The Transition - Essential for Businesses Who Wish to Survive.


In a world that is changing in every way – businesses and the way we work, must too. Here are some of the mindset shifts that are essential for organisational transformation and survival.

From Profit to Purpose: Businesses with a strong purpose at the heart of it will benefit far greater than those who simply exist to profit. This is evident in the rise of social enterprises who are now outperforming regular businesses. According to a survey, 38% of social enterprises surveyed saw an increase in their turnover in the last twelve months with 29% of SMEs surveyed by the Department for Business. More than half of social enterprises (56%) developed a new product or service, compared with 43% of SMEs. Two-thirds (63%) of social enterprises expect their turnover to increase in the next two to three years, almost double the number of SMEs (37%). Not only this, but new statistics from the World Economic Forum also show that millennials will only stay in their job and be fulfilled if they feel connected to the purpose of that company. And finally, another reason for a justified move to focus on purpose is, that is what your consumers want! More than ever, we’re voting with our money to buy something with a narrative and caring about where our products come from.

From Hierarchies to Networks: This is where we have probably seen the greatest successes being manifested in companies who can master the model of a shared network over hierarchies. This is seen in Uber, Airbnb and Alibaba who have become some of the most successful startups due to a shared network model.

From Controlling to Empowering: They say that successful people are successful because they work with the best people. How you motivate and build your team defines your level of outcome. Leaders who can empower their network and team succeed over those who control. But it doesn’t stop at the team, but also your position in the market and your customers. Empower them. This connects to the network structure above.

From Planning to Experimentation: There was a time when launching a new product or service took a lot of time, but due to technological advancements, everything we do takes less time and we’re able to experiment more. But not only this, social media allows us to get instant feedback, replacing old extended planning time with getting things out there and improving based on instant but strategic feedback- that way ensuring we’re building products and services based on actual needs rather than presumed needs. And finally, allowing experimentation and ‘failures’ to occur in business is something which is becoming more accepted.

From Privacy to Transparency: We were in Bahrain recently delivering our Business Masterclasses for SMEs, where we saw such a fear of sharing ideas due to risk of someone stealing them. This is a great barrier holding many back from fulfilling the potential of their ideas. We are moving away from a ‘private’ world in so many ways – this is of course evident most greatly in social media and how we ‘share’ so much of our lives, ourselves and our work instantly across so many platforms. We literally ‘share’ things we see and things we are thinking about. The culture is shifting and opening possibilities for people to hear or see something and want to connect relevant people to it- whether through a ‘@mention’ on social media or saying in person ‘Oh sounds great – you should speak to this person or that person’. If we continue to keep things to ourselves out of fear, the only thing we will be left with, will be untapped potential.


All of the above and more covered in our Business Masterclass aimed at SMEs and Corporates. The Business Masterclass is tailored to suit each company and includes thought-provoking insight, practical activities and actionable tools to maximise purpose, impact and outcome of teams. Email: for all enquiries or directly. Happy to chat!


@melody_hossaini /

The 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) was held in Kuala Lumpur on 11th and 12th October 2013 bringing together the world’s leading speakers on entrepreneurship. I was honoured to be there speaking on the 2 days, firstly on developments in youth entrepreneurship and secondly on social enterprise. Here’s my overview blog on outcomes and emerging trends.

Barack Obama at 4th GES

4 years ago, President Barack Obama announced he wanted to hold annual summits with the aim of empowering and connecting entrepreneurs, whilst also developing USA’s relationship with Muslim countries around the world. The annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) was born and 4 summits on, I was honoured to be invited to attend as a speaker, here in Malaysia.

Upon arriving, I got to appreciate the true scale of it! Over 4,700 delegates from across the world, including entrepreneurs, Government officials and organisations flocked to the 2-day event. Barack Obama was due to be opening the ceremony, however a few days before the event, was forced to send his apologies due to the US currently being under lock-down.  Instead, a video message was played. See a short clip here > ‪

Senator John Kerry GES

In his place, Senator John Kerry took to the stage. I had never personally heard him speak previously, and was impressed with his very natural and easy delivery, as well as use of humour (with communications trainer hat on!).  His opening line was amusing; “If only people in Washington were as collaborative as people in this room, we’d all do better!”

