The three pillars of transformative leadership

  • Since it is readily available, anyone can learn and use disruptive technologies
  • Leverage on the power of collaboration beyond your own company


The three pillars of transformative leadership


AT THE Malaysia Leadership Summit 2019 hosted by Leaderonomics, Manoj Menon (pic), the founder of Twimbit delivered a talk on “Transformative Leadership in the Era of 4th Industrial Revolution.”

For 20 years prior, Menon worked in research at Frost & Sullivan and held the position of senior partner and managing director of Asia-Pacific. “We produced so much research yet so little of that research gets consumed.”

Starting his own company Twimbit, which is an acronym of The World Is Moved By Ideas and Technology, Menon intends to ensure, that “we consume research in a much better way and apply it in our daily lives.”

Based on a simple survey conducted on LinkedIn, Menon found that the single biggest challenge people experience at work is not enough learning.

In the past five to seven years, the number of new companies has spiked. “Because it’s so easy to create a new company. You can now access the best technologies in the world and compete with the best companies on the same footing,” Menon said, adding that small companies have an advantage in terms of agility, speed and ability to disrupt.

To equip ourselves for the pace of change and era of disruption, Menon presents three key things for individuals and companies to study: disruptive technology, business models, and the customer journey.

Speaking of technologies like big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI), Menon says many people still perceive learning about these things to be difficult. However, he stresses the importance of embracing it with easy to access tech and AI tools in the market today.

“It is growing so rapidly that it has permeated our everyday lives and we are using it so much that we don’t even realise it,” he said, citing Netflix and Amazon recommendations as examples.

At US$1, anyone can access technology to bring about exponential growth for themselves. “All these technologies are out there and you can swipe your credit card and use them. Study these technologies,” he advises.

As for changing business models, Menon said the combination of technologies is able to create value for customers in new ways. Among the business models of today are pay as you go (PAYG) where people choose to use a service over owning an asset, such as in the case of Grab, and personalisation, where service feels like it is catered to only one customer.

Beyond that, co-creation is another business model that is becoming increasingly important. “You can never do everything yourself in your company. You have got to open up and allow people to innovate on your platform. You have to create and leverage on the power of partnership,” explains Menon.

The third pillar of differentiation is the customer journey. “Customers don’t just want the product anymore. Every company is making [the same] product. If you take away the brand name and the logo, every brand’s product may be almost the same.”

Menon gave the example of the managing director of DBS Bank urging 300 of his top recruits to take ownership and improve a customer journey together with an IT person and report updates every quarter. “Irrespective of the role you play in your company, you can own an employee or customer journey,” Menon says.


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