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
Category Archives: Society
Yes, with a question mark. Not being an American, I have never paid much attention to Black Friday. I never thought it would figure much in Singapore, but it apparently has to some degree. Today’s local newspaper had a four-page spread featuring Black Friday sales at Robinsons. It caught my eye because Robinsons started out
Are you worth your salt? Well, ARE you? Do you receive your salary, your pay, your commission, your fee, with great satisfaction, knowing that you have delivered much more than the pittance you received? I hope you do. As one wise man once said “There are two tragedies in life. The first is not getting
Oxymorons “Make it relevant for your audience”, “It should be something my staff can relate to” and now “It must be IT-related.” Don’t you just love oxymorons? Isn’t it so significant that the word “moron” is embedded in “oxymoron”? The word had its origins as a technical word to describe “adult with a mental age
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
Acquisition The desire for gain is one of the two basic motivations we humans have. The fear of loss is the other one. This desire for gain is not just for material things. It can be the adulation of others, having deep friendships or perhaps simply having the ability to enjoy the wonders of Nature.
Hacks? Is it just me, or are you seeing more and more people posting about “life hacks” and “tricks” to magically get around problems and situations of every imaginable sort? What are your favourites? One of mine is about how to open a can of food if you don’t happen to have a can opener.
All of us have ideals in mind and heart. The world we live in, though, is far from perfect. Organizations are not perfect. People are not perfect. I am not perfect. Neither are you. We continue to see some people expressing their desire to do good and be good, and perhaps posting a thing or
Really? Sounds like a leadership cop-out to me! Doctors make judgments about people all the time, it’s part of their job. If your kidneys aren’t functioning because you have a type of diabetes, then your kidneys aren’t functioning. Changing your lifestyle, habits and so forth may help to alleviate external symptoms, but your health is
Do these pictures give you a hint about what’s on my mind? Look up the origins of the words. Dogma seems to imply beliefs arising from one’s own thinking. Doctrine seems to add that the result of such thinking is due to belief that those who teach and impart it have done their homework, and
Stay Calm and Read On. Did the title cause you some unease? I hope so! It might move you to take positive action so that you can have a life of genuine ease. What do I mean by that? We are becoming more and more addicted to creature comforts. We want things instantly. We want
Change. The only constant. We need to change in order to survive. What a chimera! As if we don’t know how to change, what to change and when to change. We even know why change and what we want to change into! Or so we think. Change implies flexibility. Adaptability. Tolerance. Patience. Determination. Decisiveness. Deference.
Does the title sound like a “Call to action” phrase? Of course. The structure is one of many types of such phrases. Do you know why there are so many types and varieties of “Call to action” phrases? It’s because they work. Do you know why they work? It’s because most people have a scarcity
What comes to your mind when you think of soft skills? Scoffed skills? If so, you need to change your mindset or continue hemorrhaging to death at whatever your current hemorrhage rate is. Soft skills are not some airy-fairy “I love you, Sister” kind of thing. They are actually much harder to develop than training
“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
A comrade of mine recalled an incident when he was training cadets. It happened to be an offensive operations exercise, and the cadets had fared very badly. During the main debrief, which was of course after all the After-Action-Reviews (AARs), “Hotwashes”, or what I personally have come to disdain as “Hogwashes” and so forth. When the
Inducements to be normal are very powerful indeed. So powerful that individuals tend to remain silent and compliant when living in a highly “abnormal” society even when they feel things are not right. As a whole, we don’t want to believe the scientific evidence that the law of entropy is relentless and that the human
Have you ever been admonished about the way you dress? Or perhaps about the way you don’t dress? Have you ever asked why it is so important? Well, it actually is. I talked about some of that in a previous post. Now, I’d like you to reflect on the oft-quoted “Dress for success” mantra. When was
~ Take a couple of Aspirin and come see me in the morning ~ A Doctor Recently, NUS Business School produced a video which featured, besides Singapore Airlines and one or two other companies, the Narayana Hrudayalaya Heart Hospital in Bangalore, India. What had happened was that the hospital had industrialized open-heart surgery to the nth
Want Independence? Tell you what – Interdependence is actually better!
Boundaries are essential. In fact, life would be impossible without clear boundaries. Yet, boundaries are also invitations for close coordination, leading to mutually beneficial exchanges. How do you see boundaries?
“Top of Mind” has been foisted on us for too long. We need to get to the heart.
Do you buy on emotion? Not the best thing to do, although experts tell us that is what we do. Buy rationally. The good emotions will come because of that!
Everybody thinks they’re lucky and everyone wants to be lucky. Fortune does favour the bold. The bold are prepared. That’s why they’re bold.
No one likes doing admin work. However, it is part of the package and doing it well has its own rewards.
Is it wet? Is it dry? Does it matter? Have we become so used to our rut we refuse to get out of it?
There are many advantages you stand to gain when you hire veterans. Treat them well and you will gain even more!
