By Ananya Mukherjee

Internationalisation is the buzz word in today’s corporate dictionary. Businesses can no longer confine their operations to a single market. Expansion in emerging markets with high-growth potential is the order of the day across the leading economies of the world.

Research reveals that in a poly-centric business environment, more and more organisations in Singapore are also stretching their boundaries and beginning to explore territories beyond their conventional comfort zones. Naturally, it becomes necessary for HR to review and revisit existing human resource policies that can cater to thediverse demands of the global marketplace.

Lack of key skills still continues to dominate the list of obstacles that confront Singapore-based companies while venturing overseas. Thirty-seven per cent of employers have cited this as the major concern, according to a recent survey by Ernst & Young and the Economic Intelligence Unit. Other top HR issues raised include difficulties in building senior local management teams (29%), and corruption and weak corporate governance (29%). So, how can HR address this issue?

“Many businesses have already turned to the global labour market to attract critical skills particularly in management experience in less matured markets. Further, local management talents are being rotated to learn from the more experienced home country managers,” Dilys Boey, Advisory Partner, Ernst & Young Advisory, shares.

Human resource managers ought to build leadership teams with global experience in order to meet the demands of a poly-centric corporate environment. You have to recognise that the skills and capabilities requirements of a developed market may not align with those needed to succeed in an emerging market. For instance, whilst process and efficiency skills are the fundamentals of any success story in a mature market; experimentation, risk taking and entrepreneurship are the key skill requisites of an emerging market.

How will you develop these leaders?
Grow talent internally by identifying highperformance future leaders, says Vijayan P Munusamy, Head, Human Capital Research, Asia Pacific, The Conference Board. This can also be done by improving leadership succession planning and leadership development programmes, providing opportunities for experimental learning, coaching and mentoring, enhancing the effectiveness of senior team and aligning leadership development efforts with skills assessment and organisational strategy, he underlines.

It is clearly not a one-size-fit-all solution. Reviewing the balance and diversity of the leadership team can further help HR strike a better balance between the local relevance and international business strategies.