Whee Jim was our facilitator for two of the dialogues during the annual Public Service Learning Festival in 2020, where we convened more than 300 leaders and officers in the regulatory and enforcement job functions to reflect on and discuss the lessons from battling COVID-19.
I was very impressed by Whee Jim’s professionalism from the start to the end of the engagement for a number of reasons.
Firstly, he grilled us endlessly on the objectives and outcomes that we wanted to get out of the sessions. This helped to sharpen the clarity and foster a strong sense of alignment among the organising team and the panellists. Secondly, he is someone who would push the boundaries and challenge us to do things differently to achieve a better outcome. This resulted in doing away with the standard one-way download presentations, but instead, he asked each of the panellists probing questions to share their reflections, which came across much more relatable and conversational. Thirdly, he skilfully managed well-paced two-way dialogues between the panellists and participants by injecting audience participation at the right junctures.
The feedback from the participants were glowing. Many felt that they picked up new insights from the lessons shared by the panellists, and in particular, appreciated the deep and frank conversations.
Besides working with Whee Jim on the Learning Festival, I had the privilege to observe and interact with him on a number of occasions during his stint at the Civil Service College. He is someone I would approach for facilitation support if I need to engage a diverse set of stakeholders and to go deep and unpack a complex topic.