Tag Archives: Strategy

Our next event in Hong Kong, on June 19th, is about your personal brand.

 

This one sparks my interest more than ever, because after setting up my own creative servicescompany, I not only moulded a company around my skills but I became the personal brand through which I was trying to meet clients and earn a salary. Funny how that happens, without you really planning it that way.

For our breakfast event, the objective is to empower women to make career choices that are aligned with their life goals. Making work align with my overall life goals? Wow, that also sounds great. I almost feel a burst of “I can do that?!” even though this is something I’ve been slowly (realising and) doing for the past three years.

 

Our speakers, from Linkage, Vivian Lo and Yulee Teng will share some practical tools for participants to realise and own their goals in order to lead effectively in all aspects of life.

  1. Framework of the 3 Factors of Personal and Leadership Effectiveness
  2. Understanding your values and Defining Your Goals
  3. Women’s Life Cycle and Career Choices:  Making and Owning Your Choice

“What is your personal brand?” asks Yulee Teng. “Knowing what you wish to stand for and how you demonstrate that effectively in pursuit of a happy and successful personal and professional life, is what Personal Brand Management is all about.”

Teng will take us on a guided journey of understanding our own values and needs to be effective in roles that we play in our lives and career. Acknowledging that success may take a different form and definition over the life span of a woman, we’ll explore how tomaintain authenticity while leading ourselves and those around us.

 

 

 

 

But to get you thinking about things before the event, here are some of the things I do, when I’m trying to get my work (therefore, my life) to move in the direction I really want it to.

 

Make a list. It helps you to know what you want. Always have a few things you’re asking for in your life. If you don’t how will you get it?

Think about why. Why do you want that thing? Where will it lead you? What do you need to do to get into position to enable that thing to happen?

Talk to people. Tell them what you want, let it be general knowledge. And listen to what they say. Take note of the overall response you receive, just in case you are crazy… or missing something really important in your idea.

 

Those few things at least, will get you in the right frame of mind for our session. From the point of view of a small business owner, who is basically touting herself in the name of aforementioned business, I’m really looking forward to seeing what skills I’ll learn.

See you there,

Vickie

 

If you have thoughts, questions or readings to share in advance of the event, please talk to us via our social media accounts!

@wmnasiapacific (the hashtag for this event is #wmngoals).

www.facebook.com/WMNAPAC

LinkedIn group

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Our strategy breakfast event on May 15th was presented by Rob Depinto, a Silicon Valley veteran.

 

The hashtag for the event was #WMNstrategy.

 

Strategy is essential in having a successful business, yet its definition can become blurred. I was really excited to attend this breakfast, but I didn’t know that much about the strategy and this was the perfect way to learn more.

The event kicks off with Rob DePinto, director of strategy at innovation consultancy, ikyo. He explains that there are three aspects to consider when creating a business strategy.

 

 

  1. Strategy
  2. Innovation
  3. Execution

 

DePinto says it’s important to not confuse the definition of strategy in business. Strategy is all about where the business needs to go and how to get there. He advises not to confuse strategy with sales forecasting or vision because if the definition isn’t correct, then the strategy won’t be successful. In addition, DePinto stresses that time is a huge factor to consider – so anchor yourself in reality when creating a strategy.

 

Strategy
DePinto breaks down strategy into three areas: objective, diagnosis and guiding policy.

 

Objectives are pretty self explanatory and DePinto offers tips on areas to look at, such as winning customer preference, creating sustainable competitive advantage and leaving money on the table for shareholders.

Diagnosis is all about analyzing problematic areas of the business and asking important questions, like what is really going on? What areas concern us? What will create advantage?

Lastly, the guiding policy is necessary to help the strategy reach its targets. It’s an approach to help overcome obstacles on the way and defines the principles of the strategy. DePinto explains it is a system of action with measurement – and emphasizes again that timeline is very important when creating a strategy – so your competitors don’t get ahead.

