Today, Knowledge Management today are not limited merely to : (A) 'knowing' or 'reading lots of books/scholarly articles' or (B) data mining, analysis, decision making, preventive actions, or (C) some Human Resources Management issue or (D) some ICT issue. Knowledge Management is about putting your knowledge, skills and competency into practice and most important IT WORKS! For you and your company or your business (Nik Zafri)

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Email: nikzafri@yahoo.com, nikzafri@gmail.com

Kelantanese, Alumni of Sultan Ismail College Kelantan (SICA), Diploma (Management), IT Competency Cert, Certified Written English Professional US. Has participated in many seminars/conferences (local/ international) in the capacity of trainer/lecturer and participant.

Affiliations :- Council Member of Gerson Lehrman Group NY, Institute of Quality Malaysia, Malaysian Institute of Management, Malaysian Occupational Safety and Health Professionals Association, Auditor ISO 9000 IRCAUK, Auditor OHSAS 18000 (SIRIM and STS) /EMS ISO 14000:2004 and Construction Quality Assessment System (CONQUAS, CIDB (Now BCA) Singapore),

* Possesses 26 years of experience/hands-on in the multi-modern management & technical disciplines (systems & methodologies) such as Knowledge Management (Hi-Impact Management/ICT Solutions), Quality (TQM/ISO), Safety Health Environment, Civil & Building (Construction), Manufacturing, Motivation & Team Building, HR, Marketing/Branding, Business Process Reengineering, Economy/Stock Market, Contracts/Project Management, Finance & Banking, etc. He was employed to international bluechips involving in national/international megaprojects such as Balfour Beatty Construction/Knight Piesold & Partners UK, MMI Insurance Group Australia, Hazama Corporation (Hazamagumi) Japan (with Mitsubishi Corporation, JA Jones US, MMCE and Ho-Hup) and Sunway Construction Berhad (The Sunway Group of Companies). Among major projects undertaken : Pergau Hydro Electric Project, KLCC Petronas Twin Towers, LRT Tunnelling, KLIA, Petronas Refineries Melaka, Putrajaya Government Complex, Sistem Lingkaran Lebuhraya Kajang (SILK), Mex Highway, KLIA1, KLIA2 etc. Once serviced SMPD Management Consultants as Associate Consultant cum Lecturer for Diploma in Management, Institute of Supervisory Management UK/SMPD JV. Currently – Associate/Visiting Consultants/Facilitators, Advisors for leading consulting firms (local and international) including project management. To name a few – Noma SWO Consult, Amiosh Resources, Timur West Consultant Sdn. Bhd., TIJ Consultants Group (Malaysia and Singapore) and many others.

* Ex-Resident Weekly Columnist of Utusan Malaysia (1995-1998) and have produced more than 100 articles related to ISO-9000– Management System and Documentation Models, TQM Strategic Management, Occupational Safety and Health (now OHSAS 18000) and Environmental Management Systems ISO 14000. His write-ups/experience has assisted many students/researchers alike in module developments based on competency or academics and completion of many theses. Once commended by the then Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia for his diligence in promoting and training the civil services (government sector) based on “Total Quality Management and Quality Management System ISO-9000 in Malaysian Civil Service – Paradigm Shift Scalar for Assessment System”

