Reflections About Learn-A-Thon 2011 (Part 9)

by Patrick Liew on December 16, 2011

In the process of working on the Learn-A-Thon 2011 project, I have to work with many people.

Most of them were initially not from my close circle of friends although I have developed an affinity with many of them during this period of time.

Some of them were total strangers when we embarked on the project.

There were about 250 volunteers, with many of them helping in various ways without having an official title or appointment. For example, one lady took upon herself to approach her friends for donations – even after the project was completed.

We had elderly folks like me and many young people, including our children. There were educated volunteers and not so educated ones, locals and foreigners, males and females, entrepreneurs and employees, managers and junior staff, and people from different culture, communities and countries.

As a result of working with them, I realized I have to change the way I have always managed an organization. I need to reconstruct my leadership framework to excel in the exciting new world.

The traditional way of managing organizations on a hierarchical basis, using command and control have become obsolete.

New models have to be created to respond to the complex environment. The new organization will have to be more organic than hierarchical, neural than linear, and virtual than mechanistic.

The current generation of talents is more inclined to be educated, sophisticated and demanding. They tend to be better informed and more creative.

They want their voices to be heard and to participate in the decision-making process. They have more choices, and they will not simply take instructions.

These talents can also respond with their feet. They will walk out of the door and may not give you a second chance to make things work.

To achieve best practice, I need to become what Warren Bennis call a “leader of leaders.”

I have to position myself as a network manager. I need to lead and harness the resources of the brightest and most talented people to deliver the best solutions.

To use the words of Rosabeth Moss Kanter, I have to be constantly ‘pooling, allying and linking’ different organizations and talents so as to move up the food chain and achieve the best results.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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