11 Nov 2020 02:43:44 PM

Taking on The Private Sector: How This Cross Fertilisation Programme Participant Made The Most Out of Her Experience

Photo Credit: Hamizah Farhana Hussein
Taking on The Private Sector: How This Cross Fertilisation Programme Participant Made The Most Out of Her Experience

The Cross Fertilisation Programme is an initiative by the Public Service Department (PSD)’s Special Unit for High Potential and SME Section (SUPREME) to promote knowledge sharing between Government officials and Private Sectors. This includes good practices that can be replicated, emulated, and implemented to improve the public service. As the key partner agency for the programme, TalentCorp’s role is to assist with the placement of Government Officials in various private sectors and industries for a period between 6-12 months. 

We managed to interview Hamizah Farhana Hussein, a participant who was placed with TM ONE, a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia (TM) Berhad, which propels the hyperconnected ecosystem for businesses. She is currently serving as Assistant General Manager of the Business Strategy Division. Hamizah had been working with the Government since 2008, and for the last five years, served the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). She was initially involved in overseeing the development of the Telecommunication and ICT sectors in Malaysia. 

Hamizah shared with us her experience so far with TM ONE, and the lessons she will be taking back with her to the government sector. 

1. What were your initial feelings before you signed on to the programme? How did you feel afterwards as you’re going through it?

When I was selected by the Talent Division of TM to join TM ONE, I was anxious if I was able to meet their expectations. It was overwhelming to gauge the learning curve and to deliver the tasks assigned. Furthermore, my experience has always been in the policymaking process, so this was all new to me. 

This time, the challenge is to be part of the business organisation within the industry—which is a completely different scenario altogether. However, I am now able to clearly see the direction TM ONE is heading, as well as its strengths, limitations, and the strategic measures the company can take to transform. 

2. Tell us about a challenge that you managed to overcome while undergoing the programme.  

The main challenge I faced when I first joined TM ONE was to be accepted, trusted and welcomed as part of the team. It was not easy being an outsider, but it has been a privilege to be a part of a very competitive and highly motivated team of such a reputable organisation. I overcame this challenge by being humble, consistently portraying a positive attitude and a willingness to contribute to the organisation.  

Photo credit: Freepik
One of the skills Hamizah learned during her placement was how to think and plan strategically for the organisation.

3. What are 3 new skills that you have learned from the Cross Fertilisation programme? 

i) Interpersonal Skills: The programme has greatly improved my communication and networking skills. These are essential as they allow me to be productive in a fast-paced workplace environment, while also building strong and positive relationships with colleagues and stakeholders. 

ii) Strategic Thinking and Planning Skills: Working for the Business Strategy Department requires me to develop strategic thinking and planning skills, as I would have to formulate new strategies for the organisation to adapt in an ever-changing industry. I’ve had to do a lot of research on market trends, current issues, frameworks and concepts. Besides that, I’ve been involved in stimulating discussions between leaders as well as negotiations for partnerships with other industry players.  

iii) Articulating Skill: This programme has moulded me into a ‘government ambassador’ attached to a Government-Linked Company (GLC). Hence, it is vital not only for me to keep myself updated with the government’s policies and regulations, but also be able to articulate them to the private sector. 

4. How do you plan to leverage on the skills acquired from the programme for future work? 

As a civil servant, these skills are paramount and useful in the future work as it will revolve around policymaking, negotiations, diplomacy, as well as engaging the industries, associations and the general public. 
I overcame this challenge by being humble, consistently portraying a positive attitude and a willingness to contribute to the organisation." 
Photo Credit: Hamizah Farhana Hussein
One of the best practices that Hamizah picked up from TM ONE is the company’s agile culture.

5. What are the 3 best practices that you’ve learned from your experience at this organisation?  

The 3 best practices that I’ve learned from my experience in the organisation are:

i) The implementation of an agile culture within the organisation, which fits a rapidly-changing market, as it improves efficiency and productivity. For example, TM ONE sends their employees for trainings and certifications with their partner companies.  

ii) The practice of Objectives and Key Results (OKR), a critical thinking framework and goal setting methodology that helps companies to align goals and ensure everyone is working together to achieve them. This approach fosters cross-functional co-operation, spurs individual innovation and ensures all employees are aligned with the organisation’s overarching goal.

iii) The culture of sharing sessions. For instance, employees are assigned to study concepts/trends/current issues and think of ways to apply them at the organisation. We will brainstorm and propose ideas—if they are good, we will share them with the management team. 

6. In your opinion, how does the Cross Fertilisation Programme help strengthen the relationship between the private sector and the government? Where do you see it benefitting Malaysia?

A Cross Fertilisation participant is not only a liaison officer between the private sector and the government. Both parties could also strengthen their relationship by forming a strategic collaboration with each other.  
Furthermore, participants of this programme are trained to be versatile and resilient, and most importantly attuned to the challenges and needs of the industry. This will be useful for their future contributions to the country."

Keen to know more about the Cross Fertilisation Programme and want to explore potential industry partnerships with us? Drop us an e-mail at industrypartnerships@talentcorp.com.my