Senator Kerry’s points were centred very much on highlighting the need to support the younger generation into business.  “Great seeing so many young people here- your energy- it’s really all in your hands” He went on; “No one is better to talk about innovation than young people. Every step towards progress has always started with young people”.  This is music to my ears as someone who’s spent many years in the youth sector, advocating for young people as champions of positive change.

Senator Kerry also shared a few announcements:

  • Obama’s focus on entrepreneurship will be on young people and ensuring they have access to networks and relevant training as well as mentors. They’ll facilitate a greatest link between the private and the public sector.
  • Obama is going to launch a new research network with World Bank and others, supporting entrepreneurs
  • They’ll be connecting innovators with relevant capital
  • This is the bit I was waiting for, John Kerry stated; “Obama understand that business is so much more than just profit- it’s about making people’s lives better” He continued in his announcement; “We’ll be collaborating with social entrepreneurs to provide joint space for them to work on to tackle leading issues”.

That afternoon, I was a speaker in a panel session entitled ‘Are we there yet’ – referring to the journey of development for young entrepreneurs. My focus was on social enterprise and it was my pleasure to share the incredible advancement in social enterprise being led by young people and women- as well as the relevance of the education sector in supporting the shift occurring. I spoke of and was asked questions about InspirEngage International’s latest programme Social Enterprise Revolution and how we’re embedding this into the curriculum of educational establishments, allowing for students to develop skills as well as make a few quid by improving their communities- as part of their education.

An interesting question posed was how a social entrepreneur can balance commitment to a social cause with the need to run a viable business. With the development of social enterprise- the two are becoming seamlessly linked. The other speakers, included young entrepreneurs in the App-industry as well as Ms Jolene, a 23 year-old articulate young Malaysian spoke about her business in delivering financial education for young people.

One of my highlight speakers was Prof. W Chan Kim, Co-Author of Blue Ocean Strategy- speaking about Blue Ocean Entrepreneurs who align 3 key propositions: value, profit & people. The ‘blue ocean’ refers to the untapped market and the move away from the ‘red ocean’ of competitive approach that only aim services for current consumers. All about changing the way in which entrepreneurs choose their market, in light of the more collaborative world we live in. Very thought-provoking so no wonder Prof. Kim was named one of Forbes most influential thinkers. Another highlight as speaker was owner of Air Asia (and the Asian equivalent of Lord Sugar!) Tony Fernandes.

On the second day, I was a speaker on a panel called ‘Social Entrepreneurs’ – this is really where my passion lies and where I believe the future of business is headed. The panelists, including Mr John Gage- Director of Sun Microsystems and Human Needs Project, spoke passionately making a case for business with a good cause! The audience, unsurprisingly, was made up of mostly young people! St the end, I felt it only right to share the InspirEngage Social Enterprise Anthem! Video:

At lunchtime, speakers were invited to a VIP luncheon where Don Tapscott was a speaker. Don Tapscott – CEO of the Tapscott Group. co-author of Wikinomics and co-author of Microwikinomics. One of the world’s leading authorities on innovation, media and the economic and social impact of technology.

Just been announced as Forbe’s most influential business speaker on social media. Shared interesting insight- my highlight being reasons highlighted about how small businesses can now compete and be as powerful as large corporations. In an afternoon meeting with Don, I interviewed him which will be released as a youtube video on my channel: MelodyHChannel.

Over the 2 days, we attended several workshops, including a session on ‘How I made my first million’ which highlighted the importance of responding and adapting to change as well as developing a strong vision and positive attitude.

The recurring theme across most conversations was that there is a strong change in dynamic occurring which truly affects how we do business- the old models simply do not work- the world is more collaborative, social media driven and shifting towards socially responsible business, with young people as priority.

On a personal note, being back in the region (have delivered InspirEngage programmes across East Asia previously) reminded me of how much I enjoy working with such a collaborative, respectful and innovative culture. NEXT GES -It was announced during the closing ceremony that the next GES 2014, is due to be held in Morocco. Until then!

Tweet: @Melody_Hossaini / @InspirEngage