Research & Communities

Science & Practice

Since 2000, Organisation Solutions has worked with leading global multinationals to help them implement winning growth strategies and build capabilities to sustain this growth. Our work is founded on evidence of what works.

The Science & Practice Series helps senior HR leaders connect current research with experience on people and organisation practices. This series has engaged over 1,000 leaders across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Our Science & Practice series includes:

Leadership Series

Leadership and leadership development are important topics for any organisation. There are many tools, techniques and tips on building leadership capability. However, are companies getting a good return on their investment? This 3 part series on leadership addresses this question and offers some provocative research on leadership to help HR leaders make better decisions.

Part One Leadership Matters: 8 Truths about Leadership

Does leadership matter? We explore 8 truths about leadership and the implications of these on building better leadership in companies. We also address the questions: What is leadership? What characteristics make a great leader? Is one leadership style better than another? How do leaders impact company performance?

Part Two Leader Assessment: More Help Less Hype

Leader assessment has over 100 years of research that indicates the best methods of assessment. However, many companies do not use assessment or use invalid assessments to predict performance and potential. This session provides a research-based and yet pragmatic view into leadership assessment and the implications for selecting and growing the leadership talent pipeline.

Part Three Leadership Development: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

For the last 30 years, companies have discussed and decried the shortage of leadership talent. During this time, billions of dollars have been spent yearly on leadership development. Shouldn't we enjoy a stronger leadership pipeline by now? This session answers questions such as:

  • What type of leadership training has the strongest ROI?
  • How much impact does mentoring and executive coaching have on outcomes?
  • What experiences best develop leaders?

Other Sessions

Better Change: Facts and Fiction

The practice of individual and organisational change is full of models, myths and mayhem. Frequently, change efforts focus solely on communication plans or structural changes. The result is often a boom-splat phenomenon where there is much hype about a change, and then it is quickly forgotten or called a failure in the organisation. This session focuses on how leaders create effective and sustainable change.

Evidence-Based HR

Every day, business and HR leaders make decisions intended to improve organisation and individual performance. For example: How can we retain key talent? Should we differentiate pay? How can we drive customer satisfaction or translate our Vision into reality? Too often, these decisions are based on myth and misinformation. To create true value for their business, HR leaders must make, shape and execute decisions based on the best evidence of what works.

Virtually There: The Impact of Distance on Performance

Leaders at all levels in organisations are being asked to manage in an increasingly complex, global environment. In addition to facing changing market dynamics, leaders frequently are asked to lead across national, cultural and organisational boundaries. This session focuses on the topic of leading long-distance leadership.

Diversity: Delivering Results or Disastrous Efforts?

This session takes a hard look at diversity efforts by reviewing what research has to say about outcomes of diversity, and the best methods to leverage diversity in the workplace. We address questions like: Do organisations benefit from diversity? Do diverse teams outperform or out-innovate homogenous teams? Which diversity practices (e.g., training, diversity committees, etc.) have most impact on diversity in organisations? Can you have too much diversity?

Diversity Too: Why Gen Y?

There is much hype and hoopla about how Millennials are different from other generations, and how businesses are adapting to meet their unique needs. As a follow-up to our Science & Practice session on diversity, we will explore the science of what is and what is not different for this generation and use this to have a group discussion on what companies should do to address the generation gap. This session addresses questions such as: How are Millennials really different than other generations? What beliefs do we have about this generation that are wrong? Will Millenials adapt to the workforce, or must the workforce adapt to Millenials? Do we see the same generational dynamic in Asia? What key practices should companies in Asia adapt for this generation?

Leading Innovation: What's Myth and what Matters Most?

Innovation is top of mind for leaders driving growth. In the quest for innovation, many try to follow "best practices" of companies identified as innovative by the media or by their peers. More often than not, this fails to translate into sustainable improvement or economic value. This session provides line and function leaders with practical insights based on hundreds of academic studies looking at what drives innovation in companies, team and individuals. It seeks to answer questions such as: Does structure help or hinder innovation? How does company culture impact innovation? What really makes individuals more innovative? How can leaders design job for greater innovation?

