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I did not become a customer

I became a fan. 🤩

Sales people can learn a thing or two from her.

She showed me the products in the store at Bynd Artisan.  

She shared with me some recommended options.

When I mentioned I’d like to take photo of her for my post, she asked:

“Is the company’s logo visible? Because that would help to publicize the company.”

Grace isn’t the owner.

She isn’t just a sales person.

She is an ambassador.

Her enthusiasm and pride in her work certainly contributes to a progress business culture.

Tale of Two Staff

We were at a department store recently and saw a T-Shirt that we like. We couldn’t find the right size on the rack and looked around for a sales assistant. No one in sight. So I approached the cashier.

“Hi miss, could you direct me to where I could find your colleague to look for a t-shirt size?”

“All the sizes are out on display”.

We checked the mannequin and the t-shirt was the right size. We finally found a sales assistant. He said he will check in the store room for the size first.

There was a size available.

For the cashier, it was the easy way out.

For the department store, it was a lost sale that was recovered by the customers’ determination and the service attitude of the second staff.

Insights gleaned:

🔹 All employees need to understand the impact that their actions have on the business. Their care-less attitude affects the profitability of the business which determines the status of their employment.

🔹 All employers need to consistently coach their employees on business building/ service and to recognize/ reward those who perform.

🔹 Refresher trainings and coaching is important as complacency and a jaded attitude may set in for long time employees. Advice from the supervisor when we chatted with him to compliment the second staff.

MIS Best Personal Brand Award for Business Culture

When I first started Dream Catalyst 8 years ago, the naysayers were plentiful. #grateful to these naysayers for they helped me see with greater clarity my “why” of forging my path. #grateful to the small group of champions whose encouragement and support provided the impetus to always move forward.

I coined the term Dream Catalyst around 15 years when I was going through a painful period. I told myself I will continue to believe in possibilities of dreams and also to continue being a catalyst to help others actualise their brighter better bigger dreams too. It was my mission statement.

Receiving the inaugural Best Personal Brand Award 2017 by the Marketing Institute of Singapore inspires me to continue believing and evolving to be the best version of myself each day. The award is presented to individuals in honoring them for their highest visibility on social media and leading to positive impact to their business.

It was awesome being at the MIS Glittering Awards Night on Monday 4 December; catching up with friends and fellow winners of the award and meeting new friends.

Most important, I love how everyone cheered for each others’ success. ln the true spirit of abundant mindset, growth mindset and synergy!

Grateful to have the opportunity to partner awesome clients who allow us to value create.

Looking forward to continue journeying with progressive business leaders and teams to intentionally design a business culture blueprint for success and which allows their teams to thrive.

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!


Radio Interview at 938Live The Breakfast Club with Keith de Souza: Value Creation at the Worksplace

We had so much fun at our previous radio interview that we were back at Mediacorp for a second radio interview yesterday with Keith De Souza on 38Live The Breakfast Club.

We chatted on one of our fave topics “Value Creation at the Workplace”.

How can we value create at the workplace? How can employers create an environment that allows their employees to thrive? These are some of the insights we shared during the show.

For the full interview, you can listen here: Value Creation at the Workplace.

SPRING Singapore SkillsFuture SME Mentors Seminar

I have often shared about my meaningful journey as a SPRING Singapore SkillsFuture SME Mentor. The initiative aims to enhance SMEs’ capabilities in learning & development and to build up their value proposition as employers of choice offering good career development and growth opportunities.

As such, was absolutely delighted when SPRING Singapore invited me to be part of the panel discussion held during the seminar held yesterday. As an architect for business culture, the topic of placing people at the core of a business naturally resonates with me.

The seminar was held at the Regent Hotel and I was heartened by the presence of 400 business leaders and representatives from SMEs, Institutes of Higher Learning and associations.

My fellow panelists were Ms Lim Hee Joo from Wah Son Engineering and Mr Sherwin Siregar and Alex Chua from atlas Sound & Vision and it was delightfully moderated by Ms Christophane Foo from SPRING Singapore. I shared on what may stop some SMEs from investing in people and how we could influence SME top management to change their mindset about people development.

Following the discussion, the business leaders and representatives had the opportunity to network with the more than 50 SME mentors who were present at the event. Presently, there are 116 mentors with vast HR and business experience in a wide range of industries for SMEs to connect with.

To-date, fifty SMEs have completed or are about to complete the nine-month mentoring programme. So glad to see two of our clients Kith Café and Aries Fresh featured in the Hall of Fame as the early adopters of the programme. Another 55 firms are set to participate in this initiative.

Read HRMAsia article on the seminar: SMEs prioritising employee development 



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.