September 21, 2016

From Strategy to Execution – The 4 Key Strategies - Part 4 of 4

I share with you a portion of Chapter 1 of my new book that will be published in 2017. 

Remove People That Does Not Fit Our CULTURE

Before I even started my own business 13 years ago, I had many years of experience building both big and small businesses. I have always understood what it took to buy, fix and sell businesses. I have always understood how to grow businesses fast with the number 1 resource – people. However, leading people and managing businesses that did not belong to me had a total different meaning and experience all together when it came to the real pressure of becoming my own boss with real bills to pay at the end of every month. When I first started my own business, the pressure was real. The bills I had to pay were even more real. This is when I learnt the real lesson that people was NOT the greatest asset to a business.

a) Setting high accountability standards.

Like most entrepreneurs and business owners, we are always suckers for wanting to do the unthinkable to create value and make a difference. We are curious and we want to know how to inspire, motivate and encourage our people to do more, work hard, and smarter to differentiate from the previous places that. We want to be able to provide a place of employment that could be so different that could attract and appeal to talented people to work with us. So I researched, read and applied the best practices that well known global organization put in place to make things better for their people to work and achieve. And yes I was one of the suckers that believed that by providing a more creative workspace and office with continuous monetary and non monetary rewards will definitely keep my people excited and motivated. I wanted to be the Google of Malaysia. I wanted to be known as the best employer and the best place to work in. This is where I got it so wrong as I was building a business focusing on all the wrong reasons. If I wanted to build a great business, we need to have high accountability standards by everyone in the organization. That means everyone needs to carry their weight to take the company forward. NOT depended on me the boss to carry everyone forward. If you do not produce results, you will have to go. 

b) Develop capabilities to achieve collective mastery.

After 10 years of continuously and consistently working hard building a great place to work for my people, I began to feel tired. I started to feel angry. I started to feel that I was taken for granted all these years building a business for my people and no matter what I did for them, they will always ultimately leave me for all different reasons. Sometimes it was my fault, sometimes their fault and sometimes it was just nobody’s fault. It was just a progression of life expectations, desires and growth that was no longer a match for both parties. It was also at this time that my beloved mother passed away from a grueling battle with cancer. I was also getting a little older and with the years of wear and tear, and intense working lifestyle I decided to take a step back to reflect on the past in order to move forward. I realized and learnt that the number 1 resource that I have always believed to grow businesses – PEOPLE was absolutely wrong as I was working too hard to keep people motivated and encouraged. When things were working well, I invested in both monetary and non-monetary resources to keep my people motivated and encouraged. When things were not going too well, I invested even more as I believed that as long my people were motivated they would perform better. This is where I had a wake up call and a real rude awakening. I had gotten it all wrong. 

The people we hire, develop and trust to help us grow our businesses can either make you or break you. After years of building businesses, I finally came to the conclusion that people are NOT the greatest assets of a company. In fact your people can be a huge liability. Over the years I have experienced trusted employees that we empower to do things lie, cheat and steal from our businesses. This is even after consistent and continuous sharing on the critical importance of integrity in the way we conduct our business internally and externally. This is when you will learn that highly competent people without integrity can be very dangerous to your business. We must never allow the growth of our businesses to be led by business growth for the sake of growing. This is also why we must never lower and negotiate on our standards for the required competency and character of the people that we work with to build sustainable businesses. This is where you will learn that ONLY GREAT PEOPLE are assets to your business. And by that, great people are by definition highly competent people with high character. Great people know why they join you in the first place. Great people have their own mission and objectives that are aligned to your vision.    


Jassce Wong said...

I very agree, I promised though I was not the best but I will try to do my best.

Anonymous said...

I strongly agree with you boss. Thanks for every opportunity and trust you put in me.


MY said...

I have my mission and objectives that I want to achieve before a certain period of my life! Integrity can't be taught to people, it is supposed to be self-developed. Individuals with LOW integrity will never succeed any where they go. "GREAT" people will ALWAYS come out of any situation despite failing numerous times but hey failing simply means you have tried something and it didn't work out, it's not end of the world and it certainly doesn't mean you will not succeed.

Rose Malia said...

Good teams incorporate teamwork into their culture, creating the building blocks for success and with an enthusiastic team, you can achieve almost anything.Really appreciate and learn a lot here.


Kong said...