Among Nik Zafri’s clients : Adabi Consumer Industries Sdn. Bhd, (MRP II, Accounts/Credit Control) The HQ of Royal Customs and Excise Malaysia (ISO 9000), Veterinary Services Dept. Negeri Sembilan (ISO 9000), The Institution of Engineers Malaysia (Aspects of Project Management – KLCC construction), Corporate HQ of RHB (Peter Drucker's MBO/KRA), NEC Semiconductor - Klang Selangor (Productivity Management), Prime Minister’s Department Malaysia (ISO 9000), State Secretarial Office Negeri Sembilan (ISO 9000), Hidrological Department KL (ISO 9000), Asahi Kluang Johor(System Audit, Management/Supervisory Development), Tunku Mahmood (2) Primary School Kluang Johor (ISO 9000), Consortium PANZANA (HSSE 3rd Party Audit), Lecturer for Information Technology Training Centre (ITTC) – Authorised Training Center (ATC) – University of Technology Malaysia (UTM) Kluang Branch Johor, Kluang General Hospital Johor (Management/Supervision Development, Office Technology/Administration, ISO 9000 & Construction Management), Kahang Timur Secondary School Johor (ISO 9000), Sultan Abdul Jalil Secondary School Kluang Johor (Islamic Motivation and Team Building), Guocera Tiles Industries Kluang Johor (EMS ISO 14000), MNE Construction (M) Sdn. Bhd. Kota Tinggi Johor (ISO 9000 – Construction), UITM Shah Alam Selangor (Knowledge Management/Knowledge Based Economy /TQM), Telesystem Electronics/Digico Cable(ODM/OEM for Astro – ISO 9000), Sungai Long Industries Sdn. Bhd. (Bina Puri Group) - ISO 9000 Construction), Secura Security Printing Sdn. Bhd,(ISO 9000 – Security Printing) ROTOL AMS Bumi Sdn. Bhd & ROTOL Architectural Services Sdn. Bhd. (ROTOL Group) – ISO 9000 –Architecture, Bond M & E (KL) Sdn. Bhd. (ISO 9000 – Construction/M & E), Skyline Telco (M) Sdn. Bhd. (Knowledge Management),Technochase Sdn. Bhd JB (ISO 9000 – Construction), Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia (IKIM – ISO 9000 & Internal Audit Refresher), Shinryo/Steamline Consortium (Petronas/OGP Power Co-Generation Plant Melaka – Construction Management and Safety, Health, Environment), Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Negotiation Skills), Association for Retired Intelligence Operatives of Malaysia (Cyber Security – Arpa/NSFUsenet, Cobit, Till, ISO/IEC ISMS 27000 for Law/Enforcement/Military), T.Yamaichi Corp. (M) Sdn. Bhd. (EMS ISO 14000) LSB Manufacturing Solutions Sdn. Bhd., (Lean Scoreboard (including a full development of System-Software-Application - MSC Malaysia & Six Sigma) PJZ Marine Services Sdn. Bhd., (Safety Management Systems and Internal Audit based on International Marine Organization Standards) UNITAR/UNTEC (Degree in Accountacy – Career Path/Roadmap) Cobrain Holdings Sdn. Bhd.(Managing Construction Safety & Health), Speaker for International Finance & Management Strategy (Closed Conference), Pembinaan Jaya Zira Sdn. Bhd. (ISO 9001:2008-Internal Audit for Construction Industry & Overview of version 2015), Straits Consulting Engineers Sdn. Bhd. (Full Integrated Management System – ISO 9000, OHSAS 1800 and EMS ISO 14000 for Civl/Structural/Geotechnical Consulting), Malaysia Management & Science University (MSU – (Managing Business in an Organization), Innoseven Sdn. Bhd. (KVMRT Line 1 MSPR8 – Awareness and Internal Audit (Construction), ISO 9001:2008 and 2015 overview for the Construction Industry), Kemakmuran Sdn. Bhd. (KVMRT Line 1 - Signages/Wayfinding - Project Quality Plan and Construction Method Statement ), Amiosh Resources - (1) Lembaga Tabung Haji - Flood ERP (2) WNA Consultants - DID/JPS -Flood Risk Assessment and Management Plan - Prelim, Conceptual Design, Interim and Final Report etc. (3) Tunnel Fire Safety - Fire Risk Assessment Report - Design Fire Scenario), Safety, Health and Environmental Management Plans leading construction/property companies/corporations in Malaysia. Timur West Consulting (1) Business Methodology and System (2) Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) ISO/IEC 27001:2013 for Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya ISMS/Audit/Risk/ITP Technical Team

* Has appeared for 10 consecutive series in “Good Morning Malaysia RTM TV1’ Corporate Talk Segment discussing on ISO 9000/14000 in various industries. For ICT, his inputs garnered from his expertise have successfully led to development of work-process e-enabling systems in the environments of intranet, portal and interactive web design especially for the construction and manufacturing. Some of the end products have won various competitions of innovativeness, quality, continual-improvements and construction industry award at national level. He has also in advisory capacity – involved in development and moderation of websites, portals and e-profiles for mainly corporate and private sectors, public figures etc. He is also one of the recipients for MOSTE Innovation for RFID use in Electronic Toll Collection in Malaysia.

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Corporate Governance as a management science (a reevaluation) - Nik Zafri

(The author would like to thank The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for the promotion of policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world including the proper implementation of Corporate Governance)

Despite being popular for more than a decade, many corporations still tend to view Corporate Governance as some "legal constraints" on them. While this is not entirely true, we still find corporate leaders and the executive board fear the auditors with the notion that they might have broken the law or some misdeeds may have occurred.

As a result we still see corporations winding up - some did not even have to. It's shocking to find corporations being liquidated simply because they did not submit the proper papers on time to the authorities.

Citing OECD - Implementing Governance, Chapter 6, Page 162. 2nd para :

"Following the series of scandals in the US and elsewhere involving big corporations, the market has become increasingly demanding regarding improvements in corporate governance practices and INTERNAL CONTROL to increase investor confidence. The awareness that followed the scandals created an environment conducive to better governance. This was seen in Latin America, in countries like Brazil; after the initial period when investors were pushing for basic governance measures, they now are refining their requests by seeking improvement in QUALITY of disclosure, composition of boards and more. Lessons learned from the BENCHMARKING process can be used as the starting point and as a CONTINUOUS LEARNING PROCESS."

