What You Should Know about Organisations Today

The workplace is evolving! Join us as we explore organisations that are adapting to the changing times and reshaping a brighter future for themselves.

If there’s one thing in life we’re certain of, as clichéd as it might be, it’s that change is constant. The world is changing, and so is the way we work. To survive and ultimately thrive, modern organisations have to regularly undergo major transformations to effectively navigate a whole new set of rules and challenges as they arise in the dynamic workforce landscape.

That said, how exactly have organisations changed over time, and where are they headed? We speak to Edwin Lee, Deputy CEO of the Singapore Institute of Directors (SID), to find out what drives the organisations of today.

Evolution of leaders

With the growing demands of the workforce over the years, the roles of organisational leaders have seen huge modifications. In this day, leadership is a balancing act between support and control. “Directors cannot remain above the fray,” Edwin adds, as steering organisations through trying times requires directors to rise above the role of protector and enforcer of rules and regulations, and instead adopt a more active part in their transformation.

Apart from providing an overarching vision and direction, leaders are indispensable in the shaping of organisational culture. To demonstrate this point, Edwin highlights the intricacies needed to tackle current social issues such as diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As such, SID has introduced an accreditation framework based on SID’s Director Competency model that transcends conventional roles of governance and ensures that diversity starts from the boardroom. 

This year, the Singapore Institute of Directors commemorated 25 years of uplifting directorship with Guest-of-Honour, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong (first row, fourth from left). Image courtesy of Singapore Institute of Directors.

Digital transformation

We don’t have to look further than the Covid-19 pandemic for a taste of just how radically our realities can change in an instant. As we know, the outbreak was a catalyst (or as Edwin calls it, a wake-up call) for the accelerated adoption of digital technologies due to the enactment of physical lockdowns and remote working. Organisations all around the world came to recognise the importance of digital readiness as a fundamental strategy that extends far beyond times of crisis. 

At home, we’re also making a name for ourselves as a digital-first nation. In fact, Singapore was listed as the smartest city in Asia, and seventh in the world, according to this year’s Smart City Index by the Institute for Management Development[1].

Well, when it comes to traversing the digital economy, Equinix is way ahead of the game. As one of the world’s top digital infrastructure companies, Equinix offers digital solutions that span various facets of business operations from integrating cloud services to streamlining supply chains. Having planted over 240 International Business Exchange data centres in major economies across the globe, five of which are within our borders, Equinix is well-equipped to meet the growing needs of organisations in all sectors of our increasingly smart nation.

Equinix’s latest development in their software-defined network platform, Equinix Fabric, offers cloud providers access to virtual connections almost instantaneously. Image courtesy of Equinix.

Improving and re-evaluating productivity

Workplace productivity has been an area of contention for decades. But as we’ve seen, the rise of hybrid work structures have blurred the lines between quantitative labour output and how companies view productivity altogether. Furthermore, Edwin points out that new generations of employees have different expectations with regards to job satisfaction and work ethics. As such, companies must find novel ways to enhance productivity, such as through training or leveraging digital tools to allow employees to focus on more value-added processes.

What’s more, flexible work arrangements have highlighted the importance of adaptability in physical workspaces, with more companies opting for open and creative environments that prioritise conducive features and wellness amenities. It is in this trend that we find one of Asia’s top architectural firms, Mitsubishi Jisho Design.

Upholding the kaizen philosophy (spirit of continuous improvement) that is so deeply ingrained in Japanese culture, Mitsubishi Jisho Design’s expertise in urban planning and interior design has given rise to award-winning buildings, as functional as they are spectacular, that are moulded and shaped to inspire performance.

You’ll never guess these to be the halls of a research centre, designed by none other than Mitsubishi Jisho Design to create a modern, safe, and comfortable work environment. Image courtesy of Mitsubishi Jisho Design.


In an era characterised by digitalisation and globalisation, the growing importance of interconnectivity has become all the more undeniable. As long-held organisational structures give way to a more interconnected workplace culture, establishing connections across teams and levels of an organisation can foster greater purpose and productivity on an individual level.

Beyond internal scopes, organisations are also realising the power of connecting with a broader community to drive innovation and progress. A prime example is the reputable software company, Red Hat, that delivers open source software products to enhance organisational output through effective IT infrastructures. This means that their software are designed to be publicly accessible to encourage open collaboration and contribution from a wider segment.

What’s more, Red Hat even backs an open source community project called Ansible, as the company believes that the automation of IT is faster, more effective, and way more fun when done together as a collective—we couldn’t agree more!

Not only does Red Hat apply open source technologies on a global scale, they also conduct immersive residencies to nurture budding engineers. Image courtesy of Red Hat.


Edwin reminds us that organisations today cannot advance without bringing sustainability to the forefront of their business agendas. As the world grapples with environmental challenges stemming from climate change, sustainable practices are no longer just a matter of corporate social responsibility, but a strategic imperative to enhance efficiency, reduce cost, and be positioned for long-term success in an increasingly eco-conscious market.

Spearheading this paradigm shift is Fujitsu Asia, a global leader in technology and business solutions and the largest IT service provider in Japan. With a first-class portfolio of technology products and services, the forward-thinking corporation operates with sustainability at the core of its ethos.

Their solution—Fujitsu Uvance, combining cutting-edge industry and technology innovations to build an ecosystem that fosters greater collaboration between governments, companies, and individuals towards a green future. The company’s key focus in achieving a sustainable world include circular and traceable manufacturing, promoting individual health and wellbeing, and creating safe and secure communities. Fujitsu’s dedication to sustainability serves as a role model for organisations to embrace change and secure a better future for generations to come.  

Fujitsu has developed a power-saving power amplifier that reduces energy loss in microwaves and other radio frequency applications by a record-breaking 25%! Image courtesy of Fujitsu.

The importance of good governance

As can be seen from these CapitaLand tenants, it’s clear that in this exciting era of change, organisations are rewriting the rules of success by embracing new strategies and shifting their priorities.

But at the end of the day, one of the foundations to a successful business lies its governing body; its leaders. In Edwin’s words, “good corporate governance promotes transparency, accountability, ethical behaviour, and long-term sustainability”. All of these are mutually beneficial, contributing to the success of organisations, stakeholders, and the business ecosystem as a whole.

With their years of experience in the industry, SID, our national association for board directors, takes on the challenge through its ABC building blocks—advancing thought leaders and advocacy, building competencies and capabilities, and connecting and strengthening the ecosystem. By providing a rich set of resources to aid directors in their professional journeys, SID essentially seeks to push the boundaries of corporate leadership and organisational development, which is something that we can all learn and benefit from in an evolving business climate that is both uncertain and volatile.

To that, we say the future may be unknown, but the journey ahead promises innovation, resilience, and a brighter future for the workforce of tomorrow, so long as we’re willing to collaborate, adapt, and evolve along the way.

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