Sunday, 23 November 2014
Thursday, 13 November 2014
- Modular – A sequence of similar parts, units, or components in which order of the units is interchangeable (Think of this approach as a plug and play approach. Eg Financial presentations fall under this category. You can easily rearrange items at will but it makes it challenging for your audience to follow)
- Chronological – Organises clusters of ideas along a timeline reflecting events in the order in which they occurred or might occur (Telling a story that deals with change is the most important objective. Eg HR director of a company that has to bring new staff up to speed about company.)
- Physical – Organises clusters of ideas according to their physical or geographic location. (Distribution operation whose points of presence around the country/world represent its major competitive advantage. Eg DHL)
- Spatial – Organises ideas conceptually, according to a physical metaphor or analogy, providing a spatial arrangement of your topics. (Providing a spatial view of topics from top to bottom or vice versa. Eg. Spatial Flow Structure is the physical metaphor of constructing a house. The foundation = platform product or service, the beams = organisations and partners, The wires/pipes = technology, Glass/Brick = Marketing and Branding)
- Issues/Actions – Organises the presentation around one or more issues and the actions you propose to address them. (Describe issues and tell them what actions you and your company propose to address them. Eg. Used by companies in a Turnaround mode)
- Case Study – A narrative recounting of how you or your solved a particular problem or met the needs of a particular client, and in the telling, covers all the aspects of your business and its environment. (Provides a central spine that connects multiple diverse components. Stories are always captivating. Excellent way of capturing and keeping audiences)
- Argument/Fallacy – Raises arguments against your own case, and then rebuts them by pointing out the fallacies that underlie them. (Prempt any objections in the minds of hostile audience, thus creating a level playing field for a positive representation of your company’s real strength. Risky Flow Structure to use. It tends to sounds defensive or contentious)
- Features/Benefits – Organises the presentation around a series of your product or service features and the concrete benefits provided by those features (Eg. Apple product presentations)
Tuesday, 2 September 2014
How does a company with a vibrant momentum start faltering?
To be fair there are a whole host of internal and external factors which have undone a company.
In this note I would like to shed some light to an internal factor that is controllable. It is Talent Development, specifically Leadership Pipeline. Developing people isn't as simply as smearing mayoannise on a egg sandwich and calling it a day. Just in case you did not get my reference, I mean you can't just do general training and consider it as developing people. It's like going to a gym and walking on the treadmill for 2 mins.
Leadership Pipeline is a topic which many small and medium companies underestimate. Many thought leaders such as Dr Ram Charan and Walt Mahler have written many powerful articles and books on Leadership Pipeline development and have advocated looking at Leadership in Levels.
There are 7 levels in Leadership.
Level 1 : Individual Contributors
Level 2 : Managers of Others
Level 3 : Manager of Managers
Level 4 : Function Manager
Level 5 : Business Manager
Level 6 : Group Manager
Level 7 : Enterprise Manager
Each level of Leadership has its own set of competencies and key success attributes.
Many business owners have no validated system to reliably train and test whether someone is ready for a certain level of leadership. In my observation I have noticed that at best there is a mediocre understanding of what Leadership levels are and the required capabilities amongst the leadership cohort. In this instance Ignorance does indeed breed contempt. They do know what they do not know.
When you current leadership cannot define each level and spell out based on Global Benchmarks as to what each represents you creating the iceberg that will crush your company. Such blasé attitudes towards Pipeline development is a harbinger of imminent failure.
So what can you do as a Leader?
Proper formal education, executive coaching and Mentorship programs can help your company with their leadership development. program. Adopt the 70:20:10 rule
Which is 70% of your Leaders Development comes from On the Job training and Projects. 20% of the development from Mentorship and Network and finally the last 10% from formal training courses.
Some (usually those who don't themselves have) may diss MBA and other post graduate qualifications,
As I cannot be direct enough to say It Does Make A World of A Difference!
The longer you sit twiddling you thumbs about proactive Talent and Leadership Development the more the "everything is under control" shenanigans by your current "Leaders" will continue and soon you will be calling the banks to close your haemorrhaging accounts.
