Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sixth Sense Technology

During my classess over the weekend, our lecturer shared a very informative website, ,

where it has videos regarding 'ideas worth spreading'.

The Thrilling Six Sense Technology by Pranav Mistry is really amazing. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Our Iceberg is Melting

Book Review

Title : Our Iceberg Is Melting (OIIM)
By John Kotter & Holger Rathgeber

This 'story' is based on the 8 steps outlined by the Leadership Guru John Kotter in his book Leading Change. Basically what it does is applies a 'Who Moved My Cheese' type of story telling approach to Leading Change. The analogy is applied neatly and enables one to relate closely.

I haven't read the previous book, Leading Change by Kotter, however the OIIM book does provide a quick summary of the 8 steps, which you can refer to before reading the story, or leaving it to the end for a nice summary.

The book is in pretty plain language, a quick read ( maybe 2 hours) so it is one of those books you can pick up and finish in one evening, in the book's own words, it's a quick win to your accomplished books read list.

It starts off with penguins living their usual days. And one penguin notices that the ice is melting and so starts the story of leading change. And then... well not to spoil the story so enjoy the book.

I think one good way to be able to apply and relate theories and ideas, is to make or write and apply possible applications to our one lives, be it work or personal. Here I'll try one, my personal interpretation.

1. Create urgency.
First things first. Prioritize. Common keywords. So the problem or issue on hand needs to be brought into light, make people aware and motivated to get involved, and resolve it.
Get people to talk about the change being proposed, i.e. it becomes table talk, probably I have made up the urgency in people. If people start seeing and agreeing to the need to change, it has become an urgency. Framing is a good approach. Frame the change opportunity as not only as an opportunity, but as removing a potential threat, say delays, resource issues or the competition. Sometimes not only the team but the myself might be faced with new issues or other urgent matters that puts this change 'off-track'. I guess the best way is to have milestones to track on at least a weekly basis and to constantly communicate the plan, the need and the urgency.

2. Form a powerful colition
Look for key players and get them on your team. Yes, probably it'll be hard to get your Director onto your team, so here's where the roles 'advisor, sponsor' etc comes aboard. Also get your 'people person' which people feel comfortable talking to, accepting and relating ideas to. Usually someone at the roots. Definitely get your SMEs (Subject Matter Experts). Also an individual which strongly believes in the change and has utter urgency and pushes for closures.

3. Create a vision for change
Look for a realistic vision. Improve efficiency by cutting down non-value added process, being .. and ... Or by removing non value added services. Can the team, the people relate to this? Does it make sense to every level? Remember 'build' a team, build the relationship, rapport and TRUST. Group lunch or lunch meetings might be a good approach.

4. Communicate the vision
Now tell people about it. Talk about it. Accepting change is difficult. If people start to believe and speak it, they'd probably be more comfortable to 'walk the talk'.

Also what's the strategy. How are you going to achieve it? KISS (Keep it Simple and Succinct). Or what I like to say, KISS it.

5. Remove obstacles
Before removing them, clearly identify the obstacles. Sometimes obstacles are things we don't notice. Keep your eyes, and ears open.
You'll see barriers. People and non-human. It's good to have the outspoken 'informal' leaders on your side, but it's not always the case is it? Well, only constant is change, so change the obstacles. Sedate it. Or bring them to enlighten. Talk to them and help them see why.

6. Create short-term wins
Per, look for sure-fire projects. When you look deep enough, or have a good brainstorming session, you will find low laying fruits, identify them, put them in the milestone and pluck them! Keeps morale high and people hungry for more.

Also have milestones, so if your project is a long term one, shorter milestones create a 'winning' feel once achieved.

Consider recognizing and rewarding the enabler, encouraging further commitment and spirit from the team to achieve the long term goal.

7. Build on the change
Change done? Look deep down at it. Do a post-mortem. What went wrong and what went right. NOT finger pointing. Then change again. A new project or product? Apply the process to our sub teams.

Remember there's is always room for improvement, Kaizen. Especially when you have tools involved, you can automate many tasks and process. And probably remove many as well. Remember Ford's 'conveyor belt' / production line system. That's a BIG change. So once you've gone thru the big change, how do you continuously improve? Let people work on the job, and they'll have more inputs and suggestions.

But keep it fresh, and new people do bring in new ideas.

8. Anchor the changes into corporate culture
'Culturize' change. The only constant is Change. Recognize the success of change. Encourage it, don't question the ideas, but request justification.

People have hearts and souls, and usually do want to change things for the better, unless they get complacent, or just frustrated with the 'bureaucracy'. Notice how bureaucracy can sound like bureucrazy.


So what am I changing next? Process and mentality seems like a fun challenge for me now.

Reference from Leading Change and Our Iceberg is Melting.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Holifer Than Thou

Holier than thou

A very interesting English saying ' Holier than thou'.

TheUrbanDictionary defines it as "When a person has taken the moral high-ground or are just up themselves, they are being "Holier-than-thou". Holier-than-thou literally means, holier than me or better than me."
-With no personal ref to any religions or quotes please.

I first learnt of this English saying when I was in Matriculation, an good friend of mine, Putera, used this word. And as life passes by, this saying is just too useful sometimes to perfectly describe what we go through. Probably some times, I myself may sometimes be a description of 'Holier than Thou'. An incident recently moved me to write about this blog entry.

Thou Shall Be Patriotic
Examplified by - Standing at attention when the national anthem Negaraku is sung.

So how important is this? To give respect to the national anthem?

I remember once passing by a Nasi Kandar during the opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, and was amazed to see the Chinese (China) Students gather there, to give support and as and when the China National Anthem was sung, all the students stood up, and sang rousingly.

