Using stories to develop future leaders in china

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Title: Using stories to develop future leaders in china
Author: Dickson, Donna; Tolan, Linda; Meli, Rosaria
Description: All eyes are on China, as the country becomes the globe’s fastest growing economy. Issues of talent shortages, educational gaps, and inexperienced leaders plague workforce development efforts. This interactive workshop focuses on developing leadership talent in this region, using the art of storytelling to broaden the experience base of high potential employees. According to Workforce Management’s feature series, “Why China Matters,” China’s growth combined with their lack of homegrown leadership talent has resulted in problematic HR practices. It will take decades to build bench strength in the area of leadership yet companies based in China need leadership capability now. Storytelling is one tool to speed up the competency development of China’s inexperienced managers. (XX. Workforce Management. XX. pg XX) The challenge is that companies must carve out time to adequately develop leadership capability and talent. It is critical and can be a long-term process. Yet, leadership development programs must compete for attention during this time of exploding economic growth with the need to address shorter term and more immediate problems. According to Pete Engardio, senior writer for Business Week, China will need 70,000 new corporate leaders for international operations between 2006 and 2011. Engardio, at a recent conference, Talent Management Strategies, hosted by the Conference Board observed that connections (guanxi) or good personal relationships are critical for managers to be successful in China. Engardio believes China can close the talent gap if companies invest in more training. (DDI 2006.) Richard Wellins, senior vice president for Development Dimensions International, in his presentation at the same conference, noted that programs for leadership development are not typical in China, outside of multinational corporations. (DDI 2006) Benjamin Zhai, principal, Egon Zehnder, notes that individuals who graduated from Chinese universities around 1990 are one pool of potential leaders. This group, in his opinion, has the education required for leadership positions but lack the experience necessary to be successful out-of-the-gate. Another source of leaders, says Nandani Lynton, vice president, Thunderbird Asia, are Chinese citizens living abroad who are willing to return to their home country. According to Lynton, leadership development in China must reflect a thorough understanding of Chinese culture. In her opinion, effective programs address individuals and their teams simultaneously. (DDI 2006.)
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Date: 2007

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