Focus on innovation, diversity, and inclusion in the post-epidemic era, empowering company and organization management

On March 26th, Korn Ferry held a forum on “Opportunities and Challenges Post COVID-19” in Shanghai, focusing on topics such as strategic innovation, digitalization, diversity, and inclusive culture building for companies, in the new normal of the post-epidemic era. More than 30 executives were invited to attend the event to explore effective corporate management strategies in a changing era.

Innovation and transformation are a "must" in almost every industry; and diversity and inclusive culture is gaining more and more attention in the post-epidemic era, becoming one of the key factors to building corporate competitiveness. The forum aims to bring together the wisdom of the industry and seeking solutions to challenges through interactive communication and provide useful inspiration and reference for enterprises. Cargill, a global leading company in agriculture and food, provided strong support for the event, and Cargill China executives also participated in the discussion panel to share their ideas and experiences.

During the opening speech, Siu Fung Chan, Managing Director of Korn Ferry China Country, said, "After experiencing a steady rebound following COVID-19 in China over the past year, coupled with the opportunities and challenges brought about by the start of the 14th Five-Year Plan and changes in the international market, we’ve seen that many companies are updating their strategic layout and accelerating innovation and transformation. How are these companies promoting digital development? How are they attracting and cultivating key talent? How are they improving organizational capabilities? How are they creating a corporate culture conducive to the implementation of the strategy? These are questions of special concern to business leaders. We look forward to participants enjoying a feast of ideas with diverse perspectives and inspiring innovations."

As part of this event, three speakers shared keynote speeches from their different business practices on how companies deal with challenges and change management.

When it comes to the digital transformation of enterprises, Xiaoru Wu, President of iFlytek, said "We still see huge potential in the digital economy and its application. Digitalization is not a technology, but a way of thinking. As talent is the key to innovation and development, especially when digitalization goes deeper along with vertical industry development, it puts higher demands on talent. Managers should give more thought to interacting with talent from traditional industries and digital industries communicate to enhance the competitiveness of their employees in light of digital change."

"COVID-19 represents a catalyst point, forcing companies to accelerate their digital transformation. This is a systemic project that requires clarity on the purpose of transformation and change. In fact, digitalization is closely related to sustainability and can help achieve more efficient output with more controllable costs," said Tao Li, Senior Client Partner at Korn Ferry, who believes that in the midst of change, companies should have both hard and soft skills. "Improving long-term business sustainability by strengthening cultural construction is also beneficial to the benign development of enterprises during this disruptive era."

In terms of the soft competitiveness strength of corporates, Hongfei Zheng, Managing Director of Cargill Animal Nutrition China, pointed out that, "Despite the epidemic, Cargill Animal Nutrition China has exceeded expectations as our leadership and management strategy have turned the crisis into an opportunity. Another reason is the diverse, egalitarian, and inclusive culture among employees. In fact, the impact of COVID-19 on male and female employees has been different, and we are adjusting our support for talent development accordingly to drive a more diverse and resilient organization. Cargill is currently accelerating a culture of diversity, equality, and inclusion globally, as we increasingly recognize its important role in attracting talent, making better decisions, driving insight and innovation, inspiring employees, and building a reputation."

In addition to keynote speeches, six other guests were on hand for interactive discussions, including Karen Yin, Managing Director of Akzo Nobel; Ian Shih, President of Rockwell China; Linlin Liu, Commercial Managing Director of Cargill Agricultural Supply Chain North Asia; Sophia Xing, HRVP at Siemens Healthineers Asia; and Meade Zhang, Semir CHRO. The guests exchanged opinions on the challenges and growth opportunities in the post-epidemic era, forecasts on the future economic outlook, practices of digital transformation in enterprises, the impact of diverse and inclusive culture especially women's leadership, and talent development within organizations. They shared the strategies and measures adopted during the discussion panel.

At the end of the event, Jerry Liu, President of Cargill China, summarized that "After this in-depth exchange with such many executives, we found that in fact, companies are facing similar challenges and are working towards the same direction. With a history of more than 150 years, Cargill has always promoted innovation and corporate culture of diversity, equality, and inclusion. We believe that diversity, equality, and inclusion, with emphasis on providing equal opportunities for all employees and respect for differences and individuality, is critical to sustainable business growth, and Cargill has set detailed goals to do so. The year 2021 marks Cargill's 50th anniversary of serving the China market, and by holding this forum, we hope to progress and grow with the entire industry and promote the implementation of corporate management and organizational strategies that are more conducive to sustainable development."

Click on the right of the page,know more about the Korn Ferry study on Digital Sustainability Development.