“Hyper Island helped me understand that transformation is a marathon”

Angela Yong has been at the forefront of innovation within IT systems and business development in Sweden for the past 20 years. Here, she tells us why she took our online course Driving Transformation and how it helped her to keep on innovating.

As well as innovation manager and coach at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), Singapore-educated and Sweden-based, Angela is also a project manager at the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket) working with a government assignment related to stimulating open and data-driven innovation. Prior to that, she was the project manager for Hack for Sweden, an initiative supported by Swedish government agencies to stimulate the development of new services and products with open data.

Hi Angela! Please tell us about some of the common challenges that companies face in your industry.
Angela: “A common challenge is finding the time to question and act on changing the status quo, or to engage in other problems outside one’s job description.”

Are there any characteristics inherent to companies in the country you live in where a course like Driving Transformation can make a difference?
Angela: “How to transform despite the red tape or sluggishness in the organization (read: Swedish government). There are a great deal of discussions both internally and with other agencies or organisations. But to take the step from talk to actions/experiments do take time.”

Why did you choose to study the Driving Transformation online course?
Angela: “I am comfortable in using digital tools and the possibility in reducing travel plus balancing family and work life make this online course interesting. What I wanted to get out of it personally and professionally was to learn about how others have experimented in their own context and extract some learnings that can be applicable in my work context.”

Describe some of the emotions you experienced during the course.
Angela: “I was surprised that many were so engaged during the course. And having everyone online at the same time with few technical problems was a wow-experience. The group was a mixture of participants from different walks of life and industries. The mix was good. I am in touch with a few of them through Zoom meetings afew times a month and on Slack when necessary. I think it could be that the chemistry between us worked and that our change cases are related to each other.”

“I have not attended a physical Hyper Island course but this online course was worth my time and ran by experienced and driven coaches that facilitated the entire process.”

Angela Yong
Innovation Manager and Coach, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI)

Collaboration, sharing and effective teamwork are central to the Hyper Island learning methodology. How did you experience these during the course?
Angela: “It all worked fine – thanks to the clear instructions and time constraints. We tried to respect one another’s limited time and to be inclusive even when each one of us are not in phase all the time.”

What are the most important skills and mindsets needed to successfully drive transformation?
Angela: “Iterative learning, dare-to-do mindsets, being able to reflect upon experiments to gain new learnings, and tons of patience.”

Would you say that the Driving Transformation online course has helped your work?
Angela: “It has given me more tools and structure which I can apply on and off, and helped me understand that driving transformation is a marathon. I have not attended a physical Hyper Island course but this online course was worth my time and ran by experienced and driven coaches that facilitated the entire process.”

Angela took our part-time online course Driving Transformation, which has been designed to give participants the tools, coaching, and network to drive real change in your organization. You work with your own transformation case and you’ll learn by doing with a close group of peers from different industries. What do you need to transform your business?