Executive Education Series : Leadership Masterclass 4.0

“Leading in an era of constant disruption and times of crises would require a distinct set of competencies and these include, but are not limited to, a combination of variables such as visionary and entrepreneurial skills, innovation-driven mindset, and experimentation (disruptive mentality), cognitive readiness and critical thinking (mental agility), emotional resilience, empathy, and social skills (people agility), driving for success (results agility), and resilience and adaptability (change agility).”
Sattar Bawany (2023)

“Digital Transformation is the key to business competitiveness in a changing and increasingly demanding market. However, for this transformation to be successful, the right corporate culture is needed to promote innovation and creativity within companies.

The key to success in leading during times of disruption such as the digital transformation at the workplace or managing crises such as the COVID-19 requires ‘disruptive digital leaders’ who thrive in situations of ever-greater volatility and uncertain globalized business environment.”


Digital transformation is the key to business competitiveness in a changing and increasingly demanding marketplace. However, for this transformation to be successful, the right corporate culture is needed to promote innovation and creativity within organizations.

Digitalization is rapidly changing the way companies operate and create value in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The emergence of technology-centered business models is also challenging established organizations to reimagine and reinvent themselves to remain relevant to the marketplace. Digital readiness is of great importance today as it seems that while many organizations are either experiencing or expect to experience some form of significant digital disruption, few appear genuinely prepared.

Figure 1: The People, Process & Technology (PPT) Framework

People Process and Technology (Framework)

“People ahead of Process and Technology” The growing awareness and recognition of the impact of transformation on people and culture underscore the urgency to place cultural change at the center of any digital transformation agenda. Cultural transformation in a highly digitalized world includes best practices approaches that will help organizations understand how they can embed successful digital cultural transformation initiatives within their organization. Organizations must adopt the philosophy of putting People ahead of Process and Technology (PPT). Many digital transformation efforts do not achieve their desired results because they concentrate on the process improvement, strategies with the technology as an enabler but they ignore the people aspect of the change initiative.

About the Crisis & Disruptive Leadership Masterclass Series

Leadership 4.0 is about leaders creating their digital transformation strategy and ensure it is aligned with the business and growth plans of their organization. This is achieved by demonstrating effectively the disruptive digital leadership competencies which include cognitive readiness, critical thinking, innovative thinking, agility, resilience along with emotional and social intelligence skills such as empathy and relationship management.

Given the current disruptive, digital and VUCA centric business environment era of Industry 4.0, now, more than ever, leaders have to navigate unfamiliar, challenging times, a quickening pace of change, increasing expectations, and a rising tide of rapidly-evolving conditions. Against this backdrop, we have designed, developed, and successfully delivered in recent years, this series of leadership development programs that leverages best-in-class or thought-leadership concepts, tools, and techniques to drive organizational & leadership excellence.

The program is designed to provide CEOs, C-Suite Leaders as well as functional leaders with a platform to develop from being ‘good to great’. It is specifically aimed at enhancing and developing the skills, knowledge, and behaviors of the participants. The participants will develop their understanding of leadership effectiveness and how it will lead to a creation of sustainable competitive advantage for their respective digital-driven organizations.

Case Study Methodology

Simply put, this executive education program is highly experiential with various learning approaches including the case study method.

The case study approach is effectively a discussion of real-life situations that business executives have faced. Often, executives are surprised to discover that the objective of the case study is not to reach a consensus, but to understand how different people use the same information to arrive at diverse conclusions and make relevant recommendations to resolve the organizational challenge(s). When you begin to understand the context, you can appreciate the reasons why those decisions were made.

The time you spend here is deeply reflective. You’re not only working with case materials and assignments but also taking on the role of the case protagonist—the person who’s supposed to make those tough decisions. How would you react in those situations? We put people in a variety of contexts, and they start by addressing that specific problem(s) or organizational challenge(s).

The faculty or facilitator’s role is to guide you in examining and resolving the issues—but the beauty here is that they don’t provide you with the answers. You’re interacting in the classroom with other executives—debating the issue, presenting new viewpoints, countering positions, and building on one another’s ideas. That’s how real learning takes place.

