Gain More From Your Brain: Speed Reading

In today’s always-on information age, we are overloaded with information. We encounter around 34 Gb worth of information every day. Over 1 billion knowledge professionals spend 2.5 hours a day reading and analyzing information for work.

On March 24th, AmCham Taipei invited Cyrille Jegu, Managing Director of ThrivinAsia Limited, to share with attendees the tools and techniques to “Gain More From Your Brain: Speed Reading” and increase productivity by 30%. This session was particularly suitable for lawyers, analysts, bankers, insurers, accountant, auditors, academics, and students that must read through many emails, memos, PDFs, articles, etc. daily.

Through this event, guests and members developed skills to help them:

  • Read twice as fast while absorbing and analyzing information
  • Retain information for a longer period
  • Improve your quality of work

Interested in attending our events? Join us at other upcoming events, click here.

Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.

 

How to Transform Text-Based Information into Visual Insights

On February 15th, AmCham Taipei hosted, “How to Transform Text-Based Information into Visual Insights” at the Regent Hotel. We invited William Zyzo, Managing Director of Z&A Knowledge Solutions / Advisor, Advanced Learning Lab, to introduce the step-by-step system for transforming any text-based information into a simple, attractive, visual insight.

William-Zyro-Transform-Text-to-Visual-Seminar

William Zyzo in “How to Transform Text-Based Information into Visual Insights”

Through the event, attendees gained valuable lessons on strengthening presentation skills:

  • Hands-on training on how to visualize real business information
  • Where to get good quality photos, maps, and icons
  • Where to get good ideas for creating business presentations in PowerPoint

A number of guests that attended the seminar are in the sales, marketing, and finance fields – they learned about how to best communicate messages to make sure their audience can understand, accept, and act on their message immediately. This tool is also useful for managers or those in leadership roles who need to provide feedback on their staff’s presentation decks on the type of information they need, especially when dealing with complex information—and how to provide feedback to make the necessary changes.

Interested in attending our events? Join us at other upcoming events, click here.

Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.

AmCham Members start “Getting Things Done” at Advance Learning Lab Workshop

On October 13, The AmCham Advance Learning Lab hosted “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity” – a workshop featuring instructor Cyrille Jegu, a certified GTD(R) Master Trainer and representative of the David Allen Company in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.

GTD, built upon David Allen’s groundbreaking methodology for achieving control and focus amidst a world of constant change and ever-increasing input, is a powerful methodology provides a highly effective and sustainable way to get meaningful things done with minimal stress.

img_1875

During the event, audiences received an overview and introduction of the GTD methodology’s 5 steps to gain and/or regain control over your life work flow:

  1. Capture – Everything that has your attention
  2. Clarify – Decide what it means and what to do or not do about
  3. Organize – Put it where it belongs
  4. Reflect – Review frequently
  5. Engage – Get Things Done with confidence!

The workshop received high praise from those in attendance, thanks to instructor Cyrille Jegu’s skillful coaching. We look forward to hosting him again as an instructor for the Advance Learning Lab.

To see all of our upcoming events, visit https://amcham-taipei.eventbank.com/ 

To see the full photo gallery of this workshop event on Facebook, click here.

img_1763

What is real “Disruptive Innovation?” 

3042791963_a7a1568978_o

Not every innovation or novel idea is disruptive. Professor Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School—the man responsible for the framework behind “disruptive innovation”— describes disruption as a situation when a company—often with fewer resources—successfully challenges market leaders with more resources in a unique way.

Christensen recently made a plea to the business community to not misapply the concept, as it makes it more difficult to identify disruptive opportunities in our own industries.

So how does disruption really happen?

Established companies tend to focus their resources on their most profitable customers, often neglecting those that are less profitable and less demanding.

New, disruptive entrants find a way to satisfy the ignored group of customers, by serving them at much lower price points. Established companies ignore these minor segments because they represent such a small percentage of their profits.

However, disruption occurs when these new players continuously improve their product and service offerings. They begin to appeal to mainstream customers by offering superior quality at a much lower price.

disruption occurs when these new players continuously improve their product and service offerings. They begin to appeal to mainstream customers by offering superior quality at a much lower price.

Some familiar examples of disruptive innovators include:

At its outset, YouTube was simply a free and convenient tool for regular people to post and share personal videos online. Today “viral videos” have become the holy grail of marketers and content producers around the world, while YouTube rakes in billions in online advertising every year.

 

Originally a free peer-to-peer voice calling platform developed by Estonian hackers, Skype has become a household name (even a commonly used verb) in online voice and video communication, and was recently acquired by Microsoft for over US$8 billion.

Skype today is a market leader and readily competes with long-established players in the VOIP and telecommunications industry.

A company doesn’t have to be a start-up to be disruptive.

