Every learning initiative has to start somewhere. While there certainly are no universal formulas for how these programs progress, they all spring from a perceived organizational need. For Intel Corp., a producer of computer chips, networking products and communications tools, the impetus behind the development of a new leadership and management training regimen is the company’s decision to significantly augment its operations in China.
This initiative has led to the addition of large numbers of staff in Intel’s China ventures, a trend that will continue into the foreseeable future. Many more managers and leaders will be required to direct this substantially larger workforce, said Maroy Lamigo, the HR program manager for management and leadership development of Intel’s operations within the People’s Republic of China.
“We can see that we will be needing a lot more managers in the next two to three years,” Lamigo said. “Looking at our pipeline, we would like to see more local managers growing in the pool of successors for critical positions. We also need to integrate them quickly in our culture, which is a global culture, but is very much influenced by U.S. practices. Basically, the whole Intel Corp. is aligning all of our management and leadership efforts towards our CEO’s management and leadership expectations. He has articulated them throughout the organization, so we have a global template for the management and leadership skills and competencies that we need to develop.”
Lamigo collaborates with three major business groups — and therefore, three different HR departments — to develop training that will help build the next generation of leaders and managers for all of them.
“With this ramp, we’re realizing that we need to synergize more. The challenge for us is to leverage resources all over China and still align in terms of developing managers from business groups at the same level — and at par with their global peers.”
Lamigo, who previously was based in the Philippines, is in a unique situation in that he wasn’t directly involved with the launch of the initiative, but came in to help the process proceed more rapidly.
“They’ve done a lot already, but the challenge is acceleration: That’s where I come in,” he explained. “I was very much aware of what China had already been doing. A lot of the things are already in place. We zeroed in on the key gaps that we found based on individual assessments of our managers. It’s now just a matter of tying them all up and making them more visible and showing where the remaining gaps are. That’s really more re-engineering the process, rather than reinventing the process.”
As Lamigo’s very presence in the program suggests, speed in skilling current and future managers to meet coming workforce challenges is crucial to the success of Intel’s undertakings in China. “We know that we cannot always have a big pool of expats flying in and out,” he said. “Also, for sustainability of operations, we really need to have a good local management and leadership base that sustains the corporation here in China.”