Our People, Our Community

Our People, Our Community


Life is challenging these days round the world given the current situation. Numerous thoughts are running through my mind daily as I take in what’s happening worldwide during this pandemic and my daily routine as an essential worker at a local dormitory for our foreign workers in Singapore. Hence, I would like to take this opportunity to share my humble personal viewpoints of the COVID-19 impact and challenges that we are facing daily.

The world’s economy is suffering, and it will continue to suffer as long as the COVID-19 virus remains uncontained. Plenty of individuals around us are facing numerous changes to their daily routine; especially with work and more significantly, the ability to support for both themselves and their loved ones financially.

For those bestowed in leadership positions within the company, most are currently faced with their own unique set of challenges to keep the business alive. It is easy to be a leader when things are going well, but much challenging to lead when things are going poorly (Kholl, 2020). By riding through this storm we are all in and we are all hoping to emerge stronger than before.

Fortunately, there are reasons for positivity during this storm with companies responding with sincere empathy by being agile and innovative to remain connected with their people. For example, hosting a Zoom dance party! It is genuinely heartening to witness companies and their leaders fight the COVID-19 challenges with such inspiration, temperament and compassion.

More and more organisations around the world have showed their empathy by stepping up. Amongst numerous uplifting examples, there are organisations seen making donations to the health care sector, converting their factories for the production of medical-grade hand sanitizer, face masks for local hospitals and even foregoing or lowering their salaries to take care of frontline employees.

Through such uncertainties, Kholl (2020) mentioned that physical and mental health, financial stability, and job security top the list of many concerns of employees. Leaders of these people need to address and help them in meaningful ways. How businesses of every scale respond during this COVID-19 pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on many elements. For instance, having leaders to target the employees’ wellbeing and concerns will allow employees to feel more secure, resulting in better employee engagement, efficiency and allegiance to the organisation.

As a leader, my top priority would be to take care of my team’s well-being. Boosting their moral during such period is crucial in ensuring corporate efficiency, productivity and effectiveness. Creating the human element needs to bumped up. A dangerous misstep in management during this midst of many changes and uncertainties is to have the assumption that everyone is on the same page. Actions to be taken will also include creating scheduled meetings with the team working from home to ensure that everyone is consistently in the loops for updates, expectations and the next steps that the organisation is taking. Inclusivity and communication will help to build connection and a sense of workplace community. Being a leader, it’s vital to organise one on one check-ins with each team member to create a chance for members to share personal concerns in a private setting, if necessary. This helps to create the personal touch and it also reinforces to the employees that the organisation and their leaders cares for their wellbeing as well.

Following that, it is important to help the team ease into the transition phase of working from home. Many organisations are shifting to compulsory work from home policies. Some are welcoming to this change. However, for others, they could be feeling stressed out or even finding it hard to adapt to the new working environment at home. This could essentially result in them feeling demotivated and subsequently, a loss in work output efficiency. Caring for mental well-being is equally as important as maintaining physical health. The mass media announcements with regards to the current pandemic can easily influence more panic than notifying its audiences of the latest updates. Social media also can aggravate feelings of negativity, anxiety, and bleakness. Hence, it is important for leaders to consistently check on their team to ensure that their mental wellbeing is cared for.

These morale-boosting efforts should also include some level of assistance for employees which brings us to the following point. Organisations should be transparent with their employees. Should the company be facing cash flow problems or difficulties to keep or pay all of their employees, leaders should be upfront in communicating it to their team tactfully. Instead of retrenchment, the management could look into alternative ways to help solve this temporary problem. For instance, in Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower has encouraged organisations in dire need, to take temporary measures such as redeployment, shorter work week or temporary layoffs (Government of Singapore, 2020). This may essential help to save employees from being jobless during this period of time.

However, should retrenchment be necessary to some employees, the HR team or their direct bosses could continue to help them during this period of transition. They could link them up with potential hirers or assist them in revamping their resumes and Linkedin profiles.

Yes, this is indefinitely a challenging trying time that is affecting everybody. The more selfless companies are about how they care for their people and the community, the higher the chances of them being able to build resiliency within their people and their brand’s image within the community. We must all foster a personal connection with one another. It could be planning a “kopi break” with random team members via an online meeting tool to catch up and share about not just work but also every other thing in our life. Through conversations, new ideas and opportunities might even emerge.

Just like the late Bruce Lee once said, “Do you know how I like to think of myself? As a human being. Because under the heavens, under the sky, there is but one family.”











Part II: Becoming an 80/20 Manager – The Investigating Manager & The Superconnecting Manager

Part II: Becoming an 80/20 Manager – The Investigating Manager & The Superconnecting Manager


80/20 Manager by Richard Koch

Richard Koch wrote a book: 80/20 Manager that discusses how a manager of 80/20 is a transformative leader, a leader of Y ideology, who recognises that workers are inspired by imagination, teamwork and enjoyment in using their expertise. In contrast, Manager of X ideology will want to transfer his staff by command and control.

There are ten types of 80/20 managers written in his book.

  1. The Investigating Manager
  2. The Superconnecting Manager 
  3. The Mentoring Manager
  4. The Leveraged Manager
  5. The Simplifying Manager
  6. The Liberating Manager
  7. The Manager seeking meaning
  8. The Time-rich Manager
  9. The Lazy Manager
  10. The Strategic Manager

We will be discussing on two types of managers per article; specifically discussing on how they can be a solution during this pandemic (COVID-19).

  1. The Investigating Manager

“Curiosity is more important than knowledge” – Albert Einstein.

This quote creates the foundation for this type of Manager. Investigating Managers questions everything and understands that everything has a reason for it.

Being an Investigative Manager using the 80/20 rule will be for the Manager to identify who are their core customers and what are their core products. Also, to determine what makes these people or product to be core or different.

They usually ask seven questions to investigate.

  1. What single powerful idea will be able to turbo-charge the business
  2. Who will sponsor the plan, most probably a decision-maker
  3. Identify who is achieving great results and how are they doing it
  4. How can you make a 16-fold improvement to be called a quantum leap
  5. Who is my most important customer?
  6. Which single constraint is holding me back?

Investigating Manager during COVID-19

Using the seven questions to understand the situation:

  1. What unique powerful idea can the business have now during this climate that will turbo-charge the business? Do we need to change our mental model? If you are in the Oil & Gas industry and airliners do not have business during this period, what idea can you have to turbo-charge the business forward? Can the product be used for something else? The power of paradox will come in handy here.
  2. Who will be the one person who will sponsor the idea? Most of the time, it will be a decision-maker. What proposals need to be created to convince them of the plan?
  3. During this period, to find out which industry is doing well and still going strong. Not to copy what they are doing, but to understand what keeps them up. This initiative might give new concepts on our own business too.
  4. With the idea created, how can you achieve a 16 fold improvement? What are the steps and processes that need to be in place to see this? What needs to change to see the 16 fold improvement? Everyone works home now, does going online or digital give you the answer?
  5. How to achieve much more with much less? To calculate the cost and revenue and find out what you can do to reduce the cost and increase the revenue. This action means changing fundamental processes, thinking differently and replacing some parts. There can never be a different result with similar strategies.
  6. Who will be the identified customer who will buy into this idea? Know the customer so that the product/service/idea can be tailor-made for them first. This process will then help you to create a template moving forward.
  7. What would be the single constraint that is holding you back? There might be many challenges, roadblocks, but as an investigative manager, the idea is to identify one significant obstacle that holds you back 80% of the time.


