Boards in Asia just paying ‘’lip service’’ to talent and people

Asian boardrooms talk a lot about putting people first but few of them actually do anything about it, says new report.
By: | November 6, 2019

‘’Putting people first’’ is a phrase some organisations use to sound good and keep their employees happy. Many don’t really understand what this means or choose not to act on their promises. This applies in the boardroom as well.

This suspicion is supported by The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) which has just published its BOLD 3.0: Future Fluent Board Leadership in Asia report. It worked in partnership with institutes of directors across India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, and interviewed more than 100 board members.

Sunil Puri, head of research – Asia Pacific for CCL said: ‘’There’s a lot of dialogue and lip service to boards focusing on talent, but it’s not happening. Clearly if you look at the number of CHROs or ex-CHROs on boards, I suspect you will find not more than 4 or 5. If talent is so important why are not more CHROs on boards?’’

CCL recommends boards take a more ‘’capability-based’’ recruiting approach. This will also help solve some of their diversity issues as well.

‘’Boards tends to include lawyers, those with a financial background, accountants, ex-CEO and former government or military officials. A capabilities-based recruiting model will look to the future and what are the real skills we need or expect to see. These include cybersecurity, human development and sustainability,’’ said Elisa Mallis, managing director and vice president – Asia Pacific for CCL.