by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 28, 2005 Posted: 9:33:03 PM EDT
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
~ A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
PhD in Leadership
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 26, 2005 Posted: 11:34:58 AM EDT
- Make a list of all things done to you that you abhorred.
- DON'T DO THEM TO OTHERS. EVER.
- Make another list of things done to you that you loved.
- DO THEM TO OTHERS. ALWAYS.
Dee Hock, founder of VISA.
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 24, 2005 Posted: 9:41:00 AM EDT
I read Jack Welch's latest book, 'Winning' some months ago.
What struck me most was the section on hiring. Hiring the right people, as you know, is key to winning. A company is known for the people it hires and keep. But how do you define the 'right people'?
I am going to summarise the qualities Welch looks for. It's THE BOSS' set of rules to evaluate a new hire.
A. The Acid Test
No big deal? How many times did you turn down a 'smart, talented, and experienced' hire because you think he doesn't seem honest to you?
B. The 4E ( & 1P) Framework
- 1st E for Energy - a V12 Engine under your hood.
- 2nd E for Energise - Ability to energise and inspire others.
- 3rd E for Edge/Courage - Tough nuts.
- 4th E for Execution - Results! Results! Results1.
- P for PASSION! - You get this.
C. Hiring For the Top.
- Authenticity - Being True to Self and others.
- Ability to see round the corner - Intuition.
- Can and always hire and work with smarter people.
- HEAVY-DUTY Resilience.
Take a quick check. How do you fare? '-)
I am struck by one thing. Most of the stuffs Welch talks about are common sense. But there's one trait he insists is critical if you want to hire a winner.
I went to Brian Cracknell's Brain Snacks and picked up one 'brain-teaser' that's been playing in my mind. Brian said that we need to hire and keep PLAYERS in the team if we want to be successful.
A Player = Positive Attitude + High Energy person. Take a look at the 4 quadrants. Where are you? Where are your colleagues? What kind of composition do you have in your company?
According to research, the Employees' Energy Investment ration averages to the numbers below:
Players : 14%
Spectators : 38%
Cynics : 39%
Walking Dead : 9%
Are you hitting a wall in terms of your career growth? Perhaps your company doesn't see you in the top 14%? What kind of ratio do you have in your company as a whole?
All walking deads?
I am thinking about this simply because I am reminded of this quite below.
'The first thing to do is to hire enough talent that a critical mass of excitement starts to grow.'
Tina Brown, Business 2.0
Working with a team of smart, talented and highly enthusiastic people is FUN!
SO, are there any ++ people out there? Designers? Programmers? Give me a note, anytime.
And let's SLAY DRAGONS, shall we?!?
P.S. Say Hello to my ENERGY MASCOT!
Losing My Virginity.
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 22, 2005 Posted: 5:24:12 PM EDT
I know, I know, what's the use of talking about something so yesterday, right?
Actually, I went looking for the below;
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything.
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
I couldn't find it, so I picked up this instead;
Losing My Virginity
Richard Branson : The Autobiography.
I flipped through the photos in Branson's book. Damn, this guy is to be admired for his wild sense of adventure. An extreme Carpe Diem kind of guy. I feel like an ostrich with its head in the sand compared to this wild man of corporate adventure.
I especially like the subtitle for the book's prologue.
'Screw it. Let's do it!'
Yeah, that's how it should be. Roll-up your sleeves and sweat it. Let's get the thing fixed. Let's hit the road to your dream.
Just do it.
I'll get back to Freakonomics-hunting this weekend but for the next 3 days or so, l'm taking on the skies with the Virgin Boss.
Wait! Wait! I am wearing this, just in case!
Losing My Virginity
Richard Branson : The Autobiography.
Sampler from Chapter 1
I was sent to another school, a crammer on the Sussex coast called Cliff View House. It had no sports to distract boys from the grim and usually hopeless task of preparing for Common Entrance. If you couldn't spell, or couldn't add up, or couldn't remember that the area of a circle is 'Pi' R squared, then the solution was simple: you were beaten until you did. I learnt my facts in the face of unflinching discipline and with a black and blue backside. I may have been dyslexic, but I had no excuse. I just couldn't get it right. When I gave the inevitable wrong answer it was either more lines or a beating. I grew almost to prefer the beatings since at least they were quick.