Start afresh and build a more solid future for yourself and your Organisation with a systematic competency approach. Make Leadership Pipeline a Core Priority.
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
T- Track Record : Similar or useful past experiences that will value add to the current and future projects the team will undertake. One big decision you can make right now is to start undertaking projects and work not based on how easy it will be but by how much it will stretch you. Of course those 9-5 clock watchers will veer away from such things so therein your opportunity lies. If you are still in school then get some internship or part time work at the place you plan to work. At the very least you will walk away having a better understanding of what the industry is like and from there you can make a better judgement whether to stay in it or explore other options.
A- Attitude : One of the MOST controversial and hardest to pin down is attitudes. But generally are you are nice, optimistic driven person?
S- Skills : Do you have the relevant task oriented skills to get the job done. Fundamentals are important. Calculations, coding, selling, negotiating? For a managerial position skills like Project management, basic finance skills, coaching skills would be brilliant. If you live in a Country like Singapore go check out http://www.wda.gov.sg/content/wdawebsite/L204-CourseDirectory.html and for Malaysia there is http://www.skillsmalaysiainvite.gov.my/programmes/ . Be Proactive. Go Upgrade and Update your skills.
K - Knowledge : How much do you really know about a certain topic. This is about the content aspect. You may have the skill of cutting grass but that does not mean you know a lot of grass or horticulture. Read. Listen to audiobooks. Sign up for online courses like coursera.org or http://www.onlineuniversity.net and many more. This will help you improve your mental model which essentially shifts how you perceive and process a situation.
When you focus on the T.A.S.K you can be assured that you will remain relevant and value adding. Everyone has a fair chance at this process. Effort beats Talent.
Now to the Quiz to find out whether you are a GOOD fit into a team.
1. Do I have skills that add value to the team rather than duplicating what is already there?
3. Am I honestly motivated to push for results together with others or am I lone ranger type?
4. In my decision making process do I "rub people the wrong way"
5. Am I willing to take up different roles within the group ?
6. Do I know the difference between assertive and aggressive?
7. Am I willing to help build a positive morale in the team actively?
8. Do I have a degree of tolerance of others?
9. Will I to take the risk to be honest with others ?
10. Do I have a realistic perception of my strengths and weaknesses?
If you answered No to any of them, don't fret. It means its an area you would want to consider improving. Working with others effectively can be a complex skill. How do you know you are in a great team?
They set you up to shine. So make sure you set others up to Shine as well. Cheers!
Saturday, 15 February 2014
“I’d shut it down and give the money back to shareholders.”
This post is about renewal. One for the Apple fan club.
A throwback to 1997.
"A decade ago, Dell's market value was $130 billion while Apple's was $23 billion. Today, Dell's is down 74% to $24 billion while Apple's has exploded 898% to $234 billion"
How apple turned around?
Dell (Delisted in USA. Dell privatised.)
Moral of the Story don't be a Ding Dong Dell.
Saturday, 21 December 2013
The Bluegrass state also known as Kentucky gave us two awesome people. Colonel Harland Sanders and Abraham Lincoln. One helped us fill out stomachs with fried poultry while the other filled our human race with the importance of the pursuing what is moral rather than what is popular. Ok...I confess, Sanders has nothing to do with this post but think about how awesome it would be when the next time you order food at KFC you share this illuminating nugget of wisdom to the counter staff there.
Right on... I have read a little about Lincoln when I was in school but it was my recent Lincoln Blu Ray experience that shook and touched me deeply. If you have not watched it please find some quiet time and do. It's amazing. https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/lincoln/id589893613
I learnt three invaluable lessons.
- If you want to achieve a Goal, be prepared that almost everyone you encounter can and possibly will say something that you ill consider discouraging BUT press on.It's VERY easy to be discouraged and lose focus.No matter how severe it seems, its nearly impossible to touch the heart of change if you are not convinced within yourself that it will be done.. (Refer to quotes 13, 28,29)
- You cannot force people to change, you can only share your experience, tell a story or build a metaphor so sincere that it occurs to them to change, for change.
