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Photos and roundup: Talent Management Asia 2017, Singapore

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Organised by Human Resources, the recent Talent Management Asia 2017, Singapore saw close to 250 attendees gaining insights into some of the biggest talent trends and challenges through a series of keynote presentations, case studies and panel discussions.

Back for its fifth year, the event was produced by Nikita Erpini and was specially curated to bring together HR heads and business leaders to discuss updates in the talent marketplace and other HR trends. Held on 9-10 March 2017 at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore; here are the photos and highlights of the Talent Management Asia 2017, Singapore

Day One

The event started off with Adrian Furnham, author and professor of psychology at University College London. Sharing his tips on successfully embedding your talent management strategy with a business strategic plan through, he reminds HR professionals of the “the five factors on measuring performance - money, time, quantity, quality, customer feedback.”

Next, Alfred Goh, divisional president and Janet Low, head of HR from DHL came on stage to provide an insider’s view on the company’s perspective on integrated talent management. Goh revealed the firm’s new leadership model which involves head leadership, heart leadership and gut leadership. Supporting that, Low commented: “Great leaders not only passionately manage and motivate people to face challenges but leverage their strengths.”

After a quick networking break, delegates were welcomed back with a keynote presentation by Samuel Obin, change management and transformation, AMEA, Mondelēz International AMEA. Speaking on organisational change, he reminds HR professionals that “when it comes to changing people’s perspective, it’s about listening - not talking. Because people usually resist change that is imposed on them.”

TMA SG Adrian Furnham

Further talking about change, the next panel discussion touches on the agile model of HR and how to stay relevant in changing times. Moderated by Adrian Furnham, author and professor of psychology, University College London; the panel is joined by Hari Menon, vice-president, HR, APAC at Alstom Transport; Samuel Obin, change management and transformation, AMEA, Mondelez International AMEA; Teck Kiat Lim, director, HR policy, public service division, Prime Minister’s Office; and Arthur Lam, POD lead, APAC, Syngenta.

Highlighting one of the key aspects about HR in the public service that’s often overlooked, Lim commented: “It is more than just partnering with agencies to come up with solutions - it is also about identifying needs.”

With technology on the rise, Menon also noted: “We need to put the human back into human resources. Yes, we can use technology for salary payments (and such) but not for the core of the function.”

Check out photos from the event here.

Following the lunch break, Erwin Lennertz, senior consultant, DDI took the stage to speak about performance management where he recommends a “less evaluations, more conversations” approach. He said: “The objective of performance management is aimed to inspire people to do their best work. This means to increase time on proactive coaching.”

The second panel discussion of the day discussed maintaining balance between internal development and external hiring. Moderated by Terry Netto, CEO, People Potential; the panellists included Leesa Rawlings, talent engagement lead, APAC, Diageo; Ilja Rijnen, regional HR director, Asia Pacific and India, Edrington; Anjali Parmar, firm-wide talent development manager, Asia, Gensler; and Rachael Pogson, VP, global talent acquisition and HR central, Seagate.

Rijnen pointed out: “It’s almost impossible to plan for a global leader in 15 years. If you’re looking to groom the next generation of leaders, they’re probably going to be gone by then.”

Still on the topic of developing talent for success, next speaker Bridget Beattie, group executive VP, Asia Pacific, Middle Eastern region from Right Management elaborated more on why traditional leadership models have failed. With Millennials in the workforce now, she reminds HR leaders that “Millennials’ are not afraid to ask for help - so be there to provide the help.”

TMA SG 2017 Bridget

After a quick break for refreshments and networking, Ritish Reddy, SVP, capability solutions, KNOLSKAPE was next on stage for his presentation on using innovation and new-age platforms for a digital learning experience. Here, he noted: “The typical challenge of adopting these digital platforms is not the price. It’s getting the right platform.”

With the end user in mind, Reddy reminds that driving a new initiative has to be based on shared goals.

