Study Says Fear of Failure Holding Singapore Back

Do you think our “kiasu” mindset is holding us back from being more innovative?

A new report, “Connecting Commerce”, by the Economist Intelligence Unit placed Singapore 14th out of 45 countries in terms of how confident businesses are that the city's environment supports a digital transformation.

Commissioned by Australian telco Telstra, the study looked at five indicators: innovation and entrepreneurship, financial environment, people and skills, development of new technologies, and information and communications technology infrastructure.

Singapore fared most poorly in innovation and entrepreneurship, where it ranked 21st, and in people and skills, where it ranked 18th.

Mr David Burns, Telstra's group managing director of international and global services, said this is largely because innovation often involves being willing to fail repeatedly before achieving success.

Speaking yesterday at a panel discussion organised by Telstra, he said: "In corporate society in Singapore, failure is not in the dictionary, whereas that innovative environment works on trying things and seeing what works.”

Big data analytics skills were most in demand for firms in Singapore seeking digital transformation, with 38 per cent citing these as their biggest requirement. Digital security came second, at 32 per cent.

The study polled 2,620 senior executives and at least 28 business leaders in 45 cities; ranking Bangalore in India first, ahead of San Francisco in the United States. Six other Asian cities were in the top 10. Among South-east Asian cities, the highest ranked were Manila at sixth, and Jakarta at eighth.

Source: “Fear of failure holding Singapore back: Study” (The Straits Times, 8 Nov 2017)

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