  1. The Superconnecting Manager 

As the name says it, superconnecting managers are like magnets. They attract many different people to come together. If you are into networking, one thing you will realise is that when people from diverse background come together, new ideas emerge and opportunities are born. Acquaintances are people we have met once or twice, such as old school friends, someone you met over a network session. But these are the most important people as they might be a great helpful resource for you.

Red ticket vs Green ticket towards success

The difference between this two will be time. Red tickets are things that take long to achieve like attaining a degree. Green ticket, on the other hand, will be like having an acquaintance that might have certain information that will help you to be successful. One out of ten of such acquaintances might be helpful, and this generates little effort with big wins.

Big world vs Small world 

In a big world, there is too much space in-between, and it is not straightforward to connect with others easily through acquaintances. In a small world, everyone is linked and connected one way or another, and this makes it easy to connect with someone through an acquaintance.

Superconnecting Manager during COVID-19

During this period, especially when everyone is working from home, it will be the best time to catch up with individuals. We do not have to meet someone in person for a networking session. The COVID-19 situation has created an excuse to meet someone over an online platform quickly as it has become the new normal.

Creating green tickets

As a superconnecting manager, try to catch up with as many acquaintances as possible. Book their calendar for maybe 30mins slot, and have a conversation. That conversation could create opportunities, new ideas or even a different perspective, especially when they are from a different industry. Now that everyone is having the same “Villain”, we can enjoy the beauty of how everyone defines the Villain and what steps they have taken. It will almost be like watching different language movie of the same story – similar, but different. That difference is where the opportunity hides.

Creating a smaller world 

During this period, superconnecting managers will have online gatherings where you might be told to bring a +1. A term usually used to bring our spouse for any event, but that is where the world becomes “smaller”. As our spouse might be from a different industry, we create this spider web network and start to see how the systems to link everyone up.

In the next article, find out how The Mentoring Manager and The Leveraged Manager will deal with the pandemic.

VUCA Countermeasures vs Circuit Breaker Classes

VUCA Countermeasures vs Circuit Breaker Classes


Yoga, tuition centres and gyms move online as Singapore gets used to operating in the virtual world

In the world of management, changes have been inevitable in every organisation. With changes occurring, the trendy word ‘VUCA’ has been the talk of the town. So “what is ‘VUCA’?” you may ask. VUCA is an acronym and a concept that originated with students in the U.S. Army War College to describe Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity.

COVID-19 on the economy

Unpredictable events occurring in organisations will be seen positively and negatively. Leaders are put in difficult positions in making unprecedented decisions for the organisation’s advantage. This is reflected through the current COVID-19 situation that has affected the international economy, operations and even the daily lives of every single citizen in the world. As we all know, not even our little red dot has been spared.

Being a first world country with developed market economy, many operations especially the service sector that requires physical presence have been badly affected in Singapore. For instance, going for tuition lessons and work out classes is the norm for a lot of young and working adults before the pandemic struck us.

Going digital

With the Circuit Breaker being implemented by the government to counter the spread of the virus, VUCA is predestined for such business owners. It has resulted in having all classes cancelled and operations to be seized immediately.

However, with adaptability, businesses are still able to counter to the stay home advisory. Tuition, yoga or even gym classes began to operate online for their clients to carry on in the comfort of their own homes via online platforms such as Zoom.

Being a market leader by going digital

Looking back on VUCA, an example of positive complexity is having the breakthrough to carry on their classes on an online platform, and keeping the business running during this harsh period. Being the fastest to adapt and emerging as a market leader, many businesses will realise that classes can be done online. On the other hand, an example of negative complexity refers to businesses that are not grasping the occurring changes and are refusing digitalism; resulting in a loss of clientele and business.

Going digital in Singapore

As Singaporeans carry on to stay home during this Circuit Breaker period, many have begun to look for ways to carry on their daily lives and usual activities. This has led to many businesses here to use the opportunity to move their operations online. The moment many organisations have reported that meetings have and can be conducted via Zoom, yoga instructors and teachers began experimenting as well. Based on a news report by CNA, one of the tuition centres has invested in 40 iPads for its teachers to bring home so that they can leverage technology to carry on conducting classes for their students. Yoga instructors have also began promoting their online classes on their social media platforms. That being said, most Singaporeans have also been receptive towards this change.

Understanding VUCA for your business

Through the current pandemic situation and implementation of the Circuit Breaker, let’s look into how VUCA can be seen for the yoga and tuition companies. Volatility can be seen through the rapid changes that were made by the government that affected the businesses’ operations. The more volatile the pandemic is, the quicker our government would have to make changes to tackle the virus. While this is happening, everyone is uncertain on how long will this COVID-19 last or if the Circuit Breaker be extended. Additionally, businesses are also uncertain on how long things are going to be affected for and what is going to happen next. As mentioned earlier, complexity can be seen in these businesses trying to operate via online platforms where their struggle is to use non-conventional methods to their advantage. On ambiguity, the instructors and tutors would face a lack of clarity and incomplete information about the situation, hence facing the difficulty in making decisions for their operations.

VUCA counterweight – VUCA Prime

Through the news report on the classes’ prevailing in online businesses, it can be seen that they have that they have adapted to this VUCA situation. It has helped them to better manage and overcome the situation better. A distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future, Bob Johansen managed to develop an effective leadership framework as a “VUCA counterweight” which is known as VUCA Prime to cope and overcome the unnerving VUCA world.

VUCA Prime focuses leaders on making decisions based on having Vision, Understanding, Clarity, and Agility.

Vision for the future

Let’s look into what these instructors and tutors did and how they do it to overcome the limitations imposed on their operations. Volatility can be countered with Vision as leaders look for ways to navigate through this turbulence to achieve success. Based on CMC Organisational Agility Practice Leader, Tom O’Shea mentioned that vision requires three vital questions: Why are we here? How will we be successful? What are our success measures? Without this vision, most of these operations would have to surrender to the hands of this pandemic and call it quits. As a business leader, once they can see where their business is going along with the situation, they would have begun preparing for countermeasures to ride through the wave. Knowing that classes cannot be resumed with people being present in class, the tuition centre mentioned earlier has decided to prepare for online classes with the sale of the iPads for its staff before the Circuit Breaker kicked in.

