Generation 40s – 四十世代

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Run Run Shaw’s legacy will live on

South China Morning Post
Comment›Insight & Opinion
2014-01-08

LEADER
SCMP Editorial

Respect is not a word readily reserved for Hong Kong’s hard-nosed tycoons. Sir Run Run Shaw was an exception, though. The father of our city’s film industry and founder of TVB, the world’s largest Chinese-language television producer, was in equal measure a great philanthropist who gave generously to causes here and on the mainland. As much as he will be fondly remembered for entertaining, his name will also live on for his contribution to education, health care and the sciences.

Shaw was a legend in the movie-making industry. Shanghai-born, he and his brothers spread their craft from mainland China throughout Southeast Asia, building cinemas to show their ground-breaking films. He went out on his own in 1959, moving from Singapore to Hong Kong to create an entertainment empire in Clear Water Bay that came to be known as the Hollywood of the East. His passion, drive and entrepreneurism led to Hong Kong’s golden age of cinema.

Over a quarter of a century, his Shaw Brothers studios produced more than 1,000 titles, from melodramas to historical epics, ghost stories and the genre that put our city on the international movie map, kung fu. Shaw Brothers lost its shine in the 1970s, although by then Shaw had shifted his focus to the global Chinese-language television market with TVB.

His ethic for hard work brought success and wealth. That allowed him to live the high life and he mixed with the famous and powerful in the movie and business worlds. But his was not a life purely of self-indulgence; he also recognised the need to help humanity. He became an advocate for the work of the Red Cross, helped set up the Community Chest, was a guiding light for the Arts Festival and through his Sir Run Run Shaw Charitable Trust and Shaw Foundation, gave generously to improve and promote education, medical and welfare services, science and technology, and the arts.

Shaw’s passing does not mean the end of an era. His name lives on in thousands of buildings here and on the mainland, where schools, libraries, medical facilities and cultural centres bearing his Chinese name, Yifu, are in every province. The Shaw Prize awards, dubbed Asia’s Nobel prizes, are handed out for ground-breaking work in astronomy, life sciences and medicine, and mathematics. Through cinema and television, he gave immeasurable enjoyment. But his philanthropic work is his lasting monument, to be admired, celebrated and held up as an inspiration for others of means to emulate.


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Let Hong Kong children enjoy the benefits of sport and exercise

South China Morning Post
Comment›Insight & Opinion
2014-01-08

Kelly Yang

Kelly Yang says parents must not deny their children the exercise that not only brings health benefits but also teaches vital lessons

The fact that so many Hong Kong children can’t swim or ride a bike is alarming and sad. It shows the skewed values of many parents and will affect our city in ways that, I fear, will be disastrous.

According to the latest international study, Hong Kong children are less fit than their Western counterparts. Worldwide, today’s youth are 15 per cent less fit than children 30 years ago, but here in Asia, the decline in fitness is twice as severe.

Separate surveys by Hong Kong’s Baptist University found that 20 per cent of secondary students here did not know how to ride a bike and 47 per cent did not know how to swim. One reason, put forth by Professor Lobo Louie Hung-tak, was that many parents think sport is too dangerous. As a result, some schools have even cancelled swimming lessons to avoid receiving complaints from parents.

It is my experience that when it comes to illogical reasons to forgo sports, fear of injury is just the tip of the iceberg. For every parent who is afraid their child will get hurt, there’s another who is afraid that if their child plays an outdoor sport, his or her skin will go dark. I know a child whose mother made him switch from tennis, which he loved, to squash so he could be indoors. “I don’t care how many matches he wins, I cannot have him looking so brown,” she reasoned.

One of my students, an avid swimmer, told me her mother forced her to quit because she didn’t want her to get “too bulky” from swimming. Another student worries that if she exercises, she’ll eat more and, thus, gain weight.

Add to these irrational fears the intense schedules of most children, jam-packed with academic extracurricular activities, and it’s easy to see why so many are skipping exercise entirely.

