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PENANG, 12 September 2023 - In line with the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Strategic Plan for 2022-2024 which aims to develop competitive talents to meet national and global needs, USM Pusat Transformasi Insan (PTI) today held the second series of ‘Accelerating High-Potential Leaders Programme (A-Lead)’, a talent development programme for the university’s Deputy Heads of Departments.
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The programme was developed with the aim of strengthening competence in resource management, including aspects of succession planning, and optimizing resources effectively and efficiently in many of the decision-making processes.

The objectives of the programme are:

  1. to unleash their internal innovative talents by embracing forward-thinking practices regarding resources;
  2. to analyse critical real-world challenges, develop creative and strategic solutions; and
  3. to equip participants with wise and efficient resource management skills to build resilience and succeed in facing unexpected disruptions.

USM PTI Senior Assistant Registrar, Nurul Izzati Rozali gave an overview on the Talent Development Competency Framework involving seven core areas, whereby the primary focus is on resource management and strategic thinking.

"PTI is responsible for shaping related programmes to strengthen competencies in order to optimise the existing resources in the university," she said.

The programme included a presentation by the lecturer from the USM School of Civil Engineering, who was also the President of Pemandu APEX USM and former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic and International, Professor Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Farhan Mohd Sadullah. His presentation was entitled the ‘“True North” for USM: The APEX Agenda and The Role of the Middle Management Team’.

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During the presentation, Ahmad Farhan discussed on the role and the purpose of the middle management team in the University in achieving the goals of the USM APEX agenda which encompasses their crucial role in implementing strategies and initiatives in fulfilling the mission and vision of USM being the university’s focus.

He provided an overview of the organisational structure of USM APEX, offered a summary of the APEX Journey, and presented the overall Blue Ocean Strategy canvas for the USM APEX agenda.

“Our reputation as a leading institution in Malaysia also serves as a benchmark for other universities and for the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) Malaysia, serving as their reference in several key areas.

“USM is a pioneering, transdisciplinary research-intensive university. Our identity serves a purpose to empower future talents and enable the bottom billion to transform their economic well-being,” he said.

Ahmad Farhan also emphasized that the term 'students', which encompasses not only undergraduates or postgraduates, but also professionals, representatives from the MOHE, and members of various industries.

“Anyone whom we impart knowledge to and nurture falls under this umbrella. Our role is to empower these individuals, for empowerment entails applying knowledge to create tangible outcomes,” he stated.

In his closing remarks, he hoped that his presentation would explains how participants could understand and see their role as the middle-managers towards helping the University to fulfill the mission and vision statement of the APEX agenda.

The second series of A-LEAD programme took place from 12 to 13 September 2023, involving a total of 40 USM Deputy Deans and Deputy Directors from various departments (PTJ) within USM.

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On the same day of the programme, there were presentations entitled "Strategic Thinking: Think Wide, Think Deep" by the Dean of the USM School of Management (SOM), Professor Dr. Noor Hazlina Ahmad; and "Strategic Insights: Matrix and Action Plans" delivered by the Deputy Dean of SOM, Professor Dr. Hasliza Abdul Halim.
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Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi/Photo: Shahnizam Ab Rahim
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