Understanding the situation at hand

Next, Understanding overcomes Uncertainty. As the saying goes “you will not know what you do not know”. As business leaders, you may have your vision, but this mindset needs to be shared and understood by everyone in the team on how they can contribute to the organisation’s success. Employees being the biggest stakeholder of the company, it is important to have two-way communication to shape new individual and team transformation towards the situation. It also helps to capture the elements of vision which include the strategies and success measures. Back to the tuition centre, now that the tutor’s vision has been aligned, they understood why the company had invested so much for so many gadgets during this period for everyone. With this understanding, all the tutors need to do now is to carry on providing classes using this alternative method, creating new strategies to engage students through the screen.

Creating clarity to manage a complex situation

On Complexity, this can be countered by having Clarity. As O’shea mentioned, Clarity comes from building disciplines around the core basics, reinforcing the real priorities. Though many of these instructors have never conducted classes using online platforms which can be daunting, a yoga instructor spoke that one of the best ways to weave out of the complexity of this method is to have internal and external feedback. This helps to eradicate the unnecessary complexity in their operations and conduct on the online platform. After some time, Clarity can be shown through re-examining and rebooting course conducts and even ownership, why are certain things being implemented in online classes and who is responsible for its success.

Being agile to be fast

Finally, Agility counters Ambiguity which is very crucial in this VUCA world and situation that we have right now. Being agile is all about creating quicker processes to sense and respond to inevitable ambiguous changes. Only through Agility, leadership can be strengthened, developing new and interesting strategies and methods to position themselves at a competitive advantage in the increasing face-paced market, better yet in this VUCA World. For example, after seeing how other organisations have been utilising Zoom to carry on their daily meetings, yoga instructors began experimenting with conducting online classes for their clients. One of the instructors that we have spoken to even told us he had offered to hold his first few online classes for free as he gets to test it out. After getting the hang of it and gaining the confidence of his clients, the business was back to usual for him. For the businesses that manage to have the quickest breakthrough to conduct courses online, their business would be able to be operational ready quicker to mitigate any further losses during this Circuit Breaker period.

Of course, with so much being shared about how these companies carried on operating using online platforms during the Circuit Breaker and adapt towards the VUCA situation imposed on them, the real question is: Why did they do it? The answer is pretty obvious, if they did not adapt and evolve enough out of this situation, many would be out of a job in only a matter of time. As we know that no one knows how long this COVID-19 pandemic will last. It is only right for them to work their way through this harsh time, turning disadvantages to their advantage. Disadvantages will always remain as it is if we do not find a solution to counter them and it will only be more stumbling blocks if we are not agile enough.
Change is the only constant

COVID-19 will pass and things will get better for everyone. But in this VUCA World, changes are bound to happen. So how are you adapting to these changes? How are you doing in implementing the VUCA Counter measures in your organisation? Hopefully, you are prepared, as change is the only constant.







Enhancing Motivation in Organisation

Enhancing Motivation in Organisations


Since January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. It has become a high-risk situation, affecting many countries in the world, even in Singapore. The COVID-19 virus has currently accumulated a total of over 4000 cases, still growing as of April 2020. Many countries have declared a temporary lockdown which has caused inconveniences such as our neighbouring country Malaysia, where the Malaysians who are sole breadwinners of their family have to often travel between Singapore and Malaysia.
Businesses and COVID-19

THe COVID-19 situation has dramatically affected business locally, including entertainment and F&B industries. Despite the efforts of containing the COVID-19 outbreak by WHO and public health authorities, Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong mentioned that this situation would pro-long for the upcoming months.


Organisations vs Employees during this pandemic

Thus, if we were to look at the situation from a long term perspective, many organisations would continue to suffer more money lost in attempts to cut cost; hence, employees might get pay cut resulting in leaving the company. Now let say if the situation has died down, and business goes back to normal. An organisation that relies on their employees would then face difficulties in slow growth, thus making revenue harder to gain back as it is almost like the company is back to square one. Quoted by WHO, “long term success cannot be taken for granted”. The big question here would be how can both the organisation and the employees play their part in “keeping it together”, be innovative and to come out more prepared for the industry than before?


Productivity and effectiveness through motivation

Motivation is one of the crucial topics to answering the question as we look into the mindset of employees. Motivation also to enhance the productivity and effectiveness in the organisation by understanding what gets them going. This article aims to shed some light using Herzberg’s two-factor theory to understanding the importance of motivation in employees concerning maximising effectiveness in the organisation.


Correlation between motivation and productivity 

In an organisation, your team is one of your most valuable assets, and it is also known to be one of the most significant resources. Without it, the business might not function; hence it is essential that employees feel encouraged and inspired (Jackson, 2020). Research has shown that satisfied employees tend to be more productive, creative and committed. Recent studies revealed a direct correlation between the satisfaction of staff and patient. To have hard-working individuals, we need to create a work environment that will attract, motivate and retain hard-working individuals, thus having more advantages in succeeding in terms of quality of service and cost-efficiency (Syptak, Marsland, Ulmer, 1999; Fisher, 2009).


Herzberg’s two-factor theory

While there is no one right way to manage people, all of whom have different needs, ethnic backgrounds and expectations. However, the Herzberg’s two-factor theory offers a reasonable starting point. In the late 1950s, Frederick Herzberg, considered by many to be a pioneer in motivation theory. His two-factor approach on motivation is based on the two dimensions, namely job satisfaction (motivating factors) and job dissatisfaction (hygiene/maintenance factors).

Hygiene factors

Hygiene factors’ are categorised as dissatisfaction, but this does not imply that by removing any of the items listed in this category would create resentment. According to Herzberg, hygiene factors meant that items in the category decrease employee’s dissatisfaction within the work environment. However, things like supervision or status do not act as a motivator but only minimises dissatisfaction. Hence creating an environment that promotes a trusting relationship, would develop employees who are more motivated, productive and fulfilled (Kaldenberg, Regrut, 1999).


High work performances

Studies have shown that when employees are treated well and trusted by their supervisor, they reciprocate by exhibiting higher levels of work performance as more vigorous efforts are generated to completing work tasks and show higher extra-role performance. Trust in supervisor is also known as an essential mediator on the relationship between leadership behaviour and job performance (Qing Miao, Newman, Xu Huang, 2014).


Enabling others to act

Trust is also about allowing employees to take on important roles and to be involved while having a voice in decision-making that may affect their work and personal development. Trust is also about enabling employees taking on the part to make changes in systems or processes in the organisation (Dirks & Ferrin, 2002). Alex Png, a global HR leader (Feb 2020) wrote an article about ‘people-first, process-last’ approach. This approach would guide and determine decisions in the face of uncertainty, which works well with dynamic environments that require arrangements that needs to be made, for example; a front-line staff (Ang, 2020).