Nowadays everyone has a comment on the way the country is run, issues, crime and everything else. And by right, we all have the right because it is our beloved country! So how come when the national anthem is sung or played, some of us just don't bother to stand up at attention!

Thou Shall be Righteous
There is corruption all over. Embazzlement. We need a change!

Un-examplieifed by - That day I got summoned, too bad I couldn't bride my way out!

Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery
Exampliefied by : No indecent acts allowed. Di tangkap berkhalwat.

Un-examplified by : The videos are available on Youtube and mykakis?

Any more?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Google Ad Policy

Seems in the e-ad world, infolinks is the word of the mouth. So for us Adsense users, what's the policy? Sometime it was NuffNang, but I decided not to go the nuffnang way, coz they had like a "If you have more then X number of people visiting your blog, then NuffNang is for you". It like didn't give a chance to those new bloggers who were just building content. And Adsense is "You interested? Ok join in!" and it did build some sort of loyalty in me, to a certain extent.

But now infolinks is around, and googling around, as date I haven't managed to find any where specific which says you can't have both. One forum pointed toLink

Can I place Google ads on the same page with other ads?

which states

Can I place Google ads on the same page with other ads?

You're welcome to display Google ads on the same site or page as other third party advertisements provided that the formatting or colors of the third party ads is different enough from that of the Google ads. In other words, if you choose to place non-Google ads on the same site or page as Google ads, it should always be clear to the user that the ads are served by different advertising networks and that the non-Google ads have no association with Google. If the formats are naturally similar, we ask that you choose different color schemes for the competing ads.

Our intent with this policy is to be as fair to our advertisers as possible and to maintain the integrity of the AdWords and AdSense programs. You can learn more about this, and all our policies, on our program policies page. Please also be aware that competitor ads are considered to be part of your site's content and must follow our policy guidelines.

ps= always check for the latest.

If I recall correctly previously it was you cannot have anoter context sensitive ad if you're serving adsense. Now this seems to have changed? Or is there another rule somewhere else?

I dunno, but I'm inclined to try Infolinks.

What do you think?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Adding Watermark

On my blogs, especially makan2food and fyi-penang I typically take alot of pictures and post there. When I had the time, I used tools like picasa to add a simple watermark, click here to see a sample entry of it.

However it just looked too simple, so I decided to google how to add a watermark using Photoshop. There are actually alot of tutorials online, however most of them are catered for people who already have basic functional knowledge of Photoshop. I wanted something simple and not only told me what function / command to use, but where to find the command.

So far after googling, I found this website to have very simple instructions on how to add a watermark. You can click here to see a sample of a nice simple watermark I made thru the steps on the website.

All the best.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Google AdSense Program Policies

Everytime I create a new blog or change my template I keep on asking my self trying to remember what is the :

  • Actual Number of Ads allowed limited by Google?
  • Number of Ads limit on Adsense?
Interestingly most websites show contradicting guidelines. Probably due to checking on Google's guideline on different times - policy changes?

As of today, 30 January 2009, here is what I got from their website
Google AdSense Program Policies

Ad Placement

AdSense offers a number of ad formats and advertising products. Publishers are encouraged to experiment with a variety of placements, provided the following policies are respected:

  • Up to three ad units may be displayed on each page.
  • A maximum of two Google AdSense for search boxes may be placed on a page.
  • Up to three link units may also be placed on each page.
  • Up to three referral units may be displayed on a page, in addition to the ad units, search boxes, and link units specified above.
  • AdSense for search results pages may show only a single ad link unit in addition to the ads Google serves with the search results. No other ads may be displayed on your search results page.
  • No Google ad or Google search box may be displayed in a pop-up, pop-under, or in an email.
  • Elements on a page must not obscure any portion of the ads.
  • No Google ad may be placed on any non-content-based pages.
  • No Google ad may be placed on pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads, whether or not the page content is relevant.
I'd encourage you to check it out yourself as this policy could change.

The link I just checked from was

Which is under
Google HelpAdSense HelpAdSense basicsProgram policies › Google AdSense Program Policies

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Here's my story:
To Horleys Website Administrator,

I have submitted the following 'Ask the Expert' question on your

Dear Sir/Madam,
Previously (many years back) I had taken protein powder to assist my
workout. After some time, my lymph nodes started swelling especially on
my neck area. After a biopsy, I was diagnosed with Kikuchi Disease,
something very rare. Doctors couldn't really pin point it but it started
after I started protein powder. I do not remember the product name
though. I have asked many doctors but they really don't have an idea. So
I stopped on supplements for a long time. Now I am starting to take
Awesome Mass, and hope no recurrence. Would you have any info on why
this would happen? Or a product more suited for me? I'm of ectomorph


Here's their prompt reply:
Dear xxxx

Thank you for your enquiry. I have done a quick bit of research on
Kikuchi Disease, but am unfortunately able to shed any light on the
condition and its potential relationship with using a protein
supplement. I cannot offer any specific advice in this regard, and I
too hope that you do not suffer a recurrence. Awesome Mass is a great
product, we've been selling it for over 15 years and have many people
very satisfied with how the product has helped them. Based on our
experience to date, I have no reason to believe it would trigger any
form of lymphatic disease, so I can only suggest you proceed with
caution and my best wishes for your good health.

Kind regards,
Karen Smillie
Marketing Manager
Level 2, 18 Normanby Road, Mount Eden
PO Box 8645, Symonds St,
Auckland 1150, New Zealand
DDI +64 9 638 3891
Fax +64 9 638 3899