by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - October 31, 2005 Posted: 8:56:22 PM EDT
Happy Deepavali & Selamat Hari Raya to all my friends, all Malaysians and to the people this world. Where there is Light, darkness shall be defeated. Where there is Faith in a Merciful Creator, Peace shall pervail....
Why the World Is Flat, according to Thomas Friedman
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - October 23, 2005 Posted: 5:40:57 PM EDT
Here's an inspiring take at the unseen forces moulding our changing world. Posted here is a mind-provoking conversation between author Dan Pink of 'A Whole New World' and Globalization guru Thomas Friedman of 'The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization' fame.
Thomas Friedman, Image from wired.com
The playing field is being leveled, says globalization guru Thomas Friedman - from Shanghai to Silicon Valley, from al Qaeda to Wal-Mart. Here are the 10 key catalysts for Globalization Ver. 3.0.
- Fall of the Berlin Wall
The events of November 9, 1989, tilted the worldwide balance of power toward democracies and free markets.
- Netscape IPO
The August 9, 1995, offering sparked massive investment in fiber-optic cables.
- Work flow softwares
The rise of apps from PayPal to VPNs enabled faster, closer coordination among far-flung employees.
Self-organizing communities, à la Linux, launched a collaborative revolution.
Migrating business functions to India saved money and a third world economy.
Contract manufacturing elevated China to economic prominence.
Robust networks of suppliers, retailers, and customers increased business efficiency. See Wal-Mart.
Logistics giants took control of customer supply chains, helping mom-and-pop shops go global. See UPS and FedEx.
Power searching allowed everyone to use the Internet as a 'personal supply chain of knowledge.' See Google.
Like 'steroids,' wireless technologies pumped up collaboration, making it mobile and personal.
a. Read the full interview featured on <<Wired.com>>
b. Watch Thomas Friedman speaks at MIT about the <10 Flatteners of the World>.
c. Click <<here for Thomas Friedman's website >>.
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - October 20, 2005 Posted: 6:25:34 PM EDT
Our Prime Minister's wife, Datin Seri Endon Mahmood, passed away this morning at 7.55am. May God bless her soul. We offer our deepest sympathies and our heartfelt condolences to our Prime Minister and all his family members.
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - October 19, 2005 Posted: 12:15:49 AM EDT
Nicol David, the Dragon Slayer.
Women Champion, Dunlop British Open, Squash Championships 2005
(photo © 2005 F Borchert)
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - October 17, 2005 Posted: 2:22:13 PM EDT
“Character cannot be developed in peace and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision be cleared, ambition insured and success achieved.” ~ Helen Keller
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - October 17, 2005 Posted: 1:04:49 PM EDT
RJ had disappeared from my radar for almost 10 years. RJ and I used to be buddies in campus. We killed lots of time together at the UM campus cafeteria.
We got in touch recently.
Last Saturday, RJ drove up from Singapore to KL to attend a family function. He brought his 4 year old son, EJ along. I brought mine. We met at McD Subang Parade and had a quick chat over Coke, fries and ice-cream (for the kids).
RJ said I look the same. I thought he didn't look any different either. Maybe certain changes are not so visible.
Even amongst old friends.
Roads to Chaos
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - October 15, 2005 Posted: 12:24:53 PM EDT
I got an early morning SOS call from Chris at 8.20am. She was lost while trying to get to Jalan Pahang, KL from Subang Jaya. She had an exam to sit for at 8.30am and she's late and lost. Even with the map I'd sketched out last night, the road-signs were hopeless.
It confused more than it helped her.
Who do these road-signs?
Are they people who care about road-users? Do they go for usability training? Do they have an ounce of empathy for road-users? Do they do any kind of user-acceptance testing? Please don't tell me the contractors at Old Klang road put up these signs as they see fit.
I don't want to believe it but I think nobody really think about proper road-signs because they don't think it's important. But that's wrong. Think about the stress you go through while trying to find a friend, a client or even a restaurant in KL. That's the amount of unnecessary stress and sufferings these bad road-signs give to people who live in the Klang Valley.
Road-rages? Family fights? Heart attacks on Monday morning? Don't discount bad roads with bad implementation and bad road-signs with no cow-sense.
That's the problem when we don't see that everything we do, we affect the lives of others. Everything. If you cannot connect with the people who use your products, you are killing them. Sure they don't fall off their chairs and die but you are wearing them out with stress and unhappiness. That's murder too. We either add to the goodness of human existence or we subtract from it.
No work is neutral.
If you hate your job and can't see the point of your contribution, do yourself and this world a favor. Please quit. Discover who you are. Get another job. Find out what you love to do. If not you are killing yourself with your unhappiness and you are killing others with your half-hearted, half-baked and low quality work.
Think about this.
Uninspired work is the sewage that pours into the River of Life.
Are you adding life-giving water or are you discharging effluent into Life?
6 AM Victory!
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - October 13, 2005 Posted: 6:14:35 PM EDT
We worked on an email marketing campaign project and stayed up till 6.00 a.m. this morning to see it off in flight.