           Finding the fire within

Herzberg state that ‘motivating factors’ such as recognition and achievement, suggested to make employees more productive, creative and committed. Quoted by Stephen R Covey, “Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly”. Motivating it is not just from the organisation efforts but also the employees themselves. Hence, to feel engaged and motivated, employees must first remember what they love and enjoy about their work to perform better. To answer the question, employees might involve taking a step back and asking themselves what contribution they can make to the organisation (Locke, 1976; Fisher, 2009).


           Identify with the organisation 

When employees think about their contributions, they enforce their identity and status within the organisation which would then incline to the input to the goals of their department (Fisher, 2009; Hanid, Yahya & Pang, 2010). Although in some studies, individuals are motivated by goals only when their values are congruent with the benefits of the organisation (Syptak, Marsland & Ulmer, 1999; Achim, Dragolea, Balan, 2013). Pleasant interaction with others would also associate with positive emotions resulting in a positive attitude through the employee’s perception of their environment. It also links to having good feelings experienced through achievements, for example; overcoming a challenge, growth or recognition, similarly to Herzberg’s two-factor theory (Fisher, 2009). Fisher (2009) also mentioned that apart from trust, another factor that makes people happy is recognition.



Recognition is as one of the most critical roles leaders can undertake as it acknowledges the very core of the employee. A study was done to analyse the motivation through employee’s perception and how it reflects their current work. Questions such as ‘Do you consider that your job fulfils all of your needs’, ‘Do you think that there is a motivational and recognition system based on objective criteria’? Etc. 60% of them felt that there was no system of recognition in their company. Recognising the hard work an employee puts in, is crucial as they would feel valued and appreciated, therefore increasing overall happiness (Locke, 1976; Achim, Dragolea and Balan, 2013).


Appreciation, a fundamental human need

Dr Ashley Whillans in behavioural science from Harvard Business School (2019) wrote an article enforcing this idea as what matters in the workplace is helping employees to feel appreciated. She quoted that “appreciation is a fundamental human need. Employees respond to appreciation expressed through recognition of their good work because it confirms their work is valued by others”. Appreciating employees is congruent to another theory which most business field may be familiar with, which is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In the picture below, recognition is categorised as a psychological need.

The need for recognition

Everyone has that need to be recognised regardless as an individual or a member in a group. The sense of achievement for the work well done or even a simple ‘pat on the back’ to feel suitable for the effort placed. Hence, employers can look into identifying the opportunity to praise and of course the act of physically acknowledging them on their excellent work (Fisher, 2009; Whillians, 2019; Ponta, Delfino, Cainarca, 2020).


Recognition in the form of positive reinforcement 

Recognition can be given through positive reinforcement such as being rewarded for accomplishing a challenging task/event, benefits, time off from work for the frequency of such positive behaviours (Locke, 1976; Ponta, Delfino, Cainarca, 2020). The positive reinforcement is also similarly related to another theory by B.F Skinner’s Operant Conditioning. Where positive reinforcement also aids in increasing motivation and productive towards short term goals and long term goals best known when targeted towards the individual as opposed to examples like ‘Buy drinks for everyone’ (Locke, 1976; Achim, Dragolea and Balan, 2013; Ponta, Delfino, Cainarca, 2020).


Organisations and Employees to work hand in hand

The saying goes “it takes two hands to clap”. Likewise, in an organisation, both the employee and the employer or supervisor need to work hand in hand. To create a work environment to be safe in terms of being open, respectful and fair would attract, motivate and retain hard-working individuals thus succeeding in the quality of service and cost efficiency which in turn benefit the organisation in the long run (Syptak, Marsland, Ulmer, 1999; Fisher, 2009).


Creating small wins 

There are still many theories and many factors that can be looked into when it comes to enhancing motivation. Everyone has to be clear of the vision and aligned with the values. Another way is also to set tangible and specific goals, such as proximal goals. Proximal goals provide short term marker for the individual’s progress towards a distal goal which is what needs to be achieved in the long term, example; progression of position in the company would also lead to higher performance. With the combination of operant theory, goal setting, rewards and recognition plays essential factors in enhancing employee job satisfaction and work motivation.




Adapting Tuckman’s Team-Development Model into our own household during this Circuit Breaker period

Adapting Tuckman’s Team-Development Model into our own household during this Circuit Breaker period


Boy, you so free, come and help me mop the floor!”

“Ma, I will help you later. I am working. I’m in a conference call.”

“But you’re home every day and just facing the computer! Why can’t you take 5 minutes to help me?”

“Ma, why can’t you understand that I am working, not on leave?”

The government’s Circuit Breaker measure has got all of us to work from home. However, based on the conversation above, it is safe to say that many of us might be facing the issue of having such distractions at home that would lead to possible quarrels and unhappiness. At this point, some of us might start to think about whether staying home together for such a long period is even good for us physically, mentally and emotionally. All of a sudden, going back to work, seeing your colleagues, getting swamped with the workload after workload upon your boss’ constant requests does not seem so bad after all.


Teambuilding at Work vs Teambuilding at Home

In the span of our lives in the workforce, most of us have been to at least one teambuilding programme. What were the objectives behind these programmes catered to the workforce? Most of the time, it is to achieve team cohesiveness by motivating peers to work together by expanding each other’s strength and the importance of addressing weaknesses among ourselves. For corporate teambuilding programmes, this motivation is usually being enforced through positive reinforcement as well as improved communications. However, like we always emphasise to our participants, teambuilding does not stop after the programme. The learning and new habits should be brought back to their workplace, in continuation to forge a stronger working relationship with one another for the long run.

Now, if work is part of our daily lives, and we have subconsciously always tried to accommodate one another to form a better working relationship, what about the relationships we have at home? Is it not true that home is the most significant part of our lives? Is it not true that our family members are one of the most influential people in our lives? If we can put in the effort to work on our work relationship, could we incorporate teambuilding learning back at home?


Tuckman’s Team-Development Model

In a teambuilding programme, it is hard not to share about the Tuckman’s Team-Development Model. “What is this model?” you may ask. In 1965, American Psychological Researcher, Bruce Wayne Tuckman, carried out his research about group dynamics. Through this research, he published the theory “Tuckman’s stages of group development” which have significantly been used till today. This model comprises four phases of group development, namely Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing.

This theory has not only elegantly explained and elaborated on team development, but also recognizing team behaviours and feelings. Other models such as Tannenbaum and Schmidt Continuum, even Hershey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership have shown similarity to Tuckman’s model. However, back to Tuckman’s model, it has helped many teams to understand why situations are happening in a certain way that can be an essential part of the self-evaluation process. By recognising behavioural patterns, it has proven useful as a basis for team conversation, instead of placing team into “diagnosis” (Stein, 2020).

Bringing this model back at home, regardless of colleagues of family members, everyone is only human, and human and team development is not always linear. A great example that Judith Stein from MIT’s Human Resource (2020) mentioned – imagining a five-year-old kid reverting to his or her thumb-sucking habit when a newborn arrives.