Program 1: Crisis Leadership Masterclass


This masterclass focuses on the key elements that enhance executive and board crisis leadership and what factors may undermine meeting the organizational goals and business results. In an organizational crisis Boards, executives and senior managers face a myriad of organizational challenges as they navigate a range of expectations and obligations. These come from a range of stakeholders including communities, regulators, shareholders, and employees. This course teaches essential ways to communicate and collaborate with every level of your organization during a crisis event.

Key Learning Outcomes

Develop an understanding of the root cause of a crisis and how to use key best practice tools and frameworks towards managing a crisis effectively.  Participants will also be able to discuss the correlation between crisis and risk management strategies and ensure the effective flow of communication within the organization for managing crises. Leverage the “C.R.I.S.I.S.” Leadership Model to prepare and develop the next generation of leaders to enable them to integrate continuity and contingency planning at organizational and departmental and operational levels. Finally, the participants will be able to create, document, and communicate their organization’s crisis and contingency plans and procedures.

Program 2: Leading a Digital Transformation (DT/DX) Strategy


Digital Transformation (DT/DX) is the process of integration and leveraging of digital technologies (including but not limited to artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet-of-Things (IoT), big data, cloud computing, and blockchain technologies) into all aspects of an organization to create new or enhance existing business processes, culture, and customer experience (CX) to meet changing market requirements.

Leaders play a critical role in the digital transformation journey by bringing expertise, judgment, healthy skepticism, and concern for long-term value. Foundational to any transformation is getting the right data in the hands of business leaders so they can make informed and effective decisions. To undergo true transformation at scale, leaders must nurture a healthy culture—or change it promptly if it shows signs of resistance.

Key Learning Outcomes

Develop disruptive mental agility and understand how digital technologies are radically changing competitive environments, and how leaders can leverage them to ensure the sustainability of their organization.

Understand how to shape organizational culture and behavior to become digital-first, lead with a growth mindset and become accepting of change and continuous, iterative improvement.

Program 3: Transforming a Disruptive Innovation-Driven Culture


Innovative organizations are leveraging new business models, service innovations, and applying technologies to disrupt industries and develop new markets globally. Leaders are in a unique position to help their companies redefine the future through pre-emptive 4 innovation. It can be hard to know when to pull the trigger on changing a company’s course and to determine whether it is the strategy that should change or the execution of the strategy or both.

Developing a culture of innovation internally leads to higher employee engagement, empowerment of employees to assist in solving some of the organization’s most critical challenges, and effective method for capturing their ideas and acting on them, and finally, leading to an increase in cost savings and productivity.

Key Learning Outcomes

Understand the meaning of innovation and disruption, and their impact on the sustainability of the organization as well as to support the development of an innovation-driven culture to drive passion and productivity.

Acquire the best practice tools and frameworks to develop a process for innovation and successfully foster by using design thinking methodology (high level) to transform into an innovative organization for the digital economy.

Program 4: Driving a High Performance Culture (HPC)


One of the leader’s primary role is to become more engaged and effective stewards of business performance and shareholder value by driving a high-performance organizational culture. This could be achieved by taking a systemic approach to the development of a high-performance culture and strategy taking into consideration the customer service, sustainability, and other factors valued by customers and employees.

Leaders should continue to assess the organization’s strategy including feedback on products, business opportunities, and from its partners. Transforming to a high-performance culture (HPC) of any organization takes time, effort, and commitment. But it begins with clear, visible changes in behavior, especially by the leader’s efforts to transform its organizational culture, starting with a new strategic digital vision.

Key Learning Outcomes

Develop an understanding of how organizations can help foster long-term shareholder value by deepening their understanding of the strategic importance of a high-performance culture as well as leveraging on tools towards ensuring that management is forging a culture that is aligned with the business strategy.

Understand the leader’s fundamental role in ensuring that culture, values, and behaviours align towards achieving a high-performance organizational culture.

Program 5: The Future of Work in a Disruptive and Digital-Driven Workplace


The workplace of tomorrow is an uncertain place. We live in a rapidly changing world, and digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and big data are rapidly changing the fundamental nature of how we live and work, communicate and do business and disrupting traditional industries and redefining the employee-employer relationship.