Before ending the first day, the last panel discussion was on predictive analysis. Moderated by Jennifer Rogers, L&D leader and principal consultant at DuPont Sustainable Solutions, Singapore, speakers include: Eric Wong, head of talent acquisition, APAC, Fitbit; Victor Phang, regional general manager, iTalent; Stephan Brown, HRD director, APAC, Rolls-Royce; and Peter Wood, VP talent management, global HR, Schneider Electric.

Ending day one with some very wise words, Brown pointed out: “Like all businesses, predictive analysis is about getting from hindsight to insight to foresight.”

Check out photos from the event here.

Day Two

After a huge success from the first day, the lively discussions continued for day two. Starting bright and early, Ken Hoskin, head of APAC talent, Airbnb took the stage with an engaging presentation on employee value proposition. Sharing how Airbnb works on being one of the best places to work for, he said: “Skip level meetings are encouraged at Airbnb so employees get a chance to have their voices heard and improve the employee experience.”

Next, Caleb Baker, managing director, APAC and emerging markets, Alexander Mann Solutions discussed the career website of the future. His top advice? “It’s less about building career, it’s more about building experience.”

Moving on to developing a high performance culture, Alex Butt, managing partner, Glides Consulting Partners was next on stage. With his mantra of “change the culture, change the game”, he believes that the way to influence the right outcome is to tell people, or empower them to think differently. He said: ““Culture is the belief that influence how we think and how we act.”

TMA SG Caleb

Up next, Arturo Poire, VP and head of human resources, Ericsson, North East Asia takes the stage with his presentation on developing and maintaining high potentials within your organisation. With a career framework that follows the 3E - explore, evaluate and engage, he said: “You have to talk to your people. There’s no rule, no recipe. You have to make them feel safe.”

Before the lunch break, it was time for a panel discussion on successfully tying talent strategy to business outcomes. Moderated by Karina Cuello, director, L&D, APAC at JLL; the panel of speakers include Ken Hoskin, head of APAC talent, Airbnb; Arturo Poire, vice-president and head of human resources, Ericsson, North East Asia; Shalini Bhateja, talent and development director, APAC, Coca-Cola Singapore, The Coca-Cola Company; and Bala Subramaniam, head of HR, South Asia and Pacific, Twitter.

Speaking on the clarity of career paths, Subramaniam commented: “Just like the company (Twitter), it’s about real-time feedback. We need to keep people connected on the possibilities.”

Following that, John Garrido, Asia regional director, Virgin Pulse shared the top ten reasons why your wellbeing strategy might be failing. He said: “social wellbeing is about reaching your entire population.”

Check out photos from the event here.

With the accelerator series up next, it saw the winners of HR Excellence Awards 2016, Singapore presenting their initiatives with a series of case studies. This included Janet Low, head of HR, AP, DHL customer solutions and innovation, DHL; Eng-Sheng Yeo, regional HR director, SEA, Japan and Oceania, Gemalto; and Seiyi Goh, director, talent management and development, Singtel.

Subhajit Mitra, director, human resources, UTC, Southeast Asia and Australia then took the stage with his presentation on building your organisation’s capacity through leadership development. He then shared his insights on what to look for when you’re identifying high potentials, aligning the business with leadership development as well as ensuring your high potentials are ready to transition to the next level.


Ending the conference with a panel discussion, Sonia Fernandes, CTO, APAC, MediaCom; Subhajit Mitra, director, human resources, UTC, Southeast Asia and Australia; and Charlton Ong, VP HR, group enterprise, Singtel were invited on stage.

Moderated by Pauline Chua, GM, human capital and corporate social responsibility, Fuji Xerox Singapore; these leaders shared on how to create a competitive advantage for your organisation in today’s market.

Check out photos from the event here.

With that, the Human Resources team would like to thank all sponsors, exhibitors and partners in contributing to the success of the Talent Management Asia 2017, Singapore:

Gold sponsors:- Alexander Mann Solutions- DDI- Glides Consulting Partners- KNOLSKAPE- Ramco- Right Management- Virgin Pulse

Silver sponsors:- iTalent- PeoplePotential

Exhibitors:- Savills- Sonru

Event partners:- Center for Creative Leadership- KellyOCG

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