It was perhaps the worst of times to launch a new employee training programme. Brimming with optimism, Hong Kong-based regional conglomerate Jardine Matheson had just launched the Jardines Digital, IT and Innovation Academy (JDIIA) with global learning provider Hyper Island. This marked the first time in the group’s 188-year history where it had undertaken a group-wide initiative to provide learning and development (L&D) experiences en masse to its diverse business units. 

The scope of the project was ambitious, considering that Jardines operates as a decentralised organisation, with over 464,000 employees across the world covering industries ranging from real estate to groceries to vehicle distribution. Inevitably, people from each of the different business units across different markets bring with them different beliefs and approaches to doing things. 

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