Sunday, March 16, 2008

Screenshot: JEFF for Malaysia

My comments to Screenshot's posting : JEFF for Malaysia

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.

Based on your blog input, may I suggest the following items:

1 : Screenshot

For the daily running of your wonderful blog, if you're running this blog alone, please oh please hire a team like what RPK did for Malaysia Today. Doing everything by yourself is similar to Pak Lah holding too many portfolios than he can handle!

2: Master plan

Persuade the new CM of Penang 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 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!

3: 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 GE 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.

4. National Service

I admire you for your decision to run the state office as it is definitely a national service. Not many people can do it because I believe others would just know how to talk, criticise and complain. That’s us, the typical Malaysian people. So, I hope you’ll take things easy and always remember that you’re now doing a national service which I can guarantee would be are quite challenging. Always be humble because the pakcik & makcik, apek & amoi, an-ne & achi whom you see everyday voted you into office. They are your stakeholders. They are your master. The people is always bigger than your political party whether you’re DAP, PKR, PAS, UMNO, MCA, MIC etc. So, serve them well and really really think hard of the actions that you’ll take. Causality – action and reactions. I will continuously help out to my best ability to ensure that Malaysia will be what we all dream off.

Good luck with the above and I truly hope to see a truly efficient, professional, fair & justice well conducted government, not just in Penang but throughout Malaysia, both non-BN and BN controlled states.


p.s. I want to see leaders in this country to inspire its people, that their words will burn and wake the giant within us! I want to see leaders that we all can be proud of. For time being, I cannot see any yet in Malaysian political scene. Hope that you’ll develop the people around you to be great leaders! (see Stephen Covey’s 8th Habit)

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