DePinto provides a Gucci case study. They had to understand where they were in order to see where they needed to go, so they conducted extensive research in the process. Gucci bought competitors’ handbags and pulled them apart to really see what they were up against. Then, they looked at what they could do with what they had. Ensuring that every department was involved in the strategy process was critical to success. DePinto explains Gucci’s system of advantage through involving and being willing to analyze all areas of the business, from marketing to stores, supply chains and HR, to customers.

 

 

Innovation
Innovation is extremely important for a business to be successful. Why? DePinto says that bringing a product that yields new value to market is critical to success. He offers tips when it comes to innovation and explain that the ‘product’ is the complete value proposition and not just a device. This includes how the customer feels when they buy the product and what makes them want to buy the product. He also advises focusing on serving a ‘market’, not customer by customer. He emphasizes that ‘value’ has to be created with your product – then you have to dominate the chosen market.

 

 

DePinto breaks down the innovation process, stating you have to precisely determine ‘value’ and what that is for your customer. Think about what problem you are solving and how you’re solving it. Who is the customer? Exactly what segment and sub-segment do they fit into? Any hypothesis created needs to be tested and the sales process needs to be repeated in order to accurately scale how successful the product can be. What follows is where everything links together. Strategy is where and how to get there; innovation is about bringing a new product to market – which then moves forward to diagnosis, guiding policy and finally, cohesive action (execution).

 

Execution
This is the system of getting things done and requires tough discipline. The ability to execute is vital, or the product fails. Another DePinto case study of Yellow Tail Wine shows an excellent example of execution. Their strategy involved bringing new wine drinkers into the market, instead of trying to target existing wine drinkers. They made it easy for their target market and excluded technical words surrounding wine. Yellow Tail even offered simple recommendations like which wine goes with which type of meat, which was ideal for their target market. They executed their strategy well and covered the innovation process. DePinto says that being different is much better than trying to be better than competitors.

 

 

When developing a strategy, DePinto highlights that covering all areas of the business when creating a strategy is also very important, including key performance, activities, value, resources, revenue, channels, customer relationships, customer segments and cost structure. He finishes with a few great examples of strategy, including the Yahoo! Weather App. Yahoo! isn’t the most popular search engine, but their new weather app has been very successful. It uses simple icons and is very useful with its maps feature. It’s a great example of innovation and execution, and was a boon for Yahoo!’s marketing as it showed they were moving forward and changing for the better.

After attending the WMN breakfast, I felt very inspired because DePinto gave great advice and case studies on strategy in business. I learned that being realistic with timeline, as well as executing for all areas are an important part of strategy. I also learned that strategy is an essential part of reaching goals, whether it be in business or creating something new. I will definitely be implementing some of the advice offered by DePinto into my work.

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Our next event at California Vintage is about strategy. Our presenter, Rob DePinto will be answering questions at the event, so get prepared to tap this Silicon Valley veteran.

 

Strategy is the difference between success and failure. Hundreds of books have been written on “strategy”, yet it remains poorly understood in many areas of business, and it is rarely executed effectively.

 

This talk aims to clearly define what “strategy” is and how it is inextricably linked to execution and how it should be linked to innovation. We’ll provide a practical framework and talk through some practical examples to bring it to life.

Presented by: Rob DePinto, director of the strategy and innovation consultancy, ikyo. Rob has worked at executive levels across a range of disciplines from startups in Silicon Valley where he raised capital and pioneered new products (awarded a US Patent), to marketing and advertising, through to being the ‘client’ in multinational companies. He has lived and worked in the UK, USA, Europe and across Asia.

You can read a  blog by DePinto here.

The hashtag for this event will be #WMNstrategy.

Please support the venue by purchasing food and beverages at the bar.

 

8am registration

Presentation 8:30-9:30

Tickets: Members – FREE, Non-members – $60 (pay at the door).

