31 May 2006


"The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall." Vince Lombardi

Sorry is a powerful word, but it loses its power when it is abused and overused. Sorry is most powerful when it is used for the first time by the same person for the first mistake. It becomes less powerful when it is used the second time by the same person for the same mistake. It is almost meaningless when it is used the third time by the same person for the same mistake.

People who use sorry as a means to apologize have a tendency to say sorry whenever they make mistakes. They naively believe that if it works the first time, then it is going to work the next time, and possibly forever. This is of course not true.

Admitting mistakes take courage, but this courage is wasted if the person making the mistake learns nothing. Sorry without action is an empty word. Sorry with corrective action is learning from mistakes.

To err is human. Charles Kettering is right in saying that "every great improvement has come after repeated failures. Virtually nothing comes out right the first time. Failures, repeated failures, are fingerposts on the road to achievement."

30 May 2006

Golden Rule on Worst Customers

The Golden Rule suggests "treat others as you want to be treated." It is an important moral truth, yet it is difficult to put into practice in the real world.
It is almost impossible to observe the Golden Rule in the case of worst customers, because everything they demand is unreasonable.
What are worst customers? Gary Ahlquist, a senior vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton, defines them as "those who do three things: they order rarely, they pay slowly or not at all, and they make unreasonable demands."
Should enterprise keep worst customers? If profit maximization is the objective, then it is quite obvious that the enterprise should let worst customers go. Firing worst customers is too aggressive an action. But should the enterprise ask why there are worst customers, instead of thinking whether or not to fire them?
Are the worst customers born worst, or become worst? If they are born worst, why does the enterprise acquire them in the first place? If they are developed, what has the enterprise done to turn an originally good customer into a worst one. The reasons behind should be what the enterprise really focuses on. Letting worst customers go does not really solve the root problem, and without solving the root problem, it is almost impossible to sustain profitable growth.
As the old saying goes, "prevention is better than cure."

29 May 2006


"If you pay peanuts, you only get monkeys."
This holds true for reasonable people. For those who are unreasonable, when they pay peanuts, they still expect to get lions. Why do unreasonable people have such unreasonable expectations?
It does not only happen in external market, but also in internal organization. Bosses are usually not reasonable in almost every worker's eyes. One must be lucky to once work for a great boss.
There is no use mourning, and absolutely useless asking why. In fact, there are only 2 choices left: accept or reject. If one chooses to accept, then accept not only that the person is unreasonable, but also accept that this is life. After all, it is an unfair world. Everyone who wants to survive has to find a way, comfortable way to live in. Otherwise, it is better off to reject. Everyone may at least have a chance to stay happy.

28 May 2006


What is management?

Management comes from the French word "menagement" meaning "the art of conducting, directing", and also Latin "manuagere" meaning "to lead by the hand".

In The Practice of Management, Peter Drucker defines management as "an economic organ. The first function is to put economic performance first. The second function is to make a productive enterprise out of human and material resources. The final function is to manage workers and work."

First function - Economic performance is important, but social contribution should not be ignored. Charles Handy said in Harvard Business Review (December 2002) that "the purpose of business is not to make a profit, full stop. It is to make a profit so that the business can do something more or better." But Bill Gates thinks otherwise. "Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning."

Second function - This is about allocation of resources, but how to allocate. The allocation should be based on the priority of critical success factors, if any.

Third function - Management is really about managing people. When people are managed well, then the right deliverables will be produced. Information is the bridge between the two.

Honeymoon Dessert

Honeymoon Dessert is a famous dessert restaurant in Hong Kong. Its mango pancake and durian pancake perhaps are the best in town.

Their mission is "We want to do the best. If possible, allow us to earn. If necessary, promise you to compensate. All we want is to do the best."

We want to do the best - In order to survive, every enterprise has to do the best, but doing the best is not the sure path to success, because that is only the entry ticket to marketplace. Besides, your best may not be in the best interest of the market.

Allow us to earn - This is quite an interesting mission. Why should a customer allow you to earn if what you produce is not what the customer wants? Moreover, almost nothing is granted but earned. There is no use begging for business.

Promise you to compensate - Why compensate if you are already doing the best? A promise made is a debt unpaid. Will Honeymoon Dessert really compensate when asked? If not, then why promise?

All we want is to do the best - Best is meaningless, because best is never good enough.

Tommy Li Design Workshop is responsible for the branding of Honeymoon Dessert. If interested in Li, please visit http://tommylidesign.com/

27 May 2006


WYSIWYG, pronounced as wiz-ee-wig, is an acronym for What You See Is What You Get.

Jack Welch, the CEO of General Electric from 1981 to 2001, is seen as a WYSIWYG person. What exactly is WYSIWYG?

WYSIWYG is a term used to describe a user interface that allows the user to view something very similar to the end result while the content is being created.

So, what you see Jack Welch is what you get Jack Welch?

It doesn't make any sense. Everyone knows Welch's goal is to "win." The means is the team, and the method is hiring, coaching, and firing when necessary. Is that WYSIWYG?

Is this negative information touchpoint experience?

TINSTAAFL is another interesting acronym, which means "there is no such thing as a free lunch." It can't be used to describe any person... neutral information touchpoint experience.

Earn & Grant

Almost everything on earth has to be earned but not granted.

Trust is earned, but never granted. This is especially true in both internal organization and external market. Trust perhaps is the shortcut to achieving positive PID touchpoint experience. After all, why is relationship so important? Positive relationship builds trust.

Money is earned, but never granted. Even in the case of gambling, you can't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket. Buying requires efforts.

Name is earned, but never granted. Jack Welch, the famously successful former CEO of General Electric, earned the reputation of "America's most admired executive" because of his winning attitude, but his affair with Suzy Wetlaufer had his reputation flame out. Smart, or dumb move? Love has no right or wrong... as long as the experience is positive.

Is there anything granted and doesn't require hard work to earn?

Appearance is one. WYSIWYG... unless one decides to go for a facial surgery. WYSIWYG, pronounced wiz-ee-wig, means What You See Is What You Get.

But the most powerful of all is LOVE, particuarly love at first sight.

26 May 2006

4R on TXM

Touchpoint is the basis of communication, and experience affects the effectiveness of communication. Effective communciation promotes positive relationship, and ineffective demotes. In today's market where there is a never ending array of competitors and homogeneous products, positive relationship rules.

If everything is rooted in touchpoint, then the first touchpoint is the foundation of basically everything.

"Well begun, half done."

Creating the first touchpoint becomes the first and most important step to success. This first step is also known as the commonly known "first impression". A positive first touchpoint does not guarantee the next. In fact, nothing really guarantees anything. Losers are those who still blindly take everything for granted. The next critical step is then to ensure that there will be no discontinuity in the touchpoint chain.

