Sunday, June 3, 2007

PROGEM III - Management Theory Revisited

It was more than 2 weeks since I last posted any entry to this blog. Well,as I mentioned in my last blog, I was off to Hyatt Regency Resort Hotel in Kuantan from 21-31 May attending what the company termed as the PROGEM III or the General Manager Program under the Talent Pool/Succession Planning program.

As this course was almost similar to the MDP program by MIM I attended for the last 6 months or so, I don't intend to list down details of program schedule but suffice to mention several of the course instructors and also to highlight some good management theory I learnt in the span of almost 2-weeks.

The program was handled by National University of Singapore's Business School utilising several very experienced Professors from the the same U and also from other universities such as the Peking University of Beijing. There were 32 other participants from the company and most of them are older than me in terms of age. I enjoyed most of the lectures particularly by Prof Lee Kai Sheang, a Malaysian residing in Singapore, on the topic of Sun Tzu Art of War. I like this topic very much because it relates the War Strategy of the ancient chinese to the modern world of doing business. A few case studies were used in this module and in my opinion going through those case studies really helped in understanding the Sun Tzu's theory.

I also like the topic on Understanding the Service Economy and Marketing by Prof Keh Hean Tat from Peking University. He is also a Malaysian hailed from Taiping and two words can describe his knowledge on marketing strategy, committed and bold. He is also relatively young compare to the other Professors but his sheer determination to master this topic was clearly reflected on his presentation style in class.

The very first day of the PROGEM III course was instructed by Prof Trevor Wilkins from NUS. He is actually an Australian residing in Singapore. He started the class with the broad overview of the course content and his own topic dealt with Financial Management. He is I would say from the old school of thought judging on his style of teaching. He still depends on transparency projector as opposed to using a power point for presentation in class. As he put it, "investments are design to create value, and don't spend money until it can guarantee return".

He stressed the importance of financial management and in his opinion, no other performance measure other than financial KPI will fit and 'fair' to everyone. Key points of his module are on Finance Decision (source of fund), Investment Decision (Use of funds) and the dividen issue (use of funds). Prof Wilkins also highlighted the result of the pre-course survey that each of the PROGEM participant need to respond. Most of the issues raised were HR related and according to him this is actually a popular issue in many other organisations. We were also told to prepare a project for each sub-group created for the course. I have been appointed to lead my group and at the moment we are still undecided on the two projects which we have proposed. Most likely, the topic chosen by me on interconnection between Malaysia and Singapore will be chosen for our group.

Other topics covered during the PROGEM III include Business Law by Prof Philip Chin and Efficiency and Fairness in the Energy Mark by Prof Lim Chin, dean of the NUS Business School. There was also a session on Human Capital Management by Prof Gilbert Tan from SMU Singapore. He used to be a policeman before becoming a lecturer in the university. A very enthusiastic person and according to him, he trained for 1-month in Police Academy in Kuala Kubu Baru some years ago. The followings are the photos of the three professors in respective order.

In my opinion, the 10-days PROGEM module was very useful because it kinda add more info to me on business issues on top of what I have already obtained through my Mini MBA courses organised by the MIM. At the moment, I am feeling much more confident in handling issues other than technical and engineering surrounding my career in this company. I am hoping that with all the money the company has spent on me to build up my management skill I can be a better leader in the future and hopefully, the management will be able to see something valuable on me that they can entrust me to lead the company with full confident...insha'allah.


  1. Dr AJ.Stumbled upon your blog.Dont ask me how. Glad that PROGEM has given you insights and of value add to you. Discovered the other side of you, a real great photographer you are! Corporate Com should establish link with you!
    Wonder,unless you have patented it as your IP, if I could have the of the photos of the TC scene mailed to me..simply cant resist my inner need.
    Well done Dr AJ- Sob.

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