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I came across Women Media Networks when doing research for my own site, The Modern Bitch, in August 2012. At that point I thought it would be a dream to be part of WMN and eight months later I was given the opportunity to attend an event in celebration of International Women’s Day.
One thing that inspired me to create a site for young women in Hong Kong was a TED Talk by Tavi Gevinson, a teen blogger who discussed feminism and how she was still figuring things out. Feminism has always been something close to my heart and since I was a child, I’ve always looked up to women and had female role models whether it be lead singers in bands or successful women in the corporate world.
In the UK, where I grew up, teen pregnancy is high and many of my friends weren’t aiming high or thinking about their future. When I entered my early teens I started to become very ambitious and knew that a career was something I wanted and family would come later. By the time I graduated and an opportunity came along in the form of Hong Kong, I knew it was a calling and I had to push past my worries and fears. Two years on I have a stable job that I enjoy and continue to think about my future in terms of career first and family later.
The discussion started straight at the root, as the panel asked each other if women could really have it all? I personally believe that women can, but not everything will be in balance all the time. It also depends on the definition of  ’having it all’ as this differs for everyone. Most of the room agreed.
My version of having it all from a basic definition would be having a successful career while having a family at the same time. One thing I took away is that the definition is difficult to simplify because all kinds of complexities come into family and career such as, whether you have your own business – and how big it is – how big your family is, whether you’re a single parent… the list goes on.
Bobbi Campbell touched on the point that you have to be really good at what you do in order to have the right to tell people you’re leaving at 5.30pm and will be unavailable for certain hours. I completely agree. It involves years of hard work and staying late to work your way up to the top, which in turn makes you really good at what you do. This isn’t always easy for women who aren’t necessarily at the top and after doing a little research on Marissa Mayer and Yahoo!, it’s clear that having understandable employers who support your choice of working and raising a family is something that is vital in having balance.
Doubt is one of the biggest problems that I face while trying to succeed in work and managing my side projects. It was a relief when Mia Saini mentioned this and an even bigger relief when other women agreed. Confidence is something that I have struggled with from time to time and I had a lot of doubts when creating my website, especially over the name. I overcame this by using my instincts and asking myself, what’s the worst that can happen?
It was great to hear advice from Bobbi regarding checking a company’s culture before working there and she stressed the importance of being comfortable asking co-workers for help. It was reassuring to learn that some women have key influencers to aspire to, which helps them overcome the fear of asking.
Letting go of some control over your work and allowing others to step in was also a big talking point and Chris Bowers mentioned having to allow her staff to handle things for her after having twins. I thought about this and considered it a challenge in the future for me personally as I like to be in control of every little detail and think that other ambitious women might feel the same way. Bowers also mentioned that she met with personal development coaches to better herself in order to better her business. That is definitely something to take on board. Other people help you grow.
Towards the end of the discussion, Shea Stanley and others panel members talked about the future and what can be done now, to help change the stereotypical view of mothers. It’s important to educate children on equality and leading by example by sharing chores between the parents, so the mother isn’t doing it all and they don’t see just mum doing it all. There is also some advice for younger women in that they shouldn’t worry about the future or planning family. Just focus on pursuing something you love and figure out how family will fit in later on. Not only that, but do not doubt yourself. Just own it!
One of the main things that I can relate to and take away from the discussion is that women are still trying to figure it out. None of the women in the room that day had all the answers or a 101 on how to have a career and family at the same time. What I felt inspired by is that strong and successful women have come together to discuss this. I may have a long way to go in building a career for myself, but I learnt a lot during that discussion and I think it’s very important to expose younger women to these discussions to ensure the lives and roles of women continue to progress healthily.

