Having entered its sixth year, Greater China Talent Management Summit 2011 organised by A-Performers.com was successfully staged at Kowloon Shangri-la on 8th July, 2011.

In the theme of The Engaged Leader -
a Fundamental Pillar for Organisational Success
, the summit attracted more than 300 human resources practitioners and senior executives to attend, where 10 prominent guest speakers who are all esteemed leaders, academics and human resources professionals from best-practice organisations were invited to share their unique insights and suggestions on various hot topics of talent management and engaged leadership.




Definition of Success
The morning session kicked off with Hon Paul Chan, Legislative Councillor (Functional Constituency - Accountancy) HKSAR who keynoted the definition of success - the aspiration of young people in his interesting speech.

When it comes to the definition of success, Mr. Chan mentioned the book Chasing Daylight written by the chairman of KPMA in the US. He said, The book describes how the author reflects his career as he was diagnosed of having a brain tumor. Today, no matter what position we are in, work/life balance is important. Success is about legacy, the value and meaning of us as an individual.

Mr. Chan also shared two concepts he learnt from Rick Warren, a Christian leader: Stewardship of affluence and stewardship of influence.

When you have money, remember to share with people around you, particularly those in need, so that your blessings will also become blessings to others. Thats stewardship of affluence. For stewardship of influence, when you are successful one day, please use your influence for the good of the community to help those who are less fortunate, he said.

Coaching Culture
The second speaker of the summit was Mr. Tony Dickel, Chairman  Hong Kong of the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership (IECL).

Talking about coaching culture and its benefits, Mr. Dickel quoted a recent survey and said, On a global basis, 25 percent of people will leave their company within 25 years of joining it. It turns out that theres a very high risk that somebody may leave within the first 12 months of joining. The research indicates that in China 40 percent of mid senior level managers will leave their company within 18 months of joining.

As told by Mr. Dickel, IECL has conducted a number of researches around the challenge of how to create and empower a productive culture which encourages innovation, ownership, engagement, participation, collaboration and sharing. So how do you get local executives and managers into a habit of speaking up? It turns out that whats happening is that companies are doing that by creating a coaching culture within the company.

A coaching culture would help you to diagnose somebodys deep need. Coaching is the best way to support behavioral change which actually brings an individual to reach their own goals, he continued.

Finally, Mr. Dickel reminded the audience, Coaching culture needs to be planned carefully. It is not something that you can do overnight.

A Pair of Hands
The next onto the stage was Mr. Stephen Lee, President of Peter F. Drucker Academy, who delivered an inspiring speech on the topic From a Pair of Hands to a Whole Man

Mr. Lee started his presentation by sharing the story of Henry Ford, who used to say that why is it that when I always get the whole person when what I really want is just a pair of hands?

Nowadays, when we employ people, we want to employ the whole person, but he/she is not going to give you a pair of hands. They only sit down and wait for your instruction for what to do. A leader is not only to get things done, but also to embrace how to understand the inners strengths of a person, and how to put the strengths to align with the organisations setting, said Mr. Lee.

To build up the future leaders of the company, Mr. Lee mentioned three assumptions: mission, core competence and environment, which made up The Drucker Theory of Business.

You need to put your head out of the window to look at the world rather than just being inner focused to see how we are. Therefore, once we identified the three assumptions, then we need to ask ourselves what is our business? Who is our customer? And then identify some innovation opportunities to develop strategies and objectives for the organisation, he suggested.

Improve Performance Process
After the refreshment break, Mr. Francis Chan, General Manager Hong Kong of Lumesse Hong Kong Limited began his speech by sharing effective performance management processes that we can learn from organisations.

He shared Lumesses recent research about the industrys best practices and organisations performance management practices. As revealed by Mr. Chan, the research findings showed that over 75 percent of companies have developed goals based on financial metrics.

In order for goals to be good and smart goals, it has to be measurable. In Asia Pacific, only 15 percent of companies show this particular behaviour. The result is not very encouraging, so there is room for improvement.

Mr. Chan also recommends organisations to improve their performance process by
Incorporate both goals and competencies
Set schedule for formal reviews
Encourage informal feedback and communication
Training and leadership development for managers

Manage Talent through Change
The next onto the stage was our strategic insights speaker Dr. Aidan Goddard, Chief Financial Officer - Asia Pacific of LOccitane en Provence, who shared his experience and views on managing and developing Talent through Change.

Dr. Goddard said that changes always associated with some forms of restructuring. Leaders therefore had to decide who were going to stay or who were going to be retained.

A lot of contemporary management theory tends to focus on the strategies, the products, the markets and the operation, but Id like to stress the importance of managing people issues. The positive aspect of leadership is that people can be developed or coached to become leaders. Leadership is never really about self-dominance. Its much more about empathy with people and sharing, he added.