Yes indeed. In the commodities market, that is. Not as in trading in commodities, but in treating too many things and too many people as if they were commodities. When we do so, the one thing that always comes to mind is price. Commoditization pushes price down by increasing consumption, maximizing efficiency, and large-scale production.
We love referring to classics, don’t we? Many of the quotes that we like to use for self-affirmation or when we’re just trying to appear as if we do have some degree of sophistication come from some classic or other. Someone has of course quipped that a classic is “A book everyone knows about but
Seems like an inexhaustible number, right? Wrong. Seven billion is finite. Seven billion can still be counted. I’m talking about our collective insatiable need to “Get this cheaper somewhere else. Never pay full price again.” Someone, somewhere, will always be selling it more cheaply, and we will never run out of sources of cheap goods
Put that stone down, lower your hackles and stop snarling! I’m not against PhDs. In fact, I’m looking to get a direct PhD myself, if there were one in a field I might be interested in! We’ve been far too caught up with certifications as a whole, and now the pendulum is swinging in the
It’s a VERY dangerous thing! It is a very dangerous thing because we tend to believe that it is all we need to know about any particular subject. It is fine if we recognize that we know only a little, because then we continue asking questions and we try to integrate the increasing amounts of
Mankind has been searching for the elixir of youth for a long, long time. Anti ageing, the quest for youthfulness, indeed, the search for eternal life, is something innate in all of us. Even those who talk about an eternal blackness, of no consciousness, actually seek an unimaginably joyous eternity but sink into blackness because
That’s right – Lack of Self Esteem. Which is of course directly linked to lack of self-efficacy, which is related to subscribing to the wrong set of beliefs. Beliefs like taking “Don’t work hard, work smart” to the extreme. Like “Don’t worry, you are unique – just like everyone else.” And like “The customer is
Someone shared a post on “16 Ways to Put More Enthusiasm in Your Work and Life” by John Wood, and I was struck by how true the Law of Entropy is. The little drawing below came to mind, how different character qualities all support one another. In fact, we need all facets of our character to
“Four legs goood…..two legs baaaad…..four legs goood…two legs baaad!!!” go the sheep in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. People behave in many ways just like sheep. Feel insulted already? Think about it! Sound bites, short attention spans, focusing on what others have and lacking in self-control. Some guru declares that we need to be more assertive,
Yes, I wrote that. Pretty uncharacteristic of me, but I wrote that. Do you want to be rich? Why? What does being rich mean to you? Not having to work another day in your life? Being able to do all the things you’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t had the resources? What does “work”
Tired of your job? No one appreciates how wonderful and valuable you really are? Sack your Boss and become an entrepreneur? Sure, do that! But before you do, you might like to consider the following intrapreneurship qualities: 1. Are you REALLY good at your current job? Ask your co-workers. Not directly, ask around
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
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
Imagine two pairs of great-looking leather shoes. The first pair are of high quality and not branded. The second pair are not-as-high-quality but branded. All other things being equal, which pair would you be inclined to buy? If all other things are not equal, what would be the one factor that would influence you either
We can all expect similar responses, or perhaps reactions, if we bring up the topic of dressing well at work. Popular culture seems to have reacted against the perceived hypocrisy of being well-dressed and well-heeled outwardly, but being just the opposite inwardly. I suppose that’s where the term “stuffed shirts” comes from. The well-dressed of
Are you concerned about privacy on Facebook and other social media sites? Are you concerned with privacy online in general? Why, what big commercial secret projects are you handling? What’s the big deal? As we think about that, we might come to a realization that the big deal is US. It’s our inner voice, our
Slow death by Political Correctness (PC) is to me a painful death to die. I always wonder why we can’t get to the point, why we can’t call a spade a spade. I don’t object to using euphemisms, if the context, intent and situation call for their use. So, what’s the difference? Political Correctness seeks
Yes I did say it. Bullshit. This concept of us being in the 21st Century, and therefore us being more enlightened, is sheer nonsense. It is nonsense because our concept of “enlightenment” does not equal more maturity, greater depth of character, more kindness shown to others, more evidence of wisdom or a greater manifestation of
Intrapreneur is actually the same as entrepreneur except it operates within the framework of a larger organization that the Intrapreneur does not own. I think that most of us are born with an entrepreneurial mindset already embedded within us. Tragically, this is eroded by the time we get to school and start working, and is replaced
We have all heard versions of “Clone yourself”, “Make copies of yourself” and the like. At the same time, we have been told to make our businesses “scalable” and therefore more profitable for ourselves. Making many copies of “I, Leader” seems to make much sense, for if the Mark I, Mark II and Mark ad
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
At this writing, the question of whether the Scots go their own bonny way has yet to be decided. Ironically, as I took in more news on the subject, the song “When a child is born”, popularized by Johnny Mathis, sprang to my mind. What happens when you think of a child being born? Do
Everybody wants to rule the world. Everybody wants to be an author for the same reason. The word “author” refers to someone who has authority vested in him or her by virtue of the fact that he or she is an expert on the subject, has at least some degree of experience in it, has