Sunday, March 16, 2008

Malaysia Today : A storm in a songkok

My comments on MT's posting : A Storm in A Songkok

I posted this up on Jeff Ooi's Screenshot on what he could do with Penang's new state administration. I hope this piece would be applicable to all states as well. Hope we can have richer discussion on more important matters.

I would like to echo what RPK has iterated here. Please spend our time on more valuable discussions i.e. what value does it create out of this discussion. So, everybody, please learn to prioritise. Ask yourself are your inputs creating any value or is it just 'juicy' comments. Else, we are all virtually sitting in a meeting room, lazing off like the govt official who spends enormous of time in meetings but nothing happens after that. Action please! Not just talk cock!

Anyway, here's my input to Screenshot (I've deleted unrelated things for our readings here) :

1: Master plan
Persuade the new MBs/CMs to have a master plan of what to be achieved in the first 100 days. Checkout the best practices of new government coming into power. I'm sure internet savvy chap like you guys can find something on the Web. Worst case- Business Turnaround Plan by Idris Jala of MAS would be a good base to start with. Then, once a plan has been conjured up, everybody in the state can start to work towards it. Of course, please engage with people on the plan to get their buy in and agreed by people. This may be a challenge but your plan must fulfil the people's needs. Engagement, engagement, engagement. That is the very basis of how to become transparent!

When a new CEO of a big corporation is appointed, the first 100 days are crucial as it provides some direction to where he/she will be guiding the company.

So, this should go the same to newly appointed state officers (CM/MB & its EXCOs). If you have your plans for the 1st 100 days, kudos! If not, I’d like to suggest that you work it out. Quickly but not half past six kind of job! We’ve had enough of it.

to be continued...

continue from my previous comment...

2: Org. Structure, Job Management & Pay Philosophy
Work on the Organisational Structure, Job Management & Pay Philosophy. Okay these bits are a bit technical from Human Resource (HR) point of view but I hope you would really consider this in coming out with new Org chart and the jobs that would come with it that would eventually put the state governance in good standards, at par with world class standards.

A good and strong organisation has a robust structure that can withstand the changes both internally and externally but still deliver what it is required to do. So, make sure you have a good org. structure.

Then, secondly, analyse each job in the org chart since different job would have different size (i.e. impact, decision making power, complexity of jobs/works need to be done etc). Get these jobs evaluated and pay people at that job accordingly.

With that, decide what pay philosophy (some call rewards philosophy) you want to engage on. This is where I’d like to highlight a little bit the success of Singapore’s government in wooing people into the government because Singapore gov’t recruit the best out of the best to run the government. I believe this should be the case too for our country but unfortunately, talents in government are not the ‘best of the best’ and are normally leftovers where the best ones have gone to private sector. So, in order to attract, retain and motivate the best talent in the government, you might want to really study what kind of pay philosophy you should be looking at. For instance, I think Singapore’s govt aims to pay the best in the country, even better than the private sector since their impact of the job is bigger. So, have a thought about it because the younger generation of people are quite money minded that you need the carrot and stick to incentive them. Reward people because of their performances. Once the talents are well taken care of, they will give you the best! Then you’ll have group of talents that are really performance based people that in returns should be fulfilling what the people expect out of the government. If they don’t perform, kick their backs out of the government like how General Electric does with their underperformers.

All of the things I’ve said above can be worked out with established HR consultants. And don’t worry; I ain’t selling anything to you because I am definitely not a consultant, but just a young fellow who sees the importance of these things in any organisation. For the sake of your organisation, have good thought of it. If all of this sounds very na├»ve & novice, pardon me but it works freaking well in big big big corporations.

All the above would address some issues related to the operational cost(OPEX) and best that we spend on putting the right structure/support in the state.

I hope any state leaders who reads this can consider the items I have raised above as it will definitely help managing the state better. Without the right talent, you'll never get work done thus fail to meet people's need - read that your voters. Then come next general election, we all can just be like our friends in Terengganu.

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