Let us look further into Tuckman’s stages of group development in our home setting with our family members, how we can understand this framework during this Circuit Breaker period, and ultimately achieving the performing stage together as a family.


Stage 1: Forming

Forming is “honeymoon period” of every initial get-together. Back in an organizational team setting, primarily when the team is newly formed, and a new member has joined, most people are noticed to be more polite and positive to one another with occasional “Hi, how are you?, How was your day?”. This cordialness usually happens due to people being a little awkward with each other since no one is used to each other’s presence and working habits. Additionally, this is also when people decide to “have a mask on” to cover their true self.

You may be wondering, “But, forming a family will only happen when we have a new baby or relative joining the household, isn’t it?” Before Covid-19, we would usually spend about 9 hours or more at our workplace or even in school during the weekdays. During the weekends, some would enjoy their days out socialising and meeting friends. With that, it only leaves us with dinner time for the family to be together before bed time. Little did we know during this Circuit Breaker where everyone are encouraged to stay at home all day; being present and seeing each other for almost 24 hours a day, have become the forming stage for each family household.


Stage 2: Storming

During this stage, people will usually start to push each other to their boundaries. This could be due to collective displeasure and frustrations regarding working styles and even habits. At storming stage, people tend to feel more comfortable to confront the other party to address the issue directly. Confrontation during storming stage is usually done in either the loud or quiet approach. In the working environment, loud approach happens when it is done face to face while the quiet approach is through gossiping or addressing issues passive-aggressively via emails. This is where people would usually notice each other’s “true colours”.

Bringing this back to our situation at home during the Circuit Breaker, the lack of understand or empathy in the household could aggravate and cause the storming stage to happen. For instance, parents might have a different set of expectation for their children at home – parents could be constantly nagging at them to complete the housework even during their Work From Home working hours. Additionally, being cooped up at home could lead to mental and emotional distress that sparks quarrels at home.  At first, a noisy approach may be regular as family members might be unhappy with one another or taking each other for granted, but as time goes by, it could lead up to the quiet approach where they conclude that their family members do not understand them.

Before moving on to the next stage, take this time think – “What caused this to happen?” and “What is it that they do not understand?” If most of the storming at home right now is due to the lack of understanding, how can we better communicate with one another to create a better understanding for us to work at home? However, it is important to note that storming stage is vital in any relationship; disregarding or avoiding it could possibly lead to more misunderstandings, exacerbating relations.


Stage 3: Norming

Teams that managed to reach this stage showed that they have started to resolve their differences, embracing each strength and weaknesses, and also compromising each other to move towards a common goal. This is a stage where team members are more inclined to socialise together, offering and asking for help, as well as providing constructive feedback.

Regardless of the working environment or in a household environment, members that achieved this stage would make a more conscious effort to resolve issues harmoniously and through positive reinforcement. Since everyone is starting to feel genuinely more comfortable with one another, we would easily express our real feelings and thoughts more carefully. Ultimately, with these meaning conversations at home, we can focus on making our home not only a comfortable place in the comfort of everyone’s presence, but we could also be working from home in a conducive and efficient manner.


Stage 4: Performing

At this last stage, team members would already be satisfied with each other’s progress as they are more aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This would lead to them feeling the attachment of being part of a wonderful team. Members are confident in each other’s abilities and traits. Along with these feelings and emotions, team members could focus on shared goal and ultimately achieve it together.

Moving forward, during this Circuit Breaker, together as a family, our shared goal is to ensure that we strive through this tough period safely, maintain both roles as a family member and an employee. Only by being committed to one another, we can support each other at home mentally and emotionally to ride through this storm.

In conclusion, as cliché, as it may sound, “blood is thicker than water”. During such tough periods, we have to be healthy and be there for one another; ensuring each other’s safety and wellbeing in our household. As the saying goes, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” Having constant squabbles at home? Why not try implementing and practising Tuckman’s Team-Development model at home? Who knows, not only we can survive through this global pandemic and Circuit Breaker, we could also forge a stronger relationship and bond with our family members.

Let us know how did this framework has worked out for you at home during this period, or is there any other method that you tried. Always remember, if we can maintain a quality working relationship, we should not neglect our family relationship, as well as family, comes first. Take care, and stay safe.





Part III: Becoming an 80/20 Manager – The Mentoring Manager & The Leveraged Manager


Chapter 3:

Part three: Becoming an 80/20 Manager – The Mentoring Manager & The Leveraged Manager

80/20 Manager by Richard Koch

In this continuation, we will be exploring the next two types of managers

In case you have missed the previous two chapters, the links are at the bottom of this article.

There are ten types of 80/20 managers written in his book.

  1. The Investigating Manager
  2. The Superconnecting Manager
  3. The Mentoring Manager
  4. The Leveraged Manager
  5. The Simplifying Manager
  6. The Liberating Manager
  7. The Manager seeking meaning
  8. The Time-rich Manager
  9. The The Lazy Manager
  10. The Strategic Manager

We will be discussing on the Mentoring Manager and The Leveraged Manager today; specifically on how they can be a solution during this pandemic (COVID-19).

The Mentoring Manager

As the name suggest, this manager mentors and shares experiences, processes by understanding the person from a personal level.

There are three types of people to be mentored:

  1. Those awaiting a mentor to lead them or guide them
  2. Those who are doing well
  3. Those who might be slipping off soon

To be a mentoring manager, the manager will first need to have his own mentor. This shows that the mentor has someone to check and balance for progress and growth, as most times we tend to want to be like our mentors. Mentoring managers take full responsibility in wanting to grow someone.

Mentoring Manager during COVID-19

During this period, there are many people out there who are in need of a mentor to guide them well. If you are a leader and have people working under you, what are the steps you will be taking to guide them during this period?

  1. How will you mentor those waiting for a mentor?These people usually are positive but might not be focused. By creating a focus for them and giving them a vision, they might be able to see their potential and grow even bigger.
  2. Who are the people doing well in your organisation?Why would they need a mentor? The reason is similar to why you as a mentor, will need a mentor too. This will help to create check and balance with the individual. No one is perfect; by creating the opportunity to mentor someone who already is doing well will prevent them from hitting a ceiling as there is always room to move forward. You will play the role of creating the flow theory for this person – knowing their skills to push them towards certain challenges.
  3. For those slipping off, it will be good to understand why and how you can help. Not everyone will follow through an organisation especially during change. Just because someone leaves the organisation does not mean you cannot be a mentor still. Remember everyone who left the organisation have automatically become an acquaintance that will help with your superconnecting ability.

The Leveraged Manager

You can use as many levers as you can to be a leveraged leader.  In this case, a “lever” is an essential tool that can multiply the output of your input and therefore helps you to produce exceptional effects by constant effort.