Over the holiday, my cousin from Tianjin spent a week with me. He was shocked to see my children going to football training four times a week. In comparison, his four-year-old son does no sports and rarely even goes to the park. He said his son exercises by playing Wii games!

The long-term ramifications of eschewing exercise are tremendous. Regular exercise in childhood leads to regular exercise in adulthood. Children who exercise for 60 minutes every day are less likely to develop diabetes, obesity, heart problems and bone problems when they are older.

That so many Hong Kong children are spending every weekend indoors, hunched over a computer or playing video games, is paving the way for long-term chronic problems.

While sport should not be more important than academics in secondary schools, it also shouldn’t be neglected. Sport teaches important lessons that cannot be learned through textbooks, like teamwork, sportsmanship and discipline.

That’s why every weekend or holiday, my husband and I take our kids to a field, pool, BMX bike park, mountain or track – because, ultimately, no classroom is more inspiring or educational than the classroom of nature.

Kelly Yang is the founder of The Kelly Yang Project, an after-school programme for children in Hong Kong. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and Harvard Law School.


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知識員工須不斷學習

Hong Kong Economic Journal
B12 | 專家之言 | 管理人管理事 | By 黎天姿 |
2013-06-29

筆者在全球最大的育機構、培生教育機構工作可差不多四年,經歷了我們全球把培生公司定位約Branding 品牌的策略計劃,整個集團以「Always Learning」, 「不斷學習」作為機構的宗旨目標,無論在卡片、公司室內設計、種種的演說或產品推廣中,都利用「不斷學習」作為機構上下的由對內對外的核心價值。

深入探討「不斷學習」的話題,事實上正是德魯克學說中,那一生人培養學習的習慣正是一個知識社會的核心,而教育正是知識社會不可或缺的一環。每個社會每個人除了正式接受的教育以外,必須進一步培養各種能力,攝取各樣的知識,並加以採用、配合理論、分析知識,從而利用不同的方式,配合環境工作以及組織的需要,接合不同的思維方式,靈活運用,以上種種都需要一種有紀律性、有系統性的「不斷學習」習慣。

什麼是適合的學習內容?什麼是高質素的學習與教學?這種種問題都是一個知識社會必須解答的核心問題。

一個知識型機構應同時是一個學習與教學的機構。知識員工需要把「不斷學習」建立於工作裏。

由於今天的知識改變這樣急速,知識員工需要讓知識運用出來並產生效能,才使他們不被淘汰。知識工作已不再只是那群擁有專業知識的醫生、律師或工程師。每個員工都是知識工作者。

同時,知識型的機構,依賴那群知識專業人士了解其他同事的工作,進而負責教育及傳遞種種的知識,尤其在知識不斷發展及轉變時代中,知識員工須反問自己如何不斷吸收最新最快的知識,以及如何讓他們的下屬及同事吸收到種種知識,從而加以利用,在其工作及機構中產生貢獻及效能。

德魯克提到,知識機構期待知識員工在工作作出表現,我們需要了解六大因素產生生產力。一、工作是什麼;二、知識工作者須自我管理,以及有自主性來發揮;三、不斷創造,必應是知識工作者的責任及工作;四、知識工作者須要不斷學習,也須不斷教學,傳遞其知識;五、知識工作者的成效不應只是在「量」,而也應看重在「質」上;六、知識工作者具有生產力,須要機構看重知識工作者,把他們重視為機構的「資產」而不是「成本」,這同時也要求知識工作者渴望給予機構最大的投入及信賴。

在問什麼是知識工作者的工作時,這個好像是很直接簡單的問題,但是,須要我們深思這個決定性的問題,事實上核心是在問,什麼工作是最優先或最重要的。知識工作者有異於手作的或機械式的工作者,他們具有知識自主及教育,同時具有最重要的「知識」工具,因此,正是他們的知識,告訴他們什麼是最核心不可取替的工作,什麼工作是知識工作者期望貢獻最大的工作。

