Career Forum Apr 2016: Shadow a CEO Programme – Building business-savvy engineers in a connected world with Johnson Controls’ Ricky Chan
Five top executives will be taking part in the latest iteration of Classified Post’s Shadow a CEO Programme. Find out more about Ricky Chan Hoi-ki, general manager and managing director, Johnson Controls and what he has planned for his shadows below.
What does your business do?
Johnson Controls has a portfolio of HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) products and solutions to create more comfortable, safe and efficient buildings. Operating in more than 150 countries via a strong network of distribution channels, the company’s building management services have a breadth of offerings to help building owners, operators, engineers and consultants benefit from the full life cycle of a building.
Our intelligent building management and automation systems (BMS) control and automate comfort in environments, and optimise energy usage through the development and implementation of energy-saving strategies. Our fire and security systems protect building occupancies and create safe environments.
What major products or brands are associated with your company?
Our position is established through trusted brands such as York, Hitachi, Sabroe and Metasys, as well as smart building integration capabilities and energy financing solutions.
What activities do you have planned for your shadows?
Shadows could potentially join our staff induction programme, attend regular management meetings, accompany staff on environmental health and safety site visits, witness both business and financial operational reviews, and sit in on regional conference calls.
What leadership skills or lessons are you hoping to impart?
Shadows will learn to identify our business’ role in the engineering market, and take home lessons from our company stakeholders and corporate players. They will have a keen understanding of our processes, and take note of how we lead people.
We hope that they will gain some knowledge about how our business operates, and particularly how our Hong Kong business differs from, yet relates to, our regional and global business environment.
What skills and experience are you looking for from applicants? What will really impress you?
We are looking for candidates who display leadership traits such as a strategic mindset, the drive to succeed, business acumen, critical thinking and learning agility.
We are looking for candidates who are passionate to win, because we are passionate about our business and we are passionate about winning. We want to be known as the team that shows such passion every day.
Applicants must be customer focused, as we exist to serve our customers, who should be the centre of all that we do each day. We want to build strong relationships with our customers, so that we are seen as being “on their team”.
Employees should be team players, whose names on their backs are not as important as the name on the front – Johnson Controls. We have each other’s back and support each other through thick and thin.
We also want people who are decisive: we are clear about our goals and clear about each other’s roles. Together, we will debate, decide and align. We will communicate clearly, support our team’s decisions and hold each other accountable.
It’s important, too, for candidates to understand their strengths and weaknesses, while remaining determined in their aspirations.
At the base level, it’s crucial that applicants have strong interpersonal and communication skills in English and Chinese.
What is the job market like for graduates in your industry?
Most graduates who join our industry are from an engineering background, and have fundamental knowledge or learning agility in technical matters. However, not many engineering graduates are trained to be business professionals with an all-round set of skills, especially in a regional and global context.
We aim to build a career path for selected candidates to develop into technically sound, customer-oriented, business-driven, process- and people-focused professionals. They will have a range of career paths open to them in the industry – not just vertically, but also horizontally, such as being able to shift to different functions within the industry.