A pioneer in leadership training, productivity tools and assessment services for organisations and individuals, Leadership Resources Malaysia (LRM) operates in the performance improvement space. Its clients are able to access LRM products and services through corporate trainings, licensed client facilitators, one-on-one coaching, public workshops, and through personalised consulting around leadership culture and execution.
Spearheading a 32-strong workforce, we speak to its managing director, V. Sitham, who shares with Human Resources’ Wani Azahar on celebrating the firm’s 25th anniversary, rebranding plans and leadership trends.
First of all, congratulations on celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary. You must be very proud. Tell us, what has contributed to this success?
First, we differentiate ourselves in two ways to the typical strategy consulting firms and the general training providers in the market.
Strategy consulting firms are high cost, but may have limited impact on business results, while general training providers will have low cost products or services, but a mid to moderate impact on results.
Our approach at LRM, for a lack of a better word, is the best of both worlds. We provide products and services that are comparable – if not superior – to strategy consulting firms while maintaining a very moderate price that’s beneficial to the client. The business impact is far-reaching at an extremely competitive price.
You’ve also appointed some new leaders in the company and grown the Board of Directors. Would you like to share more of who they are and their roles in the company?
We have four board members and four advisors: VS Pandian, who is the founder and the chairman of LRM; V. Sitham, managing director; Prakash Dass, executive director; Chong Pak Hee, head of business development and director; Wong Chuen Foong, senior consultant and executive coach; Norrizah Ismail, senior consultant and facilitator; Kim Yeong, senior consultant and executive coach; and Radzi Zainal, senior consultant and executive coach.
What are their key priorities in their roles?
The roles and responsibilities are all related to managing the business. Due to the nature of our business, most directors and leaders hold more than one role. One key component that we always strive to work towards is the ability of anyone in the respective team to take over the role of the leader in the event it becomes necessary. At least in the short term. I believe this is the leadership trait that we have developed in our people over the years. No job gets uncompleted.
With such a strong pool of leaders, how would you describe the company culture for Leadership Resources Malaysia?
I would deem this as an organisation of 32 leaders. I do not view the organisation as a one-person show. The CEO is a designated role that is in place now to carry out the corporate objectives which have been identifi ed in the company’s vision and mission. That may change tomorrow, and we have created the bench strength to carry the mantle with ease.
As such, the culture is envisioned as one that encompasses the wisdom of all individuals that come in contact with running this business. Everyone in the organisation is required to think like a business person; a person who is very focused on the mission while not neglecting the margin.
We hold regular team meetings, leader meetings and business meetings. In all of these meetings, we welcome candid feedback from all parties concerned, provided they have mutuality in purpose and respect. This is how we have been working together for 25 years in meeting the needs of the marketplace.
Celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary, what does the company have set for the year?
Grow the customer base and be relevant to existing and new clients. With the advent of the All Access Pass (AAP), it will be a momentous task which we are looking forward to. We believe this is the best possible way to reach out to all existing and new clients at all levels.
On the topic of goals, the firm will undergo a rebranding. What are some of the exciting changes we can look forward to?
Rebranding here will mean a repositioning of our offering in the marketplace. We have identified three major areas that we will focus on – brand, trade, and consumer. This will be a two-to-three year expansion strategy.
Everything that we do will be based on these core themes. These themes are in turn based on our growth strategy moving forward.
There are five key components to building a viable business – customer, cash, velocity, margin, and growth. Without a focus on all these items, businesses are doomed for failure. However, the emphasis on each of these items can vary with the life cycle of the firm.
Right now, one of our core focuses is growth. Hence, the rebranding strategy that we have embarked on is in line with this focus on growth.
Talking about embarking on new projects, the company has also launched a few new programmes. Could you share with us more on these programmes?FranklinCovey is synonymous with the best in class research and development on training and consulting. It is absolutely normal for one of the largest training companies in the world to continuously refine and redesign the offerings to meet the needs of the present and shape the path for the future of human capital development in the marketplace.
With that said, LRM is synonymous to FranklinCovey, and as such, the launching of new programmes are essential to us as the future itself. Here they are:
FranklinCovey’s newest innovation solution is titled: Find out WHY: The Key to Successful Innovation. It is intended to help individuals and leaders at every level understand why customers make the choices they do. With this knowledge, they can design solutions that deliver what customers are looking for – which is also what we term as “Job to Be Done.” This programme is intended for anyone whose success depends on serving customers and seeing their success.
Find Out WHY is based on 25 years of research and practice by Clayton M.Christensen, Harvard Business School professor, as well as one of the world’s most influential business leaders; together with Bob Moesta, an insightful practitioner and creator of over 3,000 successful innovations.
The two new leadership programmes that have been released are The 4 Essential Roles of Leadership™ and The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team™. They are positioned to address the needs of mid-to senior management and first-level leaders respectively.
The last of this genre is the 8 Moments of Truth. This is specifically intended for C-suite/owner/director-level professionals. This is a pure coaching/consulting module and is customised for each client specifically.
ALL ACCESS PASS
The All Access Pass (AAP) is a repertoire of over 50 programmes and solutions. This is literally the entire collection of programmes offered to the world and sub-titled in multiple languages by FranklinCovey.
We have positioned the AAP as a way to buy and implement all of the FranklinCovey solutions. It provides the best value at the best price. It is designed, truly, to enable people and organisations everywhere to benefit from the wealth of offerings that FranklinCovey is known for.
It is relatively new in the market, especially in Malaysia and the rest the world. The reception has been good and organisations are keen to explore the full potential of the AAP solution channel. They now have a means to reach out through all three modalities through live person-based training, live online-based training and online-based training on all the solutions under FranklinCovey.
Let’s talk more about leadership on a whole. What do you think are some of the pressing issues in leadership development in today’s industry?
The biggest challenge in leadership development in today’s industry is the lack of “ready-now leaders”. By this, I mean leaders who are not adequately developed to replace or take over their seniors in an instance notice. This fundamentally is the weakness in the leadership pipeline of an organisation. The other two big areas of concern are employee engagement within organisations and fundamental issues around trust in the culture and trust in leadership.
How does Leadership Resources Malaysia aim to address these concerns?
We believe the accumulation of our experience in this market for 25 years, having great people on board, coupled with the wealth of solutions offerings that we carry will enable us to address most of the concerns that organisations and individuals face. This is my humble opinion.