AIDA, short for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action, does not really tell how to develop the first touchpoint, which is the root of everything. AIDA is just a simple 4-step model rehashing what's already obvious.

In order to build the first touchpoint, and the subsequent touchpoints that are yet to follow, an enterprise needs to focus on the 4Rs.

R - Relevance
R - Recurrence
R - Risk
R - Return

Relevance - The basic requirement for sender and receiver to establish relationship is to make PID relevant. Every critical success factor has to be relevant in order for both parties to develop common interest for possible bonding. (PID is an acronym for People, Information, and Deliverables.)

Recurrence - If the receiver listens to what the sender requests or suggests, what will the possible consequence be? Is the deliverable a one-off deal? Or will there be a lot of follow-up work? The idea is similar to Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Risk - This is the "cost" function of cost-benefit analysis (CBA). If the touchpoint is to be continued, what will be the risk involved? If short-term loss comes before long-term gain, how long is it going to take?

Return - This is the "benefit" function of CBA. After all, neither party would be interested to pursue the relationship further if there is no return from the first touchpoint and subsequent touchpoints, if any.

25 May 2006

36 Strategies

Ben Tregoe defines strategy as "more is said than done." Tactic is the opposite: more is done than said.

Strategy is a plan designed to achieve a particular long-term aim, and tactic is a specific action to accomplish an end. That's the relationship between strategy and tactic. What is the word origin of strategy? The word strategy stems from a French word "strategie", meaning "the art of a general."

Strategy is a teamwork exercise, but definitely not the decision of one man. There has to be one person to faciliate the process. In order to come up with at least one agreed action point, the faciliator needs to have the ability to listen rather than hear. Listening requires efforts. People listen to understand and learn, but just hear to entertain and ignore.

Sender (Ps) needs to listen to the feedback of Receiver (Pr) in order to produce the deliverable required by the Pr. Effective listening is key to achieving positive touchpoint experience.

To learn more about strategy, please see http://11.1911encyclopedia.org/S/ST/STRATEGY.htm.

Winning Strategies
01) Fool The Emperor To Cross The Sea 瞞天過海
02) Besiege Wei To Rescue Zhao 圍魏救趙
03) Kill With A Borrowed Sword 借刀殺人
04) Await The Exhausted Enemy At Your Ease 以逸待勞
05) Loot A Burning House 趁火打劫
06) Clamour In The East, Attack In The West 聲東擊西
Enemy Dealing Strategies
07) Create Something From Nothing 無中生有
08) Secretly Utilize the Chen Chang passage 暗渡陳倉
09) Observe The Fire On The Opposite Shore 隔岸觀火
10) Hide The Dagger Behind A Smile 笑裏藏刀
11) Let The Plum Tree Wither In Place Of The Peach 李代桃僵
12) Seize The Opportunity To Lead The Sheep Away 順手牽羊

Attacking Strategies
13) Beat The Grass To Startle The Snake 打草驚蛇
14) Borrow A Corpse To Raise The Spirit 借屍還魂
15) Lure The Tiger Down The Mountain 調虎離山
16) To Catch Something, First Let It Go 欲擒姑縱
17) Toss Out A Brick To Attract Jade 拋磚引玉
18) To Catch The Bandit First Capture Their Leader 擒賊擒王
Chaos Strategies
19) Steal The Firewood From Under The Pot 釜底抽薪
20) Trouble The Water To Catch The Fish 混水摸魚
21) Shed Your Skin Like The Golden Cicada 金蟬脱殼
22) Shut The Door To Catch The Thief 關門捉賊
23) Befriend A Distant Enemy To Attack One Nearby 遠交近攻
24) Borrow The Road To Conquer Guo 假道伐虢
Proximate Strategies
25) Replace The Beams With Rotten Timbers 偷梁換柱
26) Point At The Mulberry, But Curse The Locust Tree 指桑罵槐
27) Feign Madness, But Keep Your Balance 假痴不癲
28) Lure Enemy Onto The Roof, Take Away The Ladder 上屋抽梯
29) Deck The Dead Tree With Silk Blossoms 樹上開花
30) Exchange The Role Of Guest For That Of Host 反客為主
Defeat Strategies
31) The Beauty Trap 美人計
32) The Strategy Of Open City Gates 空城計
33) The Strategy Of Sowing Discord 反間計
34) The Strategy Of Injuring Yourself 苦肉計
35) The Strategy Of Combining Tactics 連環計
36) If All Else Fails Retreat 走為上策

24 May 2006

Critical Success Factor

Every enterprise faces the same economic problem: too many wants chasing too few resources.
This is a sad fact, but nobody can do anything to change it. The good news is there is only one winner in every competition, but how to be the winner? Those who excel in resources allocation are closer to the edge of success.
First, the enterprise should try to identify the Critical Success Factor (CSF).
If the enterprise doesn't have any CSF, then there are only two options: be a loser and leave the battlefield, or hope to be a winner and develop the factors.
If the enterprise has more than one CSF, then the next step is to prioritize the factors, and allocate resources accordingly.

23 May 2006


Storytelling is a way of communication, and communication is an act of delivering information from the sender (Ps) to the receiver (Pr). It may not be the most effective way to convey a message, but it is definitely an interesting method. Whether effective or not really depends on the story telling technique, the message content, and more importantly the relevancy among the story, the message, and the receiver.
Factors affecting information touchpoint experience can be expressed in 5W1H.
Who: Top-Down / Flat-Flat / Bottom-Up
When: Right / Wrong time
Where: Right / Wrong place
What: Relevant / Irrelevant message
Why: Action / Information purpose
How: Formal / Informal style & Verbal / Non-Verbal (Visual) form
If the deliverable provides positive touchpoint experience, this will reinforce the impact of information touchpoint experience, as the promise made during the information stage is fulfilled.
So once upon a time...

22 May 2006


"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." Mahatma Gandhi.
The chinese word Ren means Person. The chinese pictogram of Ren looks like "Lambda" in Greek. It represents a person bowing, or showing respect to others. Positive people touchpoint experience is achieved when there is respect, when people are willing to think of others instead of themselves. This is the Golden Rule.
Attitude of course plays an important role in positive people touchpoint experience. Nobody likes to be blamed when he or she makes a mistake, but everyone likes to be recognized when he or she does something right. This is human nature, and there is nothing wrong with this mindset. However, it is also not wrong that one should be penalized when things go wrong, and rewarded when things are done right. Otherwise, it is not fair to the right-doers.
The receiver who is given the penalty will have hard feelings inevitably, and it is in fact a double punishment. The first punishment is that he or she fails to accomplish the task, or produce the deliverable. The second punishment is the unseen penalty, emotional isolation.
It is always easier to lose temper than to control it. If people understand and accept this simple fact, then it really is not a big deal to be scolded, or being treated badly with a terrible attitude. The important thing is OWN attitude. This is the only thing within one's control. If the message behind the blame contains useful and valuable information which helps improve oneself, then why bother with the attitude of the one who barks?


