Spencer Stuart: Harnessing Digital Forces in Asia

To understand how Asian companies are embracing and adapting to the digital transformation compared to the West, Spencer Stuart held a series of round table discussions with senior leaders across all industries. The discussion was structured around three questions:

  1. What does it mean to be best-in-class in digital?
  2. What lessons can be drawn from the experience of companies that have been particularly successful in harnessing the power of digital?
  3. How can companies aspire to be best-in-class in digital and identify, recruit, retain and groom the talent they need?

The following is an excerpt from the report: “Organizations that are best-in-class understand that digital is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, particularly in Asia where each market is very different in terms of culture, history and digital readiness. Developed countries such as Korea, Japan and Singapore, with almost universal levels of smartphone adoption, are at the forefront of embracing and pushing the envelope on digital technologies, while the rapidly developing markets of China, Indonesia and India paint a far more diverse and complex picture. For instance, China itself is a macrocosm of widely contrasting markets, from the sophisticated cosmopolitism of Beijing and Shanghai to the more emerging natures of Hangzhou and Chongqing. This variance means it is important to delegate decision-making authority to local teams. “Each market needs to define its own targets and the speed at which it rolls out new products and services,” said the head of marketing of APAC of a global sporting apparel company. At the same time, companies need to create structural overlays that promote the cross-fertilization of ideas across the various geographies. At one company, country leaders take turns during regional meetings outlining five things they have learned since the last gathering, and discuss ways in which relevant insights can be adapted to, refined and rolled out across other markets.”

The full report is published on Spencer Stuart’s website. Read the full report.


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