Category Archives: Productivity

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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SOS answered, but DOA count mounts.

SOS – Supply Of Supplication Supplicants the world over beam their SOS signals every day. They ask for love, appreciation, fulfillment, excitement, purpose, gratification and so forth. This is besides the need for air, water and food so they can go on living. Increasingly, wants disguised as needs are also broadcast as SOS. We call this […]

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“Beesywork” Good…busywork baaad…beesywork good…busywork baaad…

Very Busy “But I’m very busy,” you exclaim. “With what?” you might be asked in return. Busywork is no doubt the bane of productivity at the workplace. Then again, what IS “busywork” anyway? Dictionary.com says “…work assigned for the sake of looking or keeping busy…” and Merriam-Webster says “…work that usually appears productive or of […]

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Free Market Regulation

“Over-regulation!” One of the concerns expressed during the recent PWC 18th CEO survey 2015, and which is not a new concern. And what is that? Simply put, the formulation of legislation to control the manner in which market players behave in terms which assume that the said players will act immaturely and avariciously regardless of their declared Mission, Vision and […]

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Rated PGA. Post-Grants Action Advised.

There has been a spate of increases in grants, as in funding, as in monetary, being given by the Singapore Government in recent years. Of course, they are meant to encourage Singapore companies to become more productive, more entrepreneurial, more organized, get more research work going, and a host of other things besides. The amounts […]

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Production – No Issue. Reproduction – Big Issue!

Most people I know have no problems with producing results, fulfilling KPIs, chalking up the numbers, and so on. Production is no big deal. You do what you’re supposed to do, maybe make some small, incremental improvements, do your due diligence, and….. voila! … the day is done. Even if some innovative new thing comes […]

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The Organismic Company. Think Organic, not Monolithic!

Yes, I’ve been referring to the organismic company for a while now. And yes, I’ve been coming across posts and articles talking about how to make “Industrial Age” companies more organic, how to have better Job Descriptions, how to have more flexible Organization Charts and how to better tap on the vast Knowledge Bank that […]

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Skills? Competencies? Grow Or Die!

On 17 Sep 2014, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam spoke about the need to adopt “meritocracy through life” at the official opening of the Lifelong Learning Institute, which aims to raise competencies in citizens, among other things. I was flicking through the news when this caught my eye. It caused me […]

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Standardization? What Is THAT?

Standardization. The rallying cry of optimization maximizers. In today’s innovation-centric environment, this might sound a little ho-hum to you. Which way are you inclined, optimization-centric or innovation-centric? Think you can’t have both? Think again! Really, this economics of exclusion has gone deep into the bones. Manifests in all areas of our lives, doesn’t it? Anyway, […]

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Busy? With What?

A daughter ran away from home and went to live with her boyfriend. After a few days, she called home. Her mother answered and she announced, “Mom, we’re engaged!” Her jaded mother replied, “In what?” That would be our response as well if someone announces that they’re busy at work or business. Busy-ness is normal. […]

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Private Affairs. Privates, I Mean.

Not what you think. I’m talking about the Grunt, the Digger, the Mudfoot, the Worker, the Labourer, the Crane Operator, the Front Line Salesperson, the Telephone operator, the Chef, the Waiter, the Bus Driver, the Deliveryman, the Farmer, the Fishmonger, the Toilet Cleaner, the Maintenance Crew, the Security Guards. Amongst others. Know any of them? […]

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The Tyranny of the NOW

We live in an age of instants. Instant coffee, instant milk, instant music, instant weight loss, instant gratification. “It’s now or never!”, “Last chance to win great bargains!”, “If not now, when?” are phrases we are bombarded with constantly every day. Our culture predisposes us to act first, ask questions later. We are constantly encouraged, […]

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Researching Ourselves To Death. Scan, Focus and Decide!

No one doubts the necessity of research, testing and experimentation. The reliability and validity of hypotheses, assumptions, long-standing ideas, and even some so-called “facts” need to be tried time and again to ascertain their veracity. This is particularly so when worldviews expand and frameworks grow to encompass more and more of the known universe. Yes, […]

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Role Of Play

Children play. Adults play. We all play. Why, play tell? Well, it’s fun, of course. It stretches the imagination. It helps us to unwind. It helps us acquire and maintain certain skills, especially psychomotor skills. It helps  us to develop strong, meaningful relationships. At its most basic, child’s play is actually preparation for thriving later […]

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Quantity…Stress. Quality…Best!

That’s something along the lines of “Four legs good…two legs baaad!” Think about it! I’m not saying that we should avoid quantity-based businesses or reduce quantity for the sake of reducing quantity. What I am saying is that large volumes, quantity businesses, may have a greater tendency to have very thin profit margins. Therefore, even […]

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Mindsets Of Magnificence

As Week Six of 2014 opens, take a little time to reflect upon the mindsets that characterize you. What is your default mindset? Are you happy with it? Are there things which you’d like changed? Do you need to grow in certain aspects? Here are a few Magnificent Mindsets which I trust will be something you […]

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Work ON The Business. AND Work IN The Business.

I’m sure you’ve heard many gurus telling you not to work IN the business and to start to work ON the business. Bless them, they’re telling you to do the right thing. Trouble is, they’re not telling it to you in the proper way. We need to do BOTH. When an artist is working on a canvas, he steps back […]

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Delegate. Do. Deliberately.

Download the pdf. This is not a word-for-word transcript, but the essence is the same. I came across a LinkedIn article called “Key Reasons Delegating Is SO Difficult and What To Do About It” on 07 Oct 2013. I’d written something about “Deliberate delegation” before, and this post caught my eye. It seems that the […]

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Would you rather have an Optimizer or an Innovator?

Innovation. Buzzword for our times. People who innovate are seen as rainmakers. An “Innovator” is hailed as an inspiring leader, while an “optimizer” is popularly seen as someone who just does the mundane work of running the system. Innovators are seen as creative, bold, risk-takers, visionaries, strategically-minded, and a list of other accolades. Optimizers are relegated to the […]

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Deliberate Delegation. Reprint Of Newsletter Issue 62 – 18 Sep 2012

I keep seeing posts and discussions on delegation, so I thought I’d better post this again, so that people can keep this thing called “delegation” in its proper perspective. Is the word “delegation” a dreaded word at your workplace? If you are a leader, do you know who, what, where, when and why to delegate? […]

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Generational Generalities. How Germane. How Not.

Baby Boomers. Gen X. Gen Y. Gen Z. Gen Gap. Gen Repeat Process. Gen ad infinitum. We really love labelling, stereotyping and generalizing, don’t we? Just because some “expert” said that “studies have shown that…”, means we pick up the paint roller and give all and sundry the broad-brush treatment. Does that happen to you? […]

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Gamification. What Might Daniel Pink Have Said?

Daniel Pink, author of “Drive” and other books, says that people have three basic wants. They are Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. You might remember that a little better if you think that people like to be “AMPed”. I wonder what he might have said about gamification. As far as I can tell, gamification also fulfills […]

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