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Embracing change and innovation

The Job of the Chief Executive (JOCE™) programme brings together leaders keen on spearheading organisational change and innovation

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"Simply put, change efforts often falter because individuals overlook the need to make fundamental changes in themselves." - Ooi Kiam Hong (above), founder of NAMA.

IN a world where technological disruption has become the norm, successful business leaders embrace uncertainty and use adversity and change as opportunities for innovation.

This was one of the key ideas Ooi Kiam Hong took away from attending The Job of the Chief Executive (JOCE™) programme organised by SIM Professional Development (SIMPD).

Kiam Hong, the founder and chief executive of Kuala Lumpur-based News & Ads Monitoring Agency (NAMA), said the programme has been instrumental in helping him tackle major challenges - including coping with the rapid pace of technological change and developing a long-term growth strategy.

NAMA provides media-monitoring services in Malaysia and Singapore, including online and social media tracking. The company, which has about 80 employees, logs about RM9.4 million (S$3 million) in sales annually.

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"The plan that made sense for me a year ago isn't necessarily right for me now. Market conditions continually change, so I need to revisit and update my business plan regularly," said Kiam Hong, who founded the company in 2006.

"Technology seems to be changing every minute. Making sure that I keep up to date with new technologies is a key challenge."

Kiam Hong joined the JOCE™ programme in July 2017 in a bid to become more effective at driving positive change within his company.

"Organisations can't change if leaders don't change with them," he noted.

"I've become convinced that organisational change is inseparable from individual change. Simply put, change efforts often falter because individuals overlook the need to make fundamental changes in themselves.

"Anyone who pulls the organisation in new directions must look inward as well as outward.

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."

Driving transformation

The programme's focus on leading successful organisational change helped Kiam Hong formulate a growth strategy and refine his company's niche.

"I scan the business environment for opportunities and threats to the company. With that, I redefine the company vision, mission, core values and strategy statement," he said.

JOCE™ also drove home the importance of hiring the right talent.

"Realising the importance of people in differentiating the company and maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage, I started to build an A-team of people," said Kiam Hong.

The company also embarked on a digital transformation journey to keep pace with rising customer expectations.

Key takeaways

Kiam Hong said he would recommend the JOCE™ programme to company leaders keen on honing their skills, growing their network and learning about new ways of working.

The programme offers opportunities to meet industry experts and business contacts while "absorbing the energy of like-minded individuals", he added.

The reputation of the programme was also a key attraction for Kiam Hong.

"The benefits of attending public conferences, workshops and seminars are highly beneficial for business entrepreneurs like me. So when the opportunity to attend JOCE™ arose, I just seized it."