Here are the seven levers that yield excellent results:

1. Caring and the subconscious force

When you genuinely and deeply care about something, the subconscious force might be strong enough to lead you to new ideas and thoughts – this might eventually lead you to breakthroughs or help solve a critical problem.

2. Confidence

Confidence can produce an area of super positive momentum, life-saving strength, the creativity that defies the impossible.

3. Ideas

Every company starts with a plan – it can be built on any concepts or framework but it must start off as a positive idea for the company to succeed.

4. Decisions

Without decisions, we fly rudderless on the sea of life. If we are decisive, then we will be through. When we are indecisive, we will never. Focus on making the few critical decisions that could change your business and life, and hang the rest.

5. Trust

The essence of trust is that you rely on outcomes, not inputs, and encourage your people to do the same thing. A loss of trust requires continuous attention, which makes it appallingly inefficient. The 80/20 solution is the antithesis.

6. People

Spend whatever resources, time, energy, and persuasion is required to attract the industry’s best. Recruiting the right staff is almost as critical as retaining, or perhaps more so, the right clients.

7. Money

You can afford to dream big because the funding for the project comes from the client, as a planner with a good idea. If the plan is going to take off, so you can. When this happens, the money does not have to be paid back. Launch bigger ventures.

Leveraged Manager during COVID-19

1.  Caring and the subconscious force

In order to exercise the first lever and to get into the subconscious force, one must take ownership of the organisation’s situation at hand. If everyone thinks that someone will be solving the problems, no one will. Eventually the highest ranking person in the organisation will have to be the one making all the tough decisions. Sometimes during tough times, everyone starts to look at the CEOs as if they have some kind of a magic wand that could just change the situation almost immediately. The biggest difference between the staff and a business owner, especially in SME (Small Medium Enterprise) will be the ownership the business owner has over the situation compared to the staff. For the staff, this is their monthly salary but for the business owner this could mean closing down the entire dream that has been build. Once a company employee starts to have ownership over the organisation, there are many considerations and perspectives that will start to come forward.

2. Confidence

Confidence in a manager especially during testing times gives a sense of assurance to the people following. This confidence builds trust with the followers, and although the situation might look bleak everyone will listen and do everything that has been told.  

3. Ideas

During this time, it is critical to constantly fight the fire. However, it is also crucial to think about what is next? What happens once the fire has been put out? If you could think of ideas on what the organisation can be heading towards next, you will be leading your market. Every time the market goes into such situations, every organisation that comes out of it will restart on a clean slate. This means that companies are given opportunity to catch up and for those leading companies to find solution to keep at the front.

4. Decisions

Leaders are trusted upon on making the right decision that does not jeopardise the entire organisations. Strategic planning is especially tough during this period as everything is unclear. However, it is critical to make decisions for a clearer vision and direction for the organisation. With this, employees will be more focused and more motivated to work towards it. Leaders who have identified the right decisions and act upon it, will be ahead of the rest in the market race.

5. Trust

During this period, many organisations have shifted to ‘Work From Home’ and many leaders are finding it extremely hard to keep control over their employees. They are unsure if their team is effectively productive. However, if the leaders can put that aside and come up with a set of measureable target for the team to work on, it could put both the leaders and employees at ease. In other words, leaders should trust that employees have their ownership to achieve their target – to concentrate on the outcome instead of the input; to look at the results rather than the process.

6. People

Staff and clients are equally important. Many of us would have now seen the true transformational staff. During this period there will be three types of people

Transitional –This group of people could be waiting for the situation to be over, waiting for bonus or waiting for the HR from the other company to give a green light before they leave the organisation. They are highly disengaged and may sometimes be actively influencing others to be like them.

Transactional – This group of individuals will find ways and means to do less during their time. They would sit in office and do nothing and still expect the full salary at the end of the month. They would only work when they see that they are being noted and appraised. Their working style will be “Give first before you get”, rather than “Let me give first and I trust the organisation will give me back something bigger when we are better”.

Transformational – This is the group of people are critical in the organisation. They work hard and ensure that they do everything possible to change the situation. They do not mind job restricting as long as it involves in the transformation of the organisation. They are always positive and want to achieve something.

It will be good to identify who your people are and ask yourself how you will like to move forward with this group of people. All of them can become transformational – there might be something lacking for the transitional group and there might be trust issues with the transactional group. If this two can be solved, the organisation might have just created a team of transformational individuals – imagine the possibilities.

7. Money

If we are confident enough to understand this concept, we can create many different ideas. The point is, every idea we generate or invent we want the clients to buy it. So no matter how big the idea is or how expensive, if during this period they are willing to buy the idea there is no harm in changing the direction to get it done.

Stay tune to the next Chapter, Part Four: Becoming an 80/20 Manager – The Simplifying Manager and The Liberating Manager


In the previous chapters:

Chapter 1: Overcoming this pandemic by being effectively productive. (http://www.focusadventure.com/overcoming-this-pandemic-covid-19-by-being-effectively-productive/)


Chapter 2: Part Two: Becoming an 80/20 Manager – The Investigating Manager & The Superconnecting Manager (http://www.focusadventure.com/part-two-becoming-an-8020-manager-the-investigating-manager-the-superconnecting-manager/)


Facilitating with Excellence

Writen: Leonard Kok

As a Facilitator, I find satisfaction in meeting the clients, getting to know their objectives and translating them into Experiential Learning activities.

Facilitating an entire programme is an invigorating, exciting experience for me, especially so when the team is able to meet their learning objectives and hearing them shake our hands at the end of the day and say: ‘Job well done!’
All of us are made uniquely and have different experiences and backgrounds in life. Thus, any facilitator who believes in Experiential Learning can and will be able to gather new insights. Alvin Toffler says that the illiterate of the 21st century will not

be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn. This enlightening statement cuts across time; it can be applied in times of affluence as well as times of adversity.

What can we learn as facilitators? We interact with different programmes, create and manage learning outcomes and venues. It also, and certainly, includes participants – simply because each one of us, including the participants, have unique experiences to share. Their experiences can surely enrich us if we choose to
interact with a learning attitude.

Most of the time, facilitating is a physically tiring, sometimes mentally exhausting experience but at the end of the programme, satisfaction in a job well done motivates and encourages me to do better. I am able to sleep at night with a clear conscience that i have done a good job. Of course, receiving online and other forms
of compliments after a programme acts as a booster for continuous improvement.

Through getting constructive and very often, excellent feedback, i have garnered what i think are the factors which are important for the personal facilitator’s toolkit:

  1. Facilitate with confidence
    Confidence begets confidence. Confidence in oneself is the starting point of any programme and adventure and it sends a clear message to our participants about our professionalism and image. For younger facilitators, know that you are not standing in front of the participants alone. The boss, the organizers, and generally the participants want you to have a successful programme. If we look at it from the perspective, we can take the programme and do a good job of it.

