Healthy dissatisfaction with status quo required

In the fifth industrial revolution, it is not just the big that can eat the small, but the fast that can eat the slow too ("NOL did not adapt fast enough, says CEO"; Thursday).

That's the warning that should be heeded by every enterprise and employee at every level of the organisational hierarchy.

Preparing for a volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous world starts with the right mindset.

There should be a healthy dissatisfaction with the current situation and a passionate drive to constantly review current business models and refresh the organisation and operations.

As they say, what has helped an enterprise to be successful in the past may not contribute to its future success.

While others are thinking about what's next, we need to study what's coming after that. We need to look ahead of the curve and around the bend to invest in the future and be future-ready.

To do that, we need to be sensing the internal and external landscapes all the time.

The public and private sectors should collaborate to establish more and better intelligence outposts to find out the latest trends and changes that may have a major impact on us.

We need to update our collective repository of knowledge and expertise so that we can improve our cutting edge and compete in a fast-changing world.

It is unlikely that we can prevent the tsunami of challenges that will come upon us in the near future.

However, we can enhance our capacity, ability, adaptability, agility and tenacity to overcome these challenges.

From the young to the old, we need to develop these qualities to help us go and grow through adversities and failures.

It's sad to see our nation lose an icon like Neptune Orient Lines.

On the other hand, let this case be a wake-up call to reinvent ourselves for the better, and to do so rigorously and unrelentingly.

Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2016, with the headline 'Healthy dissatisfaction with status quo required'. Print Edition | Subscribe