Dream Catalyst

Cultural Transformation Tools

Mentors of future talent

I recalled when I first started my own business.

I was wet behind the ears.

I was to make mistakes that many others starting out did.

I was to be discouraged by the numerous setbacks.

I was to give up because of all the disappointments.

But I was lucky.

I had someone there for me when I:
❌ made those mistakes,
⬅ suffer those setbacks, and
😫 encounter those disappointments.

On hindsight, getting a mentor is probably the best investment for me.

Now, I choose to invest time and resources mentoring budding entrepreneurs.

To give them encouragement, support, and inspiration to dream big and fly high.

Have you benefited from being mentored?

Awesome Lifelong Learners

It’s a wrap! Thank you Lifelong Learning Institute for the opportunity to partner you for this year’s #lifelonglearningfestival2017. Thank you Learn SG for supporting our Growth Series of 8 different sessions for personal development and professional growth.

As a consultant and learning facilitator, it gives me awesome joy when others embrace learning. There’s lots of other things one could be doing after a working day. Yet the participants made time to learn and some of them have been consistently attending all the sessions in the series.

Facilitating 8 evening sessions within 4 weeks was at times a stretch for us because some workdays started at 5am. Yet when evening time arrives, the #smiles and #enthusiasm of the participants energises us!

Participants also took the time to write us emails to share their thoughts on the sessions. These made our day as their sharing helps us to continuously value create in what we do. Here are some insights received:

  • On behalf of my friends whom I asked to join me in these workshops, I would like to thank you & your team of various speakers/facilitators/co-ordinators/cameraman, for all your efforts in making the workshops possible.  You and your team have truly been amazing! I must say that throughout my career with various MNCs, I have been sent to various corporate trainings both abroad and here locally, and none, I must say, can surpass the way your workshop is conducted.  There was never a moment I felt bored in class!  You truly have outshined all other Speakers/Facilitators that I know!
  • Appreciate all you efforts in making these events a successful and fulfilling ones. Your events are the most beneficial and wow to me..short but useful. Thank you very much.
  • You leave a very good impression on us with your welcoming big smiles at the entrance and throughout the classes. It’s not easy especially after a long day work. So thank you for this.  =) I have been very blessed by the teaching & sharing of Bernadette’s knowledge,
    Hopefully we will have opportunity to meet again or work together in future soon. She remind me of “Oprah” somehow.

Thank you to our 5 co-faciliators who are experts in their respective fields Phoon Kok Hwa, Michelle Ow, Terence Chiew, Lyn Wong and Yeo Xi-Wei, #awesometeam who supported tirelessly the administrative & logistical requirements Yvonne Chua, Jasmine Chang and and TS.

And of course, thank you to the 8 groups of #awesomelearners who participated actively and shared joyfully with each other. Collective #wisdom, #synergy and #lifelonglearning rocks! Much love!


Thank You for Being You, the Being Part of Business Culture


When was the last time someone at your office said “thank you for…”? Or when did you last expressed your thanks to a colleague?

In our fast paced of never ending to-do lists and responsibilities of day to day business dealings, many of us have forgotten the decency and joys of being a human being to our fellow colleagues.  Yet the irony is that the workplace is where we spend a large percentage of our time in. Because we often forget the being part, that gives rise to a sense of disengagement or conflicts at work.

In a company I consult at, one of the issues they had was that of staff retention. The majority of the team was there for less than 2 years. An initial initiative was to engage the employees in “conversational sessions” by departments centred on value branding and bonding, and also to listen to their joys and woes of working in the company. The conversations opened up new spectrums of insights and effect relational changes almost immediately.

Colleagues got to share and listen to each other’s strengths and values. Affirmations create positivity while sharing about values allows for greater understanding of people’s motivation and actions.

A few weeks after one department’s session, the HR manager shared with me the remarkable difference in one of the manager’s demeanour and attitude. This manager had started to smile more and was more patient when dealing with others. And when I invited her to join us for a group coaching session on management skillsets, she was open to learning (a surprise to her colleagues). During the session, the manager shared that she realised that when she was caught up in the busyness of work, she often has a serious look. Which may have made her seem unapproachable. When her colleagues quip that she was smiling more, she replied almost innocently, “I smiled because you were all smiling at me every day. I just had to.” And she gave us a beautiful smile.

This was a manager who was driven by her value to ensure the company was profitable. Because if the company couldn’t survive then her colleagues will not have a job. Prior to the conversational sessions, she never had the opportunity to articulate and share about her values. As such, her colleagues often misunderstand her actions and queries on finance matters. In turn, she heard the sharing from her colleagues on how positivity and smiles are important for them.

That one conversation opened up opportunities for change and growth. It was an opportunity for colleagues to just be.

I was not surprised by the result. I had seen this happening again and again. In numerous journeys, with different clients.

No matter how toxic a business culture may have become, there is possibility for change. When the core returns to a state of positivity, shifts start to happen. And the core is always made up of people. And so we begin with that, to build and affirm. Followed by changes in processes and systems to sustain the change.

The being part of us always give strength to our doing part.


We are 7!



I love birthdays and I love the number 7. So today calls for much laughter and joy as Dream Catalyst celebrates our 7th birthday!

As I reflect on this special day, this quote by Charles Bukowski comes to mind. “The Free Soul is rare but you know it when you see it basically because you feel good, very good when you are near or with them.” 