Neuroscience: Facts, Fads & Fancy

Everyone seems to have the brain on their mind these days. The study of neuroscience is in vogue, providing insight into performance, behaviour and motivation. Articles and books use the implications from this research to re-shape talent and HR processes. However, the field is still in its infancy and practice often outpaces science. This session aims to separate fact from fad and provide participants an informed overview of brain science. This session draws insights from scientific findings to address the following questions:

  • How do neurological processes affect learning, motivation and leadership?
  • Can you train your brain, or is it money down the drain?
  • How can companies incorporate evidence-based neuro-practices into their workplace?

Leading Growth: Beyond Vision, Targets and Structure

How can leaders best activate their growth strategy? Many focus on setting an inspirational vision, setting stretch targets and aligning their structures. But does this really differentiate those who grow and those that don't? This Science & Practice session looks at decades of research on what drives organic business growth. It will help line and strategy leaders, and strategic HR and Talent leaders understand the people and organisation levers that translate aspirations into results. We'll answer questions such as:

  • What kinds of leadership drive growth?
  • What really drives salesforce improvement?
  • What are the enablers of innovation?

Executive Coaching: Mind The Gaps!

Executive coaching has been exported to the world. Unfortunately, this export has a few potential mishaps. Purchasers of coaching services and coaches are often unaligned in terms of what gets coached. Approach to coaching ignores culture dynamics and purchaser expectations. Coaches often lack basic qualifications. How do we close these gaps? This session explores research on coaching outcomes and key gaps in coaching practice around the world. We will also share a bit about our coaching practice and how we work with clients to close these gaps!

Making Employee Engagement Matter: From Surveys to Competitive Advantage w/Sirota

This session takes a closer look at how great leaders, teams and organisations can translate Employee Engagement to key outcomes which lead to business results in growing Asian markets. Dr. James Eyring, COO of Organisation Solutions, and Lewis Garrad, Sirota's Managing Director for Asia, share some of the latest thinking and research in the rapidly growing areas of employee engagement and linkage research, while providing practical insights into how companies in Asia can make better use of their Employee Engagement programmes for results. Key findings from Sirota's extensive employee engagement research in Asia will be shared. The session also includes sharing by the HR leaders and a dialogue about the future of Employee Engagement programmes in Asia.

Talent Strategies Exchange

The topic for this first Exchange is Creating Winning Workforce Strategies. We will trade views, practices and thoughts about how to create and execute workforce strategies to fuel company growth. We'll open the Exchange by briefly sharing some key data points from our Workforce Strategies for High-Growth Markets study. This will help frame up the discussion and encourage deeper dialogue. During the exchange, we answer questions such as: What are the key ingredients of a successful workforce strategy? How do you get the right balance of local vs. regional vs. global strategy? How do you get the right involvement from line leaders? How do you vary the approach by market?

Talent Practices Exchange

The topic for this Exchange is Talent Practices for High-Growth. This session will focus on leadership development and talent management practices that fuel company growth. We'll open the Exchange by briefly sharing some key data points from our Workforce Strategies for High-Growth Markets study related to talent practices. This will help frame up the discussion and encourage deeper dialogue. During the exchange, we'll answer questions such as: What are the key development and talent practices that build manager readiness for growth? What practices are less important? What do top performing companies do to develop talent? What practices are more unique for high growth markets?

Growth & Leadership Forum

HR Roundtable

In 2004, we established the Asia Pacific Top HR Roundtable. The network has expanded globally and includes groups in China, India, the UK and the US. This network creates a unique perspective on growth for and by HR leaders. Our aim is to build a community of HR leaders who can learn and share together to benefit each other and the broader business & HR community. We proactively seek out diverse perspectives to challenge our own thinking.