Read more from Beth’s blog, The Modern Bitch.
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All too often we hear the words “you can have it all”, particularly when we see high-powered women, such as Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo) claiming success in juggling both work and family (while building her own nursery at the office). Can we really have it all, or are we really kidding ourselves?
Before the event, WMN Founder and panelist Bobbi Campbell said, “I think we’ve come a long way towards equal rights, but there’s a very long way to go with regards to providing the infrastructure to support women who want successful careers and quality time with family.”
Our panelists included:
  • Bobbi Campbell, Founder of WMN, COO of The Red Flag Group and mother of two
  • Chris Bowers, event organizer, Founder of The Underground, rock goddess and mother of twins
  • Shea Stanley, co-founder & Chief Executive Insider of LittleStepsAsia.com and mother of two.
Moderating them was Bloomberg News Presenter Mia Saini, currently pregnant with her first child.
The event hastag was #wmndecon
“What does having it all mean?” asks Siani at the beginning of the event.
“What are your priorities?” questions Shea. If you have your priorities perhaps you can have it all – just not at the same time, she says. But yes, family, children etc do make it harder to take care of all the things that matter to you. Campbell admits that after getting married, her Blackberry become an annoying distraction. And now, she has two kids. When she founded WMN, she didn’t have such responsibilities.
When entrepreneur Bowers had children, she learned that she had to let people help her and let go of some of the control.
Campbell hated relenting control. Being 34 weeks pregnant and told she couldn’t fly was something that annoyed her. At the airport, fighting for her right to fly, she was shown a piece of paper showing that the airport authorities considered her to be ‘disabled’.
Stanley started her own business before she had children, because she thought it would be a better way for her to manage ‘having it all’. But as she points out, there are times, running your business, that you need to work til 4am and suddenly it seems better to pay someone else to outsource for you.
It’s true that you work harder and longer hours when you run your own business – I do, and I’m happier. But I don’t have children (or a dog, yet). On top, you do things that you wouldn’t have to do if you worked for the man. And when you take time off, you do end up having to make up for it later or lose jobs, clients and income.
But most people do work for the man, as Siani points out. So what can corporations do to help women with children? Or what do they do that doesn’t help?
The women all throw out experiences here. They always give you a look if you walk in late because the kids are sick. Recruiters don’t think you are presentable when you walk into an interview pregnant. So there are clear challenges here, despite supposed ‘understanding’ from the man.
Sometimes people think that going part time or working from home will be a good compromise and be better, but is it? Campbell admits to questioning whether she could do it all. And as Stanley points out, some jobs don’t allow for work-life balance. Bowers says that she had to question the same thing of herself. With her own business she recently discovered that she had to find her own advice about how to manage her course at work. Loving what she does, she is happy to be daring.
What is the culture you have as a corporate company? Campbell is responsible for building that culture at her own company. She believes that Google got it right for a long time. “Breed a culture of connections, and people will voice their thoughts. Managers should help staff; individuals succeed and you get productivity,” she advises.
Do you have to take on male roles in order to get things done? One audience member says that it’s important to think about these things when you pick a partner. Her husband is the one who takes their kids to the doctor. There’s a lot of letting go too, let dad do it his way and don’t nag.
If you work in a highly male-dominated industry, it is really difficult to slip back into work after having children. Siani admits that she left the banking industry because there were no women higher up the chain whose lives and work she wanted to replicate. Ex CFO of Lehman Bothers, Erin Callan, admitted in her book that she probably couldn’t have done that job, if she’d had kids.
Siani reminds us not to compare ourselves to others, because having it all has no set parameters. Apply your own meaning to it. Think ahead and consider where you’re heading because most corporations don’t care about your family. And if it’s a start-up, then you might also find that you can’t put family first.
Having it all is something you have to own. What does that mean to you? If you require a strong personal network of support, create it. If you need a great husband who can help with kids, look for that in a partner.
Campbell’s husband travels a lot. Her company understand that from 5.30-7.30 she is unavailable because she has to spend time with the kids. After that, she’s back online doing work. Her boss seems to be ok with that, but being good at what you do makes it easier for the boss to allow you to be human.
Of course, there are lots of single mothers out there too. So how can they be helped? Things like having a friend offer a play date or coming over to visit and talk with you can help.
With so many discussion points, ideas and thoughts, there just isn’t enough time at breakfast to cover this fascinating topic. But what was great, was that there were  a handful of men in the room. And that the conversation did turn to discuss partners and sharing responsibilities. After all, Having it All shouldn’t mean Having it All, All by Yourself, All on Your Own – should it?
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Our first event of the year was an exciting and fun one – which if you’re not morning person (I’m not), is just what you need. And I should mention, our kind hosts California Vintage did a great job with the menu (California breakfast muffin, yes please). Moreover, the topics and advice syncronised nicely with everything else that’s been going on in my life lately, both at home and at work.