Although there is so much admiration to Google-style workplace, but I personally don’t believe that it works in most Asian countries. We Asian perform better under tight discipline sometimes. Anyway, I still believe that people are valuable assets in an organization. Yes, high competent people with high character; capable people with great integrity. A reminder to us.


Nur Shairah Azhar said...

Thank you for sharing your experience.
Let's strive to be the GREAT PEOPLE that can be assets to the company!

Ng Nicole said...

We need to carry our weight in the organization. It is our responsibility. Sometime, we might not able to control every situation and its outcome but we can control our attitude and how to deal with it.

Kelvin Thong Jian Hao said...

Yes! No point to hire people does not fit the organization culture, always select the right team who willing to move forward together to the vision and mission.

Pang Kok Wing said...

People are never a resource, we are capital. The more knowledge and skill we acquire, the more we will be appreciated. Besides, with the RIGHT people in place, we will be able to go further and further.

"If you want to go FAR. go TOGETHER"

"If you want to go FAST, go ALONE"

Noorfa said...

There is little difference in people but that little difference makes big difference. The little difference is attitude. People with good attitude will do their best for the company but the people with bad attitude will do the opposite way.


Knowledge,Skill,Attitude and Habit . These are what everyone must improve ,in order to make sure everyone can move forward to achieve the result we want to see.

High competent people with high character; capable people with great integrity.

Ivy said...

Only the Right People with Right attitude and working in the Right place will make a difference!
If the people not fit with the organization culture, we will always wish them all the best in their future.

Anonymous said...

thank you boss.i will do my best

Peggie said...

Thanks Mr Ernie share your experience to us.
Let's be the GREAT PEOPLE and growth with the company.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree. With only connecting all efficient and great staff, then the company can generate great teamwork towards achieving company goals.

--- Arison Ho

Gym Jian Sheng said...

No matter how much the company provides to the PEOPLE, they will still leave if they want to;
No matter how tough the company treat the PEOPLE, they will still stay if they know this is their place.

We are gathering talents with high competency & high character and most important vision align with the organization.

PEOPLE always the first "P" in business.

To conclude the 4 Key Strategies,

1) Increase MARKET SHARE
- Commit to a focused Education Group Brand Identity.
- Capture Market & Mind share through Aggressive Online & Social Media Marketing.

- Develop new online products & services targeting the 4 Billion ASIAN & 600 Million ASEAN markets.
- Leverage on Government International Market Development Grants and Soft Loans.

3) Reduce Business COST
- The idea of doing more with less.
- Optimizing on what we already have.

4) Remove People That Does Not Fit Our CULTURE
- Setting high accountability standard.
- Develop capabilities to achieve collective mastery.

Everything we do MUST align to all these strategies in order to achieve our VISION together!

Kenny said...

Right people with right attitude and competent enough will create a value to the company but the first thing before all this is "INTEGRITY"

Yasota said...

Thank you for sharing boss. I will do the best.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the sharing Mr. Ernie. To make sure the company is always doing well, everyone in the organization must be the GREAT PEOPLE to create values for the company.

-Louis Mok-

luna yap said...

Integrity and right attitude is the first priority to Be GREAT PEOPLE!

Daniel Kou said...

Great sharing. Right people in right organization - The best combination to do greater things.

Muhiddin kamarudin said...

Agreed and thank you for sharing your experience. Will not waste the opportunity you gave me!

烤焦面包人 said...

agree with you boss
A successful business need have a right team ,system and brand .
Follow the right leader do the best of individual target .

Michelle Liew

Malini Krishnamoorthy said...

Great People known as "a person who have a clear vision, mission, goals and objectives in their life". So this Great People have an ability to understand the vision and mission of an organization and will perform well to achieve their individual goals and at the same time will contribute to the organizational success.

kay wong said...

Thank you for sharing your experience. People with the right mind will be the great people of the company, will do my best towards it.

Anonymous said...

agreed with you boss.

Foong Jun Jie J.J said...

Thank you for sharing Mr Ernie. I agree with "ONLY GREAT PEOPLE(high competent people with high character) are assets to your business". Learn a new thing today.

Anonymous said...

Results are everything. Will push harder and harder and harder to be on of your great people and to the company. Thanks Boss!


Anonymous said...

Different company and different culture, people must fit and initiative to do the best in everywhere.

~Siew Fong~