Meeting the global imperative of local leadership talent development in Hong Kong, Singapore, and India



As companies continue to expand abroad, there remains a paramount challenge of ensuring strategic control to meet company standards and goals and to coordinate global operations. Traditionally, such control has been maintained by sending tried and true managers from company headquarters as expatriates to head up foreign operations. But in the face of this costly traditional approach for leadership staffing in foreign operations, there is increased awareness among multinational firms that their potential leadership talent is not restricted by their headquarters' national boundaries. MNCs are increasingly looking to their employees worldwide as a viable source of future talent for leadership staffing throughout their global operations. The results of field interviews with local leaders of American firm subsidiaries located in Singapore, India, and Hong Kong revealed four key local leadership development approaches: reinforcing a company culture of leadership development, identifying and codifying leadership talent, enhancing high potentials' visibility, and developing pervasive mentoring relationships. The cases examined here show that talent identification and development are essential elements of an effective long-term talent management strategy that should be ingrained within a company's deep cultural values and priorities, as well as reinforced by performance evaluation and reward systems. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.