The task for the event was Developing mindfulness, reliance and confidence, learning strategies and techniques to transform challenges and setback into opportunities.
Our speaker, Sally Dellow from Rock the Boat had promised a frenetic event with audience participation, which is what we got with our small but comfortable crowd.
“Are you dealing with VUCA? ” Asks Sally.
VUCA is Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity. The term was coined in the 90s for those dealing with the military issues. It’s likely that you’ve felt this at work or home recently. We live in a VUCA world, which isn’t going to change, so we have to manage our reactions.
We’re asked to put down our bags and phones (as if that isn’t scary enough?) and shut our eyes. This is a grounding exercise, so we tune out everything but place our feet on the footrests and consider that we are planted on the stool and the stool is on the ground. We bring the energy up from the ground and into our bodies. Sally asks us to feel connected and say: “I am grounded. I am open”. This is a good way to check yourself in the busy world; it will help give you resilience.
Ever seen anyone shake when they’re giving a speech? In our daily lives, our fight or flight response will blind us. But then when we need it, adrenalin kicks in. Yet constant adrenalin is bad for us too. This is Sally’s killer cocktail – adrenalin and cortisol, those stress hormones, which will literally give you a heart attack.
With a chart provided by Sally, we look at the world around us.
Meet SCARF
Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, Fairness.
Engagement and motivation will make us move toward a person, job or situation. But bad feelings will give a fight or flight response, where of course, flight takes over (see image at bottom).
Another slide shows that 65% of us are disengaged, un-energised – or worse – through our work. You might not think it, but those feelings and sentiments lead to feelings of stress (it’s not just complacency). High stress gives a 23% increased risk of a heart attack.
Meanwhile, a survey in Hong Kong shows that 74% of white-collar respondents experienced short attention span, memory loss and difficulty processing tasks. Our brains need a rest too.
There’s more than one reason why we need to give ourselves a break and put ourselves first. Ever flown on an airplane? The answer is yes, I’m sure. Think about how we’re told on flights to place our own oxygen masks before helping others. It’s for a reason. We need to breath healthy oxygen and have clear minds in order to think in order to act – in order to be of help to others. It’s an analogy also used in twelve step groups to show that it is ok to put yourself first; it is not necessarily selfish.
We naturally think it’s bad to put ourselves first, but it’s not. So here’s another exercise. Think of two situations where you need extreme self-care. It could be having a lie-in on Saturday. It could be making a delicious meal. Commit to yourself that you will do it in the next seven days. Write it down. Go on!
And when you’re getting stressed, remember to take a moment to come back down to earth. Because you need to be resilient.
Resilience will help you
  • Bounce back from adversity
  • Overcome the stress of threatening circumstances
  • Adapt successfully to challenges
Resilience is actually genetic – some of us really are more resilient than others, according to Sally. Those who are more resilient tend to be highly committed to the things in our lives. The more threads we have that connect us to our world – friends, family, hobbies, work, societies etc the less we will be rocked when one of those threads breaks. Our zone of control is less highly shaken.
When everything goes wrong, we can control our bodies, thinking and even our feelings.
Sally shares tips for feeling in control:
Permanence: To have a positive and resilient mindset, see negative events as temporary.
Pervasiveness: If one thing is going badly, focus on where things are going well and remember that you are the same person across those situations.
Fully acknowledge the things you can and cannot control.
And finally, forget the three pillars of happiness – some people don’t feel happy but there is something that can be more important.
The five pillars of wellbeing (PERMA)
  1. Positive emotion
  2. Engagement
  3. Relationships
  4. Meaning
  5. Achievement
In this exercise (PDF attached at the bottom), take two coloured pens and mark your score in those areas (each ring is 25% with the lowest percentile in the centre. Make a mark in the correct ring for you, under that category). Do one colour for you and another colour for work in order to see where you’re at.
How perfect is your circle? Now think about how to move towards where you want to be.
What went well
Here’s an exercise to do every night. When something scores low, think about what your wish would be to change it. Doing this will help you to get your ideas and sense of gratitude in order. While this exercise seems simple, let it become a practice and it will really help. It will become part of your natural approach to looking at things in your life; it breeds positivity.
Respond don’t react
Don’t let your emotions take control of your behaviour. If you’re afraid, it’s because you think you’re facing a saber tooth tiger. But you always control your breathing and your body, so take control and loose the fight or flight response. Breath, smile, deflect and decide.
(You don’t need to be unemotional – process your emotions).
Mindfulness exercises are plentiful
Shut your eyes and practice your smile without interruption.
Hormones can also help:
  • Connect with people and it releases Oxytocin along with sentiments of trust, loyalty and openness.
  • Laugh, serotonin gives perspective and stops you from muffling your words.
  • Be mindful, it lowers the stress hormone of Cortisol. Slow down, don’t get bowled along by life.
  • Exercise gives endorphins, which gives women a bigger hit than men. Just move around and feel more euphoric.
Well after an hour of inspiration, it’s time to STOP.
  • Sit
  • Take a breath
  • Observe
  • Prioritise