- Do what is right because it is right.
Since watching the movie I have started studying some of Lincoln's speeches and have complied 35 of his quotes that resonated with me. Hope you enjoy reading and learning from this compilation. What I find fascinating is how modern many of them sound. Really powerful reminders.,
1. Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.
2.And in the end it is not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years.
3.My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.
4.Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new after all.
5.Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. (special shoutout to leaders)
6.Those who look for the bad in people will surely find it.
7.We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. (Oh yes.. it was one of his)
8.When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
9.I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.
10.Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.
11.There are no bad pictures; that's just how your face looks sometimes. (This is so farny!)
12.Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think it is and the tree is the real thing.
13.Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.
14.I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have. (Humility personified)
15. The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.
16. I will prepare and some day my chance will come. (I dedicate this to all the underdogs)
17. The best way to predict your future is to create it.
18. The better part of one's life consists of his friendships.
19. You can tell the greatness of a man by what makes him angry
20. I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.
21. The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
22. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.
23. Achievement has no colour.
24. My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.
25. When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two thirds of the time thinking what they want to hear and one third thinking about what I want to say. (powerful reminder for those of us who do training, give speeches and do negotiations)
26. Be with a leader when he is right, stay with him when he is still right, but, leave him when he is wrong
27. Get books, sit yourself down anywhere, and go to reading them yourself. (I might be retro but this one reflects my life)
28. Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.
29.If there is anything that links the human to the divine, it is the courage to stand by a principle when everybody else rejects it.
30. You can have anything you want if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.
31. Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.
32. I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.
33. Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
34. The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence. Leave nothing for to-morrow which can be done to-day ( I must thank my mentor Stuart Tan for teaching me this. http://stuarttan.com)
35. If you think you can you can, if you think you can't you're right!
Thursday, 19 December 2013
ALL credit goes to Professor Bob Sutton from Standford University for this wonderful checklist of beliefs. I have also typed it out in a pdf format if you would like to print it and put it up in your office. For those of you struggling with your bosses, I recommend you print it out use it as a gift wrap for whatever you are giving them.
12 Beliefs of Good Bosses download
1. I have a flawed and incomplete understanding of what it feels like to work for me.
2. My success – and that of my people- largely depends on being the master of the obvious and mundane things, not on a magical, obscure, or breakthrough ideas or methods.
3. Having ambitious and well-defined goals is important, but it is useless to think about them much. My job is to focus on the small wins that enable my people to make a little progress every day.
4. One of the most important, and difficult parts of my job is to strike the delicate balance between being too aggressive and not assertive enough.
5. My job is to serve as a human shield, to protect my people from external intrusions, distractions and idiocy of every stripe- and to avoid imposing my own idiocy on them as well.
6. I strive to be confident enough to convince people that I am in charge, but humble enough to realize that I am often going to be wrong.
7. I aim to fight as if I am right, and listen as if I am wrong- and to teach my people to do the same thing.
8. One of the best tests of my leadership – and my organization – is “what happens after people make a mistake?”
9. Innovation is crucial to every team and organization. So my job is to encourage my people to generate and test all kinds of new ideas. But it is also my job to help kill off all the bad ideas we generate, and most of the good ideas too.
10. Bad is stronger than good. It is more important to eliminate the negative than to accentuate the positive.
11. How I do things is as important as what I do.
12. Because I wield power over others, I am at great risk of acting like an insensitive jerk- not realizing it”
Have a jolly Christmas wherever you may be everyone.
In the giving we receive.
Ramesh Muthusamy and Family.
Saturday, 23 November 2013
To be quite frank I have been really busy these last few months with my corporate consulting, creating new training workshops, writing manuals for those workshops (doesn't it sound riveting?), researching on my domain areas, prepping the slides, activities and doing my further studies in counselling and trying to spend as much time as I can with my baby boy. So net result?
NO TIME to just hang around the Internet to check out what is going on. So the past few days has been like falling through the looking glass. I am in a new cyber world. I have picked up two words. Noob and SaaS.
