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Top 8 Takeaways from HR Talk Show 2011

HR insights distilled from 170 top Malaysian business leaders

SINGAPORE (6 June 2011) – Malaysia’s only Talk Show serving the Human Capital Management community concluded last Wednesday, 25 May 2011. Organised by Singapore-based Arc Media Global, HR Talk Show 2011: Strategic Succession, Talent Management and HR Technology held at the GSC Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur was attended by more than 150 top business leaders who interacted with close to 20 CEO-panellists examining pertinent HR trends, issues and technologies related to the country’s projected growth trajectory which sees doubling of salaries in ten years’ time and per capita annual income leaping from US$7,000 to US$15,000. The day-long HR event supported by Corporate Executive Board and World HRD Congress promoted balanced perspectives from both the public and private sectors and raised overall levels of thought leadership.

Key discussion outcomes can be summarised in eight takeaways listed below:

1. Government as Regulator-Facilitator – On a positive note, Tuan Haji Zulkifly Baharom, former Director of Malaysian Airlines Academy commented that in Malaysia’s war on talent, the government’s role is that of a regulator-facilitator helping to stem the country’s brain drain problem which threatens to derail the country’s present growth economy.

2. End-to-end Talent Management – Mr Muhammad Imran Kunalan bin Abdullah, General Manager of Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), Capacity Development Division, K-Workers Development Department stated that the Talent Development Model encompasses an end-to-end solution that begins with fine-tuning the education system to nurture talent at the earliest, formative stages. This augurs well in creating a highly skilled workforce that supports Malaysia’s Transformation into a high-income economy.

3. Engage HIPOs – According to Dr Brian Kropp, Managing Director of Corporate Executive Board, “high-potential employees (HIPOs) contribute twice as much as average ones and are instrumental to organisational growth”. It is vital that they become committed to the organisation, supported through project failures and guarded against disengagement by managers/bosses.

4. Also Engage Not-so-HIPOs – Engagement of majority workforce is also essential for business continuity. The average employee is engaged when there is an alignment of job and interest. Such employees are further engaged when their role(s) in the larger organisational context are explained. Where they build networks and business connections, there is greater engagement still.

5. Tailor Talent Programmes – Benchmarking against international best practices is important. However, what is more pertinent is to tailor talent management programmes according to stage(s) of organisational development and corporate needs. HR initiatives should be contextualised rather than replicated lock, stock and barrel. “The people plan also has to be in tandem with the overall business plan”, said Puan Zainun Nur Abdul Rauf, Executive Director (Human Resource and Group Corporate Affairs) of Nestlé Malaysia.

6. Focus on measuring HR – As Rita Benoy Bushon, CEO of Minority Shareholders Watchdog Group succinctly put, “what you can measure, you can improve.” As HR is increasingly called on to drive businesses, it is critical to sharpen measurements and quantify HR’s contributions to the organisation. Mohammad Khalis Abdul Rahim, Chief Human Capital Officer of Telekom Malaysia also stressed on the examination of HR matrices for relevance to strategic objectives. Raja Azura Raja Mahayuddin, Executive Vice President (Human Capital Division) of Malaysia Airlines System reiterated that people and corporate strategies should be closely aligned.

7. Initiate Change Top-Down – For positive change to take place within an organisation, the CEO and top management must lead in the change initiative according to Stuart Dean, CEO of GE Asean. Lim Eng Weng, Managing Director of Ricoh Malaysia commented that, “organisations need to ensure staff engagement as they constantly face change especially with China and India experiencing exponential growth”. For Wendy Khoo, Group HR Director of Symphony House that includes understanding and engaging Generation Y.

8. HR Tech, An Enabler – The agility of today’s HR solutions prompted Lim Fun Jin, CEO of ISA Innovation to say that, “Technology is an enabler”. Sophistication of HR technology provides compelling value proposition(s) and allows for creativity to be harnessed bottom-up. For instance, HR solutions by SuccessFactors have intuitive, in-built analytics that increase user functionality. Oracle’s Fusion Human Capital Management system has SaaS options besides role-centric usability and business configuration. NorthgateArinso offers customised HR Services Delivery that afford flexibility.

As Malaysia’s Transformation goes into full swing, we need to ask:
• Can we meet the talent needs of the country’s Transformation drive into a high-income economy?
• If any, what are the structural barriers that inhibit talent acquisition and retention?
• Which methods and processes to introduce in promoting staff engagement?
• Are we leveraging on HR technology to streamline operations in an increasingly complex business environment?

The HR Talk Show series is a high-impact interactive platform bridging the gap between government and business initiatives to drive human capital best practices and actionable insights into talent, technology and strategic HR. In a unique talk show format, CEOs, HR Directors, CIOs/CTOs and their CFOs from Malaysia’s most admired companies will be working with 400 participants to interactively walk through the most current human capital challenges in a fast-growing economy like Malaysia’s to ensure that the most important leaders in businesses and public organisations can:

• Drive improved talent productivity and leadership succession
• Cast off accident-prone legacy strategies for talent management
• Secure proper methodologies to evaluate and implement HR technology and services
• Resume their strategic roles with a greater clarity of thought and vision

all with the aim to support, harmonise and put into action the initiatives from both government and private sector to transform and grow Malaysia into a high-income economy and grow the local highly-skilled workforce to 33 percent by 2015 and 50 percent by 2020 as outlined in the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP).

Next year will the Year of Innovation for most companies in Malaysia. Lessons learned in the markets of 2008-2011 have initiated companies to pursue various transformation strategies in talent management this year. The HR Talk Show next year will feature business success stories, field experiences and noteworthy HR initiatives that have enabled cutting-edge, out-of-the-box thinking. If you have stories to share next year, let us know so we can help document and create an enlightening and engaging instalment at next year’s show. Only the top 5 entries will be featured. For submission criteria and further details, kindly contact the HR Talk Show secretariat at +65 6844 2080.

The series is organised by the Center for Business Strategy and Tactics and promoted by Arc Media Global with a high-profile network of international and local partners and supporting organisations, including sponsors Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise, SuccessFactors, Northgate Arinso, and Ramco Systems; exhibitors KZEN Solutions, Lumesse, Orenda, and Business Formula Adaptive Partnerships; and strategic partners Corporate Executive Board, World HRD Congress, and Young Business Owners – ASEAN; among many others. Please call the production team at +65 6844 2080, email or visit the official website for details on programme, attendees, and other key features of the May 2011 talk show.


If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with the speakers at the HR Talk Show,  please call Eunice Wee at (+65) 6844 2080 or email Eunice at

Keywords: HR Talk Show 2011, Human Capital Management, Arc Media Global, GSC Pavilion, CEB, World HRD Congress, Malaysia Airlines Academy, MDeC, Transformation, HIPOs, Nestlé Malaysia, Minority Shareholders Watchdog Group, Telekom Malaysia, GE Asean, Symphony House, ISA Innovation, SaaS, Fusion HCM, SuccessFactors, NorthgateArinso

The Center for Business Strategy and Tactics (Center for Business) is an industry research centre (IRC) that works to bring top executives together in communities of learning and practice to act as a catalyst for generating high-value energy business insight and channel top expertise to where the world needs it most. Center for Business meetings are powered by Arc Media Global, a B2B/G2B integrated international marketing specialist headquartered in Singapore.

Contact: Eunice Wee
Arc Media Global
Robinson Road P.O. Box 176, Singapore 900326
(+65) 6844 2080

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