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  • Writer's pictureJia Yaw Kiu

Being featured in The Edge | Wrapping up 2022

Updated: Jan 1, 2023

Being featured in The Edge

When Nat Tan Zhai Yun, editor of ESG at The Edge, told me they'd like to feature me as a "mover and shaker of ESG in Malaysia", I almost spilled my coffee. It was an honour, but also something I immediately thought I shouldn't take too seriously.

But when Jennifer Jacobs, seasoned writer tasked with interviewing me, sat down with me over coffee, we very quickly deep dived into broader themes, traversing philosophy, psychology, literature and anthropology. The conversation was so engrossing, we kind of forgot about the interview!

I'm quite tickled that Jennifer described me as the playful introvert who could. (More on play below.)

By the way, if you ask me, I think The Edge has been the real MVP for mainstreaming ESG in Malaysia. Nat has been absolutely prolific in this work.

Innovation vs. Execution / Playing vs. Grinding

This past year, you could categorise work at Kiu & Co. into two types: innovation work and execution work.

The first is exploratory, creative and almost playful. The second is focussed, goal-orientated and disciplined.

Being conscious of this difference is important as each requires a completely different frame of mind. And since our work is almost never done alone, it requires us to adopt the right tone when engaging and communicating with others. The process influences the outcome.

When collaborating with partners on never-done-before endeavours -

  • we mark out the boundaries within which we can explore possibilities

  • we get as clear as we can with why we are doing the work

  • we acknowledge that we have all not done it before, but are open minded to discover together

  • we create a safe, fun environment within which to try, build, test and discover. In other words, to play

When working together to execute something -

  • we set out mutual expectations, roles and responsibilities

  • we define our outputs, goals and timelines

  • we stay committed, motive and help each other with our deliverables

Almost all of the work we've carried out involve a combination of innovation and execution. In 2022, this included the SUHAKAM haze pollution campaign, collaborations between first-time partners (like the CEO Action Network and the Malaysian CSO-SDG Alliance) and the campaign for MPs to support the right to a safe and clean environment.

I often think of our firm as simultaneously a sandbox and a workshop. We want to get even better at switching back and forth between the zones for playing and grinding in the coming year.

Happy New Year!

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