In a professional work setting, leadership often depends on a persuasive relationship than positional power. Leadership development also requires individuals to have a deep understanding of themselves and their impacts on others in order to contribute positively towards a shared vision.

These skills are inculcated in LeadCamp – a leadership retreat and team building program, which is an embedded element of the Leading Talents in Organisation (LTO), a core course for Azman Hashim International Business School (AHIBS) MBA. Twenty medical officers and healthcare practitioners from the Johor State Healthcare Department (JKNJ) camped for two days at the Sedili Inn Resort, Kota Tinggi, Johor from 29th to 30th January, 2020.

The participants began with classroom-based learning at UTM to learn concepts on talent management and decision making based on real case studies, before moving to an offshore leadership venture. Benchmarked against MBA programs in top business schools, LeadCamp was built upon leadership pedagogy that involved stimulating and experiential learning based on leadership and team behaviour theories. The program involved carefully-crafted activities that required participants to play the roles of senior management team, applied and experienced leadership and teamwork skills. It was designed to be dynamic, highly interactive and euphoric so that the participants could apply concepts into practice.

An industry speaker was invited for TalentTalks sharing session. Yg.Bhg. Dr. Haji Arbain bin Lani, former director of JKNJ, delivered a seminar on leadership and career building in the public healthcare. He is widely-experienced in the public healthcare setting having held top posts in JKNJ, Hospital Sultanah Aminah, Hospital Sultan Ismail, and Hospital Pakar Sultanah Fatimah. He is a highly respected figure and is looked upon as a mentor by many of the participants.

The participants are the first cohort under JKNJ who enrolled in MBA (Healthcare Management), a program that provides business and management competencies to medical professionals. Success with the first cohort has attracted more medical professionals into AHIBS. The second cohort from JKNJ joined the program in February 2020. AHIBS also runs the program in other states (i.e. Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Perlis, Putrajaya) in addition to classes at its main campuses in UTM JB and UTM KL. Many of its graduates now hold top posts in public and private healthcare institutions in Malaysia and elsewhere.

LeadCamp 1.0 has been successful with very positive participants’ feedback. The activities had exposed the doctors with key leadership skills and strategic talent decision making. Team bonding has grown stronger after spending two days together. They had so much fun, it was difficult to find decent-looking photos as none of them could maintain a serious face.

LeadCamp 1.0 is a pilot initiative, conducted by AP Dr. Rossilah Jamil, to innovate the course delivery in leadership development and to inject a distinctive branding to the MBA program. The project was partly funded by AHIBS Teaching Grant – monetary assistance to AHIBS’ academics to promote quality teaching and learning. LeadCamp 2.0, which was supposed to be held in April with another LTO cohort, had to be withdrawn due to the Movement Control Order (MCO).