Dr. Goddard asked the audience to remember the word VICE:
 "V" stands for values  it is important for leaders to identify the values and fit it;
 "I" is for ideas  good leaders need to continually generate new ideas as organisations without ideas have only history and no future;
 "C" stands for courage  an important element of leadership. Courage simply means the willingness and preparedness to accept a degree of risk in managing relations and making decisions;
 "E" means energy  people in an organisation are taking on more and more responsibilities that require more energy. Good leaders are in a higher energy level which enables them to lead a good and effective team and motivate their people.


Align HR and Business Strategies
The last speaker of the morning session was Ms. Huo Tuanjie Olivia Head of Human Resources of Bank of China (HK) Limited. Ms. Huo spoke on the topic Align HR & Business Strategies via Talent Management and said, In the past decade, we put talent development as our top priority. Even our Chairman sees human capital as a milestone of business success. Therefore, we invest a lot in talent development.

At BOC (HK), there are three major objectives to support business growth:
1. to increase productivity to support the business
2. to improve staff quality and enhance staff commitment and engagement
3. to optimize human resources and utilisation

Ms. Huo continued, The focus of our HR work is to support business strategies. We have an increasing emphasis on talent management and we also enforce succession planning as our top priority. Our talent management work is well supported by staff relationships, training, compensation, motivation, corporate culture, etc. All these form a total reward strategy.

Leadership in Hong Kong
The afternoon session began with an inspiring speech by our afternoon keynote speaker Mrs. Ip Lau Suk Yee Regina, Chair of New Peoples Party on the topic Leading and Managing in Hong Kong Today.

Having worked for the government all of her life and with her experience in management in large organisations, Mrs. Ip shared her views on leadership and said, Leadership is not just about personality, it is about relationship, relationship with your followers. And sometimes being a leader to implement change could be dangerous.

According to Mrs. Ip, changes can be divided into two types: technical change and adaptive change. To lead adaptive change, get on the balcony and see yourself objectively; find out where people are at; listen to the song beneath the words and read the authority figure for clues.

Mrs. Ip suggested leaders to think politically, Create and nurture networks of people whom you can call on; work with and engage in addressing the issue at hand. In addition, find partners to build your political power, and to be seen by your followers that you also experience the same hardship.

Empower Your Talents
After the remarkable speech by the well-known charismatic leader, Mrs. Carmen Lam, Chief Executive Officer of PrinCorp Wealth Advisors (Asia) Limited, the Summits platinum sponsor, came onto the stage and delivered an insightful presentation with her fluent and pleasant English.

The Employee Choice Arrangement (ECA) is about to launch. According to MPFAs statistics, 40 percent of MPF members plan to transfer their accrued benefits upon the launch of the ECA. Mrs. Lam believed this implied that the ECA would bring about new challenges and opportunities to HR practitioners.

Mrs. Lam suggested HR people to leverage the ECA to show their concern for their employees needs. HR managers should remind employees that MPF is a long-term investment, and should empower them by widening their choices, such as introducing one to two more MPF service providers. Showing concern about employees compensation and benefits schemes will be helpful to engage and retain talents.

Engaged Leadership Culture
Ms. Ong Eng Hwee, Director of Corporate Training & Talent Development of Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd, shared the engaged Leadership Culture in Shangri-La in her presentation.

She said, Leadership in a hospitality environment is about engaging the staff so that they are able to provide good services and solve complaints in difficult situations. People are those who make the difference, so it is important to ensure that our people are engaged to delight the guests.

According to Ms. Ong, Shangri-La has developed a Talent Development Programme comprises of different sub-proogrammes to grow different people to different levels. We adopt a very systematic approach to talent development, and have designed a series of development programmes targeted at talents at different levels. With a robust talent development system in place, we hope to create an engaged leadership culture in the hotel where staff are all engaged and motivated.

HeadlineJobs Quality Workplace Index
The last speaker of the summit was Dr. Chung Ting-yiu Robert, Director of Public Opinion Programme (POP) of The University of Hong Kong. Dr. Chung reported the findings of HeadlineJobs Quality Workplace Index (2011 1st Half).

As Dr. Chung revealed, the survey, conducted by HeadlineJobs.hk in association with the POP of The University of Hong Kong, explores employee job satisfaction in Hong Kong.

The survey indicated that 77percent of employees are willing to give up their dream jobs for work/life balance, and 60 percent and 39 percent of employees would give up their dream jobs in exchange for personal health and dignity respectively.

As Hong Kongs economy further recovers, job satisfaction among employees drops further to 55 percent, whilst their wish to change jobs gets higher to 25 percent, Dr. Chung said.

The survey also showed that when confronting a dream job with various concerns, most employees would only give up their dream jobs for reason of personal health. Other considerations are comparatively less important.

A Note of Thanks
A-Perfomers.com, as the organiser of the Greater China Talent Management Summit, would like to take this opportunity to thank all the honorable speakers, partners, sponsors, exhibitors, advertisers, facilitators and delegates from Hong Kong and overseas, who have made the summit a successful and memorable one. See you next year!