Contributed by Jim McCready, President, Adobe Japan
Asia Pacific is like no other region in the world. According to World Atlas, we’re home to nearly 4.5 billion people and speak about 2,300 languages. Our population is roughly 6X of Europe and 15X of the United States. We’re densely populated, culturally and socio-economically diverse, full of rich cultural history, and surrounded by extraordinary natural beauty. Why would anyone live anywhere else?
It has been nine years since I packed my bags – and at the time my young family – and moved from the ‘safe’, known environment of North America to experience living and working in Asia Pacific. Prior to that I was pretty much your typical American. I had lived and worked in the U.S. my whole life. In fact, in my early career, I was a professional baseball player where we competed in a World Series made up only of American teams.
Economically, Asia Pacific is the world’s growth engine, and indicators predict this will continue to 2030 and beyond. At Adobe, like at many other companies, we’ve set ambitious growth targets and a fast-paced momentum to rapidly scale and grow. But what is unique to Adobe, and a key enabler of our growth, is the ‘Adobe for All’ vision.
As a company Adobe was founded on a number of fundamental principles, and these core beliefs that underscore the Adobe for All vision, are what truly drew me into this organisation and are what sets us apart.
We believe our people are our most important asset, that good ideas come from everywhere, and it is the responsibility of all of us to build a company where we want to work. Yes, we have an innovative, industry-leading product stack and a world-class services organisation, however it’s our people that are our most valuable advantage. It’s our people who are the reason for Adobe’s success, and this has never been truer or more relevant than in Asia Pacific.
Regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, cultural background or religious beliefs, we strive to create an environment where people feel valued and included. This, in turn, means our people are more creative, more innovative, and ultimately more successful. Such an environment cannot be forced, it must be lived, and I am super proud to say I see evidence of this every day.
As a global team, we take an experience-driven approach to appreciate the unique and to value the difference in other people’s stories, opinions and ideas. We are charged with helping everyone’s voice to be heard and to always consider what a new perspective could bring that could be different, better, smarter, more customer aligned.
As a business leader, I charge my team to rethink routine and to ensure all decisions, assignments, project teams and social events are diverse and inclusive. Importantly, every person working at Adobe is empowered to speak up for what they need and to encourage feedback. By bringing together people with a diversity of experience and specialised skills – to brainstorm, communicate, challenge ideas and align on desired outcomes – creativity flourishes and the bottom-line benefits.
Inside Adobe there is a tremendous sense of urgency around creativity. It is one of our fundamental differentiators and is encouraged across every aspect of our business. A key driver of creativity is diversity, and there is no more diverse region in the world than Asia Pacific.
My time in Asia has presented me a new lens on Diversity and Inclusion. It’s made me a better, more creative leader, and has gifted me a professional and personal experience I would not alter in any way.