The morning of 24 January 2018 marked another milestone in the history of PETRONAS ICT as 213 colleagues stepped forward to receive their certificates of completion.
With a sense pride and accomplishment in their eyes, the dedication, effort and juggling between work commitments had finally paid off. They were now the latest batch of graduates of the PETRONAS ICT Leadership Academy.
Comprising non-executives, executives, managers and heads of departments, the new graduates had not only completed a journey to improve themselves but fulfilled a larger mission of shared success; putting themselves forward as future leaders for the greater good of PETRONAS.
In her graduation commencement speech, PETRONAS ICT Chief Leadership Officer and Head of Strategic Communications Michele Lum praised the graduates and described the journey and birth of the Leadership Academy.
"I still remember the humble beginnings for this Leadership Academy. Back in 2015, the early days of 'Corporate Development' - everyone was invited to take on stretch roles and assignments that would allow the leader and employee to develop additional skills; and while doing that, produce outcomes that would benefit the overall organisation - be it PETRONAS ICT and our larger universe called the PETRONAS Group.
Corporate Development was about getting outside of one's day-to-day job and comfort zone. It was about picking up an additional skill, learning about other functions within the organization and at best, addressing a pain point for the organisation.
As fate would see fit, I was given the assignment to develop future leaders within PETRONAS ICT in 2015. It took 20 months to deliver the Future Leaders Programme – from concept to graduation – and in October 2016, 20 future leaders graduated from the programme.
Backed by the success of the Future Leaders Programme, we launched the PETRONAS ICT Leadership Academy to a larger pool of employees in November 2016, with the vision to develop leaders at all levels.” - Michele Lum
It was indeed a proud moment for Michele as she congratulated the 2017 graduates. She commended each one of them for having the right attitude for learning, which were humility to recognise that they could still learn and the courage to step up to improve themselves through the Leadership Academy programmes.
Another inspirational highlight of the graduation ceremony included a presentation by Managing Director of Narrative: The Business of Stories Anjali Sharma. Anjali delivered a keynote entitled 'Learning to Learn', where she persuaded the audience to re-examine their views and thoughts on leading and learning.
"Good leaders have two ways they look at leading and learning which are (firstly) 'what to learn', 'what matters' and 'what's relevant'. The second is that leaders have a knack for learning – they know how to learn.
We should look at learning as an opportunity and develop the skills that will set us apart from everybody else. Experience and interactions with learning will define what sort of worker we become."
Supporting Anjali's views, Head of Enterprise Information Security (EIS), PETRONAS ICT & EIM Dr. Amir A Samad, a graduate of LEAD 3, delivered a short speech at the ceremony. Having been a keen student for many years to eventually earn his doctorate degree, Dr. Amir talked about never being too old to learn and described learning as a lifelong experience as well as the challenges he faced when he participated in the LEAD 3 programme.
Building on the success of the LEAD programmes and moving forward to produce more future leaders, it was announced by Michele, in her closing remarks that PETRONAS ICT Leadership Academy has integrated with the PETRONAS Leadership Center to offer online courses through the Harvard ManageMentor program. This program offers every employee the opportunity to learn from a world-class syllabus at his/her own pace, anytime, anywhere. Group ICT employees are encouraged to take three (3) modules per year and course selections are now available on myLearning.
I hope you took away good knowledge and valuable insights from your trainers and peers within your cohort. I hope the program sparked a hunger in you to continue your learning journey and a desire to become a leader, who lives out the PETRONAS Cultural Beliefs and seeks to develop and inspire others to do even greater things for the greater good of this company” – Michele Lum
There was an air of accomplishment and to an extent – relief, when the LEAD 4 graduates were called up to receive their certificates and books presented by PETRONAS ICT Chief Executive Officer Redza Goh and Anjali Sharma respectively – a fitting end to six months of juggling busy schedules with workshops, 12-week mobile learning and assignments. Redza was then joined by Michele to present the certificates and gifts to the graduates of LEAD 1, 2 and 3 programmes.
The facilitators for the LEAD programs were also presented with a token and certificate of appreciation, as well as a Focused Recognition for demonstrating 'Nurture Trust' and 'Shared Success' in their efforts to ensure the successful delivery of the LEAD programmes.