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Forced Distribution Ranking again?

Today, a piece on Channel News Asia caught my eye. It was “Commentary: Why ranking employees using a forced distribution model is a zombie idea.” I had written something on this called “For Whom the Bell Tolls“ in 2012 and I would encourage you to have a read of it. It has been said many […]

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Can Lovingkindness be Surveyed?

I came across this article on my LinkedIn feed called “Loving-Kindness is good for work. Really?” Do have a read. “New” research along these lines is always good for us, even when it’s not really new. We need to have more and more genuine conversations on things like this. Intelligent conversations. Purposeful conversations. Conversations which […]

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Climate Change Chimera

This morning, I was assaulted yet again by alarm bells of “anthropogenic rising global temperatures” leading to our eventual demise, and that of this planet with us. Please read the article on climate change in its entirety, and then tell me what you think. The link to the article is here: https://creation.com/climate-change Look through the […]

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There’s a PILL for that!

I just read that Merck is about to introduce a brown pill that could be the Panadol, Tylenol, Tamiflu and so forth for COVID-19 and similar virus infections. Apparently, this could broaden the way for various sets of pills solving various sets of issues; medical, general health and whatever fanciful comes around. Anything new here? […]

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Is raising corporate taxes ever good?

I read today that the US is pushing for a minimum global corporate tax. When will we ever learn? The facts are that raising corporate taxes has resulted in lower tax revenues because the rich and powerful will always find ways to get around paying those higher tax rates. That is why tax calculations around […]

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What do BREXITs and Free Markets mean?

Ryan Bridges, an editor with Geopolitical Futures, wrote a summary of “Tales of BREXITs past and present: Understanding the Choices, Threats and Opportunities in Our Separation from the EU” by Nigel Culkin and Richard Simmons in the “What We’re Reading” section of the Geopolitical Futures website. It’s available to subscribers of Geopolitical Futures only, and […]

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Hard Headed? Or Hard Hearted?

Do you know of people whom you might describe as “numbskulls”, “dum-dum” or other? How about yourself, have people described you as such? I’ve certainly been given quite a few of those epithets! To be sure, some were definitely true, too! Pause for a while. As I asked in the title, “Are we hard headed […]

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Budget 2021. Implied Tasks.

It’s that time of the year, and Singapore’s Budget 2021 was duly delivered yesterday 16 Feb 2021. I’ve been getting myself better acquainted with economics and law recently. Those are two disciplines I’ve never been intimate with, having focused on warfighting for much of my natural life. That’s a big regret for me, but it’s […]

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Golf Course. Of Course.

Land use is a topic that comes up time and again in Singapore. It is a great example of scarce resources which have alternative uses. The debate is about who gets to decide how much land is used for what purpose. The current debate seems to involve inputs from more sources with differing worldviews, something […]

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Returning trays after meals?

Time and again, the press in Singapore laments about people not returning their food trays to the tray collection point after having their meals at hawker centres and food courts. Many schemes have been tried, to no avail, to get diners to return their trays. This is a symptom of a deeper issue, of course, […]

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Kindness? What’s that?

  I was having a conversation with someone working with the Singapore Kindness Movement this morning. Nothing profound or philosophical, just what his typical day was like, how he got started and so forth. He had left his previous job because he felt that the management there didn’t do what they were supposed to be […]

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Rule of Law?

 There have been concerns recently that the workings of the “International Order” ought to be aligned with the “Rule of Law”. That means an agreed-upon system and set of rules governing how all nations ought to conduct themselves in their dealings with each other. That of course begs the question about what this “Rule […]

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The Necessity of Greed and Regulation

This title may come as a surprise to some of you reading this. Then again, I’ve always declared myself, and continue to aspire to, lifelong learning. Core values, universal, non-negotiable principles, don’t change unless there is some life-changing event, but their expressions and manifestations do. What ought to happen is not a replacement or change […]

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Legal! Ethical? Moral?

In many of the leadership classes I’ve conducted, I’ve often asked participants the question “What’s the difference between legal and ethical?” More often than not, I get blank stares or frowns accompanied by stammers, most of which seemed to attempt to assert that the legal aspect of things ought to emerge paramount. So I ask […]

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Keep Calm and Save Manpower?

I saw yet another of these kinds of advertisements on the side of a small van today. One can only wonder at the mindset which encourages them. Save Manpower with tech? What does that mean, reduce headcount? Listen to the language. Headcount. Scalping? Reduce manpower costs by investing in technology, or expand people’s capabilities and […]

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Aspect Great, Circumspect Greater!

A song by Joni Mitchell, “Both Sides Now”, came to my mind as I was mulling over this post. The chorus goes: I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now From up and down and still somehow It’s cloud’s illusions I recall I really don’t know clouds at all The other two choruses are similar […]

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Better Buyers. Better Bias.

We seem to be more concerned with the success of sellers than the success of buyers. Look at the plethora of sales courses, supporting software, apps, tricks and treats, secret sauces and so forth that all claim to make us better sellers. I don’t see the same kind of enthusiastic support for buyers, though. Perhaps […]

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How Does Size Matter?