須界定質量的貢獻

當我們發問如何去界定知識工作者成果時,我們必須問到如何界定其工作定義。有些時候,機構對工作的定義和知識工作者的界定,可能有衝突,那須要彼此的協調。如一個科學家的成果,應該是為科學知識的前進作出貢獻,那可能會與其機構不協調,在知識工作者個人的決定上,以及機構的遠景上,往往須要和諧的協調,但同時可以是個人及機構最大的挑戰。

此外,我們須要界定知識工作者質量的貢獻,例如手術醫生當然會看他的手術成功與否,病人的康復等來作衡量其成效。在界定知識工作者的質量時,往往都須很多判斷,最困難的不是衡量質素,而是如何界定那工作或必要做的事情。

在其中最重要的因素,就是知識工作者喜歡被看作是機構的資產,一種高價值的資源,而不是成本。當機構把人當成是一種重要發展的資源,便會給予發展創意的工作環境,以致採用及發揮種種創意思維,那才是知識型的機構,同時這種機構才能協助知識工作者,達致理想目標的無限效果,而管理層的作用已不再是權力及階級,而變成是影響更大的改變媒介(Change Agent ),為人類為未來為社會產生更深遠的影響力。

黎天姿


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Responsible corporations look after their employees

South China Morning Post
Comment›Insight & Opinion
2013-12-30

Wendy Luk

Wendy Luk says there’s more to corporate social responsibility than PR

Hong Kong companies often seek to demonstrate their commitment to the community through their corporate social responsibility programmes. But seldom is there attention on the employees’ situation until there is a labour strike or protest.

Hong Kong’s workforce is praised for being hard-working and efficient. Working overtime and on holidays seems to be the norm here.

But are we missing something in our lives?

Various studies show that employees suffering physical or psychological stresses could severely affect a company’s performance and stability. Health issues could be unrelated to a job, of course; however, they could be induced or aggravated by work stress.

Sickness-related absences in the workplace not only add to a company’s expenses in terms of leave cost and insurance, but most importantly they affect the morale of the staff. If this in turns leads to higher staff turnover, then the stability of the company will also be affected.

Long working hours and the all-encompassing nature of many jobs leave little or no room for employees to maintain a healthy relationship with their family and other social networks.

Working weekends and skipping vacations, as many people do here, often exacerbate the problem.

Thankfully, there is increasing evidence that more firms are beginning to be aware of the problem and showing more concern for the well-being of their employees.

Corporate social responsibility programmes have become a well-acknowledged way for firms to establish their reputations and build connections with the community.

However, these programmes have also been criticised for being too external and public relations-oriented, too much about making the company look good and not enough about helping the employee feel good about his job and his life, both within the company and outside of it.

Internal corporate social responsibility practices generally refer to those that are employee-driven. Such practices focus on the physical and psychological working environment. They aim to improve employees’ health and well-being through a better working environment, one that is safe and free from harassment, that provides training and equal opportunities and helps each employee achieve a better work-life balance.

No doubt implementing these policies and programmes costs time and money. This is where linking social resources plays a significant role. Through their existing corporate social responsibility programmes, many companies have already established good rapport and connections with some social service organisations.

They should learn to tap these various relationships to the advantage.

Corporate social responsibility is a two-way street; not only may companies “give”, they can also “take”. Such partnerships between the business and the welfare sectors can benefit both.

On the one hand, the business sector can provide resources for welfare and service development; on the other hand, social service partners have a dedicated pool of professionals who could render assistance to those in need, in terms of counselling and child and elderly care services.

It is time to think more broadly of the concept of corporate social responsibility.

Rather than just a one-off volunteering opportunity, it can be a mutually supportive partnership between the business and welfare sectors – a process for the business sector to learn and identify supportive community resources. It is also a chance for the social service sector to expand its scope and develop new services to meet pressing needs.

Wendy Luk Wai-yi is senior manager (Caring Company scheme) at The Hong Kong Council of Social Service