"The Chinese word 'GuanXi' refers to the concept of drawing on connections in order to secure favors in personal relations. It is an intricate and pervasive relational network which Chinese cultivate energetically, subtly, and imaginatively. It contains implicit mutual obligation, assurance and understanding, and governs Chinese attitudes toward long-term social and business relationships." Guanxi: Principles, Philosophies, and Implications, Yadong, Luo, Human Systems Management, Volume 16, No 1, 1997
"GuanXi" means relationship, as simple as that.
Westerners always like to complicate matters, and try to redefine GuanXi. Thomas Lin, a PhD of the University of Southern California, make things even worse by suggesting that relationship exists at many levels, such as ongoing friendly interaction lets you skip the line in the bank, taking the bank people to lunch gets work processed faster... Shame on Mr Lin. (Please refer to http://www.marshall.usc.edu/media/review2/story.cfm?page=quanxi for the article by Lin.)
Fact is, everyone talks about relationships, and relationships do matter regardless of gender, age, and race.
Don't they talk about customer relationship management (CRM), and make it a buzzword? People are more keen to help others in need if they are connected in some ways. Simply put, people prefer to work with someone who shares common interest and speaks common language to someone who has no relationship at all. That's human nature, and it is common sense.
Westerners should not find this interesting and mysterious. It is interesting to find that Westerners find it interesting. Do they prefer not to work with Westerners? Do they prefer to work with someone who cannot speak English? If not, then why do they find the concept of GuanXi interesting?
Professor Ian Wilkinson, Deputy Head of the UNSW School of Marketing, is right in saying that "GuanXi has been overestimated." (www.unsw.edu.au/research/res/ rmpdfs/23_new_insights_chinese_business.pdf)
There is nothing mysterious about GuanXi after all.
In the movie Meet the Fockers, there is this Circle of Trust (CoT). If Gaylord Focker is in the circle, then he could have the support of Jack Byrnes, his girlfriend's father; else, he's nothing. Again, CoT is something about relationship. Even the movie from the West promotes this idea, what's so peculiar with GuanXi then?
One reason for this: GuanXi has no relationship with relationship, so it has to be alienated and treated differently on purpose.


It is a universal fact that people need to be motivated to get things done. They do not do everything for nothing, and need to have at least one reason for doing something.
What motivates people really?
01) Respect
02) Money
03) Challenge
04) Security
05) Freedom
06) Reputation
07) Recognition
08) Stability
09) Comfortability
10) Fun
Theory X assumes people are inherently lazy and avoid work whenever they can. Theory Y assumes people are ambitious, self-motivated, anxious to accept greater responsibility, and exercise self-control and self-direction.
Do we need Theory Z to include people who have both characteristics?

21 May 2006

iPod on Success

In the first quarter of 2005, more than 5 million iPod music players were sold. Apple's quarterly income has increased six-fold largely due to the success of the device. Revenues rose 70% to $3.24 billion after good growth in all product categories.

The market simply attributes the recent success of Apple to iPod.

Is it really iPod that helps Apple ride high on a wave of success?

Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft, does not think so. "I don't think the success of the iPod can continue in the long term... Apple was once extremely strong with its Macintosh computer and graphic user interface - like the iPod today - then lost its position."

Wait a second, Mr Gates.

Apple's success does not come from iPod, but the mind of Steve Jobs.

What's in Jobs' mind then?

"You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new."

"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."

And for you, Mr Gates.

"I wish him the best, I really do. I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow. He'd be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger."

Best Practices?

Best Practices are defined by Arthur Andersen as "the best ways to perform a business process."

Questions asked on how to establish customer relationships excellence are listed below.
- What is the best way to respond to customer service issues?
- How can those requests be met effectively?
- What do best-practice companies do to find and train employees to serve customers best?
- How can a company team with customers to design, improve, market, and distribute its products and services?
- What is the most efficient and productive method of tracking and using information about customers and their purchasing patterns, attitudes, and loyalty?

However, are there really best practices? If every enterprise adopts the so-called best practices, then where is the competitive advantage?

Arthur Andersen agrees that "no single practice works for everyone in any given situation... The purpose of Best Practices is not to find the perfect solution... (but) to disturb you with new ideas and insights."

A taxi driver in ShangHai named Zang Qin was invited by Microsoft to share his success with some 50 employees. His success, defined as a monthly income of RMB 8,000, almost twice the average income of local taxi drivers, is seen as the best practice in the taxi industry. There are hard skills to achieve this kind of success, but soft skills are perhaps more important, which in this case, are positive attitude and rich experience. (Please refer to http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20060407_1.htm for the original translated article.)

Human nature is like this. According to the article by Liu Run, other taxi drivers in ShangHai are not interested in how Zang Qin makes the money but are only interested in how MUCH he earns.

MUCH is the incorrect attitude.

20 May 2006


Water opened the eyes of Helen Keller, who became blind and deaf at the age of 19 months.

Water gives life.

In Dao De Jing, Lao Zi says "The highest excellence is like that of water. The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying, without striving, the low place which all men dislike. Hence it is near to the Tao. The excellence of a residence is in the suitability of the place; that of the mind is in the stillness of the abyss; that of relationships is in their being with the virtuous; that of government is in its securing good order; that of the conduct of affairs is in its ability; and that of any movement is its timeliness. And when one with the highest excellence does not strive against his low position, no-one finds fault with him."

Water benefits everything and yet exerts no effort.

In The Art of War, Sun Zi identifies another attribute of water. "Water retains no constant shape." (http://www.generationterrorists.com/quotes/bingfa.html)

Water reinforces that the only unchange is change.

Being "water" is the key to deliver positive touchpoint experience.
W - Winning (The ability to take setbacks and accept failure)
A - Attitude (The only single critical success factor)
T - Time (The ability to produce more with less: efficient and effective)
E - Excellence (The drive for continuous improvement: fix it even if it ain't broke)
R - Relevance (The ability to talk and act common sense and speak common language)

19 May 2006


There are 5 needs in Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
05) Actualization
04) Esteem
03) Love / Belonging
02) Safety
01) Physiological

Darwinian psychologists suggest one fundamental need: to procreate and send genes off to future generations.

In 3 Steps to Yes, Gene Bedell identifies 14.
01) Physiological needs
02) Risk Reduction, security, and predictability
03) To have and rear children
04) Love and companionship
05) Enjoyment, fun, and intellectual satisfaction
06) To win
07) Consistency
08) Recognition, status, prestige
09) Wealth
10) Acceptance and approval
11) To achieve or be the best
12) To show gratitude
13) To help others
14) To reduce guilt

If positive touchpoint experience is about meeting expectations, and expectations are determined by needs, then what an enterprise should do in order to meet all the needs listed above, assuming that the above needs are all needed by the customer?

