KC Chan


Practice Professor KC Chan




K C Chan is the President of TWAN Pte Ltd and an advisor to Pradita Institute of Science and Technology. He holds MSc (Industrial Engineering) and BSc (Production Management) degrees from the Cranfield University (England), an MBA (Strategic Management) and PhD (International Business) from the University of Strathclyde (Scotland). He also holds three doctorate degrees in project-based action learning. He is visiting professor to five leading universities in Asia. To-date he has over 30 years of senior management and international consulting experience in design thinking for disruptive and wholistic learning using project-based accelerated paradigm shift.

Disruptive Thinking in Industry 4.0 Impacted by the VUCA Business Environment and Globalization Forces: Case Illustration of a Precision Engineering & Automation Company using the 6As of Transition Change Management to Connect, Innovate and Transform


The 6As of disruptive thinking are:

Awareness: the need to reinvent. This requires expert power to focus on the firm’s core competence (uniqueness, scalability, hard to emulate) to achieve the highest profit margin by serving its key account customers, 20% of the key account customers contribute to 80% of the products/services/solutions sales revenue, with the most lucrative profitability.

Alignment: the need to rethink. This requires adaptive power to do the right thing to meet stakeholders’ expectations (stakeholders encompass internal and external customers, including the regulators) in view of the changing needs and requirements which differ from one country to another due to cultural diversity.  Timing is everything, e.g. first mover advantage – Apple smart phone and i-Pad.

Action: the need to reengineer. This requires execution power to be faster, better, and smarter than the competition. However, prudence in selecting the right people to accomplish discipline in execution, implementing the right process to attain the ability to execute. For example,100% successfully implementing a project instead of only 90% of an excellent strategy - where the ability to execute the strategy resulted in customer dissatisfaction because of cost and schedule overrun, is not a win-win outcome.

Adoption: the need to redesign to stay relevant and sustain competitive advantage – by meeting stakeholders’ needs and stay abreast with technological changes. This requires communicative power through the internet-of-things to keep stakeholders inform of the firm’s latest improvements on new products/services/solutions to achieve customer loyalty and retention.

Assurance: the need to rejuvenate. This requires stamina power. The firm must have short-term (up to 3 years), mid-term (up to 6 years), and long-term (up to 10 years) to stay afloat regardless of the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) regional, international and global business environment impacted by the tumultuous forces of globalization.

Anticipation: the need to redefine. This requires response power to cope with sudden changes in the demands of stakeholders’ requirements, though concurrently with the prudence to focus on projects with the lowest risks and minimum capital outlay. Risk strategy is inadequate if without risk response plan to be executed by the right people who implement the right process and equip them with the right tool/technology for speed of execution.