Organisational Development
By Dean Martin


  1. First step, for everyone in the organization to respect one another
    2. Good attitude should be rewarded, bad attitude questioned or punished
    3. Persevere to do whatever it takes to better your environment and your current circumstance despite discouragement from others
    4. One person struggles, we all struggle! One person triumphs, we all triumph!
    5. We need to have a shared vision
    6. Working in this company could be the highlight of our lives, but that’s the problem, it can only be a highlight if we make it happen through the decisions we make and the action we take
    7. Stay focused on the outcome
    8. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate our deepest fear is that we are powerful measure
    9. Just because you deserve something it doesn’t mean they will give it to you, sometimes you need to take what is yours
    10. Failure is the first step towards success
    11. Play like champions and hold your head high

Dear all!
I’m truly sorry for writing this extremely long email, but I think it is high time we address certain issues that plague us and have been affecting us for some time now. I write this after receiving inspiration from a movie I watched together with LTA yesterday and once again, this email like all the others I have sent out may offend certain people and may cause a divide before it can bring us together, but it’s something I need to say. If I had to say this in any other company, I am sure I would be fired, but I truly believe there is something special in this company which allows us to take criticism and feedback constructively and develop from it. This actually could also be used as an article which is related to our everyday lives and the circumstances I feel we face in the office on a daily basis.

The movie I watched was actually a small snippet of Coach Carter which is one of the most motivational and inspirational movie of all times. And I think this video could actually be used to replace the Shackleton Story which we currently use to show leadership, perseverance, resilience and teamwork. The few lessons I learnt through the movie have been listed above and this message is about how I relate the lessons to Focus Adventure itself.

The first point as per the movie is that everyone in the company needs to start respecting each other. Not that we don’t already respect each other, but I believe that we could start doing it a little more, maybe not in terms of calling each other “Sir” but we need to appreciate the fact that we all contribute to the company development in our own ways. Some people write articles, some people set waypoints that everyone else can use, some people take up initiative to clean up the store or arrange equipment.

In relation to the current situation about articles, I don’t believe that writing articles should be the basis on which we should promote or demote people. And I honestly don’t think it should be enforced until it becomes a culture. Let us compare this to “Arranged Marriages” something which we would all feel so strongly about. Enforcing the use of articles is like forcing people to commit to something they are not yet accustomed to, like how a bride and groom are married even if they do
not love each other. Next, the hope that in time they will learn to love each other, or in our context “until it becomes a culture”, can never be understood or guaranteed. And finally we may end up despising each other or the system like how sometimes people involved in an arranged marriage hate each other a few months or years into the relationship. I think
enforcing anything without gaining the understanding of everyone involved is foolishness. Which is why, Boss’ message about writing articles is so much more inspiring since it aims to explain the reason and purpose behind writing articles, whereas, the other email is directive and simply enforces something without reinforcing the purpose behind it.

The next point from the movie, good attitude should be rewarded while bad attitude should be questioned or punished. The point here is that we should define clearly what attitude is, then determine whether it is good or bad, rather than basing it on the feelings and emotions of people involved. All big companies have directives which state which attitude is rewarded and which is not and I believe it is time we do so to.

The third point speaks about persevering to improve the situation despite discouragement from others, like I mentioned early in this email, I could well be fired for writing something like this, but let me once again emphasize that I do this to improve our current situation and to minimize the arguments and grudges that exist in the office. I have been discouraged in the past about writing or saying whatever is on my mind, but it is time to bring it out in the open which is also why I took the role as the Manager of Organization Development. I believe these matters need to be discussed openly, which was the goal behind the survey I had created for all the facilitators just that we have not had the chance to discuss anything as yet. Well the survey at least did show
which of our colleagues we appreciate in the office and which we don’t. It also showed us the points we could improve on if we chose to take the initiative to change. The fourth point is the essence of teamwork where if one person struggles we all struggle and if one person triumphs we all triumph. This is the kind of mentality we need to develop in order for the
company to be successful! We tell our participants everyday about teamwork, about how it is important to communicate on a face to face level rather than through emails, but the fact is that we do not practice what we preach among ourselves! This is the worst thing an organization like ours should face, because I believe if we ourselves cannot discuss and face the issues that affect us, we have no right to tell our participants to do it either! Let us remove the planks from our own eyes before we look at the splinters in those of others!

The next point is about having a shared vision. I personally believe that we all need to share a vision or at least be informed about the pros and cons about the vision before can even think of enforcing it. This is the only way we can actually make our time here in Focus Adventure worth it otherwise, I think we are all just here at the end of the day to get a salary and there is no meaning to the job itself. The current system we have in place may not be the most ideal but I believe it offers us an avenue towards success, but then there are some of us who are putting obstacles in our own path. I agree with boss’ recommendation of having at least one good article a year and not about a minimum or maximum number of articles every month.