18 May 2006


"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." Albert Einstein

Peace is also an attitude. However, it is an art to have both peace and winning at the same time.

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." Albert Einstein

Who wants another world war? If Einstein's prediction is correct, then the result of World War III is similar to the result described in the Bible.

Peace faciliates positive touchpoint experience.

Peace be unto you.

17 May 2006


"Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get." Mark Twain

What if climate equals weather?

"'Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed' was the ninth beatitude." Alexander Pope

The Eight Beatitudes present in Matthew run as follows.
01) Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 3)
02) Blessed are the meek: for they shall posses the land. (Verse 4)
03) Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Verse 5)
04) Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. (Verse 6)
05) Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Verse 7)
06) Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. (Verse 8)
07) Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Verse 9)
08) Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 10)

"Faith, Hope, Love" are known as "The Theological Virtues".

Faith is the beginning of human salvation for: "... without faith it is impossible to please Him, for anyone who approaches God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek him." (Hebrews 11:6). From this faith in God, must then come hope, the confident hope that God will carry out His promises to us. "For in hope we were saved." (Romans 8:24) and then again in Galatians 5:5, "For through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness." Lastly, from this hope built upon faith springs love, for "... hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us." (Romans 5:5). It is from this love that Christ spoke about when He said, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39).

If people do not have expectations, then there is no hope. Without hope, nothing is needed.

"Both expectations and memories are more than mere images founded on previous experience." Samuel Alexander

Once needs are met, expectations are fulfilled. However, expectations of a better result increase if previous experience was positive. This is the escalation of expectations.

Q&A on Deliverables

Q: What is deliverable?

A: Deliverable can be seen and unseen. Seen includes tangible products, reports, something a person can touch. Unseen includes services, gestures and facial expressions, something a person can feel.

Q: How to produce deliverable that gives positive touchpoint experience (TX)?

A: Deliverables that meet expectations will give positive TX.

Q: But how to meet expectations?

A: Understanding customer needs is the first step. Understanding own ability to deliver is the second. If there is a mismatch, then NO should better be the answer in order not to overpromise but underdeliver. In The Art of War, it says that "If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and Earth, you may make your victory complete." Customer of course is not your enemy, but this saying also applies.

Q: How to understand customer needs? What does customer need?

A: To need or not to need, that's the question.

16 May 2006

Culture x Brand

Brand is determined by internal culture, and culture is developed by the belief, management behavior and operational practices of an enterprise.
This simply means that a positive iTXM will strengthen and enhance a positive eTXM.

Fisk on Brand

In Marketing Genius, Peter Fisk identifies three levels of brand.

Brand Essentials - Building awareness and trust

Brand Differentiators - Building relevance and preference

Brand Energizers - Building affinity and loyalty
Is it really necessary to have different levels of brand?
An enterprise either has a brand, or it doesn't. If an enterprise has a brand, then loyalty follows. If not, then nothing will follow.
Take Coca Cola as an example. Its brand did not have any value nor meaning during the early years, possibly from 1886 to 1909. However, when the market started to accept the beverage, Coca Cola had experiened rapid growth and become a strong brand.
It is basically the chicken-or-egg paradox.
Is it because of the power of brand so that the enterprise enjoys strong market share, or is it because the enterprise works hard enough to develop the brand and then the power of brand sustains and reinforces strong market share?

Customer Loyalty

Loyalty cannot be achieved by running loyalty programs. If an enterprise has to use rebate as a bait to get loyalty, then even if the customer returns, it is not true loyalty. The enterprise is only buying customer, but not cultivating nor retaining. It will work in the short run but definitely not in the long run, because every other enterprise will do the same.
It works in the short run because customers are greedy. They are easily attracted to short-term gain. However, they prefer unconditional value to conditional rebate in the long run, and will eventually choose what suits them best.
Those who are price conscious will always opt for the lowest price, but that doesn't mean value ranks low in their purchase criteria.
Loyalty goes with branding, and branding is something that cannot be copied.
Coca Cola, Harley-Davidson, Apple... these are the companies with strong branding and loyalty without competing on price.

15 May 2006

Customer Service

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." Albert Einstein

Customer Service is common sense. Yet, it is rare nowadays to have great customer service. Does it mean that there is no more common sense, and everyone enjoys being non-sense?
What is common sense?
Cambridge Online Dictionary defines it as "the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way."
The key words in the defintion are basic, practical, judgment, and reasonable.
Back to basics is a killer strategy. However, it is always difficult to remain simple because people always have the tendency to get complicated. They naively believe that by giving more than information people will be impressed, which is always the opposite.
Practical knowledge is what counts. Pratice is also about execution. Nobody will believe in any concept unless it delivers results.
Who is the judge? The receiver or the sender? If the sender makes the judgment based on his or her own standard, then the receiver will be treated the way the sender wants the receiver to be treated, but not how the receiver wants to be treated. This is not going to work in eTXM, nor is it going to work in iTXM. However, many bosses nowadays still manage by position but not by results. This is poor leadership.
How reasonable is reasonable? There is no standard, which explains why it is so difficult to have common sense. Subject A thinks wearing a Zagna suit for an interview with McKinsey is reasonable, but Subject B many think that wearing a Zara suit is better than enough. Interestingly, McKinsey actually doesn't have any requirment nor expectation as long as the subject has brain.
As the Chinese old saying goes, "Happy are those who are content with what they already have and don't ask for more."


ASK is an acronym for Attitude, Skills and Knowledge, where Attitude is the most important of all three.
Those with the right attitude are more willing to acquire the necessary knowledge to serve and succeed. Knowledge doesn't guarantee success. A doctorate degree holder is definitely very knowledgeable, but may not have the skills to apply the knowledge practically in the real world.
Knowledge has no ending. Continuous improvement can only be realized if the person is humble enough to learn, and never gets satisfied with current situation. As Steve Jobs says, "Stay hungry. Stay foolish."


VMV stands for Vision, Mission and Values. The VMV statement is a guide to help enterprise progress ahead. How important is the VMV statement to an enterprise? Can enterprise still be able to survive without the VMV? Are there any differences between VMV and slogan? VMV is internal, and slogan is external? Why can't there be synergy so that both parties speak the common language?
People care less about what is said but are interested in results. Why an enterprise not focus more on strengthening execution and producing positive deliverables but developing the VMV?
Besides, easier said than done. If at the end of the day, the enterprise cannot deliver the promise made in VMV, it will only result in negative touchpoint experience.
Below is the VMV of HKU Space (http://hkuspace.hku.hk/about/about.php?action=vmv).
As the Extension Arm of the University of Hong Kong in extending lifelong learning opportunities for the community, HKU SPACE seeks to become a world-class centre of excellence for the provision of professional and continuing education serving Hong Kong, Mainland China and the region.

