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How to Innovate Breakthrough Solutions Using the Design Thinking Framework

“Design thinking” refers to a powerful methodology for identifying, clarifying, and defining customer problems and then co-creating innovative solutions for which no traditional problem-solving tool can be used. It is one of the most popular courses at Stanford University—among other institutions and companies.

On May 17, AmCham Taipei invited William Zyzo, Managing Director, Z&A Knowledge Solutions / Advisor, Advanced Learning Lab, to host a one-day workshop at the Lincoln Room, “How to Innovate Breakthrough Solutions Using the Design Thinking Framework.”  William Zyzo shared with participants how the design-thinking framework could be used to formulate company-level strategy, create business models, redesign business processes, and develop new products and services.

Participants also learned how to apply the design thinking framework using three actual business cases in order to better understand how this framework could be put to use for their own problems and opportunities at work, including:

  • How to integrate creativity into developing new and innovative products and solutions
  • How to implement and communicate change to design and redesign business processes
  • How to design and redesign business models to generate new opportunities

Participants also learned how to apply the design thinking framework using three actual business cases.

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 Ask Great Questions

Good leaders ask good questions. The reason is simple: no leader, no matter how experienced, can solve every problem at work, assume every responsibility, and perform every task. They need their people to learn to think on their feet. In fact, the higher up the organization we move, the more important leading with questions becomes.

On April 26th, AmCham Taipei invited William Zyzo, Managing Director, Z&A Knowledge Solutions / Advisor, to share some strategies on how to think out of the box when engaging with clients, distributors and suppliers. In the session “How to Ask Great Questions,” attendees learned the importance of asking effective questions and using it as a mechanism to engage, influence, and inspire others to come up with answers on their own, while fostering closer, more trusting, and lasting relationships.

During the seminar, attendees participated in hands-on activities with other business leaders to further explore the following topics and engaged in discussions on:
• Understanding the implications entailed with every question and the response it triggers
• How to ask five types of questions at the right time and in the right way
• How today’s top global business leaders ask and answer questions

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.

Special Event – Chemical Registration

With the upcoming requirement (Taiwan-Reach) to register of existing chemical substances in Taiwan, the industry will face new challenges. ERM/ReachCentrum has supported industry in Europe since 2008 and since 2015 in Korea on similar registration requirements. i.e. joint registration and data sharing management.

On April 13, AmCham Taipei invited Willi Muenninghoff, Project Manager of ReachCentrum to share his expertise on involvement with regulatory issues for the chemical industry. The seminar also highlighted some of the challenges and provided practical guidance on how this has been handled in other regions.

From left to right: James Leu, Managing Director of ERM, Willi Muenninghoff, Project Manager of ReachCentrum, Kenny Jeng, Co-chair of Sustainable Development Committee

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 Wine Tasting Night

AmCham Taipei held its Wine Tasting Night on Thursday, April 6 at AmCham Lincoln Room. Members and guests gathered to learn about the world of wine and discover different wine flavors. We invited Mr. Benjamin Vigier to share his unique experiences and fascinating stories about the winery. In addition to samplings of wines from Italy, France, and Spain, we also served delicious appetizers, cheese and crackers to accompany the tasting.

Thanks to our sponsor, Taifung Trading, for providing wine samplings and making this event possible. Wine samplings served at the event:

  • Gancia Brut NV
    The Gancia Company was founded in 1850 in Canelli, Piemonte (Italy), by Carlo Gancia. In 1865, Carlo Gancia produced the very first Italian Sparkling Wine. Gancia Brut is a dry Italian wine with fruit flavor which always creates a festive mood!
  • Chateau de Valcombe Tradition White 2015
    Vineyard soils are made of Rhone pebbles on 3% to 5% slopes, with a South exposure, overlooking the Camargue ponds. A very thin limestone layer brings up a surprising freshness and a mineral touch to the wine; this is an absolutely unique case within the Costières de Nîmes wine region.
  • Tinto Figuero Crianza F12 2012
    20% of the Tempranillo grapes used in this wine come from vines older than 50 years, with the remaining 80% coming from vines between 20-40 years old. After being hand-harvested and undergoing cluster selection in the vineyards, the grapes are destemmed and go through gravity-controlled tanks, with 5-6 days of cold-skin maceration prior to fermentation. An additional 2 months of maturation follow, with malolactic fermentation taking place. The wine is aged for twelve months in 2-plus year-old barrels (80-percent American and 20-percent French oak). It is then aged an additional 2 years in bottle before leaving the cellar.

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.

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.

 

2017 Business Climate Survey Press Conference

Representatives of some 30 Taiwan media organizations came to AmCham Taipei’s Lincoln Room today for a briefing by Chamber chairman Albert Chang, managing partner in Taiwan for the global consulting firm McKinsey & Co., on the results of AmCham’s 2017 Business Climate Survey. The seventh annual survey was conducted between October and December last year, with 173 top executives of AmCham’s member companies responding.

Chang stressed that the survey respondents view Taiwan as a positive business environment. Most companies made money in 2016 and expect good revenue and profits in the year to come, and they are continuing to invest in this market and add more employment.

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Albert Chang, Chamber chairman Albert Chang, managing partner in Taiwan for the global consulting firm McKinsey & Co., presents AmCham’s 2017 Business Climate Survey.

“The problem is that the pace of improvement is not fast enough,” said Chang. He noted that three areas in particular stood out as needing government attention:

1) Government regulations and the rules-making process. Needed is more transparency, consistency, and prior consultation with stakeholders. Chang commended the government of Premier Lin Chuan for recently increasing the notice and comment period for new regulations from 14 to 60 days, and urged government agencies to fully utilize this platform by providing meaningful responses to public comments.

