L.E.A.D Programme: Cultivating and sustaining leadership at all levels

The organisation

Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) is Malaysia's Convergence Champion and No. 1 Converged Communications Services Provider. TM offers a comprehensive range of communication services and solutions in broadband, data and fixed-line. TM places emphasis on delivering an enhanced customer experience and continues serving customers with its comprehensive offerings, delivering a seamless digital experience and integrated business solutions to meet their lifestyle and business communication needs - towards “Life and Business Made Easier for a Better Malaysia”.

The business issues

TM’s newly appointed General Managers (GMs) and Assistant General Managers (AGMs) play a critical role in TM’s success. They are the lynch-pin in ensuring that the organisation’s products and services are delivered in a way which is consistent with TM’s brand and market positioning. As they transition from their areas of technical expertise to becoming TM’s leaders of people, innovation and transformation, the GMs and AGMs are positioned to leave their mark on the company’s proud and rich history through ensuring sustainable growth for the organisation.

The development challenge

Lead, Excel And Deliver (L.E.A.D) is a leadership development programme intended to help the new GMs and AGMs assimilate both the way of thinking and the capabilities required to support their transition into more senior leadership roles across the organisation, as well as assuming the mind-set of an adaptive and technical leader who can navigate TM through a rapidly changing volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) business environment characterised by intense competition, technological and regulatory changes.
Tan Sri Dato' Sri Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa, Group Chief Executive Officer, TM, set the development challenge for the participants by saying, “At TM, we are now entering another period of massive change and it will be up to you, as our future leaders, to lead the organisation through this”.

The programme

In line with TM’s goal of cultivating and sustaining leadership at all levels, the aim of the L.E.A.D Programme is to accentuate and refine the leadership capabilities of TM’s leaders whilst delivering increased individual and organisational capability. The programme has been conducted solely in Malaysia.

The modules consist of:

Module 1: Leading a High Performance Organisation

The focus here is on the participants as leaders and how, through deepening their self-awareness, they could inspire their colleagues to achieve the required levels of productivity as well as create a high performance culture at both a team and organisational level.

Module 2: Leading Change and Innovation

Here, the focus turned from an inward view on personality and leadership style to an outward look at how, as a leader, the participants could engage with their colleagues and teams during transformational change and create an organisational culture in which a spirit of ‘can do’ innovation could thrive.

The learning methodology is a blended solution to integrate webinars, 1:1 coaching and strategic group projects sponsored by Executive Team members of TM. Local coaches support the coaching sessions and facilitate the Action Learning Group project sessions. These projects are real business for the company as they are correlate to the key elements of TM’s Vision, for example; revenue growth, innovation, customer experience and operational excellence.

Each project constitutes a wicked problem which presents complexities, tensions and dilemmas requiring a leadership response, rather than a tame problem requiring more of a management response, and has implications and consequences across several functions and business units.

Why Cranfield?

After a considerable selection process, TM chose Cranfield School of Management to partner with in developing this customised programme.

Siau Swee Furn, General Manager, Group Human Capital Management, commented that “as one of the top ranking business schools in the world, this collaboration gives TM access to a unique breadth of world-class faculty and a highly experienced team of learning experts with an innovative learning approach. Cranfield is also a unique management school which offers strong industry links and ‘real world’ focus”.

Partnering with Cranfield has provided TM with new and emerging tools, knowledge and frameworks that will keep their future leaders updated with the current business environment. This will enable them to instill a change in mindset and develop change agents among their future leaders in order to drive the organisational strategy and plan towards meeting TM’s goals.

Furn, adds; “The Cranfield team and faculty have been very professional as they have provided TM with extensive knowledge through their broad experience and understanding of the corporate world. The team always brings real-life adaptable leadership skills and industry case studies that are related to our business needs. Their flexible approach has allowed us to customise the contents of the programme according to TM’s strategic directions and goals”. 

Making the difference

This development programme in TM builds and enriches the capabilities and competencies of the organisation’s employees. Additionally, TM continuously strengthens its leadership pipeline in order to support and achieve TM’s aspirations and goals.

Furn says, “we have seen several cohorts completing the L.E.A.D programme with a number of graduates successfully transitioning into leadership positions. The programme has also developed the leadership styles of our individuals, as well as further enhancing the capabilities of our high-potential, future leaders.

She goes on to say, “the completed cohorts agreed that the L.E.A.D programme delivered a great development opportunity and a unique training approach, which helped to improve their leadership performance. The contents of the modules were interesting; especially on the behavioral and psychological aspect of the learning. All this combined means we are creating a new generation of holistic TM leaders”.