Organisations in the Asia Pacific region are taking a comprehensive approach to groom leaders from within, but discontent between strategy and execution is hindering leadership development in the region, a study says.
"A very high percentage of organisations report having a strategy in place to build leaders yet findings conclude that the supporting infrastructure just isn't there in all cases," Mercer Asia Pacific Business Leader, Human Capital Consulting, Fermin Diez said.
Diez further said that "alignment between the elements-- leadership strategy, assessment, development, performance and succession management -- is key to not only reinforcing the right messages to and behaviours of leaders but to also accelerate the growth and development of individuals as well".
The report further said that companies lack strong pipeline of "ready-now" successors for critical roles.
Almost two-thirds of organisations say they have succession plans in place for at least their top-tier leaders, such as the CEO and other senior executives, but only 15 per cent of companies report having strong, "ready-now" successors locked in for every critical role in the pipeline.
Although most Asia Pacific companies say they have robust leadership strategies, 29 per cent currently have expatriates in more than 30 per cent of their top 10 leadership roles, and only 20 per cent have locals in all top leadership positions.
The number of expatriates in top roles is even higher in some markets -- 60 per cent of companies surveyed in Hong Kong have expatriates in more than 30 per cent of their top 10 roles, while 37 per cent of ASEAN companies and 35 per cent of Japanese companies report same figures.
Around 62 per cent of companies use overseas assignments - one of the most expensive and most effective development tools -- as part of their development programme.
Women continue to make up only a small percentage of senior roles in Asia Pacific companies. Women account for 5 per cent or less of the top 100 most senior roles in 37 per cent of organisations. And just 14 per cent of companies report women leaders holding more than 30 per cent of senior positions.