HKU SPACE strives for excellence in:
- Delivering high quality programmes to meet the needs of learners and employers
- Fulfilling the University's mission in lifelong learning through collaboration with Faculties and Departments as well as with external institutions in expanding lifelong learning opportunities
- Enhancing access to education for career advancement and personal development
- Conducting research in adult and continuing education, as well as in subject specialisms
- Promoting lifelong learning for the development of a learning society and the community's pursuit of quality of life
HKU SPACE places particular value on:
Service to learners
Partnership to maximise lifelong learning opportunities
Accountability to stakeholders
Creativity in teaching and learning
Excellence in quality

Golden Rule

The Golden Rule. "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets." MT 7: 12

Is it hard to put the Golden Rule into practice, given that people are selfish by nature?

Selfish people advocate "do to others whatever you would like to do to them." The idea of "put yourself in my shoes" is absent in their mind. They would only ask "why don't you put yourself in my shoes".
Never say no but always provide alternatives.
Never ask why but just do it.
Never doubt anything because nothing is impossible.

14 May 2006

Customer Satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction is important, but it is not the critical success factor in customer retention.

Satisfaction does not necessarily guarantee loyalty, but it is definitely the minimum requirement of achieving customer loyalty. Jeffrey Gitomer writes a book named Customer Satisfaction is Worthless: Customer Loyalty is Priceless. The name speaks for itself.

Instead of always identifying ways to deliver customer satisfaction, which is like running forever without a final destination, it is time to shift the focus on how to prevent customer dissatisfaction from happening. Strategies, however well planned, could still go wrong. Contingency plan is required in case of unexpected changes.

Every enterprise wants to win, and knows how to win, but not every enterprise knows how to handle setbacks.

13 May 2006


I have difficulties using YahooGroups! since 12 April 2006, and reported the problem via online help the same day. As of today, 13 May 2006, the problem hasn't yet been solved. In fact, I haven't heard from Yahoo! since 02 May 2006, even I kept seeking for their support. Yahoo! just ignores me. Better than ever? I don't think so.

From: Yahoo! Groups (egroups-feedback@cc.yahoo-inc.com)
To: choypw@gmail.com
Date: Apr 13, 2006 12:07 PM
Subject: RE: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM61804054V1161L0KM)


Thank you for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.

This response was automatically generated based on keywords in your message. Please read the response below, and if it does not address your concern, reply to this email and we will investigate further.

If you are having trouble receiving messages from your group, here are a few things you should check:

First, confirm that the group exists and that you are a member. To do this:

1. Visit your My Groups page.
2. Look for the group name.
3. If the group name does not appear:
a. You were either unsubscribed from the group.
b. Or the group was deleted.

If the group name does appear:
a. Your subscription to that group might be set to "Web only/No mail". Choose "Daily Digest" or "Individual Emails" from the Deliver Options section.

b. There may be a problem with your email account. If there is an "email account is bouncing" error message near the top of the page, click on the error link for details. If there is no such bounce error message, please contact the Yahoo! Groups Support Team with the following information:

* The email address you use to receive messages from Groups
* The names of one or more groups you joined
* The date you stopped receiving emails from your group(s)

You may also want to check the group archives to see if there have been any recent postings to your group:

1. Check the archives to view the last posted message by signing into your account.
2. From the "My Groups" page, click on the group name in question.
3. Click on the "Messages" link.

This will display a list of all recently archived messages. If you do not see the "Messages" link, or if you are not able to click on it, then the group owner/moderator has disabled this feature for archiving. You will have to contact them directly to find out if there has been any recent activity. You can contact a group owner at:


(replace [groupname] with the name of your group).

For further online assistance with Yahoo! Groups, we invite you to visit the Yahoo! Groups Help Pages at:


Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.


Yahoo! Customer Care

For assistance with all Yahoo! services, please visit:


New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - better than ever!

Original Message Follows:

Mail-Id: 1144900853-3943
Group Name: wisdomboom

Are you a... Member

Subject: Why did I stop receiving messages?

Email client: Web Based Email (eg. Yahoo! Mail)

Type your feedback here:

I joined WisdomBoom on 11 April 2006. I can email to the group and the rest of the members can receive my email, but I can't receive the email myself. Please check what's wrong. Thank you.

Date Originated: Wednesday April 12, 2006 - 21:00:53

From: Daryl Choy (choypw@gmail.com)
To: Yahoo! Groups (egroups-feedback@cc.yahoo-inc.com)
Date: Apr 13, 2006 3:08 PM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM61804054V1161L0KM)

Your answer doesn't solve my problem. What's next?

From: Daryl Choy (choypw@gmail.com)
To: Yahoo! Groups (egroups-feedback@cc.yahoo-inc.com)
Date: Apr 13, 2006 5:08 PM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM61804054V1161L0KM)

I've checked everything but still cannot receive emails from YahooGroups! Is there anyone who can give me an answer?

From: Yahoo! Groups (egroups-feedback@cc.yahoo-inc.com)
To: Daryl Choy (choypw@gmail.com)
Date: Apr 14, 2006 11:23 AM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM61885580V84984L0KM)

Hello Daryl,

Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Groups.

We are looking into your report and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

We appreciate your reporting this to us. Your input helps us identify ways to constantly maintain and improve Yahoo! Groups.

Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.



Yahoo! Customer Care

Visit our online help pages at:


New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - better than ever!

From: Daryl Choy (choypw@gmail.com)
To: Yahoo! Groups (egroups-feedback@cc.yahoo-inc.com)
Date: Apr 14, 2006 4:55 PM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM61885580V84984L0KM)

Hi Jay

Thank you for your reply, but still the problem persists. Please let me know how to solve this problem. Thanks.


From: Yahoo! Groups (egroups-feedback@cc.yahoo-inc.com)
To: Daryl Choy (choypw@gmail.com)
Date: Apr 15, 2006 12:29 PM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM61959496V75366L0KM)


Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Groups.

We would like to reassure you that we are investigating the problem you reported. We apologize for any inconvenience, and appreciate your patience and understanding on this matter.

Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.



Yahoo! Customer Care

Visit our online help pages at:


New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - better than ever!

From: Daryl Choy (choypw@gmail.com)
To: Yahoo! Groups (egroups-feedback@cc.yahoo-inc.com)
Date: Apr 16, 2006 10:04 PM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM61959496V75366L0KM)

I just want to know when will the problem be solved!

From: Yahoo! Groups (egroups-feedback@cc.yahoo-inc.com)
To: Daryl Choy (choypw@gmail.com)
Date: Apr 18, 2006 4:40 AM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM62081914V40782L0KM)


Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Groups.

Although we cannot offer you an estimate of when the problem you reported will be resolved, please be assured that we are aware of the issue and are investigating its cause.

We appreciate your patience and understanding on this matter.

Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.



Yahoo! Customer Care

Visit our online help pages at:


New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - better than ever!

