Saturday, November 29, 2014

Singaporeans' No U-Turn Syndrome & Being Screwed by It

* Sim Wong Hoo's NUTS writeup at end of blogpost.

Besides the heart ware shortcomings mentioned in my earlier blogpost being a liability plaguing the workforce, Sim Wong Hoo has pointed out to the just follow rules blindly syndrome in his book 'Chaotic Thoughts from the Old Millennium' published in 1999.

I only hold of his book in 2003 when i went to Creative's Warehouse Sale at its premises. His observation of this NUTS (No U-Turn Syndrome) is considered ahead of his time before the wave of outsourcing hit the country. It is a couple of years later in 2007 that a local movie 'Just Follow Law' got made that depicted the huge liability in a comical way in an attempt to drive the point home.

Being Obedient, Shut Up & Follow Instructions Will Get One 'Killed' Faster
Unfortunately we can see from the last couple of years the middle income earners are getting hit harder & harder as the hybrid regime replace them with cheaper foreign workers to increase profits. Social costs? Nevermind as profits is more important.

The hybrid regime just wants to staff its corpserations with 'Just follow instructions & do'. Remember what the leader of bus drivers who organised the strike in 2012 said clearly. The first labor strike after 26 years.


Being obedient, shut up & just follow instructions is the utmost trait the hybrid regime looks for in its govt-linked companies. I've blogged an example last year in Bus Driver Punished for Using Initiative to Correct Mistake.

If those sheep workers think being obedient & following instructions is the best way to have a job & get ahead, they are deluding themselves as well. Those dumb sheep following instructions blindly(NUTS) receive a complaint published in the mainstream newspaper - Dangerous Cog Labor Mentality - Inflexibility (blogpost)

  • Being a obedient sheep following instructions blindly - die.
  • Not being a dumb sheep but acting with initiative - also die.

That's how fucked up the working culture in those govt-linked corpserations & some parts of the private sector.

Highly Schooled. Not Highly Educated
I consider the locals as being highly schooled instead of being highly educated. We have highly schooled taxi drivers, financial planners & property agents who are previously middle income earners like managers.

The reason i say schooled is because we are trained in many years of school from young & national service(for guys) to be like a docile sheep.

An excellent sheep. Being slapped repeated by boss also no resistance.
Hybrid regime loves to produce this type of sheep workers.

Left Brain Activities Getting Slaughtered Nowadays
Why bother to pay more for a dumb sheep worker who just follow instructions & do?
Now with Google, why bother to pay more for a dumb sheep worker who graduate mainly by memorizing answers?

Why need so many highly schooled workers with their higher salaries when computers are getting more & more intelligent? Computers/robots can follow instructions & execute faster without toilet break or sleep than those dumb sheep workers.

Got cheaper sheep(from overseas) to hire?
If no cheaper sheep, then can automate it?

Docile sheep workers proved to be a great strategy in propelling the country out of 3rd world status as what Sim Wong Hoo has written. Now the country is so heavily laden with docile sheep workers that it is impeding the progress of the country. We have no homegrown heavyweight companies(govt-linked companies don't count) & now casinos as a desperate measure.

NUTS Syndrome by Sim Wong Hoo in 1999
In the US, when there is no sign on the road, it means that you can make a U-turn. When the authority don't want people to make U-turns, they will put up signs to tell you not to make U-turns.

In SG, it is the reverse. When there is no sign on the road, you are not allowed to make U-turns. When the authority allow you to make U-turns, then they will put up signs to give you that right.

The 2 different systems serve the same purpose - to better manage the traffic. They may look quite similar, just coming from different direction, but the social repercussion is significant.

In SG, the no U-turn without sign culture has permeated every level of our thinking & every segment of our life. This no U-turn culture has created a way of life that is based on rules. When there is a U-turn sign or when there is a rule, we can U-turn. When there is no sign, we cannot U-turn. When there is no rule, we cannot do anything. We become paralyzed.

I call this 'no-rule = no-do' phenomenon - the 'No U-turn Syndrome' or NUTS.

SG has prospered under a rule-based system for many years. When we were at a lower level of development, we needed many multinational companies to come to SG to invest. What these MNCs needed were a very reliable group of managers & workers who could follow exactly the rules set by the corporate HQ overseas. Since they didn't want their overseas subsidiaries to innovate anything, they wanted us to stick closely to the rules, no funny deals, no crazy ideas. They were here to teach us, not to listen to ideas from us.

The efficiency & no-nonsense style of the SG govt is well-known. It has brought us prosperity & a good life. A rule-based system is essential here too to get everybody to toe the line.

But the world has changed. And it is changing faster & faster. So fast that the rules that were set yesterday are no longer valid & cannot serve our new needs. It is not a matter of setting new rules to meet the new situation because by the time new rules are formulated, they would already be out of date. It is a matter of how to survive & prosper in environments when there are no rules. It is a matter of how to live with ambiguity. Things are no more black or white, things are in shades of gray. How do we deal with them?

What is NUTS? NUTS is when you want to do something & you seek the approval of a higher authority. When there is no rule saying you can do such a thing, then the standard answer is NO.

