Taking a leap to lead
12 Mar 2019 | Yap Yoke Wah, Gamuda Berhad Head of Talent Management & Organisational Development and Head of Gamuda Learning Centre.

According to a McKinsey research, the construction sector is one of the largest in the world economy, with about US$10 trillion spent.
However, its productivity growth averaged at only 1% per year over the past two decades.

The ability to react to change is important and only good can come from preparing ourselves for change.

Last month at Gamuda, we launched the Lead to Leap initiative, which was conceived to promote a culture of nurturing and developing our employees into greater leaders.

Gamuda needs to build more leaders who can take on critical roles and are adaptable to constant change, especially since our projects are expanding overseas.

We have our eyes set on expanding to Singapore, Vietnam and Australia – and we need the readied talent for this.

Our workforce ranges from very young, fresh employees to very senior, experienced ones.

This is a rich talent pool, where we can leverage each other’s strengths and experiences to elevate the organisation to the next level.

My job is to get these different generations to work together effectively towards the same goal.

This includes changing the way we manage our talent so that we nurture their leadership abilities and in so doing, retain them as our leaders of tomorrow.
After all, they are helping to build important infrastructure for the country and they need to be empowered to fully understand that whatever work they are doing, they are making an impact.

Taking a leap to lead
From left: Organisational Advisor & Coach Jenny Ooi, Deputy Group Managing Director Danny Rashdan, and President & Managing Consultant, Linkage Asia of Linkage Inc. at the Leap to Lead Leaders’ Dialogue

At the Leap to Lead launch event, we brought in external speakers to provide insights alongside our very own Deputy Group Managing Director Danny Rashdan and Gamuda Group Human Resources and Admin Senior General Manager Wong Lye Ling, under the reasoning that having external insights would be the first step towards this change of culture.

Change doesn’t happen overnight, so we will be organising a series of talks for the rest of the year to keep motivating and inspiring our employees towards fulfilling their leadership potential.

We will also be encouraging employees to understand the importance of developing their soft skills too.

The key takeaway here is that everyone should demonstrate leadership, regardless of their role or seniority.

Gamuda has proven itself as a leader in the industry and we want to keep striving to be the best.

To the young and driven, I say learn how to persevere and be persistent.
If you believe in an idea, you must be able to put into consideration the business impact or result; otherwise there will be no buy-in.

After all, we are running a business and management will always prioritise business results.

As for those managing a team, you’re equally accountable for the business results, so treat your current employer like your own business and adopt the entrepreneur mindset.

Be willing to take risks – even if we just experiment with small risks first, whether it’s business or people.

It’s important in the current disruptive environment of the construction industry to take a leap and lead the change, rather than remain complacent.

To all I say: Gamuda has been a good company for the past forty years or so.
So how now can we move forward together to make it a great one?

*Source: Reinventing Construction A Route To Higher Productivity, by Mckinsey&Company