It was certainly not a waste of my time. The course really emphasized the importance of trust and how to get these issues out in the open (through cleverly crafted 'crucial conversations') so that employees can "safely" add what they are thinking to those issues instead of quietly (or "deadly" )grumbling about openness, lack of communication and that management is not listening to them etc..
I mind mapped the basic principles of "Crucial Conversation" during the workshop and what it takes to encourage employees to open up. On hindsight, it takes a great organisation to be able to listen to opinions, thoughts, ideas and adopt them where appropriate into its ideabank.
Thus, it takes a great organisation to understand these principles, the ability to recognise the capabilities of its employees and nurture this intellectual talent through cleverly crafted "Crucial Conversation". It would probably help organisations overcome the lack of teamwork and lack of "Innovation" within itself.
Enjoy the map!
Fast forward to 17 March 2013:
An article of a Washington Post interview with PM Lee Hsien Loong was reported by The Straits Times. It was headlined as "Govt will need to be more open". It is a good article to read, as it gives people some ideas about what PM thinks about key issues for Singapore itself.
Somewhere in that long interview, in response to a question that his party has lost some seats in the recent 2011 election, PM responded that it is a different generation, a different society, and the politics will be different... They have to work in a more open way and that they have to accept more of the untidiness and the to-ing and fro-ing which is part of normal politics.
Something struck me is that, could the lost of seats be avoided if "crucial conversation" had taken place years earlier? Is the govt. taking corrective action now in order to avoid further losses in 2016? I believe it is. I don't think they want to lose more. But the guess whether the govt is doing enough or not is on everyone's lips. It is really difficult to satisfy people's wants. Any solutions? Better start to understand the aspirations of the people as early as possible.
Fast forward to 24 March 2013
An article in ST "Singapore dialogues 'have influenced policy making'" catch my interest again with regards to the topic of "crucial conversation".
It was reported that Mr Heng Swee Keat, the Education Minister admitted that [quote] it would have been useful if the consultation process for the recent Population White Paper published in January to a firestorm, had dovetailed with the Our Singapore Conversation (OSC).
He was responding to the view, most recently expressed by PAP MP Denise Phua after the Budget debate, that the White Paper debacle lost the Government goodwill that the national conversation was generating [unquote]
Something struck me is that, wouldn't it be useful to discuss the long term plans of having a population projection of 6.9million during the OSC? More views, ideas, suggestions, could come up!
There is no shortage of all kinds of creative ideas during this Internet Age. Prof Gerard Puccio, the Chair and Professor of the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Bufflao State University, recently in a televised presentation on "Creativity as a Life Skill" said that studies have shown that it is important to have lots of creative ideas instead of having a small number, in order to have the best idea. Please view this excellent presentation if you have the time.
Could the govt have missed this "Crucial Conversation" again by not introducing it during the OSC? It is important that as we mature, it may be good really to listen, search for the truth and invite comments and views no matter how bitter it is, rather than appearing like "it was bulldozing" as one ST reader pointed out. Could there be many more as the authors of "Crucial Conversation" suggest in their book of the same title? Would the opposition parties' views be taken into consideration in the Population Debate? Also, would the opposition parties be willing to participate in a series of nationally televised debate along with govt representatives, like what we had in the 1970's on having an all BUS SYSTEM vs an MRT SYSTEM before selecting. I think, a national debate of this kind would benefit all Singaporeans as eventually, it is a question of winning the hearts and minds of Singaporean. It takes time for people's mind to tune to what is best for Singapore. It may be good not to brush aside this "Crucial Conversation" on 6.9million Population Debate as Singaporeans could end up as losers. Participants for this propose debate could include representatives from the govt., opposition representatives as well as population experts / economists / futurists taking part in this nationally televised programme over, perhaps, 2months? BEFORE parliament sits and come to a consensus as to what is BEST for Singapore. What do you think? Thank you for reading.
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