human Resources for Cheil Worldwide, based in the company’s headquarters in Korea. Ms. Synn has more than 20 years of work experience in the consumer and life sciences industries, with strong HR international and regional work experience. She was previously the HR Director of Diageo managing the South East Asia region, and also the Executive Director (Head of HR) of Pfizer in Korea. She also worked in other global pharmaceutical companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck Sharp & Dohme. (Korea)
- Anuranjita Kumar has been appointed as Country Human Resources Officer for Citigroup India. Ms. Kumar replaces Stephen Cronin, who has been promoted as Global HR Leader of ICG Operations and Technology and CTO. Ms. Kumar has been with Citigroup for over 17 years, and held a variety of roles including Recruitment Manager, Senior HR Generalist, C&B Head for India & Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. She moved to London as the Citi Markets & Banking EMEA HR Strategy & Planning head in 2005, and was appointed Head of HR, Global Banking EMEA in 2007. Ms. Kumar began her career as an HR Manager at Procter & Gamble. (India)
Heidelberg Japan KK
- Kuniko Milhous has been appointed as the Executive Officer of Human Resources and General Affairs for Heidelberg Japan KK. Ms. Milhous has 13 years of human resource generalist experience, and was formerly the HR Director of Asia Pacific for Wind River, a subsidiary of Intel Corporation. She also worked with Tyco Safety Products as HR Director of Asia Pacific. (Japan)
- Kei Kuchimura has been newly appointed as General Manager of Human Resources Development Division at KOKUYO. Mr. Kuchimura previously served as a Senior Manager of Recruiting & Development & HR at Johnson & Johnson K.K. He began his career at Toray Industries Inc. in 1992. (Japan)
- Dharma Chandran has been appointed as the Chief Human Resources Officer of Leighton Group in January 2012, having joined the company as Acting Executive General Manager of Human Resources in October 2011. Mr. Chandran was the Managing Partner of Ernst & Young’s Far East Area Performance & Reward Practice based in Hong Kong from 2009 to 2010 and was seconded to Suncorp Group in Australia as Acting Group Executive, Human Resources from April to August 2010. From 2003 to 2008, Dharma held several General Manager level HR roles for Westpac Banking Corporation in Australia. Dharma also previously worked for McKinsey & Company as HR Director for South East Asia, with Hewitt Associates as Head of Asia-Pacific M&A Practice and for Towers Perrin as Head of Asia-Pacific Financial Services Practice, all while based in Singapore and Malaysia. (Australia)
QuEST Global Engineering
- QuEST Global Engineering has appointed Tom Brown as Senior Vice President of Human Resources of the company. Tom joins QuEST Global after 4 years with Rolls Royce London, where he held the position of Group HR Director. He has led various transformation programs in both high growth and turnaround environments in his career spanning industrial, B2B service, consumer, mining and energy sectors. (Singapore)
Nippon Boehringer Ingelheim
- Osamu Aihara has been appointed as General Manager of Human Resources at Nippon Boehringer Ingelheim. Previously, Mr. Aihara served as Vice President, Human Resources at DHL Japan Inc. (Japan)
Sandvik Asia Limited
- Ajay Ambewadikar has been appointed as Country HR Head of India for Sandvik Asia Limited. Mr. Ambewadikar will be working closely with the functional leaders to develop strategic HR solutions to enable and drive business objectives. He has around 20 years of experience with Indian & MNC organizations. He was formerly the Country Head of HR for Alfa Laval in India and Head of HR India for Knorr-Bremse. (India)
About Russell Reynolds Associates
Leadership for a Changing World. In today’s global business environment, success is driven by the talent, vision and leadership capabilities of senior executives.
Russell Reynolds Associates is a leading global executive search and assessment firm with more than 300 consultants based in 40 offices worldwide. Our consultants work closely with public and private organizations to identify, assess and recruit senior executives and board members to drive long-term growth and success. We value teamwork, serving our clients with a collaborative approach that spans our international network of sector and functional experts.
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