There were no games apart from an early-morning run, and, as well as for any faults in class, we were also beaten for almost anything else, such as not making our beds properly, running when we should be walking, talking when we should be quiet, or having dirty shoes. There were so many possible things to do wrong that, although we learnt most of them, we accepted that we would be beaten for some obscure misdemeanour almost every single week.
My only consolation was the headmaster's eighteen year-old daughter, Charlotte. She seemed to take a fancy to me and I was delighted that I, out of all the boys, should have caught her attention. We soon established a routine of nocturnal visits. Every night I would climb out of my dormitory window and creep over to her bedroom in the headmaster's house. One night, as I climbed back through the window, I was horrified to see one of my teachers watching my progress.
The next morning I was summoned to the headmaster's study.
'What were you doing, Branson? he asked.
The only answer I could think of was the worst one I could possibly have given:
'I was on my way back from your daughter's room, sir.'
Not surprisingly, I was promptly expelled and my parents were told to come and collect me the following day.
That evening, unable to think of any other way to escape the wrath of my parents, I wrote a suicide note saying that I was unable to cope with the shame of my expulsion. I wrote on the envelope that it was not to be opened until the following day but then gave it to a boy who I knew was far too nosy not to open it immediately.
Very, very slowly, I left the building and walked through the school grounds towards the cliffs. When I saw a crowd of teachers and boys beginning to run after me, I slowed down enough for them to catch me up. They managed to drag me back from the cliff and the expulsion was overturned.
My parents were surprisingly relaxed about the whole episode. My father even seemed quite impressed that Charlotte was 'a very pretty girl'.
Read the rest of Chapter 1 at Virgin's website. >>
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 22, 2005 Posted: 11:50:20 AM EDT
In the land of the blind, the one-legged man is King.
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 20, 2005 Posted: 8:24:10 PM EDT
I slept at 2.00am last night.
And I woke up at 6.00am this morning to walk my little girl to school.
It was a painfully slow journey, from my bed to the shower. I noticed the force of gravity was very strong at 6.00am this morning. But it was a glorious morning, from home to school with Li-ann.
A 20 minutes walk of love.
I hope I've soothed some of the hurts my little girl felt, especially since I've not being there for her for the past 2 weeks.
I am going to STOMP!
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 19, 2005 Posted: 11:16:10 AM EDT
Yeah and I hope I'll have a STOMPing good time this Saturday.
Details of STOMP at Istana Budaya.
Vely expensif lar...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 16, 2005 Posted: 9:35:46 AM EDT
Before my bed, the moon is shining bright,
I think that it is frost upon the ground.
I raise my head and look at the bright moon,
I lower my head and think of home.
Last night on my way back home at around 9pm, I stopped by a fruit-shop at SS14 Subang Jaya. I bought a large honey-dew melon, 10 Fuji apples, 2 papayas and bananas. I also remembered to buy some grapes for Li-ann and Wesley.
As I was about to drive off, I saw a man selling roasted Chinese chestnuts beside the road. I turned and walked over to see. For a moment, I was caught unprepared by the smell of roasted Chinese chestnuts. It triggered something inside of me. I asked for a 1/2 kg pack. RM10. I cradled the pack of warm chestnuts with my right arm and held it close to my chest. I walked towards my car and drove home.
The roasted chestnuts had burnt a hole in my mind.
At home after my shower, I took some out and ate them. With every bite, I started recalling some of those things I used to do as a child.
They came in vivid flashes...memories...food memories. Have I not heard of the term?
The look, the smell and texture of the things we have eaten as young children are lodged in our memories and forever associated with a certain experience or a state of mind.
Roasted Chinese chestnuts reminded me of my childhood. I remember how much I'd wanted to eat them as a child when I see the chestnut-seller roasting his chestnuts over a large wok on his tricycle by the roadside. It used to be a rare treat, eating roasted chestnuts.
One more thing, the flavor and texture of roasted chestnuts somehow reminded me of the boiled jack-fruit seeds I used to eat. Creamy, pungent and somewhat woody. That woody taste reminded of the smell of the earth. And that made me recall 'Lantern Festival' or Mid-Autumn Festival as I had celebrated it as a child.
It wasn't all about moon-cakes, really, as I knew it. Yes, there were mooncakes.
