Dear Learn & Perform Subscriber

Welcome to the 2013 July E news. With our Annual General Meeting of shareholders successfully concluded on June 26th, we also had the pleasure of securing shareholder approval for our new acquisition: the Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences. It was very nice to visit the Campus and meet the faculty and students. It was a defining moment for the SMR Group. Please visit http://www.cybermed.edu.my

And now to the E News:

  • Learning

  • Talent

  • Leadership

  • Harvard Professor in Malaysia

  • SMR News.

    Learning Practice
    We live in a world of information explosion. I buy books and cut out articles from newspapers and magazines. I highlight, read and reread the articles. In Harvard, we are taught that sometimes it is useless to highlight but we need to know how to learn well. Annie Murphy Paul cites evidence that most of us don’t use the learning techniques that science has proved most effective.

    In a comprehensive report released in January by the Association for Psychological Science, a team of five leading psychologists, led by Kent State University professor John Dunlosky, closely examine 10 learning tactics and rate each from high to low utility on the basis of the evidence they’ve amassed.

    Some of their conclusions indicate that highlighting and underlining lead the list of ineffective learning strategies. Although they are common practices, studies show they offer no benefit beyond simply reading the text. Some research even indicates that highlighting can get in the way of learning - because it draws attention to individual facts, it may hamper the process of making connections and drawing inferences. Highlighting, underlining, rereading and summarizing were all rated by the authors as being of “low utility.”

    In contrast to these, other learning strategies were identified such as distributed practice, a tactic that involves spreading out your study sessions, rather than engaging in one marathon. Cramming information at the last minute may allow you to get through that test or meeting, but the material will quickly disappear from memory. It’s much more effective to dip into the material at intervals over time. And the longer you want to remember the information, whether it’s two weeks or two years, the longer the intervals should be. Strategies such as spaced-out learning, or distributed practice, and practice tests were rated as having “high utility” by the authors.

    More info at http://ideas.time.com. Please email karen@smrhrgroup.com for more information on making learning effective.

    Talent Practice
    I like the Forbes thought of the day and I found one of Winston Churchill’s quotes there – the price of greatness is responsibility. Superior talent demonstrates accountability and responsibility. Boris Groysberg and Deborah Bell in one of the most comprehensive global surveys of corporate directors found that they were very worried about developing and enacting strategic plans that would enable their organisations to succeed. And what did they say was their biggest concern? Not competitive threats. Not rising costs. Not innovation, risk management, technology, debt, or the regulatory environment. Corporate directors identified talent management as their single greatest strategic challenge.

    In their survey, board members across the globe rated their companies' performance in each of nine dimensions of talent management: attracting top talent; hiring top talent; assessing talent; developing talent; rewarding talent; retaining talent; firing; aligning talent strategy with business strategy; and leveraging diversity in the company's workforce. The vast majority of the directors say their organisations are doing a poor job of talent management.

    Directors are aware that they must integrate talent management with the long-term strategic goals of the organisation if they are to have any hope of claiming competitive advantage. As the Professors say: ‘while this new concern with talent represents progress, there are still many questions boards will have to address: What steps should they take to help their organisations build better talent management? What would this leadership look like over time? Should some specific talent management practices receive greater focus than others--that is, do they exert more influence on competency of an organisation's overall talent management process? What are the greatest predictors of success for a talent management practice?'

    Visit http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/05/talent_management_boards_give.html to read the full details and email Subra at subra@smrhrgroup.com to join the Groysberg programme in Malaysia.

    Leadership Practice
    The pace of change accelerated by globalization and new technologies has changed the way organisations create value and interact with customers. The efficacy of a purely directive, top-down model of leadership is limited. Leaders have to manage their communication within their organisations. That process must be conversational.

    Building upon the insights and examples gleaned from their research, Groysberg and Slind developed a model of leadership that they call “organisational conversation.”

    Smart leaders today engage with employees in a way that resembles an ordinary person-to-person conversation more than it does a series of commands from on high. Furthermore, they initiate practices and foster cultural norms that instill a conversational sensibility throughout their organisations. Chief among the benefits of this approach is that it allows a large or growing company to function like a small one. By talking with employees, rather than simply issuing orders, leaders can retain or recapture some of the qualities — operational flexibility, high levels of employee engagement, tight strategic alignment, etc — that enable start-ups to outperform better-established rivals.

    In developing their model, they identified four elements of organisational conversation that reflect the essential attributes of interpersonal conversation: intimacy, interactivity, inclusion, and intentionality. Leaders who power their organisations through conversation-based practices will find that the four elements tend to reinforce one another. In the end, they coalesce to form a single integrated process. For more information please visit http://hbr.org/2012/06/leadership-is-a-conversation and to attend the Groysberg event in Kuala Lumpur, please email julianking@smrhrgroup.com

    Harvard Professor in Malaysia
    Professor Boris Groysberg, Harvard Business School will be visiting Malaysia. He will be leading two events. The first event for Malaysian Small and Medium Corporations is a fully funded programme. The second one is a Thought Leaders Roundtable for C-level executives. Boris is an outstanding teacher. For details please email julianking@smrhrgroup.com

    SMR News

  • Two flagship programmes, the Accredited Training Professional (ATP) and the Accredited Competency Professional (ACP), will be run in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Bahrain, Oman and Chennai, India. For details, please email julianking@smrhrgroup.com

    Have a good month ahead, will be in touch in August.

    With best wishes,

    Leadership for Entrepreneurs