From: Daryl Choy (choypw@gmail.com)
To: Yahoo! Groups (egroups-feedback@cc.yahoo-inc.com)
Date: Apr 23, 2006 6:07 PM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM62081914V40782L0KM)

It's been 3 days since your last reply, and the problem still hasn't yet been solved! I don't need your assurance but my problem solved!

From: Yahoo! Groups (egroups-feedback@cc.yahoo-inc.com)
To: Daryl Choy (choypw@gmail.com)
Date: Apr 25, 2006 6:49 AM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM62677974V18898L0KM)


Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Groups.

I again apologize for the delay. Please know that we are diligently working on getting it so you can receive your own emails.

Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.



Yahoo! Customer Care

For assistance with all Yahoo! services, please visit:


New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - better than ever!

From: Daryl Choy (choypw@gmail.com)
To: Yahoo! Groups (egroups-feedback@cc.yahoo-inc.com)
Date: May 2, 2006 11:49 AM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM62677974V18898L0KM)

It's been weeks already, and my problem hasn't yet been solved. What's the problem exactly? Why it takes so long to fix the problem???

From: Daryl Choy (choypw@gmail.com)
To: Yahoo! Groups (egroups-feedback@cc.yahoo-inc.com)
Date: May 2, 2006 12:34 PM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM62677974V18898L0KM)

I just figured out that the other group members who are also using Gmail do not have problems receiving emails from YahooGroups. I am the only one in the group who can't receive emails. What's the problem exactly? Wrong setup or what?

From: Daryl Choy (choypw@gmail.com)
To: Yahoo! Groups (egroups-feedback@cc.yahoo-inc.com)
Date: May 2, 2006 12:35 PM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM62677974V18898L0KM)

It shouldn't be wrong setup though. Of the 50 emails sent recently, I at least received 2. After that, I receive none!!! So it should not be the setup problem. What's wrong here?

From: Daryl Choy (choypw@gmail.com)
To: Yahoo! Groups (egroups-feedback@cc.yahoo-inc.com)
Date: May 7, 2006 10:39 PM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM62677974V18898L0KM)

Any feedback on my problem!??? It's again another 5 days and I haven't heard from you!!! When will my problem be solved!???
From: Daryl Choy
To: Yahoo! Groups
Date: May 17, 2006 5:13 PM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM62677974V18898L0KM)
When can the problem be solved? You simply ignore my problem foralmost a
month. Do you call this Better Than Ever? I have removedthe Gmail account, and invite to join again, and I still can't receiveYahooGroups! emails! If you are not going to offer any assistance,where can I get help?
From: Daryl Choy
To: Yahoo! Groups
Date: May 22, 2006 7:24 PM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM62677974V18898L0KM)
From: Yahoo! Groups
Reply-To: Yahoo! Groups
To: Daryl Choy
Date: May 24, 2006 2:20 AM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM65061206V8392L0KM)
Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Groups.
In order for us to investigate this, please kindly send us the message numbers that you did not receive.
Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.
Yahoo! Customer Care
For assistance with all Yahoo! services, please visit: http://help.yahoo.com/
New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - better than ever!

From: Daryl Choy
To: Yahoo! Groups
Date: May 24, 2006 8:53 PM
Subject: Re: Messages - Why did I stop receiving messages? (KMM65061206V8392L0KM)

Thomas, thank you very much for writing back. I appreciate much. The message numbers go from 2321 to 2390. However, I got 2327 and 2329 in that range. Please advise what's next. Thank you.

Churchill on Success

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill

Accept failure. There is no use crying over split milk. Failure is no different from competition. If taken positively, it encourages improvement. After all, failure is no big deal. You fail today doesn't necessarily mean you will fail the rest of your life. Stay positive. Stay optimistic.

Same applies to touchpoint experience.

By default, complaint is often perceived as a negative experience, to both the sender and the receiver. Complaint really isn't that bad if it is being handled promptly, proactively, properly and professionally meaning that it's settled once and for all.

4P of Handling Complaint

Promptly - Even if no solutions can be offered to the sender, at least show the sender some courtesy by touching base with the complainant within 24 hours.
Proactively - Never let the problem unsolve. More importantly, never have the complainant take any action once the problem is addressed. Always act faster than the complainant. Don't have them wait.

Properly - Empathy is the big word when dealing with complaint. Although the customer is always right, never take it for granted. There are times when the customer is actually wrong. Don't make blind assumptions, and never allow traditional thinking blind and fool you. You not only jeopardize the relationship with the customer if you let him or her continue to be wrong, but you also make your life difficult which will inevitably demotivate you to perform beyond standard expectations.

Professionally - Own the problem. Underpromise and overdeliver. Identify the root cause, then solve it once and for all if within ability and capability. Prevent the same problem from recurring ever. Never allow a small complaint to escalate to a crisis. If the problem is beyond your control, then report to the management immediately to make sure that the issue is being brought to their attention, and that the problem will be solved in the near future.

12 May 2006

Daryl on To Be or Not To Be

My first name is Daryl, and I've been using this name since birth.

However, I got 2 first names after I had joined PCCW on 06 February 2006. My second first name is Martin, and it is also my Catholic name.

The reason why I have 2 first names is because of my new boss, Andy Tsui.

He is very customer-focused even though he's been in the HR industry for more than 25 years. I learned a lot from him.

In Hong Kong, Daryl is not a common first name, and most Hong Kong people have difficulties pronouncing it. Being a training consultant, you want everyone to remember your name. The more easily you remember a name, the closer it is to your top of mind. If nobody knows how to pronounce your name, how are you going to be remembered, and get rich and famous at the end of the day given you have the luck?

So, on 06 February 2006, my name was changed to CHOY, Pak Wai Martin.

That's in fact a step to achieving positive people touchpoint experience, and it's also about branding.


Daryl means "dearly loved."

Martin means "dedicated to Mars, Roman god of war."

11 May 2006

6 Thinking Hats - Scanning Windows on 5W1H

The concept of Scanning Windows is not available in the book itself, nor is available on the internet.
There are 10 items in Scanning Windows.
01) People
02) Place
03) Timing
04) Rationale
05) Process
06) Product
07) Input
08) Values
09) Sequence
10) Consequence
Scanning Windows are basically 10 different issues. This concept is linked to 5W1H.
People is Who.
Place is Where.
Timing is When.
Rationale is Why.
Process is How.
Product is What.

Gatekeeper II

Dear Martin,

Thanks for accepting our apologies and clarifying the whole story. Your clarifications were noted by both ___ and ___.

In case you have any other comments relating to our services, we are more than happy to receive them, carry investigation and make changes/improvement. Without the customers' feedbacks, it is not easy for us to improve the customer satisfaction which it is the key objective of ___.