But to me, it was about the the sight of candles fluttering at night. And the smell they give out when they get snuffed by the wind. Yes, it was a lot about what we can do with those boxes of colorful candles. It was about who could make the most exciting lanterns using bamboo and 'glass paper'. Red goldfishes, yellow rabbits, red and white ultraman, etc. It was about seeing the candles lighting up these hand-crafted lanterns at night as we walk the streets. It was, to remember it correctly, all about the pride and excitement that light up our faces as we exchange glances at each others' creations.
One time I remember, we climbed up the big, verdant rambutan tree and planted several hundreds of candles all along its branches, from the top to the bottom. When we finally climbed down and looked up at the lighted tree, with several hundreds of candles flickering, it was a sight to behold.
Beautiful. Vivid. Unforgettable.
The lighted rambutan tree against the night sky with the mid-autumn moon, round and bright above. I can still see it now in my mind, its branches glowing with a hundred tiny flames fluttering. And above the sprawl of zinc roofs and rising TV antennas stands this brooding silhouette of a tree. On its crests, sits an ill-fated kite, entangled , its tails waving in the night.
Yes, the same moon. Only several hundreds of miles south. But no less melancholic. Like your poet's lonesome, rice wine-soaked night, I am thinking of home.
High Pitch, Low Pitch
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 15, 2005 Posted: 5:16:49 PM EDT
I sat through a 4 hours Internet Banking pitch-job as part of a consortium that consists of one global IT Consultancy firm with another IT big brand from India. It was long and mostly dreary affair because of the subject matter.
The slow internet connection didn't help much.
I got up to speak for about 10 minutes at the end and did what I could for the time and context. I spoke about what XiMnet can do for them as our client being an up and coming local bank with an aspiration beyond our shores.
Personally, I think most businesses spend too much on infrastructural investment and not enough on their brand magic. That's an imbalance we need to fix if we want to stand-out of the crowd.
Technical whiz-bang is no longer the 'silver-bullet' for e-Banking.
What's the real draw?
In a crowded market, it's about who you are...
Do you make a difference?
What's your story, why should i care?
Chief Humanising Officer?
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 13, 2005 Posted: 8:30:05 PM EDT
Chief humanising officer
Feb 10th 2005
From The Economist print edition
Does Robert Scoble, a celebrity blogger on Microsoft's payroll, herald the death of traditional public relations?
ROBERT SCOBLE, known in the blogosphere as “the Scobleizer”, is a phenomenon not just because he has had an unusually strange career of late, but because his example might mark the beginning of the end of “corporate communications” as we know it. Mr Scoble is, first, a blogger—ie, somebody who keeps an online journal (called a “web log” or “blog”) to which he posts thoughts and web links several times a day. But Mr Scoble is also an employee of Microsoft, the world's largest software company, where he holds the official title of “technical evangelist”. Those two roles are intertwined. It was his blogging prowess that led to his job, and much of the job consists of blogging.
Read full article at The Economist
Check out Scoble's blog
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 8, 2005 Posted: 12:51:18 PM EDT
If someone can design a pill that fixes Chronic Sleep Deprivation Syndrome, he will be rich. Very Rich!
Sleep deprived? Just pop the pill and WHOOSH....!!!
You are ready to take on the world!
Say goodbye to gnawing body-aches, un-sexy puffy-eyes, zombie-like hangover looks, REM-less bad nights due to work stress, jet-lagged wooziness, Van Gogh-inspired swirling landscapes, hallucinatory experiences, etc.
Why haven't someone thought of this?
There's a big market.
I JUST KNOW IT!
Hey, it can cure road-rage, it slows down premature-aging, it fixes meeting breakdowns due to ill-timed yawns, it reduces verbal-misfiring reflexes among young parents, it makes you live longer, etc. Somebody's going to win the Nobel Prize, I know. Please cite me for inspiration, OK?
Darn, I think I am sleep-deprived.
The Times They Are A-Changin'
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 7, 2005 Posted: 11:31:55 AM EDT
How strikingly relevant this still is, Bob...
I can still hear the angst blowing out of your bluesharp.
Photo taken from bobdylan.com
The Times They Are A-Changin'
Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.
The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
And the first one now
Will later be last
The Times They Are A-Changin'
Audrey Hepburn of Malaysia?