In addition having confidence in oneself acts as a security blanket in situations where our participants have not faced before, like going against the gravity for 10 to 25 metres. So, more than a smiling face, confidence radiates not only warmth but also issues a sense of credibility and authority in our profession, which leads to trust in what we do.

  1. Relate with Sincerity
    More than many other professions, we facilitators interact not just with human beings but also the organizational processes which drive their behavior and just about everything which explains their existence in the marketplace. Their time spent with us means they are entrusting their well- being and the whole set of objectives, which they hold dear to their hearts, to us. Relating to our participants must mean more than just having professional knowledge of the things they do. First and foremost, sincerity should be the very cornerstone for our interaction with the participants. Many of us have heard of this statement ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’. Just as our professionalism encourages
    our participants to trust us, our sincerity causes the participants to open up, have fun and understand us when sometimes when things don’t exactly go the way we want them to.
  2. Facilitate with a listening ear
    More important than our verbal facilitation, we have to listen. We are the host, caretaker, first-aider, weatherman, clown, magician, servant and helper – each role we play demands a different set of job description. If we are able to listen, we will be able to fulfill these multiple roles with excellence. Listening will also enable us to ensure that our process debrief is to the point and relevant for their organization. I strongly believe that a facilitator who listens will correspondingly increase his or her situational awareness.
  3. Plan with seriousness
    When I was a student, I have been drummed with this message: ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. The same goes to planning for a programme. A facilitator who attaches the adjective ‘professional’ in front of his or her title must surely do some research into the organisation’s mission and goals, the core values which explain their market existence and other information which enable us to do a good facilitation. Just coming in at 0800 hours for a ‘template’ programme starting at 0900 hours will do fine but putting in the 3 extra mile will enable us to facilitate with a higher situational awareness and intelligence; plus a higher EQ as well because we will know what are the OB markers and will not tread onto ‘thin ice’.
  4. Manage expectations well
    The management of expectations is an acquired skill. Expectations not set or set in an unthinking way will meet with obstacles along the way. After the participants have set the expectations, what next? Do we just leave it to chance for the text on the flipchart to materialize and concretise or do we proactively seek to refer to it along the facilitation process and to provide means and platform to fulfill them? In addition, out-of-the-template requests, if managed well, will result in comebacks and returning clients. The reverse is also true – promises made but not delivered will not just drive away our clients but also create some negative publicity by word of mouth. A great facilitator I once knew said that a satisfied client will publicise to five other people and a dissatisfied client – ten.

    6. Deliver Fun
    Why do children have some much fun and ‘a-dull-ts’ have so much fewer LOL moments? We take ourselves too seriously. Seriously, that’s how I sometimes feel about myself too. However, if we include fun in the entire
    process of facilitation, it lowers the emotional barriers and will naturally result in gut-wrenching, floor-rolling moments of spontaneity. Laughter is one of the objectives of the organizers and the participants themselves.
    ‘FUN’, we have realized, will always appear during the setting of Expectation.
  5. Practice Safety
    Is this an overstated objective or understated opinion? Years ago, I was in the Combat Engineers, being introduced to C4 and other explosive devices and booby traps. In the very first introduction to the very exciting part of the entire course, we were shown gory human parts, scattered around this region in Singapore called the Area ‘D’. Due to carelessness, such tragic mishaps took place. It will serve us well if we learn from foresight instead of hindsight, because hindsight means sad sights. Safety should always be the foundation of a fun programme. Is it not a fact that ‘To have a safe programme’ is one of the often heard expectations? This therefore means that we walk the actual ground before the participants use the elements. In fact, any activity comes with a certain amount of risk – it will do everyone good if we minimize it. This brings me to the next and related point.
  6. Walk the ground
    I learnt a very memorable lesson in Batam in the not so distant past when I as the lead facilitator forgot to check the ground, only to find out one hour before the programme started, in the morning. My heart almost dropped out of my mouth when I discovered that the entire Low Elements were shifted to a location which was deemed to be very unsuitable for any programme to take place. Shocked? Just ask yourself how many times has the Low Elements moved away from a site? Thankfully, in my situation, the clients were understanding and a change of activities were put in place and accepted. I learnt that if we don’t walk the ground, we have to accept the consequences of our assumptions and plan for the unplanned. Cross-
    reference to point 3.
  7. Focus on the Objectives
    If all of us, from Project Managers to Instructors to fellow facilitators are focused on the clients’ outcomes and objectives, what is being planned and what is not planned for (‘screw-ups’) will be managed with a great deal of understanding. To me, being objective-based will enable us all to focus on the issue(s) on the ground and not on the person(s). I have had tremendous satisfaction working with my fellow facilitators who, with one heart and one mind, tried our best to meet the clients’ objectives by working shoulder to shoulder, even though our energies were almost sapped. I shall and will never forget those golden moments.
  8. Work as a Team
    This goes hand-in-hand with point 7. Coming from a background which places a great deal of responsibility on the individual, meritocracy and personal achievement (meaning competition), our society in general needs to emphasise on the simple synergy which guarantee success. We are team- building specialists but we could also do with teambuilding ourselves. Personally, I have also learnt a great deal by focusing on what each part of the team has to specialize in and not to shoulder everything, even if I am the lead facilitator. I have also learnt a lot in focusing on the strengths of the person and letting him or her do the part of the entire project. And I am still learning, since life is an ongoing adventure.
  9. Take an interest in reading
    Reading? Where do you find the time, you may ask? An excellent facilitator first has to know some current affairs so the newspaper ought to be part of one’s staple diet. Why? We are teambuilding professionals
    providing insights to organizations on organizational processes. We are in fact, professional consultants. Where do these insights come from? Analysis, observations from journalists and updates enable us to speak with depth and understanding. Reading also helps us to build up a repertoire of narratives. Narratives are powerful tools which are capable of breaking paradigms and providing catalyst to change and transformation. A narrative, well-told and at the appropriate moment, provides a great opportunity to shift an
    organization’s gear. We have never underestimated the power of the three construction workers, have we? Which is why we keep on using it. How do I improve my language? What are the Seven Habits? What kind of
    family background did Akio Morita come from? Well, there’s an answer to every single curious reader, found in the form of a book or a computer with an internet connection. Further than that, reading as an enjoyment
    helps us to grow as a person. There is a book for any enthusiast; there is a book for any willing reader.

12 Take care of yourself
This seems very self-centred but if we take a look at emergency and non- emergency procedures, most of the time, one has to take care of himself or herself before he or she can render assistance to others. In an
emergency on the airplane or ferry, we have to put on lifesaving equipment before even attempting to save others. In the same vein, we should take proper rest after programmes and apply sunblock before
going out into the sun, simply because we exhort our participants to do so. Same theory here. Prepare for the programme, rest well, and the programme will most likely turn out with better results as our physical
constitution is able to prep well and respond to any unique situation which arises. This will prevent us from running on an empty tank, which can be potentially disastrous both for our health and well-being.