No, we don't do this often at all.
But that's not the thing.
What I want to say is, I've not felt this ALIVE and EXCITED for a long time. This Email Marketing campaign had been very fun and inspiring! Many late nights were spent putting the pieces together. Many more were spent after wrapping our work, unwinding downstairs at the 'dai-chow' (the food is just great...) and returning home passed midnight.
But it's been FUN! Really FUN!
I do enjoy living so intensely. Living with so much focused energy. Sometimes even money can't buy you this kind of team camaraderie, shared sense of purpose and destiny.
'Victory! It is done!'
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - October 10, 2005 Posted: 9:49:22 PM EDT
I've been busy recently.
Projects implementation, sales pitches, coaching, admin works, etc. I haven't made any substantial entries for the past weeks, I know. Please check back later for entries that's worth your time.
Yes, I've read about the South Asia quakes. There's certainly a rise in earthquakes recently. I don't know what I can say about that. May the abounding mercy of our Creator soften the fury of His creation.
Oh one thing.
The monsoon is coming again. We don't have the 4 seasons as time marker but we do have the monsoons. The year end monsoon season rains down lots of memories, roaring on the trees, tapping on the zinc roofs and gurgling along the monsoon drains.
I am trying to find time to catch those fleeting thoughts that kept slipping away with my mind on project and sales pitches. Not that I don't enjoy those.
Just got to find that moment.
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - October 7, 2005 Posted: 5:08:29 PM EDT
People use words rather loosely these days.
Sometimes you get a group of people mouthing big words but are really clueless about what they are setting themselves up for.
Beware of over-promising and under-delivering, my friends. Let's just start with real, honest, consistent customer service. Start by putting yourselves in your customers' shoes. Start with genuine empathy. I think there's more to good customer service than ignoring phone-calls, sending defensive emails or giving requests the silent treatment.
When you've fouled up, pick up the phone and apologise. Be transparent and take responsibility. Don't get hung up with big words. Don't pass the buck.
If you really don't understand customer service, please don't abuse your customers more by using big words you don't even seem to understand.
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - October 6, 2005 Posted: 6:39:31 PM EDT
This blog was featured in the Sunday Times, Singapore last weekend. Here's the article.
Blogs go corporate
Companies big and small are using blogs to engage staff and customers but caution rules.
By Yeo Ying Ying , Straits Times
2 Oct 2005
Read the full article here : http://it.asia1.com.sg/newsdaily/news001_20051003.html
Here are the original responses to Selina Yeo's very incisive questions.
- When did you start this blog?
I started blogging around early December 2004, around 6 months after it occurred to me that I should blog. I shared it with my team, built the blog engine and the 'current skin' design and never looked back since.
- What do you blog about?
I blog about my work as an online branding practitioner. Other than that, I blog about subjects like, the importance of good leadership, family life, books, movies, food etc. I also blog about being a Malaysian, an ethnic Chinese living in a plural society. Most of the time, I don't think I consciously stick to a topic. If at all, I blog because I am responding to a situation at work or in life. I blog when I think I have something to say.
- How often do you blog?
I make it a point to blog about 2-3 times a week.
- Do you know how many readers frequent your blog? Has readership been growing?
I've been told by some people they 'stalk' my blog so I think I have readers who read my blog everyday or every other day. My readership has grown but the last time I check, there wasn't a stampede anywhere near my blog.
- What benefits do a corporate blog like yours bring to XiMnet Malaysia as a company and to the solutions/ products it offers? What are the advantages you see for an employee to blog about his or her company?
We get sales we never could have gotten because our blog. We get people who can identify with our values and our beliefs and they've become our 'brand ambassadors' and refer business to us. Our blog drive web traffic to us through Google and create a broader awareness about what we do.
Seth Godin in his book Idea Virus said that the Internet is a very viral medium. A blog in that way is very contagious medium of communication due to its one-to-one model. It has a kind of intimacy that open doors where other mediums might not. So in a way, we are lucky to have realized this early and we have managed to adopt this new medium of corporate communication effectively. A blog is essentially an effective tool to subvert current corporate communication practices.
A blog brings out the human in you rather than hide it. It reveals who you are rather than conceal it. Because the world is fast changing due to rapid technology changes and socio-political upheavals, blogging becomes the medium and the message of change. I think the blogging phenomenon fills a void in our world where people are looking for authenticity rather than manufactured lies. Within context, I believe we stand out amongst our competitors because we have managed to cultivate a 'distinct voice', a story about who we are and shaped a brand identity for XiMnet through the blog. Some companies might pay thousands of dollars for get that kind of exposure but I think we have managed to get a gain a good amount of publicity and brand mileage with our blog.
- Are there any other XIMNET Malaysia corporate bloggers beside yourself? How was it determined who gets to blog?
