OPENING REMARKS BY MR LEE YI SHYAN
Chairman, Business China
At launch of Centre for Creative Leadership’s (CCL) New Office
23 August 2019
John Ryan, President and CEO of the Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL),
Ellisa Mallis, MD and VP for CCL APAC
Ladies and gentlemen,
2. I first got to know CCL 20 years ago. I attended the LAP program at Colorado Spring in the fall of 1999. This self-reflective and soul-searching program inspired me. One of my portfolios in EDB then was Director Human Resources. I figured that Singapore and our HR industry would be better off with a full suite of CCL’s program offerings. So the courtship ensued. Three years later, CCL decided to establish its first Asian Campus in Bukit Merah, Singapore.
3. Since then, CCL Singapore has helped develop many leaders in public and private of Singapore. It has added new competencies in HR practices here. From Singapore, CCL has also expanded its footprints to Gurgaon and Shanghai. As one of the top global provider of executive education for nearly 2 decades, particularly in the field of leadership development, I must say that CCL under John’s outstanding leadership has done extremely well, in becoming a world-class leadership development institute with global reach, impacting lives of numerous people through the leaders it develops.
4. Today, we operate in a most uncertain and volatile world. Rising trade tensions between China and US are threatening to split the world up from all the globalisation efforts since World War II. A hard Brexit casts dark clouds over the prospect of a relevant EU. Closer to home, ongoing demonstrations and riots in Hong Kong make us worry about the stability of the region. Are we soon entering into a global recession? What would be the ways out?
5. True leadership will be needed and tested in this tumultuous time. We need leaders who have great visions for tomorrow, who have the trust of their people, and are able to mobilise them to take tough but correct decisions for the collective good, to emerge from crisis and help us in safe-landing.
6. In Singapore, we are acutely aware that we are a very small nation with little resources. We believe in investing in every child to bring out the best in them. At the National Day Rally held last weekend, PM Lee announced our plan to expand the capacity of our pre-school education, and provide more bursary grants to students coming from financially needy background in institute of higher learning. If I borrow a military saying, it will be “leaving no one behind as we progress as one people”.
7. Leadership development is a life-long commitment. Succession planning is not left to chance. Many of you know that the next general election is not far away. I think this election, which marks the transition of our political leadership from 3G to 4G, will be a very significant one with profound implications. The fundamental question we have to ask: “How do we ensure Singapore continues to prosper, that our children will have a bright and exciting future in their generation?”.
8. Singapore is an accidental nation but has done several fundamental things right to survive. Let us continue this journey of learning and growth. Let us hope to discover committed and capable men and women of the right values to lead this nation forward. In that way, all our efforts in leadership development will have been worthwhile. Thank you.