Category: Careers

  • Sales or professional service

    Whether you’re in a law firm, accounting firm or consulting firm, as you rise up to Partner status, your major contribution to the company is deemed as sales. Nevermind you’ve accumulated lots of experience and is able to solve very tricky issues for clients, if you fail to bring business in, you have failed at…

  • Owning the problem statement

    As you might tell, I’m back to in the mode of thinking about the nuances involved in problem solving. The reason is in part because I’ve been interviewing candidates for various roles in my company across four different offices in APAC. That forces me to start considering what are the attributes I value highly and…

  • Hunting for problems

    In a previous workplace of mine, there were a lot of strong, capable people who were good at problem solving and very oriented to that. However, they were not always good at identifying the right problems to deal with nor defined the problems well. So they went on and hack away at problems that were…

  • Delays and promises

    Ordered something and there was something wrong in the order? Delivery delayed? Put in a complaint and got a voucher code? What was the promise from the company when you first made an order? Was that promise broken? Service promises have been escalating under the competitive pressure in the consumer markets. But these promises are…

  • Specific thinking

    I wrote about the holistic thinking that was characterised by western researchers of Asian’s approach towards persuasion as contextualised by Erin Meyer. I had the chance to reflect a bit more on specific thinking as I begin to observe it more and more at work in western workplaces and cultures. There are no right or…

  • Training programmes

    During my time in public service, I’ve attended lots of different training programmes. There were a lot of training on writing minutes, professional reports and trip reports, as well as some on professional etiquette in a wide range of situations including during presentations, business meetings, business meals, cross-cultural interactions and so on. I won’t say…

  • Expert vs advisors

    I’ve been reading the ‘Strategy and the Fat Smoker’ by David Maister. I think very highly of David’s crisp thinking in the manner he approach strategy and the manner in which he cuts through issues and topics. He simplifies the concepts to the core of the subject matter without ignoring the human elements in them.…

  • Ready-made solutions

    Just add hot water to instant coffee and you get your morning cup of coffee. Boil some water and pop the noodles and powder in, or even better, just rip the packaging and put it into the microwave, pressing just a few buttons then wait – and you get your meal. Bring a packet of…

  • Mission of energy transition

    The market has a role to play in the energy transition but the market is not responsible for the transition. Technological improvements and our sense of purpose or mission does not come from the market – they are exogenous inputs. What is challenging about the market is that it does have a life of its…

  • Market values

    When you try to sell your house, you take reference off the market price. You determine essentially the ‘market value’ of your house and then try to sell your house for that price. When you do eventually meet an interested serious buyer who makes an offer, you then haggle until you agree upon a price.…