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 7, 2005 Posted: 9:27:10 AM EDT
Photo taken from Yasmin Ahmad's blog
Sharifah Armani-the star of Sepet and current shoot Gubra...Yasmin Ahmad's muse.
Yasmin calls her 'my Audrey Hepburn'.
Now where's our 'Marlon Brando' Ng CS?
Don't Stop Playing that Jazz
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 6, 2005 Posted: 7:13:57 PM EDT
Image taken from http://www.nojazzfest.com
Hi New Orleans,
We see you everyday over the TV
And our hearts go out to all of you.
One thing we know,
and if this is any consolation to you,
We know your jazz will be finer
after these painful days.
Our prayers are with you.
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 6, 2005 Posted: 6:02:12 PM EDT
I like Tom Peters. I like the way he cuts to the core of some of our business pretensions. Here's what he says about branding.
It makes a hell lots of sense to me.
Photo taken from tompeters.com
BRANDING IS EASY.
Forget clever marketing programs. And compelling logos. And Big Bucks Advertising. The key to Branding is an unswerving & crystal-clear answer to some “simple” questions:
WHO ARE WE?
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
IS IT COMPELLING ENOUGH TO VAULT 1000s OF EMPLOYEES OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING?
Branding That Matters is difficult (KNOW THYSELF!) and simple (KNOW THYSELF!).
~ Tom Peters
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 6, 2005 Posted: 5:33:37 PM EDT
Photo courtesy of fuzzynuts @ stock.xchng
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!
~ Rudyard Kipling
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 6, 2005 Posted: 12:41:41 PM EDT
I will be giving a short talk on 'Reimagining Online-Communication' this coming Saturday on the invitation of Brian Cracknell of Language Works SB.
The talk, entitled 'Brain Snacks', is part of a series of short, interactive 'active learning' programs meant to provide 'experiential learnings' for business executives on various topics.
Here are the details:
Brain Snacks: Re-imagining
Get R.E.A.L. - Responsive Energised Active Learning with us!
Date: 10 September 2005
Time: 9.00 am - 2.00 pm (including lunch)
The Idea Space
8-3, 3rd Floor, Jalan 22B / 70A, Crystalville Business Centre , Phase 2
Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-6201 6398
Check here for more info:
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 5, 2005 Posted: 8:50:30 PM EDT
'Competition for the future is competition to create and dominate emerging opportunities - to stake out new competitive space. Creating the future is more challenging than playing catch-up, in that you create your own road-map...Imagination is the only limiting factor...In business, as in art, what distinguishes leaders from laggards, and greatness from mediocrity, is the ability to uniquely imagine what could be.'
Competing For The Future
~Gary Hamel & C.K. Prahalab
Gubra at Work
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 2, 2005 Posted: 3:53:40 PM EDT
Values, Meaning and Success
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 2, 2005 Posted: 10:47:00 AM EDT
I guess being a parent has done a world of good for Steve Job. I picked up a remarkable quote, attributed to him, from his biography, iCon (See below).
You know, I share his sentiments. There's nothing more beautiful and fulfilling than watching you child grow.
Image taken from www.theapplecollection.com
'The Rewarding thing isn't merely to start a company or to take it public. It's like when you are a parent. Although the birth experience is a miracle, what's truly rewarding is living with your child and helping him grow up.
The problem with the Internet craze isn't that too many people are starting companies; it's that too many people aren't sticking with it. That's somewhat understandable, because there are many moments filled with despair and agony, when you have to fire people and cancel things and deal with very difficult situations.
That's when you find out who you are and what your values are'
~ Steve Job
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 1, 2005 Posted: 6:59:15 PM EDT
Now, if this baby gets delivered through the rocky courtship between VW and Proton, after extended labor pains sans epidural, last minute C section after failed forceps, whatever-lah, I am going to adopt this bootiful baby.
German-Malaysia dude, Pan-Asian hunky pin-up, Matsalleh-celup tak sedar diri, apa-apalah.
Aku buat anak-angkat saja.
Now, what do I name her?
Aku Beli saja!
Nama takde hal!
I'm a FAN!
Eh wait, berapa tu?
RM150 ribu OTR boleh?
O ya, satu lagi, dalam kereta tu, biar TUV betul-betul ya? Jangan-jangan lepas 2 bulan, kat highway nak bayar Tol kena bukak pintu pulak...