CEO Roundtable

In 2011, we established the CEO Roundtable for Driving Growth in Emerging Markets to create a unique perspective on growth for and by leaders in emerging markets. Our aim is to build a community of leaders who can learn and share together to benefit each other and the broader business community.
We proactively seek out diverse perspectives to challenge our own thinking. These networks are
non-commercial and by-invitation-only. If you'd like to learn more about them, please email Cheryl, (

Practice Surveys & Research

We conduct organisational research in the form of research studies and practice surveys in high-growth and emerging markets to create new insights for our clients and the broader leadership community. We also use practice surveys to facilitate sharing of knowledge and learning across companies.

Our Point of View

We believe consulting firms should contribute to a discipline of evidence-based management, not encourage fads. The ability to understand and encourage good science and practice is one of our core capabilities.

Our business isn't about touting "best practice." We want to empower companies to act based on evidence of what works and to learn from their own and others' experience.

Through these activities, we help our clients generate new insights that empower them to think and act; to help their companies grow faster and adapt to the challenges of emerging markets.

Featured: Growth Leader Study

Growth leaders play a key role in driving the growth of a company. In emerging markets, they are not only the stewards of resources but also captains of ships navigating through treacherous waters. However, companies have difficulty finding the right people to be in those roles. This study explores the experiences of growth leaders in this region in a bid to understand what it takes to be an effective growth leader.

Examples of our Research Studies

Examples of our Practice Surveys

  • Executive MBA Sponsorships
  • Pension Plans for Long-Term International Assignees
  • Short-Term Assignments

Members of our roundtables can request for a short practice survey to be conducted on their behalf. Participating companies will receive a copy of the report.

For any research-related questions, please contact Dr. Angeline Lim at

Driving Growth in Emerging Markets

Delivering on growth is a challenge anywhere. Growing in emerging markets is even more challenging. Since 2007, we have studied the unique challenges of growing in emerging markets to understand the people and organisation enablers the drive extraordinary growth. This study explores Driving Growth in Emerging Markets in China, India and Indonesia and was conducted in partnership with researchers at the National University of Singapore.

Talent Management for Emerging Markets

Many companies striving to grow in emerging markets are faced with a talent crunch as growth in the environment outpaces the growth of their leaders and employees. In 2009, we conducted a study where we examined the most effective use of Talent Management practices within fast-growing and emerging markets as well as their fit with HR Strategy. Findings from this study can be found here.

Workforce Strategies for High-Growth Markets

Current models and approaches to workforce strategies and talent management were developed in relatively slow growing, developed markets. This line of research explores how companies in emerging markets successfully recruit, develop and retain talent. This study explores Workforce Strategies for Emerging Markets and focuses on China, India and Indonesia and was conducted in partnership with researchers at the National University of Singapore.

West to East

The centre of gravity for business is moving from West to East. As this shift accelerates, Organisation Solutions is exploring how multinational companies are moving people and parts of their business to Asia to keep up with the rapid pace of change in the global economy. This study helps decision-makers understand trends underway and learn from the experiences of others.

ACORN Non-Profit Research

The Asian Collaborative Organisation Research Network or ACORN is a non-profit applied research entity established by Organisation Solutions to facilitate applied research in Asia Pacific.

The goal is to do more useful research in Asia and emerging markets, at a time when companies are challenged by unique issues in the region. They face rapid growth, intense competition for talent and evolving organisations.

ACORN is backed by an impressive board of HR leaders and top academics in Asia and the US. Longer-term, ACORN will seek grants and instigate cross-institution studies and partnerships.

Advisory Board

Dr. Alison Eyring
CEO Organisation Solutions; Chair of ACORN

Lisa Alvarez-Calderon,
HR VP, Asia Pacific & Japan, J&J Pharmaceutical

Dr. Rich Arvey
M&O Department Chair, NUS

Dr. James Eyring
COO Organisation Solutions

Dr. David Kohutynski
HR VP, Asia Pacific, Ingram Micro

Dr. Alan O'Neill
Head of Executive Development, Jardine Group

Dr. Lise Saari
Professor, Baruch College

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