A dynamic new member to the LLM team, Yau Boon brings over 25 years’ experience in strategy, planning, marketing, operation and business management, across multiple industries in Asia Pacific. Having led marketing and strategy at IBM, SAP and Motorola, and co-founded several startups, his skills are invaluable. With a solid understanding of business technology, vast experience in business strategy, and expertise in driving transformation and innovation via design thinking, he is adept at helping enterprises rethink, reinvent and reposition for the future.
Could you describe your typical day?
It’s always a balancing act. I like to ensure I manage the most critical projects and urgent actions before anything else in my day.
What are the key skills you need for your work?
In today’s rapidly changing business environment, I need to be proficient at handling technology evolution, keeping abreast of market trends, and always aware of the constantly shifting business conditions. I need the four skills of Awareness, Analysis, Adaptation and Application to be successful.
What part of your job do you find the most challenging?
Helping customers to navigate and respond to the accelerated changing technological, market and business landscape via self-disruption.
What aspects of your work do you find most enjoyable?
Identifying and implementing future-ready business models.
Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
My ex-manager in SAP many years ago created a lasting impression. When my dad passed away suddenly, he said told me to do two things:
- Direct my email “out of office” to him
- Take as long as I needed and to only come back when I was ready
I was his key member of staff, but he placed my interests above his own needs. I returned after three weeks, no questions asked. It was from him that I learnt an essential leadership skill.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
To lead is to serve, sacrifices are imminent. Respect is earned, not granted.
What developments on the horizon do you see as shaping the future of your industry/role?
There are several key influences. The main ones are the structural shift caused by rapidly changing technological advancements; easy access to funds; and tools and infrastructure that will disrupt all industries, especially where the profit pool is residing, in the value chain/ecosystem.
What inspires you?
My family. Also, those who make a positive difference in the lives of the less fortunate.
What do you think is the best way to innovate?
Innovation happens when we disrupt ourselves or others. So the best way to innovate is to have a place where today’s norm does not govern people and processes. A place where the belief that “everything is possible” is the mandate and mantra.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
For me, my focus is to keep giving and keep learning. Sacrifices precede leadership.
What is one of the most interesting experiences you have encountered in your career?
It’s difficult to focus on just one. Two of the most exciting instances would be meeting and escorting Yao Ming, who is bigger than I imagined; and managing Bill Clinton as a speaker, in my role as the PMO Lead for two major SAP events. A more enduring interesting experience would be my ex-subordinates continuing to address me as ‘boss’ even today, many years after leading them.
Why do you like being part of the LLM team?
I subscribe to LLM’s vision of helping companies to be future-ready, through change, transition and building.
What are the key projects you worked on as part of LLM?
I have only just joined the LLM team, but going forward, I will focus on furthering the disruption management practice.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work/ how do you switch off?
I enjoy being with my family. However, I am still learning how to switch off!