Confrontation can be pre-emptive step to thwart conflicts.

SERI KEMBANGAN: Confrontation may not be the approach most take in dealing with colleagues but it can be the pre-emptive step to thwart conflicts in an organisation, QI Group executive chairman Datuk Dr Vijay Eswaran revealed.

Eswaran believes that leaders in a company needed to be “open to the idea of confronting and being confronted in order for everyone to arrive on the same page at the end”.

“Taking a leaf from Sun Zi’s Art of War, I believe that one should confront before you conflict,” he said at a session on how industry leaders drive successes for their companies at the World Chinese Economic Forum.

He said although the strategy would take a longer time to bear fruit as it required leaders to have multiple discussions before they could come to an agreement, the results of such practice usually meant a team of leaders who were capable of speaking out and standing up for their opinions.

“I come from a traditional management school of thought where leaders were not suppose to challenge existing practices. Just because something has been in place for a long time doesn’t mean it has to be (continued),” he said of conventional management practices.

As for company strategies, Philippines TA Trade Advisory Groupmanaging director Anthony Amunategui Abad said organisations needed to realise that they had to “think global, operate regional and act local”, adding that a company’s business depended a lot on how the management dealt with local issues.

He said there were still companies that did not see the necessity to move into the global arena but “the sooner you accept that the world is getting smaller, the less frustrated you will be”.

Abad’s advice was to focus on building a niche without sacrificing economic openness and competition and to be familiar with policy-legal-regulatory framework in the countries the businesses want to operate in.

“Often, promising companies suffer losses because they do not know the policies and regulations of the countries they want to engage with,” he said, citing examples of countries rejecting goods due to non-compliance of import regulations or the losing of intellectual property when companies do not register their innovations properly.

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