Expanding overseas? How to choose the best regional leader
Many companies are expanding into new global markets, but not all parties are ready: according to Kern/Ferry International, only 1% of executives in China and 8% in India are equipped to lead corporate growth efforts.
Many organisations hope to relinquish control and decision-making to regional headquarters (RHQ), but because of the scarcity of skilled leaders, choosing the right one is paramount.
Three pertinent areas to consider include:
Since this decision impacts financial output, employee morale, and performance, it is crucial that organisations consider their business needs and appoint a regional leader accordingly.
- Resources – for RHQs whose primary goal is overseeing resource allocation, companies should seek leaders with directive and pace-setting managerial skills. Since resource decisions made by corporate headquarters usually stand firm, these leaders will need to be obedient and understand their role in following instructions.
- Synergy – many RHQs need to align processes and implementations across departments in the region, thus requiring leaders who are visionary, participative, and affiliation-oriented. These leaders are able to view business as a whole and understand how each moving part contributes to overall vision.
- Learning – RHQs who specialise in knowledge, such as R&D units or corporate think tanks, should try to acquire leaders with skills in coaching and participation. The “softer” features of this leader are considered ideal for encouraging innovation and collaboration.