Take care of ourselves can also means developing a hobby or a passion. Start and pursue a hobby. It gives meaning to our growth as a person. We can most certainly sense the passion when we talk to people who
have hobbies and healthy pursuits in their lives. We may never fully understand why a person takes up that particular hobby but we certainly 6 will identify with the word ‘Passion’ when the person is able to apply the
same amount of it into his or her work. It would not be far-fetched to say
that people who have hobbies and interests and pursue them will be able
to put that same amount onto the work areas.

13 Don’t forget your family or your loved ones
It would be an irony if we are teambuilding specialists and yet we cannot teambuild with people whom we call the ‘inner-circle’ – the ones who have a special place in our hearts. Take care of this aspect of our lives
and it will provide more meaning to the things which we do at work.

14 A Spiritual Focus
What if we have prepared well for a programme but some unexpected things happen? So, what then? Do we feel bad about it? Do we have to carry the consequences one, two days or weeks after the programme?
Well, I think it’s not necessary. There must be a time and place when after all that has been planned for, said and done, we must step back and let go. There could be a reason behind it? Having a spiritual anchor in
one’s life enables one to see life as a part of a whole rather than a moment, and it provides balance to one’s existence.

I hope the pointers will be useful for the facilitator. A facilitator never stops learning as facilitation is a skill which is honed over time and experience. All the best to your facilitation journey and share your insights!


 Adapting Change Management through online teambuilding activities

Written: Sasi KUMAR


Agility is the ability to move quickly and easily in situations that come towards the business. Under the concept of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA), Agility plays as a prime to act as one of the counterweights in managing a VUCA environment.

To practice agility, four components will need to be addressed.

  1. Change Management
  2. Flow Theory
  3. Result orientation vs Process orientation
  4. Paradox thinking

In this article, we will be exploring how online teambuilding activities can bring out learning lessons for change management.

Change Management (for leadership roles)

When we usually hear change management, the first model that comes to mind will be the ADKAR model. It stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement.

Awareness – The ability to know that a change is required and to showcase the difference early ahead of time to the people. Awareness also creates opportunities for employees to ask questions and give suggestions.

Desire – At this stage, leaders will find out the ground sentiments towards the change itself. Should there be anyone against it, leaders must also find out what their concerns are and try to address it. Most of the time, the problem is in the fact that people are not able to see the common good for them from the change.

Knowledge – Once you have created buy-in with the people through awareness and desire towards the future, the next step will be to bridge the gap between the current situation and the future. This is the part that requires the employees to go for specialised training and development for them to stay relevant during the change.

Ability – After going for training, one cannot immediately start the change; instead it is necessary to check if they are capable enough in the new skillset that they have acquired.

Reinforcement – When a change happens without a gatekeeper, the change will quickly die off as people tend to fall back to their initial processes. Changing processes can be equivalent to changing habit, as they might be doing the same process for an extended period. Therefore, during this stage, it will be necessary to give positive reinforcement by encouraging and recognising all efforts put in place to affect the smooth transition of the change.

Many activities can be done online for leaders to practice the ADKAR model. Each of the stages in the ADKAR model can be an activity by itself.

Awareness – This, in a nutshell, will be the ability to create awareness in people who will be affected by the change. Communication plays a vital role in this area; having the right communication, taking note of time, pace and tone will affect one’s perspective towards the change. To work on this, organisations can embark on communication-based teambuilding programmes.

An example of communication-based teambuilding will be The Shape Shifter Challenge! that not only shares how the management can communicate better, but it also shows the various responsibilities that each stakeholder has in an organisation. The activity also shows how teams can understand each other, even during complex situations.

Desire – It focuses mainly on the ability to empathise with the employees and to be able to ensure the change will have a common good for everyone to feel like part of it. For online activity, organisations can look into something that deals with silo mentality and how to change that into a clear, big picture perspective. This enables everyone to see the benefit of having a big picture and how it can help the organisation and also the individuals.

The Bind Shape Challenge! will fit into this objective where teams are divided into smaller groups to create a shape. Every team will be working on their shape, but what happens when someone changes role? Will the person feel frustrated? How will the behaviour change when they finally could see the big picture of the entire shape that was coming together? Would that help them to see the common good?

Knowledge – The ability to see what is missing and what needs to be filled. For this stage, organisations will need to be very clear on the gap that is stopping them from achieving their desired future outcome. By understanding each individual and their values, the organisation will be able to know how big of a bridge needs to be build. If organisations are looking for teambuilding to create teachable moments around understanding individual values, some activities can be experienced as well.

An example will be The Shackleton Challenge!, where teams will need to debate and decide what are some of the essential items they would want to bring over to the deserted island. This online activity is not just engaging but thought-provoking as well. Everyone will be required to share their reasons for wanting to bring something along with them. During a change, the same episodes take place where everyone has their item they like to bring over. It shows individual values as each individual will have a profound rooted reason for why they would like to bring a particular item. This is when the ability to show the common good becomes critical here.

Ability – To check on the ability of a team in handling the situation, a critical word will have to be visited – trust. Trust plays a vital role within organisations for everyone to believe that with the knowledge gathered, everyone is ready to move towards the change.

The Masterpiece Challenge! is an online activity that focus on ability. The team’s task will be to create a replica of a particular picture they have seen. Everyone needs to play their part in ensuring that they can recreate it. However, can everyone be trusted to do the job? In an organisation, if there is a lack of trust, it slows down the entire process as people may start doing double work to ensure the previous person’s job was right. This process will be reflected in The Masterpiece Challenge!. Apart from that, the activity also creates an interesting perspective on the benefits of trust, and it shows the visual effects of having trust in a teammate as well.

Reinforcement – The ability to recognise efforts, celebrate small wins whenever possible and also to give positive encouragements in the efforts taken to move towards change. To do this, leaders must have a deep understanding with the people and be able to see things from the employee’s perspective. There are times where an employee might be struggling with a new task. Leaders will either reprimand them or find out what is the exact issue and to create solutions that will eventually create a win-win situation.

The Zoom Challenge! is an activity that gets participants to share their point of view and perspective. Whose perspective is right? Who should listen to who first? When participants starts to understand the reality of the activity, there will be a moment where everyone will stop trying to share their perspective. In turn, participants will try to find out their team members’ perspectives instead. This is when the activity will take a turn of events and start to progress towards success, similar to the real world.


In conclusion, teambuilding activities are just like various tools used to do a particular job. Just like before the pandemic and how everyone was meeting each other physically to have their teambuilding sessions. One can do it online too as it is merely just another tool that can bring out the learning lessons. The critical component will be how does that particular activity has the ability to bring out some of the desired outcomes the organisation would love to achieve through an online teambuilding programme.


For enquiries on online teambuilding programmes, feel free to email us at info@FOCUSAdventure.com!