Dear Learn & Perform Subscriber

Welcome to the 2013 October E-News! As I write, the US Government has been shut down for about five days with no resolution in sight. Here in Malaysia we have had the Chinese President make an official visit to the country. At SMR, we were honoured with the visit of His Excellency Shahid Malik, the former British Parliamentarian and a Government Minister.

And now to the E-News:

  • Learning & Performance

  • Competency & Talent

  • Leadership & Innovation

  • SMR News

    Learning & Performance

    As I am completing my latest book The Global Journey of an Asian, due for launch this year, I found that some books can be game changers. The 4–Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris was an astounding book. The lesson that you don’t want a million dollars but you want the lifestyle a million dollars will get you had a huge impact on me. Another lesson from the book and reinforced by my long-time friend from the US Ajay is for the need to sever the connections between time and work. As an entrepreneur you want to live the life you want and not to keep investing time on a perpetual basis into work. The goal is to have the focus on the family and do the things you like to do. Like most entrepreneurs today, I dreamed not about making money while I slept, commonly referred to as non-linear income or income from multiple sources, but about the impact I could make on the world. The 4-Hour Work Week is not about working four hours or being lazy but about achieving the goals set by the entrepreneur.

    Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston inspired me. The stories and interviews with successful entrepreneurs were inspirational. An individual cannot have the peace and quiet if the community in which we live suffers from social challenges. President John F. Kennedy’s statement that ‘if the Government cannot save the many that are poor, then it cannot save the few who are rich’ always resonates in my mind. As entrepreneurs, we need to demonstrate corporate social responsibility in whatever way we can as society invests much in our success.

    The Founder's Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman highlights the inside stories of legendary founders. The learning from the book was very useful to me as an entrepreneur. I found solutions to complex issues such as when is the right time to retire or leave the business and the people side of entrepreneurship. My friend from BP Singapore Yeo Thiang Swee always expresses anguish and worry when doing business with friends. There is much more than money. Relationships matter. The team of people with an entrepreneur makes a huge difference. To receive more information about the book launch, please email annnei@smrhrgroup.com

    Competency & Talent Management
    A strong succession planning programme is one that identifies and fosters the next generation of leaders through mentoring, training and stretch assignments, so they are ready to take the helm when the time comes. Research supports sound succession planning. A study some years ago from consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton concluded that "over their entire tenures, CEOs appointed from the inside tend to outperform outsiders" when it comes to returns to shareholders. Yet many organizations struggle to take their succession planning programmes beyond a static list of names slotted for a few top spots.

    Every organisation should have a roadmap that offers a framework and advice on how to create a robust succession planning programme that aligns talent management with the vision of the company, ensures employees have development opportunities to hone their leadership skills, and guarantees that the organization has a leadership plan in place for success in the future. As companies begin to develop a succession planning process, they should consider these fundamental issues: High Potential programmes, internal development, Diversity issues and Leadership support. Companies make many mistakes when it comes to succession planning. Organisations use the past to plan for the future, miss getting the Board support, not making succession part of the culture, and allowing wrong people to make succession decisions. A succession planning programme compiles the skills, abilities and goals of each employee, compares them to the needs of current and future roles, and tracks employee progress toward being ready to fill those roles. A roadmap can be structured into three phases to help you implement the planning and execution of you succession planning program -  "Plan," "Do" and "Review" of succession planning.

    As companies expand beyond 200 to 300 employees, it becomes challenging to oversee talent management and succession planning efforts on paper. You cannot effectively track the career development progress of hundreds of employees using spreadsheets and sticky notes. While there are many enterprise applications for succession planning, you need to equip your team with the models and tools. Ask Murali murali@smrhrgroup.com about our tools or email Subra subra@smrhrgroup.com for more info on the Competency Model and Accredited Competency programme.

    Leadership & Innovation
    Leadership is all about inspiring and motivating employees. Motivated employees help organisations succeed as they are more productive than those who are non-motivated. The challenge with motivating employees is that it looks different for every person and every leader. There is a huge amount of information on leading stars. The same cannot be said of leading B players, the average performers who for some reason have not yet made an impact on the organisation. Yet, the B Players are the heart and soul of an organisation. They need continuous feedback from the manager to keep growing and keep contributing - but herein lies the challenge. Managers find time to be a scarce commodity.

    Two questions: how does the Manager find time? And how do we give constructive feedback with the goal of inspiring the B player? Managers need to allocate a chunk of time on a weekly or fortnightly basis to pause, reflect and talk to colleagues. Professor Boris Groysberg highlights the power of informal but purposeful conversations. The earlier a manager recognises that this is not an interruption to his or her own productivity, the better it is for an organisation. And, how do we give constructive feedback? Relationships between people are gossamer threads and when feedback is perceived as critical and unhelpful, it burns these gossamer threads. Constructive feedback is going beyond complimentary feedback and criticism. It is often considered an art because it involves insight into what and what not to say. Seeking the willingness of the B player to receive feedback and preserving the relationship after the feedback session is important, yet the ‘conversation’ has to be forthright and crucial to be a game changer. It is indeed both an art and science. Ken Blanchard talked about one minute goals, praises and reprimands. For further details, email agnes@smrhrgroup.com to receive details about Leading B Players programmes to be run in Kuala Lumpur and Bahrain in 2014.

    SMR News

    We are preparing both for Asia HRDCongress and Asia HRD Awards 2014. Please do nominate your organisations and colleagues for the Awards. Mark the date to attend Asia’s premier event in Kuala Lumpur. The Learning Extravaganza incorporating Trainers Meet Trainers and Learners Meet Learners will be hosted in KL and Bahrain in Jan 2014. Details www.hrdcongress.com or email fazyanie@hrdcongress.com

    To attend the Accredited Competency Programme, email juliana@smrhrgroup.com


    I never miss reading three magazines:

  • Harvard Business Review – www.hbr.org

  • Workforce Magazine - http://www.workforce.com

  • Talent Management – http://www.talentmgt.com

    Have a good month, will be in touch in November.

    With best wishes,

    Accredited Competency Professional
    Accredited Competency Professional