By Jennifer Khoo

A.T. Kearney

A majority (59 percent) of European C-Suite executives say digital innovation has not delivered high business impact at their organizations, despite the potential opportunity for digital innovation to drive business growth, according to a survey conducted by A.T. Kearney at the firm’s Digital Business Forum in London.

Respondents consisted of 100 C-Suite business executives in Europe across the finance, healthcare, consumer, chemicals, travel, communications, automotive, and energy sectors, and they indicated that integrating new technologies into an established infrastructure (59 percent) and a corporate culture that is not ready to embrace digital technologies (51 percent) are the two biggest barriers.

The potential to catalyze growth is the leading driver of digital innovation, with 36 percent of respondents stating greater customer acquisition as the most significant business outcome of digital innovation, followed by increased revenue (20 percent). Consequently, 68 percent felt that sales and customer services will benefit the most from digital innovation over the next three years.


The Adecco Group marked this year’s International Youth Day on August 12 with a survey on the expectations of young people about to enter the labor market. The findings reveal that most are confident they are equipped with the right skills to land their dream job and that they see work experience to be what they need most to succeed.

The Young People and Work: Dreams and Readiness survey covered 9,572 young adults, aged between 18 and 30 in 13 countries, to gauge expectations about the world of work and their awareness of the skills required by the labor market. Almost 8 out of 10 (77.47%) respondents believe they will find a job within a year upon finishing their studies.

More than two-thirds (68.45%) say they have a dream job in mind. Almost three quarters (73.08%) of respondents feel they are equipped with the right skills for work. Young adults in Germany are found to be the most confident (89.11%), while their Japanese counterparts emerge as the most insecure (31.54%).

Brookfield Global Relocation Services

Brookfield Global Relocation Services’ 2016 Global Mobility Trends Survey of mobility leaders around the world shows that 10 percent of companies are realizing the benefits of aligning mobility with talent management. These 10 percent are using global mobility as a strategic tool for talent engagement at a greater rate than other companies.

For example, they more frequently communicate the importance of international assignments to employees’ careers, send employees on assignment primarily for career development, and incorporate international assignments into the wider career planning process.

The balance of companies remains in a state of evolution. In some companies, strong talent planning processes exist, but international assignments may not yet be fully integrated into overall career development. Other companies are just starting to embrace the importance of international assignments, and high potentials have to “tick the box” of having gone on an international assignment if they want to become a leader. Some companies still treat mobility as a mechanism merely to fill open roles.

Cornerstone International Group

The 2016 Global Business Survey by Cornerstone International Group reveals that 45 percent of those surveyed believe gender diversity is incidental to business performance. Over 60 percent acknowledge that gender diversity is not mentioned in their “Corporate Mission” or “Values Statement.”

Increasing the number of women in business management roles has been a high-profile campaign for several decades, with studies indicating that diversity in leadership improves business performance. The momentum now appears stalled. According to another recent survey, the number of female executives worldwide increased by only 3 percentage points – to 22 percent – in the past decade.

Less than 17 percent of survey participants have a formal policy to recruit high-value women, and one in four consider it harder to find qualified women than men. Participants in the Cornerstone International Group survey come from 22 countries and represent a broad spectrum of firms having revenues from US$10 million to over US$10 billion.

Egon Zehnder

Egon Zehnder earlier in the year released its 2016 Latin American Board Diversity Analysis, a new report examining gender diversity at the board level of leading publicly traded companies in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. The study finds that at the country level, the role of cultural bias continues to play a significant role in women’s leadership progression.

Women continue to face uphill resistance from male counterparts regarding their leadership ability. In the findings, 41 percent of board chairs and board members said that “continuing cultural bias” was the largest impediment for women reaching board positions. Importantly, only 21 percent of the board chairs and members interviewed said their company has special policies or programs to select, hire and promote women from within management.

The report is based on analysis of the board composition of 155 major Latin American companies, as well as in-depth interviews with 61 board chairs and female board directors.


In a EY survey, Asia-Pacific women entrepreneurs are found to have growth plans for their businesses despite challenges. Among 143 respondents, 90 percent reported that they plan to scale their business, with 60 percent planning to grow internationally and 16 percent working toward an IPO. Almost two-thirds have explored external financing options; however, 73 percent admitted they found the process “intimidating.”

More than half of respondents lack a clear exit strategy, something most investors want to understand before providing financing, and more than a quarter have yet to replace themselves in operational roles, spending 40 percent of their time working in, rather than on, the business.

Only 35 percent have a network of trusted advisors, while 67 percent say establishing one is a priority. For those seeking to expand globally, building a public profile has been shown to accelerate growth; however, only 10 percent felt they were “very prominent” and almost half spend less than 10 percent of their time promoting themselves.

GP Strategies

GP Strategies Corporation, a specialist in performance improvement solutions including human capital management, has highlighted in a blog recently the correlation between human error and equipment failure. The human element is noted to be one of those most overlooked assets within a facility.

