In today’s economic and technological climate, every industry sector would, almost without exception, admit to being in a somewhat volatile period, but few could claim to have experienced such radical changes as those that have affected – and continue to impact – the telecoms industry.
So, the challenge for Henley Business School in working with the board members and senior executives of Telekom Malaysia has been a particularly fascinating one, according to Programme Director Jon Morton.
“Henley worked in partnership with Multimedia University (MMU) to design and deliver a concise strategic leadership programme in the Cyberjaya district near Kuala Lumpur, which focused on establishing best practice within the boardroom to address both internal and external strategies,” says Jon.
Internally, we’ve been working to define what the boards should look like – their obligations, values and processes, for example. And considering how the role of a leader of a subsidiary company might be in conflict with the needs and expectations of the group stakeholders and how the subsidiaries can really add value.
Following an introduction from the Telekom Malaysia Deputy CEO, Professor Andrew Kakabadse drew upon his experience and knowledge of the board process at Manchester United to illustrate some of the key characteristics of effective boards and board directors.
The initial programme is run over two days, with the second day dedicated to assessing how Telekom Malaysia can maximise the opportunities within the emerging telecoms and multimedia landscape, and the business models and strategies they can use to obviate the impact of the industry disruptors.
In the words of one delegate: “Henley has brought us new tools and ways of thinking that have enabled us to broaden our imaginations and consider new commercial approaches, while being much more aware of how to reconcile subsidiary and group priorities. The programme was extremely useful in the way it addressed our individual situations, and we are all looking forward to putting our new ideas into practice.”
“The exercise has opened a lot of minds to the potential threats and possibilities,” notes Jon, “and the delegates are already drilling down into the practical issues of resource and capability, reflecting their appreciation of the foundations of the programme.”
With Telekom Malaysia assessing the outcomes of the programme and its subsequent recommendations, Henley is working with the company to identify how they might work together to translate creative strategic thinking into implementation. In the meantime, however, the bar has already been raised, and Telekom Malaysia are eager to try out a range of new attacking options to ensure they remain the country’s top telecoms provider.
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