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Saturday, 12 December 2009

The PM and his KPIs

Will there be a cabinet reshuffle? Some people are praying hard there wouldn't. It isn't because they are happy with the present crop of leadership. They are wishing there wouldn't be any because if there is, there will be some glimmer of hope that the bĂȘte noir of many, the leader of the UMNO Youth may be considered for a post.

Already, there are concessionary tones suggesting that the UMNO Youth Leader is more suited to a role as a leader in the back benches. He is doing a good job there. He has spoken in the fashion of a superb Parliamentarian. You know, all those congratulatory flattery designed, to keep the ketua Pemuda in his present place- outside the corridors of power.

Then, there are those people who have even campaigned in Blogosphere persuading the PM not to entertain any thoughts of admitting the youth leader. He is a liability, they proclaimed. Never before has a ketua Pemuda been shunned by the mainstream media they insist. Suddenly the msm is being hailed as respectable accreditation body whereas all this while, the msm is treated like a leper.

Whether there will or will not be a cabinet reshuffle is independent of the political future the UMNO Youth Leader. The PM decides on one, if there are compelling reasons to do so.

As far as I can remember, no sitting PM has ever informed the Press of any cabinet reshuffle. Tun Dr Mahathir was the unchallenged master at fending off the insisting Press. He would always say- that's news to me and even asked the Press to name who is going out and in. He has asked maybe the Press knows what he doesn't.

The current PM maybe hasn't reached the level of sarcasm and poker faced repartee set by the undisputed grandmaster. He has said there would be no cabinet reshuffle.

It has also been the rule rather than exception, that when any sitting PM says there is no cabinet reshuffle, the opposite happens. A reshuffle does indeed take place.

Look at the tell tale signs.

The cabinet will be away at a retreat brainstorming on KPI- supposedly the mechanism by which the PM as leader, reins in members of his administration. It is not possible to expect ministers, deputy ministers or members of the administration to score high marks and with uncharacteristic uniformity.

Some will score well. Others don't. We don't know what measures the PM uses. But I am hoping that before the PM evaluates the handiwork of members of his administration, he looks first at their persons.

I hope with Idris Jala there, he will use the time honored and tested HAIR assessment methodology used by Shell companies worldwide. The Singapore government swears by this method.

It is essential to measure the person first. Then you measure his handiwork. Bad leaders produce mediocre results. Bad leaders underperformed. Petty minded leadership material focuses on petty things. These elements must go.

First of all, we asses our leaders in terms of their helicopter qualities- i.e. ability to soar above petty things and ability to see the bigger picture. What is the bigger picture? Only the PM can define what it is.

Perhaps the bigger picture is national unity. This calls for sacrificing certain policies. Faster economic growth for instance requires giving up certain inhibitive policies. Greater racial tolerance may require scrapping outdated BTN curriculum. I don't know. The PM defines. He is the boss. Then he will measure which of his people are nearer to his definition. Maybe he has an objective scale. Those at the lower end, have to be released.

Next he measures their analytical abilities. Have degrees or not. Whether you like it or not, a degree measures some innate intelligence. It's your ability to dissect things, to understand faster. A candidate on the lower reaches may have to be told many times before understanding the matter at hand.

The brighter minister does not need telling that Malay interests are already enshrined in the constitution. He is unfazed and understands the futility of belaboring the obvious.

A good leader must have imagination. This is a quality involving creativity. Always thinking outside the box. He needs to think unconventionally. The good minister is somebody for example who understands the MCA psyche. Not a minister who appears to give ultimatums to MCA.

What happens if you have this one-tracked mind? You get embarrassed. You get spurned. Your idea of having a party election as the only way out gets dumped. Your call for meetings to solve the impasse was met with the MCA's number one being absent, twice!

What kind of stomach ailment does the MCA leader suffer from? He should score well on creative invention of an excuse.