When corporate governance been too intertwined with rules and regulations, there is no room for management tools to come in. Corporate Governance is not merely about legalities as "hijacked" by scholars, company secretaries and authorities. 

Corporate governance prevailing practices ironically failed to be seen as a management science - as it should have been. It is about achieving corporate democracy for shareholders and "other interested parties". 

It is not always about the Board of Directors but it also concerns a network of supply chain as well ("Other Interested Parties" - such as employees, consumers, surroundings and even community at large.

Now the laws are there in place...what's next?

The issue now is how to MANAGE it?

Whenever there is a law, there will also be suggestions of the usage of standards and codes of practice. Standards give birth to Manuals, Procedures, Work Instructions and Checklist - all under "controlled conditions" (Refer to ISO 9001:2008)

Let's look back at the 5 core pillars of Corporate Governance:

1) Rights and equitable treatment of shareholdersCorporations should respect the rights of shareholders and help shareholders to exercise those rights. They can help shareholders exercise their rights by openly and effectively communicating information and by encouraging shareholders to participate in general meetings

Keyword : Communication (internal and external)

Communications can be complicated especially dealing with information being ambiguous or inaccurate. In my experience, communication is mainly the highest contributing factor towards the failure of a management system - especially dealing with unhealthy office politics.

A corporation has a business to run based on a certain core business process as stated in the Manual. It requires inputs to flow from one process and outputs to flow to another process. There is a continuous (communication) flow regarding tangible (materials and product) and intangible (information) inputs and outputs taking place within a corporation.

Thus, the board of directors should come out with methods and resources using the process and deploy these methods through ICT; logistic and HR processes (documents, meetings, directives, e-mails, intranet, visual etc) Get feedbacks from recipients and incorporate them in the policy, objectives and goals. Make your staff feel important that they are the 'guardians' and 'watchdogs'.

2) Interests of other stakeholders : Corporations should recognize that they have legal, contractual, social, and market driven obligations to non-shareholder stakeholders, including employees, investors, creditors, suppliers, local communities, customers, and policy makers.

Keyword : Stakeholders

This MUST be stated in corporate’s mission and relays the processes used to get the corporation there. Let the values guide the culture and not vice-versa. Stakeholders should always be put first. They must be made aware of what is going on in a corporation especially any new management system to support the law. They must be well briefed of the long term benefits seeking and achieving the recognitions from the relevant bodies.

3) Role and responsibilities of the board: The board needs sufficient relevant skills and understanding to review and challenge management performance. It also needs adequate size and appropriate levels of independence and commitment.

Keyword : Commitment

A successful implementation of systems and methods can positively affect the corporation’s reputation, growth and profitability. This can only happen if there is a strong commitment from the board. The willingness to invest for a long-term management program that will positive affect the corporation is very important rather than meeting the minimum, mediocre, or sub-standard requirements. And this should be communicated throughout the organization.

4) Integrity and ethical behavior: Integrity should be a fundamental requirement in choosing corporate officers and board members. Organizations should develop a code of conduct for their directors and executives that promotes ethical and responsible decision making.

Keyword : Professionalism

There is a need for a code of conduct to be developed. A typical code of conduct should not be viewed as an expression of a set of laws but also implying the management methodologies as well.

a) Duties and Responsibilities - A proper Job Description, Organizational Chart and Master Responsibility Matrix - should be in place - to also reflect the Board, Associates, Officers and Corporate Compliance Officers.

b) Honesty, Ethical Conduct, Fair Dealing

c) Procedures dealing with a bunch of issues such as Human Resources, Environmental Health and Safety, Gifts/Gratuities/Entertaintments, Records/Documentation Management, Reporting and Training

5) Disclosure and transparency: Corporations should clarify and make publicly known the roles and responsibilities of board and management to provide stakeholders with a level of accountability. They should also implement procedures to independently verify and safeguard the integrity of the company's financial reporting. Disclosure of material matters concerning the organization should be timely and balanced to ensure that all investors have access to clear, factual information.

Keyword : Transparency

Once again, a proper Job Description (JD) and documented procedures are required. When making a Job Description, ensure that the duties are arranged according to their utmost priority. A simple percentile management tool would help via a brainstorming session. 

Once the JD is in place, use the cascading principle so that the JD is related to other tools such as (pick one) - Key Performance Indicators, Key Result Areas, Balance Scorecard etc.

Secondly, you need to develop procedures with simple templates such as process flow, responsibility and reference documents/records. (Again, refer to ISO 9001:2008 Standards)

Nik Zafri is an Associate Consultant with TIJ Consultants Group (Malaysia and Singapore)