Leaders at all levels need to understand the strategic implications and impact of these disruptive changes on contemporary work practices and understand how to support the design of a secure future amidst this disruption. What new, disruptive technologies are on the horizon? How will jobs change? What challenges will employers and employees face? How can the breakthrough processes and systems help businesses and employees to create innovative solutions to overcome such challenges?

Key Learning Outcomes

Understand the leader’s role of strategic importance in the disruptive ‘new normal’ workplace. Understand how to meet the challenges of the coming decades in the highly disruptive and increasingly digital-driven workplace of the future.

Develop insights on how to transition the current work to be ready for the ‘Future of Work’ and understand how the roles of firms, employees, and public policy have changed and created the labor market of today including the ‘Gig Economy’.

Program 6: Talent Management & Succession Planning for Industry 4.0


In the past decade, leaders have recognized the need for greater oversight of critical levers of business performance such as strategy, risk, major transactions, and “people” including talent management and succession planning to ensure business sustainability. However, today, leaders need to identify, assess and develop their human capital to ensure that they always have a strong pipeline of talent coming in to help them execute the corporate strategy effectively in the highly disruptive and digital-driven business environment.

The leadership team should know the mission-critical roles and ensure that effective learning & development, as well as compensation strategies, are aligned to them. They mustn’t understand just these roles, but the capabilities and competencies needed for these roles to thrive, and the assessment of talent against these capabilities. They need to partner with the human resources team to formulate the strategy to attract and develop the top talent to ensure their readiness to take on these critical roles.

Key Learning Outcomes

Develop an understanding of how to recognize the development of top talent as a priority and entirely rethink how the role leaders’ play in ensuring talent development.

Identify the right talent management and succession model for the mission-critical roles that will suit the organization’s circumstances and business requirements. Develop a collective understanding among the senior leadership team on matters of talent management and succession planning.

Program 7: Leading High Performance Digital Transformation Teams


High-performing teams have become a principal building block of the successful digital transformation strategy. Although teams are at the core of any change initiative, success will often depend on how well each team member operates and collaborates with others. Today’s highly disruptive, as well as VUCA-driven networked business environment, not only provides a challenging environment for leaders to operate in but would need to 6 depend on their teams, which are critically important to getting work done.

Open communication in high-performing teams means a focus on coaching instead of directing. Communication is the very means of cooperation or collaboration between team members. One of the primary motives for companies to implement teams is that team-based organizations are more responsive and move faster.

Key Learning Outcomes

Development of a well-defined ‘Team Charter’ which includes the team’s mission, shared purpose and values, and goals and understand the effective communication strategies to ensure a fast, clear, accurate communication culture.

Learn how to maximize the value of coaching as a process for helping team members to think for themselves and facilitate the process of self and group discovery. Develop a culture of rapid response approach in decision making where team members can adapt, adjust, and, when necessary, pivot in real-time on how to approach the implementation of the digital transformation project.

For the detailed Course Outline for any of the above programs, please submit your request here.


This series of highly extensive and practical 2-day executive development program combines proven-in-action techniques with peer interaction and insights from the latest research on disruptive and transformational leadership published in the book, “Leadership in Disruptive Times” (2020) and “Transforming the Next Generation Leaders: Developing Future Leaders for a Disruptive, Digital-Driven Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0)” (2019).

The participants will be able to explore the transformation of their respective organizations in today’s highly disruptive, increasingly VUCA (see Figure 2), and the digital-driven era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (also known as Industry 4.0). They would be able to build the case for their organizations to revisit and, at times, reinvent their people strategy, internal systems and processes, and deploy the technologies that would suit disruptive times.

Figure 2: The 'VUCA' Characteristics For The 'New Normal'

The program will also provide them with guidance on the actions required in specific situations through the use of relevant examples or contextualized scenarios that are specific, relevant and meaningful to each participant and their organizations.

