Case study

Refreshing Leadership Structure in a Disruptive Business Environment with Li & Fung


Li & Fung is the largest global end-to-end design, sourcing, manufacturing and supply chain business in the world. They are a publicly listed, fourth-generation family run enterprise that counts some of the biggest brands in design, fashion and retail as their client base. Set to continue their expansion into Southeast Asia – which presents a booming US$72 billion internet economy in 2018—the company sought to refresh their approach to talent management and their leadership structure to adapt more efficiently to an increasingly digitized ecosystem and faster speed of logistics.

The primary outcomes Li & Fung wanted to achieve by working with YSC Consulting included an objective assessment of the current leadership team, a sense of what the optimal team that could achieve their future business strategies would look like and a road map for getting to that desired future state.


YSC began by defining the leadership attributes most critical to leading the business through disruption to succeed in the future. These insights were gleaned through one-on-one interviews, industry research and analysis, and reviewing the company’s business strategy. This is an important step that helps YSC understand the world in which the business operates, identifying what qualities should be retained and ensuring the profile for success is future-proofed.

The 14 ExCo leaders then went through YSC’s signature assessment process, including psychometrics, stakeholder interviews and a face-to-face deep-dive to understand their distinctiveness as leaders, and how the executives mapped onto the desired future success profile. These top executives came away with a clear sense of their unique development priorities for them to drive business transformation, supported by YSC coaching to help them translate these insights into sustainable behavior change. Collectively, the biggest opportunities for the group included fostering greater trust and collaboration, to truly capitalize on their scale – a big market differentiator for them – to ultimately strengthen their agility to align on decisions and adapt quickly to a rapidly changing environment.

To strengthen the talent pipeline and accelerate the culture shift, YSC also assessed approximately 45 additional leaders identified as critical to the business transformation, either because of the critical roles they held or their high potential to lead in the future.


Through partnering with YSC, the Li & Fung executive team has started to collaborate more, break down siloes as well as foster and reward a one-team culture more consistently. This was achieved through individual coaching with their YSC assessor.

Through implementing YSC’s validated model of leadership potential, JDI™, Li & Fung has incorporated more data, rigor and objectivity to their hiring and promotion decisions, helping them to take a bet on the people who have the greatest chances of future success— particularly important at a time when speed is critical to their business performance. This is an area many of YSC’s clients in Asia are directing their attention to, given the continued increase in demand for tech talent across the region. To drive increased digitization and faster supply chain, Li & Fung has made bold, strategic external appointments, primarily the roles of Chief Operating Officer and a Chief Digital Officer. YSC offered strategic insights into what the profiles of these candidates needed to look like in order to fit within and complement the evolving leadership structure. These two individuals have been with Li & Fung for several months now and are helping to drive their desired future state. Li & Fung has also been able to retain all executives who participated in the assessment, many of whom have been with the company most of their careers, or came in through acquisition, which is a testament to them finding value and personal growth in the experience.

With YSC’s strategic approach, Li & Fung was able to gain insight into what their leadership strategy and structure needed to look like in order to meet the changing demands of their customers, balancing the company’s heritage with the need for speed, innovation and digitization. Recalibrating their approach to leadership strategy enabled Li & Fung to build the bench strength they need and enable the company to mobilize for future growth.

“YSC’s 1:1 assessments and coaching work have been a game-changer for Li & Fung. They have helped our most senior executives to see their blind spots and make sizeable shifts in how they lead their people, which has moved us towards a more agile, decisive and collaborative culture.”

Roger Young, Chief HR Officer, Li & Fung