The other points can all be summarized together, and it basically tells us that we all need to keep each other in check on the way to achieving our true potential! And that we should play like champions so that one day we may finally be able to hold our heads up high and effectively bring across our message to our participants and clients!

Thanks for taking the time to read all this! Hope we can move in the “right direction” from here!




It is becoming increasingly common for employees to become frustrated due to initiatives and instructions handed down from their employers. People in various organizations have been required to take up duties such as secondary roles, and have had many additional requirements added to their criteria for promotions or productivity. If not brought across or explained in detail to its target audience, such movements while intended to be positive in order to improve productivity and effectiveness, may have an adverse effect and cause employees to be stressed, always worried that their jobs are unstable or insecure.

In order to reflect a little deeper on this, I would like to share a story with everyone. There were two unemployed men who lived in a village located about 3 miles from a river. Thus the
governor of the village decided to hire these men to carry water from the river every morning and fill up the tank such that water would be easily available to the rest of the village. He gave each man 2 buckets and paid them $5 for every time they filled the tank. Both men realized that they could each make about 20 trips before the tank was filled, which meant they could earn about $100 a day. They would always head down to the bar in the evening to have a drink and relax after a heavy days work.

A few months later, both of them got more muscular from all the carrying and completed the job faster and faster. Then in order to earn more, they began to compete with each other in terms of who could complete more trips and fill the tank faster than the other, and instead of taking the entire day to fill the tank are able to fill it in just 4 hours after which they rest, relax or head over to the bar.

One day, the first guy has an idea which he thinks long and hard about. He decides to build a channel which would bring the water from the river to the tank directly! The next morning, after he has completed his duty of filling up the tank, he heads back to the river and attempts to map out the best route for his new channel. He understands that it is a huge task and thus needs to find the shortest possible route to make it easier for him. That very afternoon, he returns to the riverbank and spends the rest of the time till the sun sets digging the first section of the channel.

Day after day, the same thing happens and he returns to his digging after completing his work of filling the tank. His other colleague continues to go over to the bar and enjoy himself. As the days pass, the man digging the tunnel seems to become weaker and is not able to carry water from the river to fill the tank efficiently any more. He realizes that he is now only able to carry 10 trips while his peer is able to carry 30 trips. Thus his pay drops from $100 to $50 a day and the colleague is paid more at $150 a day. Seeing the additional income, the second man tells the first and he says why do you continue to dig even though you can see yourself becoming weaker every day? Stop digging and you will be able to relax at the bar and once again earn your $100 a day. But the first man is steadfast to his concept of the channel and ignores his colleague’s opinion.

Many years pass, the man comes across a portion in the land mass where the ground is rocky and extremely hard to dig. But he endures and endures until finally one day he completes his
channel and is ready, at last, to test it. However, the day he completes his work is in the winter and the lake is frozen over thus, no water flows into the channel. Seeing this, the second man is unable to control his laughter and runs back to the bar and share the first’s misfortune with everyone else in the town. The first man returns to find that he has become a laughing stock to all the townspeople, but he continues to believe in his plan and his dream that one day, the water fill flow from the river directly into the tank and there would be no need for people to walk to the river to collect water anymore. The winter months pass slowly and every day the man walks down to the river to find no water flowing into the channel. People continue to ridicule and humiliate him and he slowly starts to despair.

Finally, it is time for the spring and the weather warms up and sun can be seen shining brightly high in the sky. The river is not frozen anymore and water flows directly into the village tank. The governor on seeing this realizes that he has no use for the two men to go down to collect water from the river anymore and gives the entire $200 to the first man.

The second man who now finds himself out of a job, goes directly to the bar and drinks himself silly. Weeks pass and the second man has moved into a state of depression and is in a pathetic state. The first man now enjoying the fruits of his labor decides to expand his business and construct channels for other nearby villages. The first man, seeing his friend in this pathetic state, invites the second to work and assist him in the business and both men do extremely well together.

The moral of this story is actually pretty simple, while all of us view secondary appointments, reading articles and stuff an additional burden to our already taxing work life, it could actually be a good thing for all of us to do. While I don’t subscribe to the thought process that we should view it as a yellow ball, like we are expected to view all other challenges thrown at us cause I feel it’s just a way for the company to make us do more for less, it could well be a very beneficial duty which will not only improve our knowledge but also develop our personalities. It is about looking beyond the micro difficulties we may face to understand the importance of the macro view which would be developing ourselves as professionals.

