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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Over-hyped bozos running GLCs

Sulaiman Kamal | 10:19 AM | | Best Blogger Tips

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The greatest disservice the government does to Malay economic advancement is the creation of government-linked companies (GLCs).
They have only served to crowd out fair competition and as a result, stifle the emergence of robust Bumi business people. They run with the Malay hares and hunt with the corporate dogs.
So, if we really understand the problem, the least damaging solution is to dismantle most of the GLCs.
That decision will only damage a small number of people but can benefit a larger number.

Corporate corruption is concealed by our misconception that those with advanced degrees and first- class qualifications are naturally good in whatever they are tasked to do.
That seems to be an exception rather than a rule in Malaysia.
In the history of business in Malaysia, no business organisations of any repute have been created by first-class nerds and overhyped managers.
They are good at only that – making great impressions of managing businesses which are not their own.
Since the feeling of “ownership” isn’t there, the business in hand becomes a playground to test out their limited capabilities often to disastrous results. Frankly, the degrees they have are over-hyped.
Bozos at work
The curricula of their fields of expertise may be out of touch with real-world demands, and many programmes they followed have a culture that turns a blind eye to cheating.
Perhaps that explains the widespread white-collar crime in the country.
Corporate shenanigans are cleverly disguised behind business terms – downsizing, balance sheet rationalisation, assets rearrangement and other management hocus-pocus.
What data there are suggests that businesses headed by the much-touted brain boxes have not been very effective.
Most of our managers are moulded after the image of Al “Chainsaw” Dunlap. Remember him?
His theory is, you cut costs by laying off thousands of workers, selling valuable assets.
If you are there because you want to make more money, rather than because you’re really interested in how that particular business functions, you’ll probably mess up everything.
There’s too much emphasis on management theory and too little on developing practical skills.
We pretend that any bozo with excellent academic records should be a great manager right out the gate, regardless of real-world experience.
While many have worked in business, many of them have never managed people and thus lack the perspective to apply the management theory that they learn.
Lacking sense of purpose
Management is just too complex a human behaviour to be effectively taught in a classroom environment.
If you don’t have some significant experience working with, above, or below other people, you will not really appreciate the full extent of the material.
You pluck them out from somewhere and plonk them in some cushy positions and hope they will do the magic.
Here’s another punch. Those who decide where these academic mafias go have the notion that these young bucks automatically make great managers are probably people who don’t have management potential themselves.
They are easily led into believing these boys and girls have the ability and talents.
When these people come up with such esoteric terms like Key Performance Index or KRA, they think, that’s out of the world. But what’s really missing is a sense of purpose.

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