I have heard that the CEO of 8TV has a blog. I am not sure he still does. I know some business consultants are blogging but they are not what you might terms as 'corporate blogs'. Recently I spoke at a seminar and two CEOs spoke to me and indicated they are keen to get started ASAP. When we first started, 3 of us were supposed to blog from our different roles. I guess I finally ended up blogging for the company because I have been given the role as voice of the team. I also think I don't find writing that painful an exercise.
- What was the motivation for XiMnet Malaysia to go into corporate blogging?
It is important to say that blogging is not only good for external communications alone but it is also a powerful internal bonding, information sharing medium. Here are the 8 reasons why we blog:
- To differentiate - to paint with broad strokes the character of our team, at work and at play.
To give voice to our values and to share our insights using the informal story-telling format. Also to give voice to our hopes and dreams.
- To demonstrate 'Authenticity' - as people who are passionate about our work.
- To share our experiences as a group of people to encourage to others in similar setups.
- To attract like-minded people as our customers and partners/friends and future team-members.
- Myth-making: To frame the story of our journey in a way the team can understand, for inspiration, pacing and motivation.
- To enhance our Search Engine Marketing positioning and lead generation strategy.
- To close the communication gaps in the negotiation process through inference of values from the blog entries.
- What does XiMnet Malaysia hope to achieve by introducing and supporting corporate blogs?
I believe corporate blogging can allow a certain amount of transparency into the culture and practices of an organization. By this, I mean not only in the regulatory sense of the word but also in the sense of being a human-being in the business world. I see myself first as a human being who happened to be a business person and not a businessman who happened to be human. I think now, after September 11, ENRON, WORLDCOM, the Iraq War, etc, more and more people are interested in the human-being in you. People will ask,'Who are you? What are your values? What do you really care about? Why should I buy your products and services? What are your primary motivations in business? What do you stand for ultimately?'
If you switch on your listening mode, you will notice that people are caught between being fearful, detached, and cynical and being really wanting to reach out and embrace others and forge a common destiny for our human race. I think our world is changing. Blogging is an idea which's time has come.
- Have the corporate blogs been successful in achieving such purposes? How does XiMnet Malaysia measure the effectiveness of their corporate blogs?
Yes, our corporate blog is working out. I think the sales increase, the rising awareness and publicity about who we are and what we do, our Google positioning and this interview and many others are an indication, are all adding up for us.
- Will corporate blogging be merely a fad or a lasting phenomenon? Can you please comment on the trend of corporate blogging in Asia Pacific and its opportunities for growth in APAC?
Corporate blogging won't go away as much as the Internet will not go away. It is a medium that will be quickly adopted by savvy CEOs, Chief Marketing Officers, PR Managers, etc. As a matter of fact, Microsoft is big into promoting blogging for its IT pros, developers and customer-service people. Tom Peters blogs like he won't live to see tomorrow. I think some people get it and some people don't but I think it will be rapidly adopted in Asia Pacific as the trend spreads from the US to the rest of the world.
- How do you view the future of blogging as a medium for an organization's marketing/ communication strategy?
I think in 5 years, every self-respecting company will be a blog. The blogging model might span rapidly to cover all aspects of business activities such as customer service, product and services marketing, technical support, product evaluation, etc. The human need to bond and communicate authentically will shape the business world. Blogging will play its role within the larger set of things.
- In your opinion, will blogs become as influential as mainstream media?
Blogging will supplement where mainstream media is weak now. Blogging will excel as a form of one-to-one communication and it will ultimately become a part of mainstream media. Companies that have embraced corporate blogging are mostly technology companies.
- Do you think more companies will follow suit in future?
Like the adoption of the Internet as a communication and business platform, blogging won't stop with the tech companies. Blogging is a Hi-Touch thing. Businesses in the Hi-Touch segments will do well to quickly seize the blogging phenomenon and leverage on its inherent strength. Like what John Naisbitt predicts, societies are going to rapidly move towards a Hi-Touch lifestyle. Hi-Tech without Hi-Touch is quite alienating in the long run. So I think in 5 years, we will all be amazed how versatile and powerful this 'neophyte of a blog thing' will be as a medium of change in our world.
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - October 4, 2005 Posted: 12:37:52 PM EDT
'There's no such thing as luck, there's only preparation meeting the moment of opportunity. …If you weren't prepared when the opportunity showed up, nothing would have happened.'
~ Oprah Winfrey.
I dowan to go to skool...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - October 4, 2005 Posted: 11:12:50 AM EDT
For two mornings, Wesley bawled when he was being dressed to go to his kindergarten.
'Wahhhhh....I dowan to go to skool....waahhh...'
Yesterday he got away and stayed at home to play his 'cars flying over the bridge' routine. When he was bored with his cars, he watched his Winnie The Pooh VCD collection. This morning, he bawled again but Saoda quickly bundled him into Teacher Soon Cheng's car and waved goodbye.
Why do kids hate going to school?
I hated school as a kid. I remember clinging to the every item along the road in my attempt to terminate the dreadful journey when my father tried to forcibly get me to school once. I think I uprooted my neighbor's papaya tree in that drama.
So maybe it's genetic. '-)
But believe me, Primary 1 was evil as far as I was concerned.