The importance of having foresight to ensure a company’s survival


Coach and former McKinsey consultant Rahul Daswani at the event.

PETALING JAYA: Having the right talent is crucial for companies and organisations to navigate through volatile and unpredictable business environments.

“The key element is to have the right people. Many companies invest in talents to get things done. They will be key in gaining a better sense of what should be done next,” said the founding president of the Center for Asia Leadership Samuel Kim.

“Ultimately, the goal is for a company’s survival and growth.

“A company can either grow, be stuck or decay. Decay can mean that its relevance in the marketplace loses ground,” Kim told StarBiz at the sidelines of the two-day programme entitled “How to think like a futurist: Developing strategic foresight,” on Feb 28 and March 1, conducted by Harvard trained facilitators.

The programme, held at Menara Star, is for working professionals who hold mid to senior level decision-making roles and was presented by Star Media Group and co-organised by the Center for Asia Leadership.

“A CEO doesn’t have all the insights as to how an organisation can survive in such a volatile environment. It boils down to having the right talents and skills, especially foresight skills,” he said.

According to Kim, it is necessary for companies to have an idea of what they should or should not do so that they would not end up being phased out of existence.

“If this is practised, then you have a higher chance of knowing what needs to be done to ensure survivability,” he said.

According to Kim, it is important for company leaders to take an interest in what’s happening around the world.

“One must have a continuous learning mind. This is the first step.

“In this context, you will have a certain sense of urgency.

“You also need to know what some of your weaknesses are, the skills and mindset that you will need to survive in the future,” he said.

Meanwhile, coach and former McKinsey consultant Rahul Daswani said it was a matter of attitude, which is important to keep a company on top of its game.

“First, you need to have the humility to accept that things need to change and improve every day.

“You can’t just think that things are great and you’re always on top of your game.

“Secondly, there needs to be an environment of openness where feedback can be shared with a company’s leadership,” Daswani pointed out.

He said there should be a general empowerment of the people within an organisation so that the best ideas on how to move forward could be discovered.

“This would then result in the people feeling happier and also the company doing better.

“It’s really about stretching our imaginations to move beyond what is obvious to consider things beyond what the probable outcomes are.

“They would need to think about what is plausible, possible and preferred.

“It’s thinking about what kind of preferable outcomes that one would like to see and how they would like to get there,” Daswani added.

Among the participants of the programme were the Defence Ministry, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Monash University Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Maxwell Pharma Sdn Bhd.

Learn more about the Center for Asia Leadership’s programmes in strategic foresight and adaptive leadership here at bit.ly/lead-asia.

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