2) The new Labor Law provisions. Chang described the new amendments as a “big headache for many companies” both in terms of increased costs and continued lack of clarity about how to be in compliance.

3) Cross-Strait relations. “Investors value certainty and stability,” Chang observed.

Other points covered by the survey include:

  • Trade agreements. Although the Trump administration has withdrawn the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, new opportunities may arise for strengthening U.S.-Taiwan economic relations through bilateral rather than multilateral channels, possibly including a “free and fair trade agreement” and/or a bilateral investment agreement, said Chang. He said the survey showed strong membership support for bilateral exchanges with the U.S. through the TIFA (Trade and Investment Framework Agreement) process.
  • Tsai administration’s priority objectives. The respondents reported that the five pillar industries that the new government has targeted for development are relevant to their businesses and offer good opportunities for public/private collaboration. Chang called the setting of the policy directions “a good start,” and urged the government to form task forces in each of the five sectors to reach out to the private sector on means of cooperation.
  • Role of the six major municipalities. For the first time, the survey asked members how their businesses are impacted by municipal governments. The results pointed to significant room for improvement in how local governments facilitate business, treat foreign companies, and align their rules with national-level regulations.
  • Personnel. As in past surveys, respondents highly applauded Taiwanese employees’ work ethic and trustworthiness. The main areas of weakness were innovation and creativity.
  • Life in Taiwan. Once again, respondents were enthusiastic about Taiwan as a safe and friendly place to live, with good-quality medical care. Problem areas cited included pedestrian traffic safety and air quality.

Chang noted that Taiwan has lagged behind most other countries in the region in recent years in attracting Foreign Direct Investment. But he said that if the “cloud” of the several key problem areas could be removed, Taiwan should be able to dramatically enhance its investment attractiveness.

To view the full press release, or download the 2017 BCS report, follow the links below:

2017 Business Climate Survey Press Release (English)

2017 Business Climate Survey Press Release (Chinese)

2017 Business Climate Survey Report (PDF) 

2017 Business Climate Survey Press Announcement

This morning, AmCham Taipei presented its 2017 Business Climate Survey report at a press conference held in AmCham Taipei’s Lincoln Room.

AmCham Chairman Albert Chang introduced the Business Climate Survey, highlighting key reasons why this year’s report is more meaningful than those of previous years: Taiwan is at a precipice of uncertainty in the international arena, and now it needs more than ever to pick up the pace in improving regulatory issues and attracting foreign investment.

Live video of the press conference, courtesy of McKinsey Taiwan

For this year’s survey, AmCham Taipei invited 412 voting representatives (usually the top executive) of the Chamber’s member companies to answer a series of questions about the business environment in an online questionnaire. In conducting the survey and analyzing the data, the Chamber was grateful for the professional guidance of Independent Marketing & Research.

Each year, we have intentionally asked our business leaders the same, or nearly the same, set of questions. As a result, we have been able to track the degree of progress – or the lack thereof – across key issues over that period.

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AmCham President Andrea Wu and Albert Chang, Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company, co-present the 2017 Business Climate Survey Report to media representatives at the February 20 press conference.

To view the full press release, or download the 2017 BCS report, follow the links below:

2017 Business Climate Survey Press Release (English)

2017 Business Climate Survey Press Release (Chinese)

2017 Business Climate Survey Report (PDF) 

 

Carnival Cruise Style – All in Corporate Travel

Carnival Cruise put on a workshop event, “Cruise Style – All in Corporate Travel” (食尚生活享遊輪 一兼二顧的企業旅遊) at the AmCham Lincoln Room on February 15th, to share how the transformation of consumption habits and lifestyle has impacted travel demands. Alex Cheng, Assistant Manager of Princess Cruises, explains how global cruise trips can meet the travel demand for food, accommodation and fun with carefully customized destinations and high cost-effectiveness.

Nowadays, people are drowned in daily life and work, and cruises allow travelers to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Take Princess Cruises for example, the cruise itself is a tourist destination with a variety of entertainment on board to keep guests satisfied, regardless of age and gender. In addition, numbers of ports on the trip can provide you with brand new vision and experience of the harbor city in a completely different manner.
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Carnival Cruise team in “Cruise Style – All in Corporate Travel” at the AmCham Lincoln Room.

Besides, cruise tour, an all-inclusive travel is the first choice for corporate travel as bonuses for employees. Princess Cruises has the world’s most popular routes and especially the harbor cities of Japan and Korea preferred by Taiwanese people. It is highly praised for its availability of short-term voyage and favorable prices, rich and diversified entertainment on board and in-depth shore sightseeing. Also, Princess Cruises owns ample space and brilliant facilities to meet the demand of planning meetings, events and cocktail parties. With cruise tour, it is possible to arrange a corporate travel that is both fun and within budget, while rewarding the employees and strengthening the cohesion to achieve a higher productivity.

Interested in participating in AmCham Taipei Marketplace to promote, showcase, elevate your brand, products and services? Learn more about how the Marketplace works, click here.

About Carnival

One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises first set sail in 1965 with a single ship cruising to Mexico. Today, the line has grown to become the third largest cruise line in the world, renowned for innovative ships, an array of onboard options, and an environment of exceptional customer service. A recognized leader in worldwide cruising, Princess carries 1.7 million guests each year to destinations around the globe ranging in length from three to 114 days, allowing them to see the world and come back new. During the past three years, voyages from Keelung has double growth every year; this year sailing length from Keelung and Kaohsiung is 172 days with 42 voyages, create a new record in Taiwan travel market.

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.

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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.

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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.

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