Mark Stuart, the internationally sought-after speaker and trainer from the Anagram Group, will be discussing the topic of leadership in the digital age at Tank Storage Asia 2019, the leading event for the Asian bulk liquid storage industry. The event returns to Singapore’s Marina Sands Expo & Convention Centre on September 25-26. Here, he provides an overview of his talk.  

There is no doubt that all industries are going through unprecedented levels of change, and many leadership teams are still playing catch up. Many leaders are lost as to what to do first – and who can blame them? The challenges are numerous: where to start in their digital transformation? What data to leverage? How do they keep their workforce engaged? How can they increase their own skill set to meet modern demands?

Leadership teams in more traditional industries, such as oil and gas, construction, and logistics, are now switching on to the fact that old ways of working aren’t going to help them maintain their market positions and drive innovation in light of increased competition and tighter margins.  

What does this mean for the leadership teams of terminals or companies in the tank storage industry? 

There are three key areas they should focus on:

#1: Establishing an Innovation Strategy

Almost every company is going through some form of digital transformation, or at least thinking about starting to, but that doesn’t mean you should dive in blindly. There is a lot of noise and hype about the latest technology out there, but you should have a strategy in place so that there is a plan your teams can understand and follow. 

Leaders need to take time to work out what problem needs to be solved first and then review the options available. Only then should they assess the need for an innovation team or use of external consultants. If anything, start small, build up confidence, and then go for the larger changes. Ultimately, it will challenge current operations, but shouldn’t hinder them.

#2: Use of Big Data

Data is the new currency; some even say the new oil. Terminals are now able to collect large swathes of data but knowing what to do with it is a whole different problem. This creates an opportunity to leverage data and build Artificial Intelligence solutions that can help with operations, planning, terminal management and a plethora of other opportunities. 

This is why companies such as ShipsFocus are teaming up with companies like Stolthaven to explore utilisation of data and terminal optimisation. 

#3: Employee Development

To be able to embrace and optimise technology and working practices, staff – including leadership teams – will need new skills. What will these be? How will leaders ensure employees have the knowledge they need? Do leaders need to hire everyone from outside the company or can existing employees be retrained or upskilled? Again, this will require a plan as it can’t happen overnight. 

The future doesn’t need to be feared but it does require some planning and a strategy in place. The companies that have a clear vision and execute it will be the ones leading the pack in five to 10 years’ time. Companies need to ask themselves what they’re doing to prepare for the changes ahead? 

Mark Stuart is a sought-after speaker and winner of the ‘Future of Work’ Award. He has worked with over 200 corporate and government agencies in Singapore and around Asia, and will be the Keynote Speaker at Tank Storage Asia taking place in Singapore on the 25th and 26th September 2019.  

For more information on attending the conference visit

9th August 2019