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Case study: Reimagining the next generation of leaders at TNB

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Priya Sunil finds out about Tenaga Nasional’s leadership development strategy, which involves building its leadership capabilities to achieve its 10-year strategic plan, Reimagining TNB.

As famously said in the 2002 Spider-Man movie, “with great power comes great responsibility” – an evergreen saying that can be applied to leadership in organisations.

After all, leaders are tasked with leading their team to success, to ultimately achieve greater heights for the organisation; and in order for this leader to be prepped for the role, it can take years of professional development, experience and commitment.

Thus, in this case study on Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), we find out about the organisation’s leadership development strategy, which involves building its leadership capabilities to achieve its 10-year strategic plan, Reimagining TNB.

This plan was introduced in 2015 and is anchored by measures that aim to place the organisation among the top 10 global utility companies by 2025, and there are three levels of implementation in these strategies.

First, there is the Leadership Development Centre (LDC), which designs new experiential programmes to coach and mentor employees at all levels. According to Mohd Najib Mohammad, General Manager at the LDC, the key design principle of these programmes is based on the organisation’s leadership competencies of “future”, “engage” and “deliver”.

The Thrust Leadership Programme participants (managing directors and delta leaders) play a major role in TNB which reached more than RM50 billion in revenue in 2018.

One of the key signature programmes carried out is coaching and mentoring, which covers functional coaching, executive coaching, leadership coaching and life coaching. These are carried out either in specific teams or in the form of individual coaching programmes for managing directors, delta leaders, top talent and senior leaders.

Other key signature programmes are also available for these leaders, newly appointed general managers, newly appointed senior managers and all employees.

Second, TNB has the Centre of Expertise People Development (COE PD) which focuses on soft and leadership skills for all staff.

Last, its Generation Academy develops functional and leadership skills for specific business operations. So far, 2,486 leadership training hours were recorded in the financial year of 2018, involving 6,026 employees on the executive level. A total of 37 participants successfully completed as cohort one, Najib adds.

The results

TNB has seen a number of leaders grow to contribute effectively through these implementations. For instance, Najib says: “The Thrust Leadership Programme participants (managing directors and delta leaders) play a major role in TNB which reached more than RM50 billion in revenue in 2018.”

“Further, four of our MBA alumni have been entrusted to be managing directors of subsidiaries and three of them have been selected to be delta leaders.”

Additionally, the Generation Academy has, to date, produced 215 subject matter experts, who play a major role in TNB’s division transformation programme which has accumulated savings of RM1.82 billion since FY 2014.

Looking towards 2020: What’s on the agenda?

Talking about what the future holds, Najib shares: “The focus in 2019/2020 will be on refining the LDC programme design to embrace the new frontiers, especially for the global arena and digitalisation. One of the MBA elective subjects, for example, is to incorporate a digitalisation strategy.”


This case study was part of a feature on leadership development, which appeared in the Q2 edition of Human Resources magazine (Malaysia). Read the full feature in the edition out now!


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