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This blog has been designed most for the benefits of my students. I am interested in spiritual intelligence because I believe it leads to happiness and resilience. If you want copies of my published research (conference papers or articles in journals), feel free to contact me.

Ridhwan (

My other blog is:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lifting the coconut shell

Well, I am back from my holidays. I started teaching at UIA in January 2010, about six months ago. So what do I want to do with this blog in the future? Here are my thoughts

1. Softskills are still important because they form a key aspect of the Knowledge - Skills - Attitude that makes people employable

2. The 'hard part' of softskills (understanding processes, mapping processes, developing a systems perspective) is still a major focus. That can only be mastered once the basic softskills have been acquired

3. The ultimate aim though is to make UIA students feel optimistic about their future by helping them remove the cocunut shell that some people are trying to hide under. That is why I have included some news items about some of the economic problems in Europe. We are so used to seeing problems in our own countries that we forget that the problems in other countries - countries that look like they are more successful - are sometimes worse.

During my holiday, I met some old friends. One of them asked me why I left Europe and moved to Malaysia. I explained that, in my opinion, Europe is in a process of decay. Things are 'falling apart' whether politically, economically or socially. Malaysia, on the other hand, is a society that is in the process of being built. Yes, there are many things that are lacking. But there is a big difference between lacking something because your house is falling down and lacking something because your house is not yet completely finished. There was no disagreement from my friends about my opinion.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Subsidies in France

Throughout this blog, I make the point that management problems are complex. If we fail to understand that complexity, we will make decisions that have side effects. My father, who lives in France, told me the following story a few days ago. In order to develop green energy in France, the French government now gives subsidies that reduce the cost of installing sun panels by 50%. Before the subsidy; sun panels cost about Euros 3,000. After the subsidy started, the price of installing solar panels jumped to Euros 5,600 !

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Creativity, communication and holistic a perspective

Leaders, as all my students know, focus on changing organisations. First, they need to 'see' the situation differently. Second, they need to communicate that new perspective to their followers. Third, they need to see how all the different parts of the organisation interact (dependency). I attach an old photo of an exercise in creativity. I gave my students one newspaper, one roll of tape and one brick. They had to build the tallest structure in order to support a brick. The group in the photo managed 1 m 35 cm. After the exercise, I asked them if they thought they could complete the task. They said that they didn't think it was possible..... so challenge your perception and you will become a good leader.

Another soft skills session