The Compassion Principle in Management

the_wishes_of_many_written_on_the_paper_for_offerings_in_the_fushimi-inari_shrine_kyoto_japan_at_fushimi_inari-taishaSometime earlier this year, I was invited by the British High Commission in Singapore to talk about the new modern workplace coupled with the new cultural and social practices. It was an interesting conversation which examined management in a physical environment. An interesting question prompted me to state a general principle which I state in how I manage people regardless of workplace and cultural differences. Continue reading The Compassion Principle in Management

The Shokunin Way

The_autumn_leaves_covering_the_red_gate_outside_Tenryu-ji_Temple_#Kyoto_#Japan_at_Tenryū-ji Every year, my wife and I spent a week in Japan where we spent our time looking at product design, and understanding how the interfaces on different products there work. Watching documentaries such as “Jiro dreams of Sushi” and “The Kingdom of Madness and Dreams” provided me inspiration on why everything I do should have the attitude of Japanese craftsman, called the Shokunin way. Learning from my past failures while learning the skills for the next journey, I have adapted the Shokunin thinking into product and general management. Continue reading The Shokunin Way

On Hiring & My Moneyball method for Startups & Corporates Part 1

mentorThe biggest problem for any startups and corporations hiring in Southeast Asia is hiring. One major issue which every founder or industry leader faced is the lack of information on candidates. One can blame it on culture that Asians are not vocal in calling out incompetent people. The only people who I have seen vocal about calling out this lack of information are not from Asia: Steven Goh (CEO, mig33) and Thomas Clayton (CEO, Bubble Motion). So, what I want do in the few posts on this topic is to encourage local entrepreneurs to share information about hires and be much more vocal about incompetent hires, particularly, those with pretty CVs crossing several household names but are truly useless in my view. As I am currently looking on the remaining 19 items on my list of 20 things I want to contribute to the startup ecosystem after striking one off the list, I decide to take a bold step to share something probably in a few parts that I have worked on about hiring. I will share my methods and look forward to trustworthy people who I can share this with. It is something that I have thought about after the demise of Chalkboard, and have spent my time in the last two years refining the idea about hiring. It relates to the Moneyball approach espoused by Michael Lewis in his book.
Continue reading On Hiring & My Moneyball method for Startups & Corporates Part 1

If you want to grow a company, you must master the Rockefeller Habits

mastering-the-rockefeller-habitsI wished that I knew about the book “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” by Verne Harnish when I was working on my startup a few years back. There are definitely things that we should not have done during that time. Jamie Lee, the co-founder of Lunch Actually and now Prizle (which I am an investor in both companies), recommended this book to me during one of our lunches. We were discussing on the subject on how to scale a team, and he highlighted how he scaled his startup to a company from the lessons learnt from this book. If you are thinking how to grow a startup from scratch to a proper functioning company, this is a must read book. So, what are the Rockefeller habits that you can use to scale your company? Continue reading If you want to grow a company, you must master the Rockefeller Habits

On Mentoring in Startups & Corporates

mentorOver the course of the past few years, I have been mentoring within the ecosystem, focus my efforts mainly through INSEAD Business School and JFDI.Asia. Sometimes, I might end up giving some advice to entrepreneurs who I might be interested to invest in their companies. For a while, I want to convey my thoughts on mentoring and how that has evolved over the years. A recent feedback session I have with JFDI.Asia prompted me to pen my thoughts on mentoring. Continue reading On Mentoring in Startups & Corporates