MBA CSEA Asian Conference: Reflections from a New Attendee

Tanby: Tanya Menzel, HKUST

Having literally worked in the MBA world for less than 24 hours when I arrived in Singapore, the CSEA Asia Conference was my introduction to the industry – and what an incredible welcoming it was.

After being greeted by our very friendly, and very encouraging Conference Chairs –Kate Montgomery and Peter Guilioni –I was itching to get into the pre-conference masterclass. Coming from a traditional L&D background, the VUCA topic was of huge interest, having seen many of our clients re-designing their leadership programs in an attempt to equip their leaders with the skills needed to survive in this Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous world.

Eliza Quek, Director, Terrific Mentors International did an amazing, dare I say ‘terrific’, job of facilitating this session and sharing with us her thoughts and experience in developing VUCA strategies. She confirmed that there is currently a mismatch between the more ‘traditional’ academic world and the ‘current’ world, requiring more balance to include the development of new world skills – with a standout being ‘Agile’.

Agile is fundamentally about people, learning and change – and so the question remains – are we providing our candidates with enough real world experiences and visibility to truly grasp the uncertainty of today’s rapidly changing economic and business environment?  As Eliza explains, this could be as simple as teaching the often un-taught – how to write, sell, start a business or create a niche market. Mobility and flexibility are key, and these core skills will foster success in international organizations who now heavily rely on these specific talents.

The master class was the perfect foundation for the two days that were to follow – with many of the discussions, be it around hiring trends, attracting and retaining millennial talent or candidate sourcing – linking back to an individuals ability to thrive in a VUCA world.

I left the conference energized – ready to embrace my new role, and counting down the weeks until I can reunite with my new family at the global conference in Atlanta.

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