Wednesday, July 28, 2010

National Youth Sector Conference 2010: "Transforming the Youth Sector from Good to Great"

17 July 2010

Was nominated by the People's Association Youth Movement to attend the National Youth Sector Conference 2010 at Grand Park City Hotel (the former Park Royal Hotel).

The mood of the participants was not dampened by the flash floods around the island due to the heavy rain at 4am.

Guest-of-Honour was none other than Mayor Teo Ser Luck, Chairman of National Youth Council. In his opening address, he called for youth organisations to tap onto the many funds provided by the NYC. Referring to the heavy rain, he mentioned that he could not go for his morning run and that his ceiling was leaking too.

After his address, he launched the refreshed logo for NYC.

Panel Discussion - Good to Great: Insights from Various Sectors

From left: Eric Teng (Adviser, The Tecity Group and Tan Chin Tuan Foundation), Willie Cheng (Chairman, Lien Centre for Social Innovation), Mayor Teo Ser Luck (Chairman, National Youth Council), Facilitator Tan Chi Chiu (Board Member, Lien Centre for Social Innovation), Ang Bee Lian (CEO, National Council for Social Services) & Douglas Foo (CEO, Sakae Holdings Ltd & Board Member, SPRING Singapore)

During the first panel discussion, the Facilitator poked the GOH with several pricky issues such as NYC being a PA body and the recent PA/PAP issue.

Panel Discussion - Good to Great: Transforming Youth Sector Organisations

From left: Morene Sim (Executive Director, Students Care Services), Usha Menon (Executive Chairman, Management Centre Asia), Facilitator Aaron Maniam (President, Mendaki Club), Wilson Chew (CEO, StrategiCom) & Leong Lai Fong (Managing Consultant, Blue Ocean Strategy)

The sharings from the second panel discussion were that in an organisation, we should ensure the light (vision) is not just carried by one person but by the entire organisation. Members should believe in the organisational values not because of the leader.

Brand Strategist Wilson Chew shared his research data pointing to about 87.5% of a population sample of 4,000 make purchasing decisions purely on perception. He then stressed the importance of managing public perception and the need for transparency in actions/deeds that the organisation carries out, which includes communicating the downside of policies.

After lunch, I attended the Break-out session for Volunteer Management. The other sessions were Fundraising, Program Development and Action Research. For Volunteer Management, the speakers were Mr Raymond Huang, Chief Heartware Officer, Heartware Network; Mr Tan Cheng Kiong, Chief Commissioner, Singapore Scouts Association; Mr Martin Tan, Executive Director, Halogen Foundation Singapore; and facilitated by Mr David Fong, Director, SG Cares & Marcom, National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre.

The greatest takeaway is that organisations should not take in all volunteers. Mr Martin Tan shared that they should devise a volunteer management system and identify the types of volunteers required. Ultimately, it is not about how long the volunteers stay with you, but how much they would be able to benefit others after their stint with your organisation.

Mr Raymond Huang shared an interesting insight into the way he operates. He mentioned that if any staff or volunteer were doing the same project more than two times, that means there is no transfer of knowledge. In such situation, an elitist circle might form resulting in exclusion of others to the project. Hence, he never wants to see the same staff doing the same thing twice.

Mr Tan Cheng Kiong talked about the recognition of volunteers with long-service awards, verbal affirmation, distinguished service awards, thank you dinners.

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