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Breaking down the impact of the digital era on leadership

On 29 March 2019, the inaugural Leadership Master Series was organised by Hehsed Consulting, bringing together leaders from across functions in Singapore to discuss ways to steer our organisations through the new wave of digital transformation.

Held at Grand Hyatt Hotel, the event was organised in partnership with SkillsFutureLifelong Learning Institute (LLI), and Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI).

Dr Koh Tat Suan, Director, Lifelong Learning, LLI, delivered the opening remarks on the importance of leveraging various gateways for learning opportunities. "We hope to encourage a lifelong learning mindset for everyone. As part of our efforts, we hope we can encourage everyone to promote the national efforts in this regard," he affirmed.

He was followed by opening speaker, Francis Goh, CEO and Founder, Hehsed Consulting (pictured below), who emphasised the competencies needed to equip leaders to lead in today’s environment.

In his view: "We need to look at the power of leveraging a mindset of constant experimentation, where you get access to information much faster than otherwise. Experimentation comes through failure, which in this way is a big part of your ultimate success."


Next up, Lelia Lim, Managing Partner, Asia Pacific, Lim-Loges & Masters (pictured below), steered the conversation towards the alignment of leadership with technology.

She said: "If leaders merely mandate technologists to build a beautifully constructed platform, nobody is going to use it. What is most important is that leaders have to endorse transformation. They have to engage with their people to drive cross-functional change across the organisation."


Before diving in to the panel discussion, the stage was taken by Michael Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer, HCLI, who took an interesting approach to identifying the unintended consequences of technologies such as AI.

One of his points was: "AI could conceivably lead to a loss of empathy. Let's take the example of online or phone banking that are set up never to connect you to a human! Interestingly not just from a customer point of view, but also employees are reporting with the advance in tech, the distance between them and their customers is beginning to grow and they miss that."

He added that going forward, both are needed, emotional intelligence (EI) and artificial intelligence (AI), listing their nine components (below) that are underpinned by sustainability:


The evening was capped off with a lively discussion, where Jenkins and Goh were joined by Shenton Sng, Vice President of HR, Singapore Press Holdings, moderated by Aditi Sharma Kalra, Regional Editor, Human Resources (pictured in lead image, L-R).

Potential metrics for measurement of the future leader's success, optimising the entry of Gen Z into the workforce, and identifying the silent resistors of change and bringing them on board where among the topics they discussed, alongside a number of relevant questions posed by the delegates.

Check out further event highlights in the video below:


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