Throughout each of the 2-day program, there will be highly experiential exercises including case studies and action-based workplace learning projects which will contribute towards the development of the crucial competencies of a ‘disruptive digital leader’ (See Figure 3) that would be critical as they guide their organizations through the disruption caused by the COVID-19 crisis and the post-pandemic digital transformation of the workplace in the ever-changing ‘Future of Work’.

Figure 3: The 'Disruptive Digital Leadership' Competencies


This Disruptive Leadership 4.0 Masterclass series aim to transform the participant as a ‘digital disruptive leader’ and they will be able to:

  • Learn the best practices towards the development of a digital-driven culture at the workplace
  • Understand how to ensure successful implementation of digital transformation initiatives
  • Learn the best practices on leading and adapting during disruptive times
  • Develop strategies for transition of the current work to be ready for the ‘Future of Work”
  • Shape organizational culture and behavior to become digital-first, lead with a growth mindset
  • Support the development of the innovation culture to drive passion and productivity.
  • Leverage on tools towards development of a high performance-driven culture that is aligned with the business strategy
  • Recognize the development of top talent as a priority and entirely rethink how the role they play in ensuring talent development.
  • Understand the crucial competencies and develop the KPIs required in driving for success in a disruptive changing world of work
  • Understand how to adapt their leadership and communication styles with key stakeholders
  • Build an open and trust-based partnership with key stakeholders for successful digital transformation implementation
  • Develop relationship management and social skills at the digital-driven workplace
  • Craft a 90-Day Personal Disruptive Digital Leadership Development Plan


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Professor Sattar Bawany is the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Executive Education (CEE) and the Disruptive Leadership Institute (DLI). He is also concurrently the Managing Director (Asia Pacific) & C-Suite Master Executive Coach with Executive Development Associates Inc. (EDA).

He has over 30 years’ international business management experience, including 20 years in executive coaching, board advisory, and leadership development and consulting with global management consulting firms including Mercer HR, Hay Group (now part of Korn Ferry) and DBM (now part of LHH/Adecco Group)

In addition to his business and consulting career, Prof Bawany has over 20 years of concurrent academic experience as an Adjunct Professor teaching senior executives international business strategies and human resource courses at various leading universities. he is currently the Professor of Practice of Disruptive Leadership at the IPE Management School – Paris and also an Adjunct Professor of the School of Management (SOM) at Asia e University (AeU) in Kuala Lumpur.

In November 2019, Prof Bawany was awarded the “2019 Executive of the Year for Human Resources Consulting” at the Singapore Business Review (SBR) Management Excellence Awards 2019. Subsequently, in July 2023, he was named by the CEO Insights ASIA Magazine as the “Top 10 Best CEOs in Singapore 2023“.

He has coached a range of leaders, from CEOs to senior vice presidents, and high potential managers. His current work in organizations focuses on encouraging individual initiative and leadership from a systemic perspective to achieve clearly defined business results. His specialty is effectively linking people processes to business outcomes.

Prof Bawany is an accomplished author on related themes of Leadership Development & C-Suite Succession Planning in the Digital era of Industry 4.0. His latest book, “Leadership in Disruptive Times” published by Business Expert Press (BEP) LLC, New York, NY. was released in July 2020. The book focuses on navigating the organizational challenges of the post-COVID-19 pandemic crisis and the digital transformation at the workplace.

His earlier book on “Transforming the Next Generation Leaders: Developing Future Leaders for a Disruptive, Digital-Driven Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0)” (2019) also published by Business Expert Press (BEP), provide organizations with the systematic and fact-based leadership development approach and strategies they need to develop their high potential (next generation of future) leaders in today’s fast-paced highly disruptive, increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous ( VUCA), and the digital-driven era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (better known as Industry 4.0).

Prof Bawany is a member of the Advisory Panel for China-ASEAN Business Association (CABA) and RHT G.R.A.C.E. Institute. He is also a Fellow of the International Professional Managers Association ( IPMA) and The Chartered Institute of Marketing ( CIM). He is a Professional Member of the Society for Human Resource Management ( SHRM) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development ( CIPD). He is also a Practicing Member of the International Coaching Federation ( ICF) and the International Association of Coaching ( IAC).

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