The Columnist (TC): What do you think is the main gap that needs to be filled in terms of talent development in Myanmar companies?

Kyi Myint (KM): Many Myanmar companies are basic family businesses that are in a transitional phase, with the final objective of working towards becoming a business organisation. They need to be educated patiently and require significant time to change in a systematic manner. Therefore, they require a systematic approach towards talent development.

This approach is missing in most family businesses as control is centralised and handled by the elders. There is no delegation of responsibility or authority to the younger generations and they are unable to effect the change that is necessary. That is why we urgently need to build a new approach to talent development in Myanmar.

A new approach requires collaboration at all levels. PHOTO: DEVICE SERVICES

A new approach requires collaboration at all levels. PHOTO: DEVICE SERVICES

TC: We all know that talent development is needed to build a team of future leaders. However, the extra resources required to train them are often required to grow the business as well. How do you balance talent development in tandem with organisational growth goals?

KM: The balance comes from having a good set of leaders with a strong set of followers. In order to achieve that, we set up a human resource policy based on international standards. That means we have to train all internal stakeholders (family or non-family), to grow in talent.

In every organisation, employees and owners need to contribute in equality. Leaders have to know how to handle growth of the company and persuade employees to join them in this direction. In this way, employees become partners with company leaders and help to propel the company towards organisational growth goals.

Formal training is an integral part of talent development. PHOTO: DEVICE SERVICES

Formal training is an integral part of talent development. PHOTO: DEVICE SERVICES

TC: Is there a merit to placing high potential personnel in areas where they are strong in or should they be placed in an unfamiliar new area to stretch them?

KM: In the Myanmar market, high potential personnel are needed in all business departments. However, there is a shortage of qualified candidates in most industries. In order to make up for this shortfall, we go through our Human Resources Department to train all our personnel to fill any vacancies in newly formed departments.

KM: In the Myanmar market, high potential personnel are needed in all business departments. However, there is a shortage of qualified candidates in most industries. In order to make up for this shortfall, we go through our Human Resources Department to train all our personnel to fill any vacancies in newly formed departments.

TC: In your opinion, why should any organisation have a strong succession plan?

KM: My opinion is an organisation must have a succession plan. This plan should possess a strong system of management that will provide for future succession for senior leadership. In Myanmar companies, they have family heritage planning and have sustained this system for a long time. This form of planning should be studied to glean knowledge of systematically setting up succession plans for public companies.

TC: In evaluating talent for leadership succession, what key attributes should we be looking out for?

KM: Besides the basic requisites of leadership and management ability, we primarily look out for their ability to share knowledge. We look for this attribute in all our successors.

Great leaders are able to share knowledge with everyone. PHOTO: DEVICE SERVICES

Great leaders are able to share knowledge with everyone. PHOTO: DEVICE SERVICES

TC: I’m sure that you have worked with many talented people. What makes them stay, or leave, an organisation?

KM: For the past seven years, I have been working with a group of energetic employees. I always ask them about their long-term vision and attitude towards life. This inquiry is very effective as it gives me insight and knowledge into what they want from a career. It also allows me to know how and when to delegate power to them so that they find their work rewarding and interesting.

TC:What is the one thing that you would like to change in today’s talent development strategy in Asia?

KM: I would like to develop our talent in line with expectations and relationships with today’s end users in Asia. In order to further develop our business strategy to adapt, we need to understand consumer mindsets using high-quality surveys and market analysis. We should then adapt our talent development using this knowledge.

This interview was conducted for The Columnist, a newsletter by Consulus that offers ideas on business, design and world affairs. The views expressed in this article are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views of Consulus.