The area of maintenance and reliability typically focuses on the strategies aligned to each of the critical assets in a facility. While the percentages vary by industry, it’s accepted that 80 percent of all defects are caused by humans due to improper installation, assembly, disassembly, torqueing and lubrication of equipment. A focus on precision maintenance is key to any organization’s reliability and ability to reduce the mean time between failures.

Training personnel on standardized precision maintenance can save companies thousands of dollars a year, whether it’s on proper torqueing techniques or precision coupling and shaft alignment – these are a few areas that can lead to improvement in up-time and keep equipment running to specification.

Heidrick & Struggles

Heidrick & Struggles has announced a leadership succession for its subsidiary, Senn Delaney, a firm founded in 1978 to focus exclusively on transforming company cultures. Effective January 1, 2017, Jim Hart will retire as President and CEO of Senn Delaney, and will be succeeded by Michael Marino, who has also been named Executive Vice President of Heidrick & Struggles.

Marino has served on the leadership team at Senn Delaney for more than 20 years and has led strategic accounts across a wide range of industries, including FedEx, Loblaw, GlaxoSmithKline and USAA. Marino has also been instrumental in new product development for the culture-shaping business as well as integrated products for the Heidrick & Struggles enterprise.

Prior to joining Senn Delaney, Marino was an executive at Chase Manhattan Bank. During his 10-year tenure at Chase, he served as a senior human resources executive for APAC, helped establish the Chase-AMP Bank of Australia, and served as country manager of consumer banking for Chase Thailand.


ISI-Dentsu Hong Kong (ISID or ISID HK) has been awarded “Caring Company 2015/2016” by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) this year in recognition of its commitment to “Caring for the Community, Caring for the Employees, and Caring for the Environment.”

The Caring Company Scheme was launched by The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) in 2002, aimed at cultivating good corporate citizenship by encouraging strategic partnerships between business and social services sectors to create more cross-sector community projects.

ISID representatives from Human Resources, Legal & Administration and Marketing Departments attended The HKCSS Convention cum Caring Company Partnership Expo 2016, held on 10 May at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. There were around 100 exhibition booths from social services and social enterprises, and it provided ISID with opportunities to explore long-term community partnerships and further promote its caring spirit within the community.

Kelly Services

Hong Kong remains a popular destination for multinational corporations (MNCs) housing their regional headquarters in Asia, according to Kelly Services’ Hong Kong 2016 Salary Guide, noting that Hong Kong, with a solid infrastructure and an independent legal system, will continue to attract new corporations into the city and fuel the demand for talented professionals.

Kelly Services, a search and selection recruitment consultancy offering bespoke workforce solutions, continues to witness foreign or Chinese companies setting up head offices in Hong Kong as part of their APAC/China or global expansion plans, despite the high commercial rent levels year after year.

The firm also expects to witness continuous company restructuring and M&A activities across industries in Hong Kong, suggesting companies which have not reviewed their structure in the past years may take the opportunity presented in a slowing economy to create a leaner structure and sharpen their competitive edge. There will inevitably be some layoffs and redundancies, but also some new hires for the renewed organizations.

Koehler Group

According to the latest Legal and Tax alert by Koehler Group, Beijing is the first city in China to fully adopt a new method for calculating a company’s contribution to the disabled persons’ employment security fund, as a direct result of the issuance of Circular 72 on September 8, 2015.

The 2015 rules became effective in Beijing on January 1, 2016, and are expected to eventually be fully implemented in other parts of the country which are currently still using the 1995 rules (or have implemented the new calculation method but established an upper limit on the disability fund calculation base).

While the requirement that the scale of hiring disabled persons shall be no less than 1.5 percent of the total staff is kept in place in the 2015 circular, a new method to calculate the contribution to the disabled persons’ employment security fund has been introduced – in order to determine how much a company should have to pay when it fails to hire a sufficient number of disabled persons.

Korn Ferry

A November study by the Hay Group, a division of Korn Ferry, finds that US companies are putting less emphasis on individual performance and are increasing the emphasis on organizational success when determining incentive compensation packages for sales roles.

The study analyzed individual contributor sales compensation data from 2010 through 2016, and found that in 2016, a full third of the companies included the performance of an entire business unit or division when putting together sales force incentive compensation packages. That is more than double the 16 percent of companies which did so in 2010.

In addition, the study found that in 2016, 26 percent of companies included a corporation-wide or team performance measure when determining compensation, up from the 2010 figure of 15 percent. The study also found that while 83 percent of analyzed companies still measure individual performance for compensation purposes for sales roles, it is down nearly 10 percent from recent years.


A recent survey revealed that even though social media is a huge part of our lives, most Hong Kong CEOs do not unleash the potential of social platforms, with only about a quarter of those surveyed using social media for consumer engagement, and only one-tenth using social messaging platforms as a sales channel for their omni-channel strategies.

The 2016 CEO Pulse Survey, jointly initiated by GS1 Hong Kong and KPMG China, estimates that slightly more than ten percent plan to develop structural social media platforms for consumers to search for product opinions and feedback in the coming 12 months.

