Talent the key to driving change, states CEO
By IMRAN HASHIM
Today’s competitive landscape has propelled many organisations to embrace change. Gone are the days when a dominant player can comfortably sit on his/her laurels without a concern of change in the environment. And this is happening in all industries and not just technology-based industries.
Realising that change is pivotal for growth and success, Johor Port Bhd (JPB) has undertaken various initiatives to grow and develop their talent.
Enabling your most important resource, your employees and talent, to understand the need for change, growth and to be developed to their full potential is key for pivoting through this new era of change.
Leadership Acceleration Programme (LAP)
As such, JPB embarked on a Leadership Acceleration Programme (LAP) in 2013 to enable their talent to remain world-class and be adaptable to change in this new competitive environment. On June 19, 2014, 20 high-potentials from JPB graduated from LAP. The graduation ceremony was attended by all the key leaders at JPB including its CEO Shahrull Allam Shah Abdul Halim.
Shahrull further reinforced JPB’s commitment to grow its employees to greatness, adding, “Our vision to have a competent and vibrant workforce to embrace the challenges of the 21st century is complemented by many different elements and one of it is by exposing our leaders to the latest in management skills and perspectives.”
LAP is an accelerated, rigourous long-term programme which forces JPB’s top senior talent through intense, painful learning applications. Participants also go through live business projects which requires them to drive change and growth in various parts of the port. The projects were set up as an exposure experience for the participants to understand the challenges of the company and not just their own departments.
According to Shahrull,
“That is a key learning that has to take place if you are to take on a bigger leadership position within the company.”
Through these projects, participants worked together on strategic and operational projects, gaining a deeper understanding of the constant challenges and realities the company faces. These projects further instilled a sense of ownership of the company and enabled the participants to learn business acumen.
Shahrull, in his speech, further added that he was looking to this special group of leaders who had gone through the programme to inspire the rest of the organisation and take the organisation forward.
As part of the keynote address, Roshan Thiran, CEO of Leaderonomics encouraged the graduates to understand that graduation was not the end of the journey but rather the beginning of the journey of change and growth. Learning is a never-ending process and does not end at any given point in life, be it graduating from university or even from an accelerator programme like LAP. He also stressed that Shahrull and the leadership team have higher expectations of the graduates. If the graduates were taking a few days to complete a task, expectations going forward would be that they would do it faster, quicker, cheaper and in a more impactful way.
The graduates clearly understood the need for them to continually reinvent themselves and ensure that they do not stop their growth and learning.
What graduates say about LAP
One of the recipients of JPB LAP Leadership Award, Rahimah Rahmat, expressed her gratitude for the opportunity given and noted that the programme experience has enhanced her practical appreciation for the demands that comes with top level leadership,
“The most memorable experience during the programme is people management. The programme really pushes you to balance your responsibilities, be it personal, family and work. Working across departments and with people of various backgrounds, you have to take in a lot of factors to ensure the business project runs smoothly. At the end of the day, leadership is focused on people.”
Another JPB LAP Leadership Award recipient, Yohannes Nazwir, pointed out that the experience is similar to ‘attending MBA at the workplace’ given the level of learning and application involved in the programme. His fellow LAP graduate and Leadership Award recipient Azzman Mohamed echoed the same sentiment, “I’ve experienced the MBA, and this programme comes close to it.”
Setting the stage for sustainable transformation
While the recent LAP graduates can breathe a sigh of relief at the conclusion of the programme, JPB’s transformation is far from over. Understanding that talent development is key to ensuring a sustainable transformation, the focus for JPB is on the next group of leaders to be accelerated for growth. JPB thus kicked off their Management Development Programme (MDP) for another set of high-potential leaders to undergo similar leadership development experiences to enable them to be change agents of JPB.