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The Futurist: Collaboration in the new future

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Janet Poon, general manager-human resources, Hang Lung Properties thinks future leaders  need a collaborative mindset and to be able to look at the business from a broader perspective and have the ability to work with other teams to drive business goals.

The next generation workforce wants more flexible working arrangements. This in turn, gives rise to more project-based work and a flatter organisation structure.

It is fact that today’s young workers do not want to serve in one single organisation for life, instead, they prefer working
across disciplines. This means that traditional hierarchical organisation structures will become less prevalent and organisations will need to be restructured to cope with these changes.

In my view, for one-off projects that needs very different individuals to team up and collaborate, strong leadership is required. Leaders can no longer only focus on what they do or just be good at what they do. They need a collaborative mindset and be able to look at the business from a broader perspective and have the ability to work with other teams to drive business goals.

Anticipating that our leaders of the future will be multifaceted performers, the management trainees at Hang Lung are given the opportunity to rotate to various departments within the organisation to learn about the company’s business in Hong Kong and on the Mainland. The goal is to get them to see the bigger picture.

Encouraging more cross-departmental collaboration is one of the keys to success for Hang Lung. For example, the EST (experience, service and technology) team under the service delivery department was founded as a dedicated team to drive
innovation within the organisation.

The EST team consists of management trainees and young colleagues. They pull together colleagues from different departments, who are familiar with the latest technology to design and deploy in an agile manner new digital devices with an aim to transform our company’s overall technology strategy and utilisation.

When thinking about the future, there is no doubt technology is going to change the skills sets of talent. Take the business of Hang Lung as an example, the core of our business is to provide excellent service to our customers at our various properties.

When managing a property, chores such as patrolling may be replaced by robots in the near future. However, Hang Lung
believes that the human touch will be key in providing an exceptional customer experience. This is something no robots on machines will be able to replace.

The challenge for HR professionals is to find the right balance between leveraging on technology and acquiring talent with the right skill sets to drive the business forward.

The June 2018 issue of Human Resources magazine is a special edition, bringing you interviews with 12 HR leaders, with their predictions on the future of HR.

Read The Futurist or subscribe here.

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