How to solve the MCA crisis? Maybe it's all about giving face. The way you are railroading the MCA leadership is tantamount of not giving them face. Losing face is a big thing in Chinese culture. Kasi muka sikit lah. A little creative thinking is required. Let's get around this MCA impasse by face saving options. OTK, CSL and Liow all value face saving gestures.

You need to have realistic leaders. The realistic leaders accept that a new team is needed to operate on a new and higher octane level. Some people may score high on loyalty scale. They create comfort level to the leader. But giving comfort does not equal to giving competence. Competence is what you require when operating at a higher level.

Having people scoring high in HAIR qualities is more likely to produce people scoring high on KPIs. On the other hand, consistent low scores on KPI measures suggest low HAIR scores and therefore not leadership material.

So when the PM sits with his people to evaluate KPI achievements, it's untenable those with low scores to be still around. The KPI stock taking tells us, a cabinet reshuffle is in the cards.

5 comments:

Anonymous,  12 December 2009 at 12:07  

Very nice analysis. Unfortunately, Malaysian Ministers are politicians. ,even those with a PhD, think with their butts rather than with their heads.

So nothing will change.

Anonymous,  12 December 2009 at 14:15  

MB negri sembilan mat hassan cukup hebat. terbaca dalam suratkhabar baru ni dia kata dia tak tahu undang-undang bahawa salah pakai money changer hantar rm10juta ke london.

Tak sangka kita ada menteri besar yang bodoh-bodoh dalam malaysia ini. rupanya kita selama ini dipimpin oleh mb bodoh.

dengar cerita mat hassan pernah jadi manager maybank di london pada satu masa dulu. maka maybank nampaknya dapat mb bodoh. tak tau undang2.

najib pula entah apa dia buat. buat pekak badak saja. lama-lama umno jadi badak berendam.

Are You Gonna Go My Way,  13 December 2009 at 15:40  

judging from current performance and what came out from their mouth...mostly stupidity and lack of EQ mentality..yes a revamp is needed.

Akal kene mendahului nafsu...tapi nampaknya nafsu mendahului akal..Akal hanya disimpan di lutut..atau buntut.

walla 14 December 2009 at 11:23  

Achieving KPIs only achieves metrics within the confines of the defined performance tables.

The KPIs should not just winnow the weak, instill urgency and crack the whip on professional performance.

They are also to provide a zero-tolerance manifest for leaders to demand cultural mindset and work changes in all their underlings down the ziggurats of the party.

It is no point achieving the best KPIs which can only apply to an organizational level that remains irrelevant to both rakyat and nation.

That would be like improving at what remains bad. It would be just changing the props of the old sandiwara.

In other words, see things from a helicopter view when doing KPIs. In our case, the KPIs are supposed to weaponize leadership to foist mindset change down the lines but, looking at the cojone-less way Umno has been going about it, for instance with Utusan, they better wake up that the rakyat have had enough of sandiwara's. It's like doing one thing, for example increasing tax collection thru' GST, but squandering public funds thru' another (the spreadsheet is too many megabytes to post here).

Or the polishing of real reforms, for example hiding the Project M details behind the now-quietened initiative of a committee to look into the issue (this matter is serious and will come up again soon).

Even Shell's HAIR method to identify potential leaders had had to evolve.
To helicopter view, analytical power, imagination and sense of reality, they have had to add a fifth aspect - complementary qualities of self-confidence and modesty, which breed true leadership.

They argued that without these qualities, failure will come from underestimating or overestimating one's abilities leading one to overreach success or to be too weak to influence others.

In evolving to add the element of operational leadership, the Shell HAIR method dovetailed into the methods developed in the other two Dutch giants: Philips and Dutch Post.

In the former, leadership success factors were the three effectiveness, namely conceptual, interpersonal and operational, and one motivation - achievement - which was about taking risks and working under pressure.

In the latter, they were: thinking powers, interpersonal effectiveness, firmness, ambition and operational power.

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