(For the uninitiated A noob or n00b is someone that lacks intellegance or common sense, most people think that noob is a word used only in the online gaming world, but in reality it is becoming an ever popular word with teenage society. Not to be mistaken with Newb which means someone inexperienced or new to gaming) I actually caught this word when my younger brother used it in a conversation. Btw if you are parent reading this, this is but one of the many many many new and exciting words of a typical youth's vernacular to verbalise disdain. They said the world is changing but I didnt' realise it has changed this much that I need to learn new words to feel an insult. Anyways... moving along
And more importantly Saas which stands for Software as a Service. I am shocked at the kind of advancement in the cloud computing world. I am convinced that in the future the more efficient way for small and medium enterprises to grow will be to learn how to deploy and manage them. Read more about SaaS
10 Main Considerations/Risks to consider when migrating to a Cloud Environment
- Service Disruption (Will my business suffer if it breaks down and I do believe this the number 1 reason why many would spurn the concept of SaaS)
- Upgradability for larger number of users and storage
- Does it play well with other platforms (Integrative?)
- How elegant and fuss free is the interface?
- How secure it is?
- Is it apple and android ready?
- How real time is it? (how quick is the refresh?)
- How intelligent is it? (Have the developers pre-empted what I might be needing)
- How much is it per user ? (or are the packages infinite? which also means darn confusing)
- Can I write my own apps within the platform for customisation? (This is found in SaaS like Salesforce)
SaaS I strongly recommend you take a look at (There are actually loads out there. I am only listing those I have personally used or am using)
1. www.basecamp.com (Project Management tool - Kids in all schools should be taught to use this tool. Simple and to the point)
2. www.hokjoki.com (Collaboration Tool for Googledrive and other awesome Saas- My personal fav)
3. www.Highrise.com (small business crm and webbased contact manager
4. www.salesforce.com ( I did do trial and a rep from sales force called up subsequently to see if I was keen for a demo. how awesome is that?)
5. www.mendeley.com (If you work entails loads of research then you definately need to consider this)
So the next time we meet in the cloud again! Keep Evolving!
Do add you comments and share the article if you found it useful!
Thursday, 21 November 2013
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Here's to Rational Living.
Those of you who would like to print this out to share with others you may download the pdf at this
12 Irrational Beliefs Download
Monday, 11 November 2013
Wednesday, 30 October 2013
A Brand is an Identity.
A Brand is a Product.
If you agreed with the any or all of the statements you are not alone. You are NOT ALONE in being off track.
Apparently these are the common myths about Branding.
The link below is a fantastic slideshow that explains what Branding is and is not.
An awesome slideshow about BRANDING
In a lot of the classes I facilitate people get really excited when it comes t branding. It fascinates them. It seems so alive and organic. Almost as if they wish their company would pay more attention to build a stronger brand.
Its not what we think. It's what the world outside FEELS about you. That is brand. In a market which is sometimes flooded with similiar products with similiar features and purported benefits and advantages, people are craving products that beyond price and functionality has a soul. A story of where it came from.
Humans are meaning making creatures. People desire to make choices that makes meaning. That somehow is an extension of their aspirations. For example a $1500 Hugo Boss Suit to some is just overpriced clothes but to others it could mean something else. Yes,yes I can hear the voices of the utilitarians who condemn such "extravagance" but at the same time I also hear the mechanical grind of their lifes. So this begs the bigger question. What is the purpose of all this time we have on this planet.
To get through ? To get by ? To get rich ? To get smart? The problem is in the verb. It's not in the getting but in the letting. To let meaning emerge. To let love have a place in your life. To let chaos teach you lessons. To let the metaphoric sun rise in the darkest places in our hearts and minds. To allow for it to happen. Letting is allowing. So a great brand allows people to make a connection that enriches their experience of life. It was never about just about the price.
I enjoy eating my nutella hazelnut chocolate spread not only because it is an inter-galatically visceral odyssey for my olfactory but it also bring memories of my childhood. Its a brand steeped in nostalgia.
