I write the December E-News in the background of massive changes sweeping many countries. In Australia, we have a new and young Prime Minister displacing the eleven year government of Prime Minister John Howard.

The world of business and HRD has not been spared of changes too. Let me cover the following in this month’s E-News:
Solving the Succession Crisis
Cognitive Fitness
Website to visit
SMR News
Solving the Succession Crisis

The Asia HRD Congress Events team put up a Strategic Talent Management & Succession Planning Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Some of the speakers were truly outstanding. While the discussions centered on talent attraction, retention, employer branding, there was also a growing interest on the issue of succession. Joseph Bower’s writing in the Harvard Business Review says the most successful CEOs, on balance are those who are developed inside the company – but manage to retain an outside perspective. According to a survey of 1380 HR Directors of large US corporations, nearly 60% of them have no CEO succession plans in place. While most companies look for outside support, research has shown that insider leadership correlates with superior performance.
Cognitive Fitness

We had a creativity expert Hari Parameswaran tour several Asian cities. Thinking out of the box in today’s world requires cognitive fitness. New research in neurosciences shows us how to stay sharp by exercising our brain. Hari Parameswaran offered several creativity exercises for us to maintain cognitive fitness. One example often quoted for Cognitive Fitness is the late Prime Minister Winston Churchill who was mentally active till he died at the age of 90. Roderick Gilkey and Clint Kilts offer us four steps.

Understand how experience makes the brain grown.
Work hard at play – our ability to play lies at the heart of our capacity to imagine & invent.
Search for patterns – the power of pattern recognition is a critical competence of the executive brain, a capacity to simplify without being simplistic.
Seek novelty and innovation.

I had the honor of presenting at our Entrepreneur’s ICN Conference on 8th and 9th December 2007. The 618 strong attendance was treated to a wide array of interesting ideas. The message was simple. While you require the past, remember the NOW and consider the future. The message was to revisit your prejudices and believe in possibility thinking.
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SMR USA will be hosting a Conference within a Conference at Training Magazines 30th Annual Conference in Atlanta, USA.

Visit www.trainingconference.com/learninggroup/training/top100_program.jsp
SMR News

I spent Deepavali, the Indian Festival of Lights with our VP, Technology Murali in Chicago. Our US colleagues Mike, Venkata & John helped us celebrate a quiet but happy Deepavali.
I did stop by in Singapore to visit customers while Dr. Nat was away in India to review the release of HRDPower™ R2 version. Karen was away in Bahrain. Fairus was away in various parts of Malaysia. Rizal and Subra were in Dubai. Jim was away in the Middle East while Robert will be travelling to China.
We had our colleague Uday Khedkar run a very powerful training program for the SMR Group’s Management Team on Authentic Leadership.

I will be in touch next month. Meanwhile, let me wish all of you Happy Holidays and a great New Year and to all our Christian friends Merry Christmas.

Best wishes,
December 2007
Asia HRD Congress 2008

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