Volume 13, Issue 1, 2018

Digitisation: Issues for Leadership & Strategy

- Fernando Kevin Vince

The march of technology seems infinite in all directions. It doesn't stop at making tasks easier but fundamentally changes the tasks themselves. 'Disruption' has become a good word. It used to mean something that interrupted progress and should be prevented. Now it is part of the process to overturn what has gone before, to disrupt, and go forward again. It means contiuous relearning. Disruption and learning need to be part of strategy. Part of this is real time communication, where suggestions, experiments, adaptations and refinement can take place in parallel instead of in sequence. The same communication opens avenues for buiding rapport with stakeholders. Leadership requires the same basic skills as always, such as goal setting and motivating the workforce, change management has become a continuous process rather than an occasional decision. More than that, today's leaders need to encourage and enable innovation, and to keep reimagining the future. This paper offers a six-step plan, which is difficult in our VUCA world, but all the more useful because of it. This plan moves from defining the digital vision, analysing the current situation, identifying opportunities and where digital technologies add value, planning and budgeting, and deployment, review and adjustment.


Leading to Success in the Fourt Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) - Importance of Cognitive Readiness Skills

- Sattar Bawany

The first industrial revolution started in the late eighteenth century, as a result of mechnanisation, which changed the world of work. The second industrial revolution, about ninety years later, brought mass production, assembly lines and electricity, which again changed the world of work. Another hundred years and the third industrial revolution came along, with increasing automation, and early computers. Now we are in the fourth industrial revolution, and smart technology is pervading our lives. The changes are so frequent and so pervasive that it can feel like permanent crisis. To deal with this, leaders need to be in a state of cognitive readiness. Despite all the smart devices, we remain human beings. Sattar Bawany presents seven cognitive readiness skills, which have a standpoint of being human beings. Wwe should recognise our emotions, focus our attention, look for the bigger picture, and take account of gut feelings. We should use both analysis and creativity to solve problems, be ready to change as necessary, and inspire others to action. The human side is still vital, despite the astounding possibilities with devices.


3. Transformation through Project-Based Action Learning: An Accelerated Approach

- K C Chan

A learning organisation is essental for progress, but it's better if it's a teaching organisation as well. These are two sides of the same coin, and both are needed for it to work. Teaching and learning go together, and work best as an interactive process. Everybody has something to learn and something to teach, and teaching itself is a good way of learning. Teaching makes you think carefully about the topic, divide it up in a way that is easily understood, and that helps to clarifythe ideas. Learners can teach teachers, perhaps because they have not acquired assumptions, so they cast a fresh light. This teaching and learning is lifelong, but does not stay the same. People in their early careers become aware of strengths and weaknesses, and from this comes alignment, bringing core competence . This is followed by action where the skills are synthesised, then adopted to bring competence, and in late career a person come assurance to become an educator, as well as still being a learner. These processes can take a decade each, so these five As, Awareness, Alignment, Action, Adoption and Assurance span a whole career from the 20s to the 60s.


4. A Critical Review on the Push and Pull Factors for Expatriate Repatriation

- Venkateswaran A/L Ramachandran

With ease of travel and the lure of better opportunities elsewhere, the movement of people has shot up in recent years. There is often a later wish to return home for a number of reasons. This paper looks at the push (motivators to leave the home country) and pull (motivators to find another country) factors behind the decisions. Improving income and career opportunities feature large, along with healthcare, basic facilities such as electricity, and law and order. Push-pull theory says that every migrationflow produces a counter flow, leading to a reverse brain-drain in the host country. Other theories are looked at too. Human capital theory puts emphasis on the benefits from investment of skills of all kinds, in short, professional qualities. The advanced model of social cognitive career theory focuses on the interaction between personal and environmental factors. The chaos theory of careers looks at complexity, change, chance, and contstruction as bases for career development. Movement of labour is here to stay, and it is important for economies to understand the underlying factors.


5. When Doing Good Can Be Bad - Avoiding the Pitfalls of Corporate Philanthropy

- Tan Seng Teck & Lee Chee Seng

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is now an expectation and in some cases enshrined in law. It is also a sensible business proposition in terms of maintaining a good reputation. If damage results from failure to act in a socially responsible way the loss of reputation may be irreversible, in addition to very large fines being imposed on the company. However companies have to make a profit in order to survive, so care must be taken of the finances. It is commendable to spend money entirely charitable donations if that is viable, but there can also be mutually beneficial plans where donors and recipients gain. An example might be investing in schemes to improve the standard of education, thus improving the skills of the future workforce. Providing free courses and equipment in subjects related to the company's areas of business will reinforce this. Whether the goal is purely charitable, or has an expectation of a return of benefit, any scheme must fit in with the core values of all involved. It is a moral quagmire.