Thursday, September 1, 2016

Signs of an Ailing Organization

The global economy is heading south. The Oil & Gas industry, once the mecca of engineering graduates, is still underwater. Many people, at least in Singapore, are out of jobs. It is an understatement that many companies, even conglomerates are facing turbulent times.
There are a few exceptions though. Nintendo, with the new Pokemon-Go craze, is the latest software-technology company racking in millions, while the usual suspects of Facebook, Google and Amazon can’t stop the cash from coming in.
Coming nearer to home, Malaysia and Singapore will build a High-speed Rail that connects Singapore and KL. It should be exciting times for the rail industry. The new MRT system in KL has also received great response.
Being in organizations, be it job-related, NGOs, or charity organizations with a noble cause, I have observed characteristics and trends of strong and less strong organizations. Super big organizations, like Nokia, and Yahoo have showed that being wiped out from your core business is always possible.
The discussions below will focus only on large organizations, and employees/members of more than 150.
So, what are the signs of an ailing organization?
Financially weak / uncertain business outlook
Suppose that an organization is grasping for funds, or the balance sheet is not rosy, for the past couple of years, even the right initiatives done seem wrong.  I think I finally agree with the notion that, business and finance people are the best fits for the top posts, or rather, most ruthless when they go all out to tidy up the accounts.
Take TNB for an example. TNB has been enjoying great growth after CK, the CEO with Accountancy background, left. The cost cutting measures and austerity plans he introduced earned him a bad name, among the thousands of employees. But, it ensured that the GLC had a sound financial health, and had a strong cash reserve.
Outdated business strategy / operation model
Needless to say. If the strategy is just mere cost cutting, or retrenchment, quite obvious isn’t it? I am aware that organizations are going into arrangement of unpaid leaves, which is fine. The top management should always get the message around transparently and clearly.
A top management that micro-manages
When someone from the top zooms in on daily routines, something isn’t right.
Lack of motivational leaders. Full of managers.
Managers manage, leaders motivates the team. You may be wary of your manager, but you would follow your leader thru thick and thin.
A work culture that stops progressing. People are more interested to protect their rice bowls / to pass time
No one dares to move.
Poor succession planning
No one is there to take over. I still believe that no one is irreplaceable in an organization. It’s just that, those who are left behind will go thru a torrid time.


So, my 1-year stint in Singapore came to an end yesterday, on Malaysia’s Independence Day. It had been a superb year. I am much more confident in Electrical Maintenance. It’s a shame I couldn’t stay longer, as another year or two would be perfect as an engineer.
Walking between and Singapore and Malaysia was interesting
In the same time, we all knew staying was unattainable. This just show how a ship to capsize with the wrong captain.
@Raffles Marina in my over-all
I will leave for Glasgow on the 10th of September. A brand new adventure. Never in my dreams that I would be studying overseas. I will be pursuing Masters in Electronics & Electrical Engineering with Management at University of Glasgow, under a Chevening Scholarship.
Chevening Scholarship is open for registration till the end of November. Do go to and apply. Last year this time, while still in KL looking for my next move, I applied for the scholarship, and now, I am on my way to The UK in 9 days.
With British High Commissioner V. Treadall at the BHC Residence at Jalan Langgak Golf, KL
Life’s been unpredictable.  
I have a mission, to graduate with flying colours, and to do my country proud. It’s be the best National Day present to Malaysia next year – 60 years of independence. There are many issues in Malaysia, but we as citizen, should act and fix it, rather than sitting still and complain. 
Spent last weekend in Sydney. It was IET PATW Asia Pacific Finals, and my last CC-AP meeting. It's been a great 3 years with CC-AP. Joining The IET ( has been one of the best decisions in my life. 
PATW has come a long way, since the days I competed in Hong Kong, in 2007. It's the showcase event of IET globally.
Congrats to everyone.
Had a semi-vacation at Coogee Beach
YPS Malaysia team
Opera House
If you ask me where I am heading in life, I honestly couldn't tell.
But within 2 weeks, I will be in Singapore, Sydney, and then Scotland.

Staying positive is key