While the implementation of change in Asia will take different paths to fit local needs (be they cultural or practical), one of yesterday’s most interesting sessions concluded that change readiness is not lower in Asia compared to other regions. For Deutsche Bank’s Jeanie Chuo, all it takes is to find the right ‘carrot’ in each geography.
In Unilever’s Michelle Pattison’s experience, perceived barriers to workplace change are the same in Mexico, London and Mumbai: respect of hierarchies, status of leaders and a negative perception of sharing. Employee change readiness is not an issue specific to Asia. On the contrary, the region’s tech-savvy workforce might very well leapfrog Western workforces anytime soon in terms of agility. Difficult commutes times in cities such as Delhi, Bangkok or Jakarta are another great driver of change.
Don’t say it too loud … leadership mindset could be where lies the strongest resistance to change. The need to proceed with caution could be a misperception of local cultures. Lower levels of trust are not justified either when time zone differences imply global teams to work together outside usual office hours. Globalization will force the business to get in trust mode in Asia, and to replace ‘face presence’ management by performance management… Just a matter of time.