That said, while we are constantly improving and providing higher quality service, delivering better quality programs, we need to ensure that this is not only limited to one department but actually spreads among the rest of the company as well! Again, while I do not subscribe to the idea of making this a culture, I think it’s a good way for each of us to achieve more than just the work and experience we gain through our daily toils here.






Clients to FOCUS Adventure come from all walks of life, ranging from those with serious objectives for their programs to those who just want their employees to have fun and enjoy the day away from the office. Facilitators spend a bulk of their time trying to master the art of the debrief and actually provide clients with a program which will not only impact them physically but mentally and emotionally as well.

In my experience, the time in which people can actually be impacted most is during the final debrief. However, most of us tend to focus on the activities and regularly cut the final debrief to one which is very short and, in my opinion, may not create the impact we set out to achieve. This is one of my biggest challenges as well and thus, I took up an initiative to find a better way of finding such a debriefing strategy and came across one which seems very promising in the book ‘Awaken the Giant within’.

The biggest message we try to put across to clients in the final debrief is that they need to remember all of the things they speak about and experienced during the program when they go back to the office. The best way to ensure it is that they move away from the program with a firm conviction that in order to improve, they need to change the very way they communicate and deal with each other. Many of us believe that changes take time, however, a book written by Anthony Robbins – a very successful individual in the field of turning people’s lives around – basically claims that change can occur in an instant. This can be done using a framework with 3 basic steps:


The first thing that the client needs to believe is that in order for things to improve, something must change. What could this change be? It could perhaps be the application of the lessons learnt during the activities back at the workplace.

The second step is to believe that change starts with me. This can be linked to the morning portion in which we inform the clients that the people who are responsible for achieving the expectations they set is themselves, and drill into them the fact that the change needs to start somewhere and the best place to begin is oneself.

The third step is to believe that I can make the change. We could stand around talking all day about how well the activities went and how much fun we had along the way, but the essence of the entire program comes with the knowledge in each client that they can change the way they have been functioning all this time and experiment something new which could boost their efficiency much more.

The final question to ask after everyone has absorbed all 3 steps is “Are we willing to make the change?


Give the clients a short while to ponder on the point and then, move into the video and closing segment of the program. I think this is something that truly impacted me and inspired me to write this as soon as I read it. I hope it has the same impact on all of you and I am very sure I will try it to see if it works in one of my programs which involve a lot of learning soon. Combined with the concept of making the client figure out the purpose behind all the activities we do, I think it has the potential to have an unforgettable impact if executed well.





Unique Selling Points
System Thinking

The Future:

Organizations and Companies always look to plan for the future. It is becoming increasingly common for people to research past trends to determine where the company maybe heading in future. But while analyzing the past is one way through which the future maybe predicted, it is often not accurate and does not portray adequate representation about the kind of challenges a company may face.

The future thus remains unknown and we are vulnerable to a number of invisible forces which could either improve our business tremendously or have detrimental effects leading to total disaster. The question is what are the steps that should be taken to mitigate a possible disaster?

Every organization that aspires to avoid such disaster and move into an era of unparalleled success would need to develop a system by which this could be achieved. Success could mean
different things to different people and organizations. To some, success could mean achieving additional revenue and larger profit margins during that particular financial year, to others, it could also mean providing employment opportunities or developing people or exercising social responsibility. The next question is how do we get there? Do we have what it takes to get there? How can we go about expanding our capabilities such that we can reach those goals?

Scenarios which involve so many questions usually bring about a certain fear among managers and staff. People will automatically go into the problem solving mode and start to set targets so as to achieve their ultimate goals. However, sometimes we tend to put so much emphasis on these targets, goals and outcomes that we fail to concentrate sufficiently on the planning process itself.

Scenario Simulation:

Top and middle management staff could imagine various different scenarios of success or failure in order to be proactive when facing the future. Scenarios of success could determine the kind of profits which the company may see, and the costs it would incur to meet the demand for its goods or services. It could also further explore different areas of business into which it could expand into. Scenarios of failure could also be injected into planning for the future. Scenarios of failure would allow the management to foresee the different issues that may arise and formulate actions that could be taken to prevent the threats even before they become apparent.

Inventing Timelines:

After the use of Scenario Simulations, management teams would need to come up with certain targets or timelines to guide their employees towards the ultimate goal. Timelines also provide motivation for the team to persevere in achieving the smaller milestones along the way. It gives an organization the ability to understand where it is going and approximately how long it will take to get there. A timeline could also be the method of judging progress towards the objective and could provide valuable insight if there is a need to investigate the landmarks along the way. Timelines are crucial to ensure that we remain committed to the mission and do not get distracted by our routine tasks and activities.


