December 17, 2013

A Dutch Member’s View from Singapore


On Wednesday, November 6th, members of INAA, and our guests, gathered on the Lighthouse Rooftop of the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore. With a magnificent view on the Marina Bay and the impressive skyline of Singapore we enjoyed cocktails and drinks before later being entertained by a very impressive laser show from the roof of the Marina Sand Bay Hotel.

We were of course there for the INAA AGM and the following morning gathered in the Straits Room Foyer for the first meeting session, committee reports and the introduction of new member firms.

After an interesting beginning we were able to relax on a bus tour to the City built in a Garden, just outside Marina Bay. The City built in a Garden was developed on so-called reclaimed land (a déjà vu for the Dutch visitors). We visited two enormous greenhouses. The first allowed us to experience an overview of the climates from various continents and their related flora, including many beautiful flowers, unknown plants and trees. Oddly the temperature in the greenhouses was lower than outside – exactly opposite as in The Netherlands! The second greenhouse simulated a mountain climate with a huge, 7 storey structure including a waterfall and typical plants and flowers like mountain orchids. Overall, it was impressive in size, attractiveness and originality.

Back at the Marina Bay we viewed a model showing the impressive and ambitious future plans of the Bay development all of which is to be created on reclaimed land.

The day was topped off by a boat trip to the Barrage and a lovely meal at a famous seafood restaurant.

Friday, November 8th saw the second day of meetings. The day’s main subject was a workshop on Building Cross-Cultural Leadership Competency, presented by Dr Christopher Koh.

The goal of Dr Koh’s session was to reveal intercultural relationships and offer best practice and methods of assessing the differences between cultures. The information was highly interesting and useful as we all aim to work more closely in this global environment.

Delegates also had the opportunity to solidify their learning by participating in two workshops. The first one presented a challenge for individuals as we had to make a priority list for saving people from a burning skyscraper. As you can imagine some serious discussions followed as each person put forward their position and rational for their individual decisions. It was enlightening to see the different points of view across the group.

The second workshop was dedicated to identifying and understanding types of behavior across the delegates attending from various countries. The participation here was per country rather than as individuals and the outcome here was, again, surprising.

After a lengthy afternoon session the formal part of the AGM was closed and we gathered again to enjoy dinner with our colleagues and guests overlooking Marina Bay.

While some delegates left for the airport the same evening, others took advantage of a few additional days for sightseeing in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The 2013 INAA AGM was a fantastic experience, full of information, insights and relationship building. I highly recommend members attend these events whenever possible.

Hans de Wilde

Maas Accountants, The Netherlands

Please click here for more pictures.

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