CEOs of telcos in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region need to start adopting a coaching style of leadership to remain successful in the next five years, advised Abhay Kumar, Regional Vice President of Asia Pacific at Amdocs.
He was presenting findings from his company's recent global survey that aims to find out the characteristics of a successful CEO in 2020. C-suite leaders from 100 service providers globally - including nine from APAC -- were interviewed for the study.
According to the respondents, the top barrier to an APAC CEO's success in 2020 is the inability to support or execute change. "Transformations or innovations might be hindered by misalignment of mindset, in which the CEO's mindset differs from that of the rest of the organisation," Kumar explained.
APAC executives thus believe that a coaching leadership style, which values the contribution of teamwork to end goals, would be vital for future CEOs. Since a leader who coaches could inspire and drive innovation internally, he/she could ensure that the whole organisation supports his/her goals for the business, Kumar commented.
To further support innovation, future APAC CEOs need to create new C-level roles to respond to changes and new lines of business. According to the study, most APAC service providers have embarked on this, with the most commonly added C-level roles holding responsibility for customer experience, innovation and commercial activities. Respondents predicted that by 2020, there would be need for chief big data officers and chief digital officers to meet the new needs of the business.
Although executives believed that future APAC CEOs should have a passion for innovation, they are also expected to provide good corporate and financial governance. "Future CEOs must innovate while keeping a careful eye on profit and loss and commitment to investors," said Kumar.
Outsourcing could be a way of enabling future APAC CEOs to meet those expectations, added Kumar. "In APAC, local service providers' ability to innovate may be slowed down by the presence of legacy systems in their IT environments.
Professional services vendors can help overcome this by driving immediate operational improvements with no change to existing systems or need for complex software integration, thus accelerating innovation and business value."
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