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Innovation in Thailand

Submitted by on Monday, 7 March 20113 Comments

If your company wants to promote greater innovation in Thailand and across Asia, this recent IBM survey of 1,541 chief executives gives some indicators as to what’s required.

With feedback from over 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide, the message is clear: more creative people are essential for company’s future success.

Time for the creatives?

The last 20 years has seen a management supercycle of efficiency, operational excellence and ‘inside out’ focus. Getting these factors right have propelled some of the world’s biggest companies to their biggest profit margins ever. But with global instability looming, is that all about to change?

The IBM study seems to suggest so.

Instead of hiring leaders who more naturally drive operational excellence, companies need to hire those who are customer-focussed and creative. Innovation, not operations, will be the source of competitive advantage going forward.


But this is easier said than done. The challenge many companies face is not only that they have emphasised the more operational aspects of their businesses, but, more alarmingly, that they have turned their businesses into a place where many creatives do not want to work.

In other words, in their drive for cost leadership and process implementation, a long process of ‘creative genocide’ has taken place, depriving these companies of being more innovative and customer-centric any time soon. It’s the people, not the words, that matter. The team, not the strategy. Or, as Jim Collins put it in Good to Great, ‘First Who, then What’.

The drive towards operational efficiency has created companies that attract clones of a narrow talent set who find the structure operational efficiency creates as desirable.

However, this has also created an ‘us and them’ scenario where a whole company’s corporate culture becomes identified with this talent set – leading to anyone no ‘fitting in’ to the talent set are also seen as not being able to fit in to the company’s corporate culture – thuse leading to the silent genocide spoken of earlier.

What companies can do now

To change this, companies need to become a whole lot better at understanding the nature of talent, identifying it, and helping their people identify it.

This will blow away many of the talent management blind spots that exist. Doing so also hugely promotes engagement as this one factor is considered by Gallup to be the #1 employee engagement driver – with clear links to team and financial performance.

Having done this, companies then need to communicate the importance of hiring on talent – not individual preference (non-creatives tend to regard creatives with mistrust as this article has shown), with an emphasis on attracting more creatives.

They need to create an employee value proposition creatives will find attractive.

And they need to engage creatives with a greater focus on customer engagement, not the bottom line.

These factors will dramatically help companies retain more creatives, innovate more effectively and meet the challenges described in the IBM study.

The first step is giving your people the capability to identify talent. One highly effective way of doing that is through the world’s only objective talent identification tool – the Highlands Ability Battery details of which can be found following the link below. And don’t forget to subscribe to our blog here!


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