It was no ordinary MBA class last Monday – students on our Managing Human Capital course got to meet and hear from the highest-ranking Australian diplomat in Singapore, High Commissioner Mr Philip Green.
In a candid discussion with students, Mr Green shared the organisational structure and core business and service areas of the Australian embassy in Singapore. He shared the pros and cons of working in an embassy vis-a-vis a typical business enterprise.
With a disparate range of personnel structure and the relatively short-term environment for the staff, including a “concrete ceiling” for local hires, how does he keep his team motivated? “It’s important to treat staff as people first,” he says. “We instill in our team an overall mission and a shared responsibility and privilege of representing Australia, by adhering to key values of honesty and collegiality.” He also shared his views on the importance of individual accountability, a shared sense of purpose and mutual respect to keep his staff motivated.
As one of the modules for NUS MBA students, Managing Human Capital discusses basic theories, concepts, practices and current issues in the management of human capital in organisations. Taught by Associate Professor Darren Hanson, who is known among students for his interactive and experiential way of teaching, the class invites guest speakers to share their insights with students.
“The Australia High Commissioner to Singapore was the ideal speaker for an MBA class in Human Capital Management. First, he runs a complex, matrix-structured and multicultural organization – the Australian High Commission. On a day-to-day basis, he deals with multifaceted interactions between the government he represents, foreign and domestic corporations, and the Singapore government. Lastly, Mr Green has worked at the highest levels in a variety of countries, affording him the opportunity to get a unique and high-level perspective of the interactions of government with a broad cross section of stakeholders,” said Professor Darren Hanson.
Learning beyond books has become essential for today’s managers and such opportunities offer a rich learning experience to our students.
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