But start-ups have the advantage of being able to radically change the cost structure of a business, a key component of true disruption.

Youtube let content producers distribute media for free online, where traditional video channels had extremely high barriers to entry.

Skype’s peer-to-peer technology circumvented the traditional phone networks and drastically lowered the cost to make international calls, snatching market share from global telecom providers.

Apple – the outlier

Apple is an example of an established company that was able to completely disrupt the software industry. The 2007 introduction of the “App store” ushered in a new era of cheap software:

Smaller developers could potentially reach a huge market with virtually no distribution costs, and app users could easily find new (and affordable) software to meet their needs.

This radical transformation of the software industry has forced many other tech giants to follow Apple’s lead, and has redefined the way consumers think about software in the 21st century.

The takeaway – three keys to remember about disruptive innovation:

  1. Disruption is a process. It is not an event.
  2. Disruptors often begin by building a new business model.
  3. Not every disruptive path leads to success. Like every other form of innovation, disruptive innovation comes with its own risks.

For further reading on disruption, try these resources:

HBR: “What is Disruptive Innovation?” (https://goo.gl/PwMsnF)

Clayton Christensen’s “The Innovator’s Dilemma” (http://amzn.to/1YAwzRv)

 

By William Zyzo (2016). William is the Advisor of the Advance Learning Lab at AmCham in Taipei. He is also the Managing Director of Z&A Knowledge Solutions, a firm specializing in providing performance solutions to executives and senior managers in multinational corporations in Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and China. You can reach him at william@znasolutions.com

 

How to Ace your First 90 days in a New Leadership Role

The good news about transitioning into a new leadership role is that it gives you a chance to start fresh.

The bad news? A transition is a lot like an organ transplant. You, the new leader, are the new organ. Your host body must accept you—or else.

There are benfits and risks involved in a new leadership position. The main benefit is that the leader has a chance to to re-invent herself; a chance to recharge and fall in love with her work again.

The risk? Things can become overwhelming if the leader is missing a map to guide her through the first ninety days in her new position. Why ninety days? That’s the time most organizations give new people to build relationships, gain trust, and establish their credentials.

Most organizations give new people 90 days to build relationships, gain trust, and establish credentials.

The most common reason for host bodies rejecting their new organs comes from a leader’s failing to understand what people in the organization (her leaders and the people she leads) really want.

network-1020332_1920

It is a mistake to accept at face value what those people tell her during the initial meet-and-greet. The new leader still needs to discover for herself what the people in her organization truly want and expect from her.

It is a mistake to accept at face value what you learn during your first interactions with new team members.

If you have just joined a new company in a leadership role or have been promoted into a managerial role for the first time, here’s a checklist of keys to your success:

    1. Discover the true expectations of your boss, your team, and the people outside your team whose support you need
    2. Develop an action plan for creating outcomes that will determine your success
    3. Identify the key metrics that will be used to evaluate your performance: both by your boss and your team members
    4. Implement your action plan and monitor its progress, eliminating, dampening, or side-stepping obstacles that are getting in your way
    5. Revise your action plan based on the outcome you are able and unable to create

Without a clear map of priorities, many new leaders soon lose their way. Come evaluation time, they have only partially completed initiatves, and little to show in terms of concrete business results.

To prevent yourself from falling into this trap, make a list of key questions and actions — and then put them into three categories:

Preparatory:
What should I know and get done before I step into this new role?

Immediate: 
What should I do as soon as I step into this new role? This list should include items you must finish before the first month is out.

Future Goals:
What should I finish before the first ninety days are over or before performance evaluation, whichever comes first?

Prioritize the items in each list and get the top item done before moving on to the next. Each time you’re finished with an item, reassess the items on the list—do not automatically go to the next item, as priorities can change over time.

Always reassess your priorities, as they can change over time.

How do you decide which items are your top priority?

In most cases, it should be the item that is most important and urgent for your boss, your team members, and other key stakeholders outside your team.

Find out if your organization can assign you a mentor or coach. Many first-time leaders try to go it alone, but you will be glad to have support from somone familiar with the whole journey.

If you do not have such support in your new organization, these books are excellent resources for learning the necessary skills to succeed in your first 90 days.

The first will help you prepare your action plan; the second, get things done.

The First 90 Days, Michael Watkins (http://amzn.to/1XC61zh)

Getting Things Done, Dave Allen (http://amzn.to/1XC6mlt)

This is a guest post for the AmCham Advanced Learning Lab by William Zyzo (2016). William is the Advisor of the Advance Learning Lab at AmCham in Taipei. He is also the Managing Director of Z&A Knowledge Solutions, a firm specializing in providing performance solutions to executives and senior managers in multinational corporations in Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and China. William can be reached at william@znasolutions.com