“Transforming an organisation is a fundamental part of leadership and yet it is extremely fraught with difficulty. It calls on the leadership team to have a keen and strategic sense of the external environment, clarity on the direction to chart, and a deep knowledge of the external dynamics. Those who have started on this journey will need expert help and support, which I have found in Dr. Karuna. He has the unique ability to contribute not just at the strategic level, but also at the personal level, because of the breadth of his experience and expertise, which ranges from strategy to organisational design, to mentoring and coaching. He is also able to customise programmes that suit the organisation, which is so critical for success since every organisation, and the journey it must undertake, is unique. With these qualities, Dr. Karuna’s impact on our transformation journey, from its inception to its execution, has been substantial and real, and I believe he will have a similar impact on your transformation journey as well.”
“They say the chasm from good to great is just a jump away, but yet many falter in this leap to glory. Transforming teams to collaborate for a higher purpose – one of success, must start with a shared vision. People are complex and this complexities deepen when diverse personalities come together. Getting that symmetry is key, akin to poetry in motion. Having an astute transformational change agent in Dr. Karuna, allowed my organisation to just do that with my teams over the years. As a US software startup in Asia Pacific the objective was to drive not only sales revenue, but also to build a highly productive team. Engaging him allowed my diverse teams to not only shift their mindsets but helped also lift their game. This fundamental transformation was only possible by Dr. Karuna’s ability to educate and at the same time empower my team. A trait carried by few. More so, executed in an empathetic manner. Accountability and ownership are the two tenets to any transformative change. Glad that Dr. Karuna has been able to help integrate these core values in my teams – the results have been stellar across!”
“I worked with Karuna for slightly over a year when my organisation embarked on a change leadership journey. What remains a personal touchstone of that time, was a new awareness of how much impact I had and could make as a middle manager to those around me, subordinates, superiors and peers. Karuna taught me how not to underestimate the power of my influence on someone else, professionally, mentally and emotionally, and how if properly harnessed and with the appropriate institutional commitment and might, would further the success of an organisation. Karuna is a firm believer in transforming organisations through journeys, not one-off programmes and at the individual-level, takes a good deal of time to listen to you intently and deliver hard truths at the right doses. I continue to bear in mind his wisdom in my day-to-day work, and am thankful for the learning I had.”
My mid-career move into public service and into a junior management role was proving to be a bit more challenging than I had expected. Perhaps, it was the slightly different type of rigor, or maybe the unique peer-management role I was placed in, but it was starting to get to me. KRK’s leadership courses and consulting work checked all the boxes and more as my organisation began its transformation following the merger. But it was the executive coaching by Dr Karuna that transformed my life. Took him less than half an hour to zero in on the core issues that were crippling me, and to the heart of the matter that had me crying like a baby. By the second session I was well on my way to raising my game. Little did I know that that was the preparation for my transformation from a team leader to a leader of teams, and into my ops strategy role. His principles of leadership stay on, and my regular health check-up includes diagnosis to ensure that I stay centred, followed by the necessary corrective actions.
“Dr Karuna has been an excellent coach to me. The coaching sessions I have had with him, have been eye-opening. With every interaction, I find myself taken on a journey, where he helps me discover solutions to perceived challenges. The way he explains concepts layered with his experiences in the armed forces, forms an indelible story, that stays on long after the sessions. I would recommend Dr Karuna to anyone to wants to go through a process of self-discovery and personal growth.”
“These 10 months of coaching has been a fruitful journey for me. Dr. Karuna has been a great listening ear and always helped to broaden my perspectives. It has not been an easy journey for me, especially at the emotional level with the change due to Covid situation and the consistent changes in the organisation – from the merger to the change of CE. Corporate directions have been unclear and the “waiting” has lasted for more than one year already. In term of the transformation, I feel that I wanted to do more but I don’t have the empowerment and support from the management. How I wish this leadership program can continue and we can bear the fruits that was planted by earlier! Through these coaching sessions, I have definitely become more aware of my personality, strengths, needs and leadership style. This self-awareness has helped me better manage my emotions and encouraged me to be proactive in supporting the leadership team on the ongoing changes (strategy change and the Covid situation). I am also more conscious about why I am reacting to a certain situation and it helps me control my reaction more positively – this is an important growth in my leadership journey. With a better understanding of my needs and how I should apply my strengths to my work, I am more confident that my personality and capabilities can value-add to the organisation, especially on strategic works. Overall, I believe I have become a more mature and confident leader over the past 10 months. I am thankful for the opportunity to be part of these coaching sessions, and the soft skills and learnings that I have gained will benefit me in the long run.
Dr. Karuna has been a wonderful mentor and coach in the short periods I have spent with him, on organization development and what it means to be a leader. He helped me move through the various phases, both operational and behavioral. His views on personal and corporate values, pragmatic yet inspiring advice on many areas around how Singaporeans and the world, in general, can be better, showed me a sort of bravery, in a way, very admirable. I value his opinions, a lot.
I met Karuna through a connect in Berkeley, CA. Within minutes we figured out how we can help each other. Karuna was instrumental in getting me introduced to one of the largest opportunities my firm has had. He did so because he was spot on with understanding needs and value. Karuna is well spoken, bright, and full of innovative ideas. Yes, I was able to learn all of these important qualities in a short period! I look forward to working with Karuna in the future and home to meet him again in the US or in Singapore.
Karuna is an exemplary individual who demonstrated high objectivity and professionalism in collaborating with an international team of professionals and senior leaders in SAF. This team designed, developed, and implemented an innovative project involving the interweaving of stories and values in support of SAF becoming a learning organization. During this year of interaction, Karuna continuously demonstrated the high values of the SAF.
Karuna is deeply knowledgeable in the domain of leadership development, having been in this field for 9 years. Being a very personable character, he is adept at bridging the cultural gap and getting the message across in an effective manner. Commitment and professionalism are his hallmarks.
“The concepts were difficult ones to understand (see the formal reading materials!), yet the facilitator managed to make it easier and relatable – i.e. he made it understandable and relevant. The programme had a great balance of concepts and practical tips and tools. Thanks for investing so much of yourself into the programme!”
“Karuna is a seasoned OD consultant who has a wealth of experience from his various leadership roles in the Navy and public service. He is very observant and direct which is very helpful in pinpointing our blinders. I have benefited significantly from his workshops where he has provided us with many actionable insights, and coaching sessions where his advices are enlightening.”