March 26, 2011

When Women Smoke

I had an engagement with four UiTM students seeking my views on the institution’s undergoing Transformation. It was part of their study to understand how we define the Transformation in term of Mindset Change and Engagement & Communication. I then explained the concept of System that leads to culture, of which eventually will shape one’s mindset. System, I added consists of people, the process as well as policy and guidelines. I stressed a system without a dedicated and skillful people, well defined process and good policy will not gonna be efficient. Thus, unable to create a culture and later change the mindset. I quoted Mintzberg’s concept of management, a concept we tried to implement in the Transformation, make it as part of our day to day process and support it as a policy thru KPIs. I reiterated by saying the culture and mindset change would have been a mess without proper planning, leading, organizing and most importantly control.

But then I guess I failed to explain the concept of peer/situational superiority that might be able to offset the system. As I drove back home that day, I saw a lady in an old Saga with 3 children (of her perhaps), and she smoke. Government might have spend millions for ads, campaign etc to ensure good system in place i.e. health awareness and anti smoking campaign, but nothing might come close if the reasons were to be able to socialize, to avoid gaining weight, to deal with stress/depression or even a sign of control of one’s lives.

For ages, male has dominated the world of tobacco but of recent, peers and situation has changed the mentality of women and relate smoking to glamour, slimness and lured young women especially to the habit. In years to come, it will become culture and eventually will change the paradigm of mindset. In 10 years, perhaps one might feel awkward seeing women without cigarette in their hand. Although WHO estimates only 7% increase for women smoker in Asia (as compared to 48% for men), but with daring advertisement, it could represent incredible untapped market for tobacco manufacturer.

And I failed to explain all those to the students.

P/s - midnight 26 March...Aku rasa bahagia dengar lagu ni!
..dan disuatu masa di hari yang indah, kuhulur tanganku lalu kau terima...

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