In many ways, the global economic recession has wiped the slate clean for many institutions – and individuals – across Asia.

Business leaders intoxicated by the idea that their enterprises would ride the fortunes of high growth national and regional economies have learned some hard lessons about the interdependencies of the global economy. Non-executive directors and shareholders have witnessed a day of reckoning for companies that failed to curtail excessive risk-taking. Consumers have also been forced to reset expectations in the face of political instability, corporate downsizing and new pressures related to energy conservation, an increasingly competitive job market, and the need for more robust retirement saving.

The days when, “We didn’t see this coming…”, and, “Who could have imagined…” provided the requisite political and organizational cover for lousy chief executives and disconnected non-executive board members should be over. Effective risk management and a service-minded leadership ethic should be the new standards of organizational stewardship.

Business leaders can no longer lead in a vacuum nor overlook the hard business lessons learned beyond the Pacific Rim. Non-executive directors and shareholders now know the high price of indifference and financial instability. Consumers have a better understanding of the personal risk and opportunity of the business cycle.

The View From China – Many Already Looking Beyond Economic Challenges

The economic fundamentals of the Chinese economy remain largely unchanged and portend a resumption of significant growth in the years to come, due in large part to the increasing leveling of once significant competitive gaps with Europe and the United States.

China’s domestic market alone will continue to drive the expansion of its economy. And as Chinese companies target those local and regional markets across the mainland, they will most assuredly demand world-class managers…more of whom will come from other regions of China with critical global experience, new skills and a refreshed view of potential business challenges they have already withstood.

The View From India – The Emerging Talent Battleground

India is uniquely blessed with the world’s youngest workforce, an emerging middle class that dwarfs the population of most industrialized countries, and the challenge of managing long-term growth and providing the infrastructure it demands.

As companies from around the world continue to set up operations and ratchet up their investments in India, the competition for the best talent is revealing itself as one of the burgeoning growing pains that will force new Human Resources practices. The war for talent will only intensify as more and more companies recognize how a rapidly growing market and a burgeoning middle class combine to signal major opportunity.

The View From Japan: Opportunity In Proportion – To Willingness To Change

Much in the same way other industrialized economies have taken steps to counter the impact of the global recession, Japan has enacted emergency countermeasures to stem rising unemployment, prop up failing companies and incent investment in industries ranging from agriculture and forestry to waste management and ecology.

Many Japanese companies have developed successful global and regional operations in recent years, especially in manufacturing-intensive industries such as the automotive, consumer electronics, machinery and equipment, and electronics and semi-conductor markets. When Japan eventually moves out of crisis mode and returns to full growth mode, Japanese companies will only seize new opportunities at the rate to which they are willing to open up and change their long-held, insular approach to executive leadership selection and organizational structure.

The View From South Korea – Some Leverage Recession To Upgrade Talent

The government in South Korea has been working to address the significant challenges brought by the global economic recession. It has introduced several incentives to promote employment of younger workers and to restructure institutions and corporations at risk of bankruptcy.

Some Korean institutions have already shifted their talent management practices to recruit, reward, develop and retain top performers more efficiently. Companies of all sizes have assessed their talent gaps, and a growing number of Korean companies have expressed an interest in hiring world-class management leaders, whether they come from Korea or elsewhere in Asia or beyond.

This article is a summary of the White Paper entitled ‘Asia Pacific Leadership Outlook: A Moment of Opportunity For Asia’. Get your copy of the full White Paper via the Transearch International website at Given what they know about the quest for truly responsible business and institutional leadership, executive search firm Transearch International is delighted to share the exceptionally well informed perspectives of just some of their top consultants from across Asia.

Executive search firm TRANSEARCH International ( has representation in most of the major economic centres of the world. TRANSEARCH International executive search firm has 54 offices in 34 countries and is currently rated as the 10th largest global executive search firm by Executive Recruiter News (ERN). For more information contact the TRANSEARCH Central Office: contact at transearch dot com. TRANSEARCH executive search firm website:

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