In 2017, my team and I met more than 1,000 people from multiple workshops throughout the year when we ran our flagship training, Design Thinking Innovation workshop. The significance of design thinking workshop is in the fieldwork, which I’d like to call as ‘The Field”. During the fieldwork, the trainees last year interviewed between 2,000-3,000 people last year.
From those multiple workshops we had, they generated lots and lots of ideas. The following were the Top Five Great Ideas in 2017:
1.Student loan (PTPTN) becomes the employer’s benefits for employees.
Most employees, young executives particularly carry substantial student loan – around RM 30,000 – RM 45,000 (locally known as PTPTN).
These loans were part of their commitment when they study in local universities. Part of the deal with PTPTN, once the students graduated they need to repay back to PTPTN. Somehow this didn’t happen as effective as both parties wished, PTPTN overall repayment rate is very poor, only 3% .
What if the PTPTN loan is taken over by the employers as part of employees benefits? It could be carve out from the insurance provision or medical benefits. Someone from Compensation & Benefits (ComBen) in HR department could advise this better. Or maybe if you have thousands of staffs with PTPTN loan, it certainly could amount to few millions RM, how about having a company to manage this loans? Well, something to think through.
2. Children bank account package just like we used to have 30 years ago.
Wither children bank accounts in our local bank? You probably noticed that many banks these days do not really have an attractive children bank account like we used to have aeons ago such as Yippee, Bank Bumiputra and Tabung Haji (where you get a replica of Tabung Haji building as your coin box). I opened bank account for my kids recently and few years ago, then I received a link via SMS from the bank – excited then I clicked the link – the I was upset – because it was a bad link (automated from their system but poorly maintained either by the marketing department or webmaster – yes let’s start the blame game!)
From “The Field”, we found a lot of respondents wondering why the bank no longer offer beautifully designed children bank account. Actually later I found the answer from some senior bank managers who said, “deposits are outdated, banks prefer offering financing these days.” I was rather upset because the answers we “soooo like bankers”. LOLS. Haven’t they heard Fintech? LOLS
What if the local bank could revive and rejuvenate children bank accounts once again? Make investment and saving as part of everyday lingo in the family. These days, saving and investment is missing in children’s vocab, all they know is buying this and that. I know some local banks offer children bank acccount, most of it dull. Make it fun and exciting please!
3. Investment account that’s accessible by “normal and average Joe”
Normal and average Joe has only saving account. Many roll up their eyes when we talk about investment products from banks. They either just haven’t heard about it from the bank or they just said the bankers tell them these investment products are only for the HNWI (high net worth individuals).
Again, I was rather upset because the answers we “soooo like bankers”. LOLS. Haven’t they heard Fintech in Wealth Management? LOLS
What if the bank could give access to their simple product that usually require RM 100k deposits from one HNWI to “100 normal people and average Joe that have RM 1k for investment and wealth creation?”
Source: Centric Digital
4. Make Top Management (Senior Vice Presidents and C-suites) teaching in the company
The knowledge gap in the company (especially tacit and implicit) is growing wider. The gap is widely seen between the Top Management and Middle Management to Entry level Executives could only be fixed not with hiring external consultants or run training programs after training programs or coordinate leadership development programs after programs, ratther companies have to start to look for the solution internally.
The challenge is often, the management is asking the wrong question and always in a hurry to look for the right answer. The question they usually asked is “why our knowledge gap is getting wider?” which is looking for the right answer. Instead the appropriate question should be, “how to accelerate the spread of knowledge between the management faster?” which is to explore possibilities. One of the popular ideas generated in our workshop is to “teach the top management how to teach their managers”.
What if we could teach leaders how to teach their strengths and transfer their skills? Further research would validate this idea that General Electric (GE) have done this many years ago via Crotonville University.
5. “Dress down” day to Productivity
In Malaysia, the proliferation of new generations as the workforce is already between 50-70% at the executives and junior managers level. Some companies that have thousands of employees, could save money from providing uniforms for white collar executives and junior managers. In some companies, the top management still frowned upon the concept of “Dress down” day. The concept allows the employees to dress with anything they like within the formality guidelines, although some companies have little guidelines, having something to rely on will do more good than harm.
The new generation prefer freedom of expression and they do have nice collection of wardrobe simply because fashion these days are cheaper and with so many options. Therefore allowing them to “dress down” in most of the days, it will give them the “extra benefits” to stay in the company and would boost their morale and consequently productivity while working in the organization. In other words, when you allow them to wear jeans, slip on shoes, hoodies etc, they will work harder.
In our interviews with the millenials respondents, that was the feedback and the great idea was “Dress down day”. Check out this analysis from NY Post on “Dress down and productivity”.
What if “Dress down day” could boost productivity and increased morale of the employees, would that save the company in medical bills and unproductive work habits? Of course, save of the uniform tailoring too!
Well, those are the Top Five Great Ideas in 2017. I will be sharing more stuffs and great ideas from “The Field” from my LinkedIn-Khairul Anwar. See you there!
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