There’s a great list of short, tweeted takeaways here:
Please share and repost this blog and follow us
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As some of you know, our first event of the year is coming up – and it’s part of the breakfast series so I really hope that California Vintage, our kind hosts, have good coffee. I’m a coffee snob.

But let’s not digress. I was hoping to find and share all kinds of interesting blogs around our topic for Wednesday, but with CNY and other things, I haven’t read anything that came my way, which fit. And I didn’t have time to search things out.

So here’s a note from me.

What I’m excited about for this event is that it follows on nicely from our last event at CASBAA. While Emma Reynolds, Mia Saini, Mariko Sanchanta and Joanne Ooi did a great job at disrupting our lunch hours, our ideas and getting us in the mood for changing things up, this event will be a great way of extending those sentiments.

 

Sally Dellow from Rock the Boat plans to share strategies and techniques to transform challenges and setbacks into opportunities. Well, ‘rock the boat’ already implies a bit of disruption, so I hope she’s ready to wake us all up.
During my degree, I faced a setback when a proposal for an exhibition was refused due to good old British Health & Safety. I was upset and taken aback – I was a first year student. My tutor told me to turn it around and create something in reaction to that. All I wanted to do was hide inside and eat biscuits and drink tea. It was winter. Somehow, I managed to combine my first idea, my tutor’s comments and my desire to hibernate into one, tiny art piece, which made the biggest statement to the powers that be. That was my first lesson in disruption.
Since then, I’m always looking for ways to do things differently and better – not bigger, better, faster, stronger, but with a better outcome for all those involved. As the Director of my creative services agency, I always have to consider setbacks and challenges. I have to warn my clients about them. While I admit to being able to do that, I’m less often required to turn something bad into something good, so Wednesday morning will be a real treat for me because I think that’s one area where I fall short. I get stressed, before being able to think things out.
Sally has promised lots of audience participation, which judging by our last event, will go down really well.
I’m looking forward to seeing you all there.

As a pre-event teaser, Rock the Boat have asked “think about which animal type you are and how this impacts on your reaction to adversity, so you can learn how to control and adapt your reactions.”

Wednesday 20 Feb, 2013
8:00am – Registration and networking; 8:30am – Talk begins

9:30am – Wrap

California Vintage
Shop 110, Brim 28
28 Harbour Road
Wan Chai

Cost: Free for members, $100 for non-members. Breakfast available to purchase.

To sign up, please click here.

 

Twitter
The event hashtag will be #wmntransform.
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Our first event of the year is coming up as one of the WMN Breakfast series.

 

With the Year of the Black Snake associated with intelligence, power and ambition, we are pleased to have Sally Dellow from Rock the Boat. She will share winning strategies and techniques to transform challenges and setbacks into opportunities for the year ahead and has promised an exciting event with lots of audience participation.
The event will provide the opportunity to meet like-minded media professionals from a range of backgrounds and sectors, and to gain helpful insights into cultivating valuable personal development and leadership strategies.

Wednesday 20 Feb, 2013
8:00am – Registration and networking; 8:30am – Talk begins

9:30am – Wrap

California Vintage
Shop 110, Brim 28
28 Harbour Road
Wan Chai

Cost: Free for members, $100 for non-members. Breakfast available to purchase.

To sign up, please click here.

 

Twitter
The event hashtag will be #wmntransform.
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