Nowhere in the world is the shortage of leaders more pronounced than in Asia. According to research conducted by ManpowerGroup's Right Management, only 7.2 percent of businesses in Asia have leaders who are "very prepared" to address business challenges.
The 2013 Talent Shortage Survey also found that management and executives are on the list of the region's Top 10 Hardest Jobs to Fill.
The Asian business environment is rapidly changing. The World Economic Forum predicts a growth of an additional one billion middle-class consumers in East Asia. This rise of the middle class and the evolution of the region, from one that manufactures to one that consumes and innovates, demands Asian leaders with new skills.
Right Management research has found that the three most important leadership characteristics in Asia today are a global mindset, the skills to lead change and the ability to retain and develop talent.
To be most effective, it is imperative that talent development programs in Asia focus on growing these skills through a combination of international assignments, on-the-job, action learning, executive coaching and mentoring, and rotational assignments.
"Leadership is a journey but the current demand for leaders in Asia means this journey needs to be taken by an express train," says Jeffrey A. Joerres, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO. "Companies in Asia must deploy holistic leadership programs customized to local needs to meet these compressed development timelines."
To win in the Human Age, companies need to prioritise nurturing future leaders now to ensure the talent is in place to drive future growth, says the report.