 This is an edited transcript. Hi, Elijah Lim here. Title of this very random blog – HDSM, How Does Size Matter? I was reading a post on Facebook, I think, about people discussing the fact that Singaporeans do not rise to very high positions in MNCs. Multi-National Companies, international companies and the like, because […]

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Antipodes. Antiquated?

I happened to read an article on co-working spaces this morning. Long commutes are bad for employees’ mental health. I agree. If I conduct an in-person workshop or other event overseas, I would arrange to be staying in the same venue as the event. After all, if I’m working long-term in Mauritius, why fly there […]

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What’s your trajectory?

The singer Diana Ross sang “Do you know, where you’re going to?” many years back, and I’ve played short snippets on my boombox during outdoor team building events to ask people if they actually knew where they were going, in a fun sort of way. It certainly increased the stress levels of the participants, but […]

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What stakes are you tied to?

The story of the elephant tied to a stake which it could easily break free of is well known. It is used by some as an illustration of how we can break free from ideas and beliefs which tie us down unnecessarily. I don’t think that is a true story, and there are some others […]

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What Call Do You Hear?

There is a song by Dan Fogelberg called “The Leader of the Band.” One of the verses goes like this: My brothers’ lives were Different For they heard another call One went to Chicago And the other to St. Paul And I’m in Colorado When I’m not in some hotel Living out this life I’ve […]

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Trying Safety Regulations

A parent in the school principal’s office was inquiring after her son. “Is he trying?” she asked expectantly. The principal smiled at her sardonically, “Ma’am, your son is the most trying boy in the school.” In the Armed Services of any nation, Training Safety Regulations (TSR) or their equivalent ensure that no harm comes to […]

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New Normal?

George Orwell’s Animal Farm springs immediately to mind. Look it up if you don’t know the story. What started out as a sort of odyssey towards a “new normal” for the animals lost its bearings and turned from the glorious liberty of Animal Farm back to the dreadful drudgery of Manor Farm. It was as […]

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Through No Fault of the State!

States, organizations, large corporate entities, medium size companies, perhaps even smaller businesses, are all afflicted by an almost uncontrollable tropism towards exercising more and more control, enacting more and more laws and regulations, producing more and more Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and so forth. They can’t help it. That’s how they are. Therefore, stop blaming […]

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IT’S ONLY AN EXERCISE!

“It’s ONLY an exercise! No need to get so serious about it!” Heard that sort of thing before? Ever said it yourself? How do you respond if you hear such a phrase, or smell the same attitude in the air? I get extremely irritated, my trigger finger starts to twitch, and I start reaching for […]

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TAO. Triggers And Overrides.

The Chinese character romanized as Tao or Dao means “The Way”. It came to my mind this morning and the phrase “Triggers And Overrides” appeared before me. Triggers are of course basic, natural, archetypal responses to thoughts about discernible events. Emotions are triggered by the thoughts, spawning more thoughts and actions including speech, physiological and […]

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Hardworking? Or just plain Slothful?

“Don’t work hard, work smart.” “You have to work hard to get ahead.” “Lazy people are more likely to become successful.” “Multiple Streams of Income.” “Make Money with No Money.” Do those statements sound familiar? Do you swear by any of them? Perhaps you don’t. Perhaps you believe in the quality of Diligence and have […]

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Singapore’s Foreign Worker Problem?

Yes, Singapore’s Foreign Worker Problem, which really isn’t a Foreign Worker Problem at all, but a Fallacy Of Entitlement Problem, and which happens to be our biggest FOE, the enemy of our continued success. Yet another round of discussions, debates, assertions, suggestions and other uselessly sanctimonious vows to improve the lot of Foreign Workers, whether […]

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Job Protection?

Many governments around the world are acting to protect jobs, to varying degrees of success, that I can see. Protecting jobs is laudable and necessary, especially in times like these, during a pandemic. When you think about it, it’s actually throwing the spotlight on something many governments, corporations and companies have been trying to do, […]

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It’s too “Agrarian” for me!

I saw this on LinkedIn’s “Today’s news and views” column just now. Does the farm industry need workers only now? Hasn’t there been a shortage of farm workers, just like healthcare workers, even from more “agrarian” times? And, speaking of “agrarian”, I have lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people, whether in […]

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Does Your CV have great CV?

I was once asked to deliver a talk to some undergraduates on “How to Ace the Interview”. I told the person who asked me to do it that I don’t focus on “Acing the interview” but I focus on “Acing Yourself”. I think the undergrads liked the talk, and there was a line of students […]

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LITE: Leave It To Experts

I was passing someone talking on his cellphone and heard the phrase “…but I’m not an expert, so I’ll leave it to the experts…” Having some of my own business to mind, that’s all I remember hearing before I was out of earshot. We’ve all heard this being said in one form or other and […]

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Care for your people? Throw them to the wolves!

When we read books or attend courses or learn a thing or two from the sagely erudite, have you ever been confused by apparent contradictions from the same source? What about apparent contradictions from similar but different sources? Take these four passages, three from “The Illustrated Art of War” and one from “Genghis Khan and […]

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