Thanks & regards,

-----Original Message-----
Subject: RE: Complaint - Gatekeeper (TDC)

Dear Ernest

Sorry for my late reply, as I was in a training these 2 days. Thank you very much for your prompt handling of the matter.

I arrived at around 0715 this morning, and the door was already opened. Since then, I have already cleared 50+ outstanding emails, including this last one.

Excellent customer service comes from a proper attitude, and attitude is something about the heart but not the head.

I may also have over-reacted that morning. However, please note my comments below on Frankie's email, and let's rest our case.

Once again, thank you.

Best Regards
Martin Choy

-----Original Message-----
Subject: RE: Complaint - Gatekeeper (TDC)

Dear Martin,

We had conducted an interview with the concerned security guard together with his supervisor, branch manager of the guarding company ___, our customer service manager and myself at TDC in this morning. We also met with ___ to review your complaint and our follow-up actions. For details, please refer to below message from ___ of ___.

As mentioned on the 2nd last paragraph, ".....During our interview, Guard 58257 has shown regretfulness for the inconvenience caused and expressed his deep apology to Mr. Choy. He also committed to improve himself and assured no more similar problems would be happened in the future. " We hope you can accept the apologies from the guard and also from me.

Our facilities officer will closely monitor the performance and attitude of the guard in coming future. If he repeats with the same problem, I will definitely recommend ___ to replace him by another guard without any excuse.

Last but not least, we apologize again with the inconvenience that caused to you. Wish you have a nice long weekend.

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me or our customer service manager, ___, at ___.

Best regards,

Subject: Complaint- Gatekeeper (TDC)

Dear Ernest,

As per our visit together with ___ this morning for the captioned complaint,
We revealed that the complainee is confirmed as guard 58257 ___ who has been deployed on TDC duty in the material day from 0700 hrs to 1900 hrs.

After he reports duty routinely he has to first have all cleaners signed in for works, then deactivated the burglar alarm system located inside the guard room one by one for all rooms. He then heads to unlock all the rooms by keys subsequently. These tasks take about 10 minutes to complete. Normally he reports duty at about 0650 hrs, ten minutes earlier than his official reporting time.

On May 2, 2006 at about 0655 hrs., Mr. Choy returned to office in a hurry and engaged a while due to malfunction of his access card at the main entry. (I was not in a hurry at all. I have no idea why the guard had such an impression.) Guard 58257 had not been being helpful and without quick response to Mr. Choy in first instant as he had been dealing with the aforesaid duties. Therefore, Mr. Choy was not happy with that and ran up to office at 2/F on his own. (I was not unhappy at the moment, and I of course had to walk up on my own.) Guard 58257 tried to inform him that the doors were still locked, yet Mr. Choy kept on going up to 2/F without acknowledging such info. (Sorry but I was listening to iPod and I just couldn't tell if he was talking to me or not.) Mr. Choy returned to guard post right away after he noted that the doors were locked, and requested Guard 58257 to open the door for him immediately. (I did not request instantly, but first informed him that the door was locked. His immediate reply was, "Are you in a hurry?") According to normal practices, the door alarm must be deactivated prior to physically unlocking the room, otherwise the alarm would be activated and Police would therefore be informed. To prevent such false activation, the procedure Guard 58257 took on may have caused delay and inconvenience to Mr. Choy.

Further to our meeting with Winnie, we briefed Guard 58257 the proper procedures of dealing with such case, interpersonal skills and the importance of customer services. During our interview, Guard 58257 has shown regretfulness for the inconvenience caused and expressed his deep apology to Mr. Choy. He also committed to improve himself and assured no more similar problems would be happened in the future.

In addition, your support in reviewing of access control practice is highly appreciated!

Best regards!

Operations Controller
Kowloon Branch

-----Original Message-----
Subject: Complaint - Gatekeeper (TDC)

Dear Martin,

First of all, please accept my apology for our late response.

Your complaint is now come to my attention. We are now investigating the case and will feedback a reply to you no latter than COB tomorrow.


Senior Facilities Manager

-----Original Message-----
From: Choy, Martin PW
Subject: Complaint - Gatekeeper

Dear ___

I would like to formally file a complaint on the attitude of the gatekeeper.

I returned to office at around 0655 this morning, and my card was not working again. Besides me, there were several other people waiting to enter into the building. The gatekeeper was on the other side of the building. He saw us but took no action at all until several minutes later. I then walked up to 2/F and found out that the door was locked. I walked back down and told the gatekeeper that the door was locked. He asked me to wait, and then I started to lose my temper. I asked why I had to wait. He said it's the policy, and the door won't be opened until 0700. He also questioned why I was in such a hurry. What's his problem? He said nobody had ever requested to open the door before 0700, and I was an exceptional case. He further suggested that the reason why I returned to office so early was because of myself but not for work. His attitude is the worst I have ever seen!

Please advise whom I should file this complaint to.

Best Regards
Martin Choy

10 May 2006

Take a Deep Breath

01) Write down one critical question.

02) How do you feel towards your question?

03) What information do you need to make the decision?

04) Suppose you go ahead, what are the benefits? What must you do to make that work? Do critical success factors exist?

05) What are some of the big obstacles in the way?

06) Can you think of a way to overcome, go around, escape or avoid?

07) What is the next step? What should you do as the next step?

08) Ignore your first feeling. What is your feeling now?

09) Compare the second feeling to your first feeling. Any changes?

Question 2 to Question 8 are the 6 Thinking Hats questions.
02) Red
03) White
04) Yellow
05) Black
06) Green
07) Blue
08) Red

Everyone will ask basically the same type of questions in a similar sequence when problems are encountered. Nobody requires the 6 Thinking Hats to come up with these questions? What exactly is the value of the 6 Thinking Hats?

Besides the 6 Thinking Hats, there are the 6 Action Shoes. If the 6 Thinking Hats are so powerful, then why not the 6 Action Shoes?

Everyone can think, but not everyone can bring plan to action, perfectly and flawlessly.

Which is then more important? Thinking or action?

PID Enhanced

PID is an acronym for People, Information and Deliverables. These are the key factors affecting touchpoint experience, or the result of interaction of one person with other person, information, deliverables through feeling, thinking, and hiring.

People (P) can be further segmented into Sender (s) and Receiver (r), and Deliverables (D) Expected (e) and Actual (a).

There are 3 types of Touchpoint eXperience (TX).
- Positive
- Indifferent
- Negative

When a > e, TX > 0, or Positive TX.
When a = e, TX = 0, or Indifferent TX.
When a < e, TX < 0, or Negative TX.

09 May 2006

Drawbacks of 6 Thinking Hats

6 Thinking Hats hinder creative thinking.

How to think is important, but why so much attention on sequencing?

Although shortening the thinking process gives efficient decision making, shortening itself is not the goal and therefore should not be the focus. There is too much worry about whether the sequencing is right or not, and this is definitely not creative thinking.