YouGov was commissioned to conduct both the quantitative survey and qualitative analysis on 225 CEOs’ views on their business and e-commerce strategies, as well as a consumer survey collecting feedback from 1,000 respondents, half-and-half Hong Kong and China citizens. It is a Hong Kong-focused comprehensive report on e-commerce from both the CEO and consumer perspectives.

Management Development Services

According to the article entitled Engaging the Next Generation, a substantial portion of the workforce today are part of what is referred to as Generation Y (born mid-1970s to the mid-1990s), and they are poised to become the next generation of managers and leaders.

In China, Generation Y are also referred to as the “Young Emperors” who were born after the One-Child Policy in China was implemented. These young, educated Chinese not only make up a significant portion of the workforce, but their spending power has grown significantly in recent years and will grow substantially in the coming decade, making them one of the most important consumer groups.

A recent study by Accenture highlights data suggesting that both multinational and domestic companies who want to be successful in China should be focusing their efforts on young consumers in 2nd and 3rd tier Chinese cities and must be very creative with distribution, use of internet channels, and methods of engagement that will truly resonate with this group.


The cost for companies to provide medical care to staff continues to vastly outpace inflation in most major economies, according to a new research by Mercer Marsh Benefits, a partnership between global professional services firms Mercer and Marsh.

In Asia, medical costs are anticipated to increase by 11.5 percent against an inflation rate of 2.1 percent. The research into company-provided employee healthcare plans also found that the costs were largely driven by claims related to employee lifestyle choices, such as smoking, a lack of exercise and a poor diet.

The research, Medical Trends Around the World, is based on a survey of 171 insurers across 49 countries (outside of the United States) and shows that, across 40 countries, the average per person increase in healthcare costs is, globally, almost triple the rate of inflation.

Cost increases are being driven by non-communicable diseases – those that cannot be caught from other people but are frequently caused by the lifestyle choices of individuals.

Odgers Berndtson

Canada’s most promising future leaders have the opportunity to see first-hand how prominent CEOs lead their organizations and to experience the realities of the working world. For the fourth consecutive year, Odgers Berndtson launched its CEO x 1 Day program, which pairs select third- and fourth-year students enrolled in a university or college degree-granting program with 19 leading CEOs from across the country for a job-shadowing experience known for shaping young careers.

As part of the application process, students share their understanding and perceptions of what it takes to be an effective leader, thereby uncovering their motivations and indicating how Canadians can expect corporate culture to shift in the years ahead.

Odgers Berndtson first launched the CEO x 1 Day initiative in Germany 12 years ago, subsequently rolling it out across offices around the world. Today, almost 350 organizations and over 700 CEOs and students have taken part, generating a wealth of insight on the changing nature of leadership and workplace culture. 

Resources Global Professionals

Resources Global Professionals announced in November that Michael Carberry has joined the firm’s leadership team as managing director of the Carolinas practice. As managing director of the Carolinas, Carberry will be responsible for leading the company’s growth and expansion strategy starting in Charlotte, NC and covering both North and South Carolina.

With more than 16 years of audit and consulting experience, Carberry brings extensive experience in field leadership, building businesses and serving clients. After graduating from Chaminade High School in Mineola, NY and Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, Carberry started his career in New York City at Deloitte & Touche Audit and has spent the last 15 years at various consulting firms.

In 2012, with nominations from both colleagues and clients, Carberry received Consulting Magazine’s Top 25 Consultant Award for excellence in financial services by exemplifying his commitment to collaborate and partner with his clients to deliver innovative, results-oriented solutions.

Spencer Stuart & Associates

In the 2016 proxy year – despite a small decline in the number of new independent directors elected to S&P 500 boards – the representation of women among new directors hit a new high, according to the 2016 Spencer Stuart Board Index (SSBI). Women account for 32 percent of new directors, the highest rate since Spencer Stuart began tracking this data.

A total of 345 new independent directors, or 7 percent of all directors, were elected during the 2016 proxy year to the 482 boards included in the index, and 48 percent of these boards added at least one new director. In 2015, 486 S&P 500 boards added 376 new directors. Nearly one-third (32%) of the new independent directors are serving on their first outside corporate board.

With the rise of shareholder activism, there was also an increase in investors and investment managers joining corporate boards. This year, 12 percent of new independent directors are investors, compared with 4 percent in 2011 and 6 percent in 2006.

Spring Professional

Spring Professional, a wholly-owned professional recruitment arm of the Adecco Group in Asia, has announced its commitment to support the demand for information technology (IT) and engineering professionals in Korea, with an expansion of its Seoul-based team and a new Country Director for Korea.

Since January 4, 2016, Spring Professional in Korea has been directed by Catherine Kyunghee Chung, a 14-year veteran of the permanent staffing team at Adecco Korea where she served as Managing Director. With a transition from the permanent recruitment business at Adecco Korea to professional staffing at Spring, she brings a wealth of experience to her new role.

The Spring Korea Country Director role is also supported by a larger team of experienced recruitment specialists, all of whom were integral members from the Adecco Korea Permanent Recruitment Division.

Spring Professional Korea has an exclusive focus on the recruitment of middle to senior level management and specialists in the IT and engineering sectors.