I was reading an article on LinkedIn about how customer experience (CE) is starting to lose its competitive advantage as it is becoming a commodity. For those of you in this field, you know exactly what I am talking about.

A major factor CE is becoming a commodity is because it can be duplicated easily. This is true even for technology, strategy, policy and processes. That got me thinking, is there a competitive strategy that would not become a commodity?

The answer is willing employees. I use the word willing because the source comes from within. Motivation on the other hand (in organization’s context), tend to refer to external strategies to get the employee to do more. (Note: I am a huge believer of Motivation but external motivational strategies have to align with an employee’s inner motivator for it to have a lasting impact on the employee).

Continue reading “The Ultimate Competitive Advantage: Willing Employees”

“It’s not fair!” lamented Sam to Alice. “The boss seems to favor Matt’s idea all the time. I put in all the hard work, do extra research and work late. What does Matt do? Cosy up to the boss and even hanging out. Isn’t the boss aware Matt is ‘playing politics’?”

If you are already in leadership, the above story might sound familiar. If you are new to leadership, be ready to go through the emotional roller coaster of leadership.

Let’s start with the fundamental question “What is office politics?”. Many would say it is a ‘bad thing’ but what is it, really? According to wikipedia, it is “It is the use of power and social networking within an organization to achieve changes that benefit the organization or individuals within it”. In this context, most of us would find interesting the word politics is associated with social networking. If we think about networking, it is about building relationship.

Continue reading “Leadership Effectiveness: Embrace Office Politics”

While working with corporations, a common challenge many of my clients relate to me is multi-generational differences. I usually share with them about an activity I use in my workshop called “Same, same but different”. In this activity, participants need to find a partner who has something that is either similar or different based on the instruction from the facilitator. For example, the facilitator would shout out “Same, same”, participants will scramble to find a partner and identify what they have in common. Those without a partner would need to perform a hilarious dance. The activity always brings out laughter and people warm up to each other fairly quickly.

I usually notice 2 types of behavior; participants who are constantly looking for similarities in others and participants who find it challenging to find similarities.

Those who look for similarities find this activity stimulating while the others tend to find it stressful. What is the point of this activity? Choosing to look for similarities or differences is within our control.

Continue reading “Different Generation, Same Aspiration: Let’s Work Together”

James, Adam’s superior called him into his office. He was told that he needed to have a serious conversation with Kent on his lack of discipline. James noticed Kent’s working attitude and discipline declining over the last 3 months. It was during the time when Adam got the promotion.

Adam knew this day would come! He was aware of Adam’s performance but tried to ignore it because he didn’t want to ruin their friendship developed over the last 3 years. Despite the leadership training he received when he was promoted, he hoped that this scenario wouldn’t have happened.

As Adam approach Kent, Kent turned and looked at Adam and said “Yes boss, what do you want?”. Adam felt a heavy weight on his shoulder. Wanting to reduce the weight, he said “James asked me to tell you that you lack discipline and he expects you to buck up”. There was silence before Kent said “ok” while looking disappointed. Adam walked away feeling his friend misunderstood him and this has somehow made him the ‘bad guy’

Continue reading “Leadership Effectiveness: Set Apart Your Identity From Your Role”

Want loyalty? Invest emotionallY

Loyalty seems to be one of those ‘topic’ often brought up when employees of different generation talk about the workplace.

A good place to start this conversation is “what does loyalty mean”?

Most baby-boomer and Gen-X would define loyalty as the length of service,

Gen Y might probably wonder why are people so hung up about this topic because if they find the work meaningful, they will continue with the organization, while Continue reading “WANT LOYALTY? INVEST EMOTIONALLY”

Let me start with my big WHY considering most of my articles have been on leadership tips. Why am I writing this article? Being in the learning & organisation development (L&OD) space in Malaysia for the last 4 years, when introducing myself and my company to a new client (mostly training and HR managers), I find myself spending most of my time educating them on how to make training work. What was suppose to be a 30 minutes introduction meeting become an almost 2 hours education talk.

What’s worse is that I actually enjoy educating them (You would have guessed by now that I am a people person & a conceptual thinker :D). Well, that’s a story for another day. For now, allow me to share HOW to make training work for your organisation in practical ways minus the theoretical ‘mambo jambo’. If you do find this useful, do help share it so others may benefit from it.


If you are a learning & organisation development practitioner reading this, I apologise in advance as I will be using the word training and learning interchangeably for the benefit of those who are only used to the word training.