To me Nutella means Happiness. (and lots of calaries might I add)
Forget the snazzy brochures and gimmicks that scream for attention. It will be short lived. Branding is countless hours of pondering. And many more hours of debating. The end outcome is worth the effort. What is the meaning we are here to create for the world. What do we want people to feel about us.
A brand is a promise. So make sure you devote every ounce of your energy and commit to making good that promise. Your brand is being built and torn down by three things : Your products, Operations and Customer experience. The fantastic advantage of working on your brand is that it has a great morale uplifting effect on the staff and employees. It begins to make sense to them. They can find the meaning behind why they need to go the extra mile.
Sunday, 8 September 2013
It was such a blast to meet all of you on Sat. I wish all of you the very best in your presentation to the judges.
I strongly recommend for you guys and gals to video your presentation and then review it to see how you can further enhance your entire presentation. Show the judges your passion, commitment and most of all team work. May the best amongst us prevail!
HANDOUTS - It is password protected. It is the the name of the company is providing the training for you guys - CLUE it rhymes with imagine.
Wednesday, 4 September 2013
You can download your handouts by clicking the link below. It is password protected.
Please drop me a mail to get the password. either at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Friday, 23 August 2013
It was such a great experience working with all of you on the areas of logic and construction of valid arguments. I hope all of you will revise and practice the 7 steps of Critical Thinking in a disciplined fashion and also do a reflection on whether you are committing some of the logical fallacies like Ad Hoc or Slippery slopes in your working life.
Till we meet again keep your mind open and from your friends Jane, Ah Keong, Subramaniam and Sunee "KEEP SEARCHING and KEEP THINKING!"
|At the National University of Singapore 2013.|
Saturday, 10 August 2013
What do you think you might say? What are the factors and components you would consider important for a relationship between colleagues to be engaging and productive? Does having a healthy working relationship mean you need to be in agreement all the time?
Would you say that a healthy working relationship is one where everyone feels comfortable in raising conflicts, make sense of the conflicts and respond resourcefully in a timely fashion and thereafter document and share their learning with the rest? Emm... Now wouldn't that be spectacular.
Sometime ago when I was doing a project for the National Institute of Education in Singapore I was walking along a long corridor when a simple poster struck me with Awe. It read “ Harmony ≠ Uniformity” Oh how true! Many Leaders and managers, especially in my experience of the asian context, want to achieve harmony the simpler way which is the “can we all just go this agree and those of you don’t, just pretend like you do... ” approach. It’s nauseating and a vastly unhealthy way to handle differences. The massive side effect of this is that ordinary folks in the company start to wonder what I am actually fighting for anyways?
Unresolved conflicts are like wounds that turn septic have the potential to poison the entire biology of your Organisation. That I think most of us who have been in the working world already know. The glaring evidence is people walking out of the business because they are tired of fighting.
On the upswing when you do manage to educate your leaders and their teams about conflicts and especially their own predominant style you are going to foster real meaningful relationship instead of a mechanical soullessness.
Workshops and programs designed to work on conflicts will always be vibrant, revitalizing and progressive for teams and Organisations. To inspire you to take on conflicts in your organization more productively let me share a quote from Buckminister Fuller, “If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don't bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.” So teach them new conflict resolution tools and if there is going to be friction let it be only those that help polish your Organisation and team to Brilliance!
Wednesday, 31 July 2013
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Teaching is THE most AWESOME job in the entire world.
I'm not going to wait for an official "Teacher's Day" to acknowledge the impact you have in many of us. You are angels who change our lives with Sneaky smiles, rigged class tests where you "revise" the questions to boost our confidence and paint a better tom with your kind words at the end of our essays and assignments.
What you do everyday is tiring and often unaffirmed. Press on I say. Keep pushing us. Fuel the faith in yourself that you do make a difference. A massive difference. Scold us, punish us, persuade us but never forsake us. You have allowed children and others who seek to learn to unravel and discover the world and it's infinite mysteries, and in that perhaps they find greater meaning in living. Teachers thank you thank you thank you for being best salespeople in Hope.. Without you we would not have had the courage to dream! -Ramesh.