The 6+4 Professional Management Framework
On 26th August 2023, SMC was honoured to have Mr Lin Xiangyang, Chief Executive of China Life Insurance Singapore to join SMC’s Youth Hiking Library. His speech focused on the topic of improving operational and management efficiency through a systematic thinking approach, which he coined to be: ‘6 + 4 Professional Management Framework’.
The first part of the Professional Management Framework composes of 6 key pillars, also briefly called the “Six Professional Things” methodology.
1. Systems and Plans: Professionalism involves the creation of well-defined systems and plans, which are best described to be a set of measures and guidelines. Systems and plans are differentiated based on duration. Systems are long-term guidelines, while plans are designed to develop specific measures for the effective execution of the system. For instance, during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore devised the COVID-19 Guidelines. Under these guidelines, specific preventive measures for various industries were introduced to ensure consistent and efficient management throughout the organizational hierarchy.
2. Processes and Procedures: Having clear processes and procedures is essential for achieving efficiency. The speaker likened this to following a routine in our daily lives, such as getting ready in the morning. Just like adhering to a structured routine ensures smooth functioning, applying established procedures in work tasks ensures consistent outcomes. Processes and procedures are important to make sure that the execution of tasks happen.
3. Standards and Criteria: Establishing rigorous standards and criteria is essential when it comes to both goal-setting and performance evaluation. As an illustration, the speaker highlighted Singapore's ambitious objective of becoming a "smart nation" and how the country implemented stringent standards across various domains, including governance, legal systems, and infrastructure. Furthermore, the speaker stressed the significance of precision in defining these standards and criteria. For instance, if one's goal is to achieve the top position, it's crucial to specify whether that means being the best in class, within the country, or on a global scale. Clarity in standards and criteria is integral to ensuring the successful completion of tasks.
4. Methods and Tools: Choosing the right methods and tools is vital for effective task execution. For example, in processing information, one could do it manually, or with the help of a computer or with artificial intelligence. This represents the different tools one can employ to tackle the same task, where each tool would result in different speeds of completion. Hence, it underscores importance of using the right methods and tools to optimise efficiency.
5. Benchmarks and Models：Proficient at identifying exemplary role models within the workplace, who can be either employees or individuals with outstanding success stories. Establish them as role models to inspire and motivate others within the group, fostering a collective commitment to enhancing work quality and achieving better performance.
6. Weaknesses and Improvements: During the course of work or project implementation, it is crucial to continuously assess existing issues, gaps, or flaws at each stage. Propose solutions promptly, implement sound measures, and rectify any deficiencies and shortcomings. This ensures that the overall progress remains largely on track, and the correct direction is consistently maintained.
1. Cognitive Management: Alignment in thinking and understanding is crucial in ensuring teams understand what they are doing and for what purpose. The speaker mentioned how shared understanding and vision within teams would increase effectiveness and productivity.
2. Goal Management: Having clear goals is vital for achieving desired results. The speaker stressed that well-defined goals should be ambitious, whether aiming for local excellence or global leadership. This is essential to inspire progress and growth.
3. Execution Management: Efficient execution is achieved through process standardisation and structured approaches. The speaker shared the importance of training staff to ensure seamless transitions when employees change roles, highlighting how using consistent frameworks ensures effective execution.
4. Result Management: Results are achieved by focusing on processes and executing according to standards. The speaker emphasized that effective execution leads to the desired results and encourages benchmarking to evaluate progress.
In conclusion, Mr Lin’s insightful speech underscores the importance of professionalism in management. He provided examples of how various principles and practices contribute to enhancing efficiency and achieving desired outcomes. The concept of professionalism encompasses creating systems, following processes, setting high standards, and employing effective methods, along with cognitive management, goal setting, execution, and result management. This 6+ 2 framework serves as a comprehensive guide to excel in various areas of management and leadership.