The planning process is the stage in which we actually decide on how we move forward. However, while we should think ahead and remain committed to our convictions, we must understand that these plans will need to be flexible in order to absorb the impact of something unforeseen coming in to hinder our progress. We need to remain open to the possibility of new technology being released into the market or our competitors making unexpected moves which could tip the scales in their favor. It is not wise to assume that strategies which worked in the past will work in the future and thus, it is important for managers to look beyond what is expected and to think outside their everyday realities.


As mentioned earlier in this article, a trend refers to a recurring scenario which seems similar to the situation faced by the organization a few years down the timeline. Managers and staff can then research the scenario from the past, in the form of a case study and extract some of the ideas or concepts which were used in the past. After extracting these ideas and concepts
however, it is important to understand them, analyze why they were successful or unsuccessful and to know whether they are still applicable in the current situation. However,  sometimes past Author: Dean Marcelino Martin trends tend to be inaccurate representations of the present and thus any idea or concept applied from there would need to be adapted considerably.

Sometimes a trend could also refer to a change in the market condition which could have certain effects on the company’s progress. Management needs to be aware of trends which are
developing in the market, trends that are already present in the market as well as trends which will seem to appear suddenly. Take the example of the Apple IPod! When it was being developed, people were aware of it and there was a considerable amount of hype created about it, however, Creative which also manufactures MP3 & MP4 players failed to see them as
competitor n and take steps to preserve their market share which resulted in chaos within the company after the product release by Apple. The shares fell tremendously and thousands of
people were affected. All this could have been avoided if action was taken during the emergence of the trend.

The Opportunity:

The world of the 21st century moves at such an incredible pace that many of us find ourselves struggling to keep up. Opportunities as well as threats are presented to us almost all the time. However, it is very hard to take advantage of all our opportunities and avoid the threats. Therefore, some people choose to compromise and let go of some opportunities in order to fulfill others which may seem more beneficial to themselves. Some people are not aware of the opportunities which are in front of them and some are ignorant of how to make use of the
opportunities they are presented with.

In the interests of making the right choices for ourselves, we tend to focus on the opportunities which we perceive, will be most beneficial to us. The issue here is that everyone in an
organization tends to view the circumstance as it would affect them and not the company as a whole. As such managers in various departments would make decisions which would further their own aspirations while ignoring the requirements and needs of the other departments, thus creating a rift in the process of achieving the ultimate goal. While it finally may work in favor of the company itself, it is obviously a very inefficient method.

Opportunity cost is another factor which we need to pay close attention to. This refers to the amount of time, money and man hours that we choose to dedicate to the opportunity. Another consideration would be the practicality of a particular decision. There may be many other factors which could be considered, but of all these missing a potential opportunity due to ignorance could probably be the worst. How do we overcome the possibility that a potential opportunity may pass us by? How do we determine the costs of a particular opportunity versus another? How do we ensure we are maximizing the resources we have at our disposal to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible?

Scenario Simulation:

Once again, with the use of a little imagination and research on the failures or successes of companies who may have faced similar opportunities or threats in the past, we could recreate the position for ourselves and through this process actually understand the advantages or disadvantages of choosing certain opportunities over others and make our decisions relatively
easier. However, this is a double edged sword as well because sometimes the information maybe conflicting and could leave us second guessing ourselves about the choices we have made. However, scenario simulation is still one of the most effective ways to make informed decisions and actually calculate the risks we would need to face based on our actions. The more important part now is differentiating the threats from the opportunities that we might be presented with, and how do we control our largest limiting belief or factor, perception.

Opportunity Cost:

One of the biggest challenges a manager faces is deciding the value of taking up one project while rejecting another. It requires a great deal of projection and research based on companies
that may have faced similar situations in the past. The reason why it is a difficult task is because data on such matters are not easily available and sometimes might not be available to the public. It is also a challenge to sort through the information which is received to find the useful information and discard that which is not necessary. It is also important to note that managers are held responsible for the decisions that they make and as such must take control and make decisions with as much information as they can possibly obtain. Risk is sometimes good, but it is critical that we do not leave the future to chance and are actually able to accept certain calculated risks which inadvertently come with progress.

Data Mining & Market Research:

As mentioned earlier, it is especially important for managers to work with the right and accurate information which could allow them to make more informed decisions or choices. One way through which we could effectively position ourselves is through the use of professional and experienced marketing research companies, these are people who dedicate their entire careers to assist organizations not only collect but also sort through and understand the data which is received. Through the use of statistics and some estimation, they would be able to give you a clear indication of what market move could present itself as an opportunity and which could pose a threat.