When I first came across this quote, my thought was “what if we create more opportunities for souls to be a free soul?” Then surely, we will amplify the magnitude of goodness felt. So that the free soul is no longer rare, but exists in abundance.

I am glad that starting Dream Catalyst provided me with opportunities to do exactly that. To create a better world for all by helping businesses, teams and individuals to build a positive work culture. In so doing, may we continue to be amplifiers of goodness.

Thank you for being a part of our awesome journey!




Is your work culture attracting your dream team?



Before I graduated from my diploma course in 1994, I secured two job interviews.

One was with a bank as a PR executive, prestigious location with nice looking workstations plus excellent career path. I had shared with the PR manager who interviewed me that my goal was to be in her role in a few years.

The other was for a position as an events executive with a local SME located in an industrial area. There was no clear training pathways or career progression.

Both offered me the job. I chose the latter because the people I bumped into at the company were warm and friendly. Whereas, the environment at the bank felt sterile.

That was my first taste of an aspect of “work culture” as I now understand it.

A positive environment will lead to dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.

Work culture refers to the beliefs, thought processes, attitudes of the employees, ideologies, and principles of the organisation. The culture determines the way employees interact with each other and how an organisation functions.

To a large extent, management sets the tone for how the culture is and evolves. For example, if the management has a fixed mindset and extols virtues of competiveness, then the culture will be one where individuals and teams put their personal survival and gain as priority instead of synergising with others. In the past, good employees often stay on in spite of culture, for the sake of their rice bowl.

It is now a different landscape.

If a company does not keep up with increasingly loud call for a positive work culture, then business owners will have difficulty attracting the dream team he or she desires. A talented high performing individual will naturally choose a company that is aligned to his or her values. If she or he places teamwork and supportive colleagues high on the values list, then a company known for its positive work culture would be the top choice.

download team spirit

As a business owner, how would having a positive work culture benefits you?

A large and growing body of research on positive organizational psychology shows that not only is a cut-throat environment harmful to productivity over time, but that a positive environment will lead to dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.

In a Harvard Business Review article, the authors wrote about how positive work cultures are more productive. It shared about a research article published in the Journal of Applied Behavioural Science in which Kim Cameron and his colleagues at the University of Michigan found that a workplace characterized by positive and virtuous practices excels in a number of domains.

Positive and virtuous practices include:

  • Caring for, being interested in, and maintaining responsibility for colleagues as friends.
  • Providing support for one another, including offering kindness and compassion when others are struggling.
  • Avoiding blame and forgive mistakes.
  • Inspiring one another at work.
  • Emphasizing the meaningfulness of the work.
  • Treating one another with respect, gratitude, trust & integrity.

Cameron and his colleagues explain that there are three reasons these practices benefit the company. Positive practices:

  • Increase positive emotions which broaden employees’ resources and abilities by improving people’s relationships with each other and amplifying their creativity and ability to think creatively.
  • Buffer against negative events like stress, improving employees ability to bounce back from challenges and difficulties.
  • Attract and bolster employees, making them more loyal and bringing out the best in them.

There are bottom-line benefits as well. Summarizing the findings, Cameron explains that: “When organizations institute positive, virtuous practices they achieve significantly higher levels of organizational effectiveness — including financial performance, customer satisfaction, and productivity”.

There are many small steps you can take to start building one that is vibrant and positive – where employees feel valued, engaged and are proud to be your company’s ambassadors. They will become the dream team that you have envisioned.

successBut first, it starts with you making the decision on culture. That will set the stage for what follows next.

For ways to build a positive work culture, contact us to find out more about our Positivity at Work programmes.


Celebrating Values on World Values Day

World Values Day

World Values Day (WVD) will be celebrated around the world on the first truly international World Values Day to be held on 20th October, 2016. The purpose of WVD will be to raise and deepen awareness and practice of values all around the world – highlighting the crucial role of values in the well-being of individuals, families, schools, organisations and society as a whole.”


It was in 2005 that I had my first reflective session on values hierarchy work. It made me realize how deeply values impacted both the conscious and unconscious decisions that we make and actions that we take in our lives. Some of the wise and not so clever decisions I have made were all driven by values. And when I understood them better, it helped transformed my life and relationships. It also benefitted my business.

For example, making a difference and fun are two top values for me. That’s why starting and running Dream Catalyst is fulfilling because it allows me to enjoy multiple roles (consultant, trainer, coach and mentor, author and artist)  working with diverse clients (businesses, teams, non profit organisations and individuals) and making a positive difference in their lives.

Since the personal “aha” transformation, I’ve actively included values work in my coaching sessions with individuals and also in my consultancy and training journey with businesses.

Helping businesses, teams and individuals to align values in order to enjoy positivity in their lives and workplaces reap so much benefits.

World Values Day 2That’s why it made me smile big time when I read an FB post about the first world values day.  The more awareness is raised on the crucial role of values in the well-being of individuals, families, schools, organisations and society as a whole, the brighter our world will be.

To find out more on how you can support World Values Day initiative: http://www.worldvaluesday.com/

To better engage your team through understanding of values, contact us to find out more about “The Cultural Transformation Tools” programme which you can use to map your values to measure and manage your culture.  What you measure, you can manage.