ISS Group is a people organisation and operates in more than 30 countries across the globe, with more than 500,000 employees and serving more than 60,000 customers. It is definitely a place where great leaders are born, and, or developed. One of them is Scott Davies.
On Monday (30/11), our GREAT ISS team had the opportunity to virtually meet the newly appointed CEO of ISS in the Asia Pacific region since last September, when he was attending ISS Indonesia’s monthly Managers Communication Meeting and sharing his inspirational career experience and perspective on leadership, as well as his overview about OneISS strategy.
“You need to be very mindful of this culture footprint and the people that's been into to anything that they do.”
Let’s begin his leadership story by taking a brief surf on his previous career, before he joined ISS in 2012. The Bachelor of Business in Catering and Hotel Management with Majors in Marketing and Food and Beverage Management from University of Victoria, Melbourne in Australia, started his journey with Accor Hotels and took into various roles across the country.
The 1970 born Australian then moved to Asia for the first time in 2004, to take responsibilities as General Manager Novotel Citygate Hong Kong of Accor Hotels. Having spent his three years there, he opened a flagship hotel with the group in Hong Kong and he had a lot of engagement with Southeast Asia.
“Visiting the region whether it’d be for customers, building supply chain, attending conferences, attending training or workshops and the hotel industry during that time was going through an incredible period,” Scott explains.
During that period as well, he knows Indonesia probably better from his career with Accor than with ISS, since with Accor he significantly continued footprint across Indonesia. Indonesia has even left him a precious memorable experience of his life.
“From places I had visited during that time, I liked to go to Lombok where I had a great time there. And actually, my honeymoon was in Lombok, so I have a great affection for that parts. A beautiful part of the world and a great story,” Scott, a father of three sons admits.
After Hong Kong, Accor Hotels then trusted him to lead in India, where he spent five years taking roles as General Managers Novotel & Pullman Brand in New Delhi, India and General Manager Operations of North India.
Scott feels fortunate for his experience to work in a number of geographies with different cultures, and trying to get different experience as well, all the time. “That was such a lesson because you need to be very mindful of this culture footprint and the people that’s been into to anything that they do,” he says.
He also adds, “By getting out there and working in these different countries, I think it makes you a little bit more aware to those culture differences impacts that they can play. And then ultimately you do, you get your point where you can start to draw on those experiences, they start to really help you as a leader when you start to come up the games of problems, or when you're under pressure.”
“I am in my heart an operator. It’s really getting into the detail and into the whole phase running.”
Scott mentions that it is important to know about how he works, and how putting himself as an operator is what he has been doing on the last 25 years of his career.
Within the last 25 years, Scott has been running hotels, leading sectors in large teams, being mobile, getting opportunity on business enlargement, and doing target refocus. He always builds on critical experience while he runs country manager roles and regional roles, and that is also what he has been doing since he joined ISS in 2012.
“Whenever I’m doing career talks, I’d do come back to business point of critical experiences. Because over time, you’re staying in the same role getting experience levels up in terms of your growth,” he says.
“I am in my heart an operator. It’s really getting into the detail and into the whole phase running. Also, as an operator, I think I really bring our people to customer layers to everything that I do,” Scott emphasises, where in ISS, customers are as important as the ISS’s people, as well as the society and environment.
By being an operator while he is the leader, has helped him to lead well when taking roles and responsibilities with his previous positions with ISS, including as the CEO ISS Australia and New Zealand, ISS Pacific Executive General Manager Health and Government, ISS Pacific Executive General Manager Facility Management Services, and ISS Pacific Executive General Manager Operational Excellence.
“I think one thing that always helps me in what I’m doing is the legacy thing. What is it that I want to be known for?”
For Scott, being a leader means that he needs to determine the legacy on what he wants to be known for, where deliberation of time allocation is very important in building the legacy projects.
“Don’t have to be the list, but to have one to three key things that you really want, and then make sure you’re allocating enough time in doing to those core things, because we all get very busy and it’s at top of industry where we can run from one problem to the next,” he explains.
Scott believes that people business has to be about growing others. It is also about what we are doing from the mentoring and coaching perspective, how we’re developing other leaders around us, and guiding people to that next days, to looking at our succession planning and being deliberate around growing talent across the business.
Speaking about OneISS, the new ISS strategy, he is optimistic that consistency around the core elements of ISS’s value proposition and ISS people’s ability to leverage what we call the big ISS for customers, will also give ISS a quality difference in the marketplace.
“No matter what your role is, you have a role to play in terms of understanding the biggest strategy and then interpreting that into your part in the business,” Scott says.
“We need to be in the right sectors and playing with the right customers. We have teams and that is building capability. We have values which is about our culture and our culture is the strategy. And we have an ambition that is driving commercial excellence,” he adds.
Scott Davies takes the role as the CEO ISS Asia Pacific effective in January 2021. With his leadership and career experience across regions and industries, he is looking forward to bringing a stronger, simpler and closer ISS in the region and globally, to connecting people and places to make the world work better, and the ISS 2025 ambition to life.***