Such companies almost always use surveys, focus groups, seminars as well as consumer behavior related data mining software to gain the information necessary. This could be offensive
to some customers who prefer to maintain their privacy and do not appreciate having their behaviors studied. It must be understood as well that while these indicators would better enable us to take advantage of our opportunities, the operations required to obtain them efficiently could be expensive. In addition, there is no guarantee that the information gathered is a true representation of what might actually take place.

Creating Opportunity:

A very interesting kind of opportunity, that we must not ignore, is that which we create for ourselves. Using the simplest of all marketing and consulting frameworks, the SWOT analysis, we could be more aware of what threats we face, and how we could leverage on our strengths to create opportunity for ourselves. This could be done by various different means such as sending people for courses to further their knowledge of the industry, it could be done through making our own operations more efficient through activities which allow our employees to work closer together, it could be done by moving up or down the supply chain or it could be done by simply making changes to the way we perceive our current situation.

The Changes:

We all know that change is constant. The environment, the market, the people or the circumstances which we find ourselves in differ on an almost every day basis. It is important that
we adapt and change as well to remain competent and improve our operations such that we do not become invalid within our offices or our industry.

However, people largely tend to avoid and fear change. It is apparent that even a small change in the policies set out by the management could take weeks, months or even years to apply across a company. It is important for management to change not only its own way of thinking, but also the way the company’s employees think in order to adapt to the world around us, quickly and effectively.

A few things to consider in this section are; what are the changes that we face in terms of the macro-economic climate? What are the changes that we notice in our own industry? Are these changes going to affect us significantly? Are we correctly positioned to take advantage of these changes? If not, are we capable of adapting to the changes? How well equipped are we to change our operations? How long would we need? What are the resources we would require?

Scenario Simulation:

It has already been mentioned how scenario simulation can help us understand our position, our necessity to adapt to change and the speed at which we can observe and apply the changes in our everyday operations.

Belief Systems:

The biggest limitation for an organization to adapt to change is not the lack of resources or the time frame for the effects to take place. The biggest limitation is actually transforming our
mindsets and that of our employees to accommodate the need for change.

As mentioned above, people are the greatest limiting factor to change, because we tend to get too absorbed in our ways that we fail to stop and look at the possibility of doing it better. We are often unable to move out of our comfort zones and challenge the processe s to explore the possibility of improvement. The fear of the unknown and the uncertainty that is a result of change is what holds us back from taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.

It is thus of vital importance to change the way we perceive our surroundings and allow ourselves to think outside our limiting beliefs to truly move into the next phase of development. The ability of the management and employees to remain flexible and welcome the everyday changes and to adapt to make them advantageous for the company is something we must emphasize and note.

The Unique Proposition:

A unique proposition is an opportunity which can be exploited at a greater level to actually generate tangible results in terms of business growth and possibly even profit margins. It is
Author: Dean Marcelino Martin something which allows a company to stand out and shine among the rest of its competitors in order to receive more business and greater market share and is usually a product or service which leaves a lasting impression on the consumers involved.

It is important for every company to identify the opportunities they have or have created which could be converted into unique propositions. So the question then is, how do we exploit our strengths to make us different and better than the rest of our competitors? There are many ways of doing this, you could focus on making your employees more creative and innovative and thus have new and more exciting products or services to allow your company to stand out. It is possible to change the willingness of the people to accept alterations and train them to adopt a lifestyle where everyone is experienced and able to quickly adapt if things do not go according to plan, this too can be a unique proposition when promoting one’s self to potential clients. More technologically enhanced equipment or investment in such equipment could also be a unique selling point. Sometimes, location or even experienced people could be unique.

The Systems:

As organizations grow and start to bring in more people and set up various different divisions and departments, they start to evolve and become more and more complex. A system is a
management tool which could help manage the complexity to a certain extent and create a process which can be understood and followed by everyone.

It is important to note however that systems are made by people, and the people who are involved in creating the systems must have an intimate understanding of every process that
occurs within the company on a day to day basis. They must also be able to maintain a unbiased point of view to create a system which would work for everyone and not something which will be appreciated by some and rejected by others. The system must also be created with the flexibility to evolve as the needs or functions of the organization change.

These are the different services provided by FOCUS Consultancy which will allow the company a more holistic and comprehensive solution for the future. In addition to this the company also provides a wide range of teambuilding and other services which could encourage the organization and its people to identify the difficulties in its current operations and through this experiential learning use the points brought up to develop itself even further. It would also be beneficial for the consultant, or facilitator, to join the company and work with them for a month or so to have firsthand experience of the office environment, the hierarchy and develop a clearer understanding about the systems and processe s which are already in place.