Spending time identifying the correct sequencing or figuring out which is the right hat to use is also not effective problem solving.

Solving the problems with the optimal deicision is the goal.

However, what are the benefits of creative thinking?

If everyone is creative, then there is no creativity because creativity becomes the norm.

6 Thinking Hats

6 Thinking Hats, developed by Edward De Bono, is about creative thinking. There are 6 different colors of hats.

Blue - Managing the Thinking Process
White - Information Available and Needed
Red - Intuition and Feelings
Black - Caution, Difficulties, and Problems
Yellow - Benefits and Feasibility
Green - Alternatives and Creative Ideas

How can one have creative thinking when the thinking process is to be controlled by 6 different colors?

Free or boundless thinking is creative thinking. One is not bound to think. There is no structure and needs not any structure. Nobody can go anywhere with boundary, but one can go everywhere when there is no limit.
6 Thinking Hats is systematic thinking instead of creating thinking or parallel thinking.

07 May 2006


四仔冇格仔, 男女都o岩睇!















In Execution, Bossidy, Charan and Burck identifies 3 building blocks of execution.

Building Block One: The Leader's Seven Essential Behaviors

Building Block Two: Creating the Framework for Cultural Change

Building Block Three: The Job No Leader Should Delegate - Having the Right People in the Right Place

No manager can excel in execution just by understanding these three building blocks. Getting things right is more than that.
In The One Minute Manager to Work, Blanchard and Lorber offer a 5-step model on how to accomplish a goal.
Tell - Tell what to do
Show - Show how to do
Try - Let the person try
Observe - Obsever performance
Praise - Praise progress or Redirect
In order to get things right, however, people have to have passion for and commitment to the production of deliverables. Otherwise, they will just do what is told and when asked. With this kind of attitude, even if the execution remains flawless throughout the process, the deliverables produced won't have the WOW impact. The question is, how to create the passion and commitment? Or put simply, how to turn negative into positive?

06 May 2006

Einstein on Success

"If A equals success, then the formula is: A = X + Y + Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut." Albert Einstein

Success is the root of future failure. The love of success is the root of discruption.

Success usually belongs to the winner. When one wins, the rest loses. Who wants a draw game?

Success by nature is to be achieved at the expense of others.

If success is everyone's goal in life, let not be reason for living, then how can touchpoint experience excellence be achieved, given that positive people touchpoint experience won't even exist.

Is win-win situation a myth then?

However, there are two types of competition: positive which encourages long-run improvement, and negative which ends up in disharmony. For positive competition, although failure is inevitable, it is the root of future success.

Cooperative competition is known as coopetition.

PID on Process

Execution is about process management, and process is executed by people. There is no best process, as long as the process can be brought to completion and deliver results at the end of the day. All roads lead to Rome.

People are usually impatient, don't like to wait, and want results immediately. They will do everything to identify shortcuts in order to achieve maximum return on investment (ROI). There is nothing wrong with this, but it is important to have the correct information before searching for the shortcuts, so that time used for execution is less than time spent for planning.

People with the right information may not implement the task correctly, but people without the right information are destined to be doomed.

In order to do things right, everyone involves in the process should focus on results, simplify procedures and policies to get things done, and ensure every element in the process should be relevant to the end results.

How to focus? Learn to let go and avoid perfectionism. (http://www.utexas.edu/student/cmhc/booklets/perfection/perfect.html)

How to simplify? Learn not to complicate.

How to be relevant? Identify and weed out non-value-added information.

05 May 2006

Evil Money

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." Timothy 6:10

The usual saying goes "money is the root of all evil." This link http://www.bartleby.com/59/3/loveofmoneyi.html suggests that the usual saying is a shorten form of writings of St Paul.

This is a negative information touchpoint experience.

First, it comes from Timothy 6:10. Second, money is not the root of all evil, but the love of it.

The result of negative information touchpoint experience is miscommunication, which will adversely affect process and thus results.

Business Cycle

Seasonality is something out of the control of any enterprise. When the weather is hot, everyone would want an ice-cream. When the weather is cold, everyone would want a warmer. Some are predictable, but most aren't. It is the act of God.

Business cycle is basically controlled by the market, and therefore people. Is it the fear of the unknown that causes people to "create" the business cycle?

If business is seen as a person, it has to go through "birth, aging, illness and death". This four-step is an unavoidable path of life. If this is understood, then there is nothing special about the concept of business cycle.

Comfort Zone

"There are two basic rules of life: Change is inevitable and everybody resists change." Roger Von Oech

Comfort zone is where people feel in control of their lives and work. They are happy and comfortable with the way things are. Everyone has his or her own comfort zone. Whenever the comfort zone is disturbed by external forces, both predictable and unpredictable, the person will sooner or later enter into a stage of shock, denial, anger, resentment, frustration or sabotage. (http://www.tdan.com/i014fe02.htm)

In order to deliver positive people touchpoint experience, it is necessary to not step into other people's comfort zone.

The eagerness to win is always the cause of intruding into other people's comfort zone. It is usually followed by aggressiveness, strong ego, and self worship.

In Chinese, the concept of golden mean suggests that it is not enough that the result should be logically correct, but it is much more important that it should be in accord with human nature. For example, a typically Chinese judgement is that "A is right, but B is not wrong either."

Positive people touchpoint experience is determined by attitude. People must be humble, harmonic and know how to choose the mean and avoid the two extremes: one of excess and the other of deficiency.

02 May 2006


This is a story of negative people touchpoint experience.

Every day, I have to pass through 2 doors in order to return to my own cubicle. The first one requires the use of an electronic card. Once the card is placed on the device, then the system will allow the person to get in. This is for security purpose. Every staff will be given an electronic card within the first week after joining the company. The second door is manually controlled. The gatekeeper is responsible to unlock the door every morning, and lock it every night at around 2300. Once locked, the theft alarm system will automatically be turned on. If anyone who would like to to stay after 2300 in order to complete whatever assignment, the person needs to submit request.

Sometimes, I report to work early and sometimes just on time. Today, I arrived at office at around 0655, which was quite early. As usual, I put the card on the device, but it was not working this time. There was simply no signal. I stood there idly, like a prisoner. The gatekeeper noticed my return but he didn't offer any assistance until several minutes later. The first door was finally opened, and I walked up to the 2nd floor. The second door was locked! That gatekeeper knew that, but he didn't go up before me and open the door so that I didn't have to wait again. I tried to control my temper, walked back down, and asked him to open the second door. He told me to wait! WHAT!? Wait again! I then asked him to give me the key so that I could open the door myself. He said he won't give me the key, and asked me why I was in such a hurry. He further commented that nobody had ever reported to work so early, and I was an exception. Gosh... what's his problem? After all, he's just a gatekeeper.

The door was finally opened. I got back to work.

For the gatekeeper, I filed a complaint about his attitude.