What's wrong with this? There's nothing wrong if we choose to be stuck in the old world of your own where nothing changes.

To meet the challenge of the new world, to meet the challenge of rising to a knowledge-based economy, we have to innovate like mad. How can we innovate when we need to obey rules to innovate. Innovate means to create things out of nothing, it means moving into uncharted territories where there are no rules.

How can you innovate when you have to get the approval of somebody who looks at a rule-book first? Such is the syndrome of NUTS.

NUTS is everywhere in society including schools, offices, hospitals, parks, factories & even in our homes. Yes, in Creative (SG) too.

--- 5 examples of NUTS (dumb sheep) omitted ---

We are moving faster & faster into many uncharted territories, where there are no rules. We don't want to be paralyzed by waiting for the rule to be formulated before moving - it will be too late. We have to discard our NUTS mentality & learn to live in a new world where there are no clear rules. Not that it will be a cowboy lawless land. There will be broad guiding principles such as common goals, objectives & basic integrity to follow. The rest, we have to look at the big picture & decide what is the best way to do a job, to achieve our goals.

Sim Wong Hoo has experiences with these dumb sheep workers who just follow instructions blindly. Experiences which leaves him frustrated & can 'vomit blood'. I've left out the 5 examples he wrote as it would be too long. You can read about his examples by borrowing his book from the library.

There's other interesting nuggets of his thoughts as well in his book.

- Absence of Creativity in S'pore
Recent comment by Cagey Ten made me relook what i've written 4 years ago about dumb sheep aka cog labor. Shit! Is exactly as he said.
"written 4 years ago - it is still the same 4 years later, and it has been this way the (X times 4) years before that!"- Cagey Ten
That's why the hybrid regime needs to be voted out in order to reform the education system.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Why Heart Ware Shortcomings Result in SG Airline Companies Being Trashed by AirAsia

I expressed my pleasure that SG's govt-linked corpseratons are being trashed in my sept blogpost: Why AirAsia can Trash Singapore Airlines, Tigerair & Scoot. That blogpost's perspective is on AirAsia. The writeup below will turn the perspective on the heart ware failings of local airlines.

In that earlier blogpost i consider AirAsia's approach of 'Lions' + Egalitarian to be a powerful approach in gaining a competitive advantage.

The human factor is not mentioned as competitive advantage in those investing books i've read. Competitive advantage espoused in those investing books are:

  • Likely to be monopolistic
  • patents
  • economies of scale
  • brand loyalty (eg Apple, Nike)
  • Switching costs

With the recent military trash CEO in Singapore football league showcasing an example of their leadership of turning corporations into corpserations, it is no surprise that......

The trashing continues in David Vs Goliath.

Yahoo News broadcast

30th Sept
“Awesome insights yet again in this post. I really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Your comparison with AirAsia and SG gov's own company really hits the nail on its head. This country is definitely going to the dumps.” Commentator in Why AirAsia can Trash Singapore Airlines, Tigerair & Scoot.
10th Oct
Booking system of Scoot (long haul budget) went down.
6th Nov
SIA half year profit plunge 55.5% - yes, going to the dumps as the commentator said.
AirAsia's updates on its SG competitors in Q1 2014 financial report.

Why Tony Fernandes' Biggest Mistake till 2008 Got to Do with Sillypore Govt?
"I would think Mahathir also played a part. See link: 
If not for Mahathir's blessing, maybe there will be no Tony Fernandez that people know. Mahathir, for all that critics had accused him of, did the right thing in this instance, and for which Tony is lucky too."
Thanks to the commentator who provided the interview link. You know who you are if you are reading this. I consider the highlight of the interview to be Tony's view of Sillypore Govt.

What is your biggest mistake to date?
"It would probably be not understanding the S'pore Govt. Maybe some of the problems i face with S'pore is because of the way i am - outspoken & carefree. I think because of my character, i can sometimes irritate a lot of people. But even if i were a soft cuddly guy, i don't think i would have got what i wanted anyway. I think S'pore needs to learn how to deal with people like me, because it is not used to being challenged. I think there is merit when i'm saying that there's not just 1 way doing things & that there are many different types of people. This is my style; i don't think i can be any different."

David Vs Goliath
AirAsia Vs SIA + Tigerair + Scoot

Tony has revealed that Sillypore Govt which its mindset infects govt-linked companies:
  • does not like being challenged.
  • does not like outspoken people. They want docile sheep aka cog labor..
  • think their scholars or military trash's way of doing things is the best way & only way. The rest just shut up & do. Else fuck off or replaced with cheaper foreign labor. (see example of military trash football league CEO below).

Tony would have a miserable life if he works for these Sillypore bureaucrat CEOs. He would surely be fired in no time flat as we can see from the case of Gintai. Thank goodness David is now trashing these Goliaths. Keep up the trashing...... hahaha.

Firing Gintai is a Waste of Talent
Gintai who is considered outspoken was fired from his job as a train driver. Being a train driver & his views resonating with the masses, i consider it a waste because if i'm the CEO I would assign Gintai to head the public relations department to repair the bad reputation of the company.

Of course the military trash scholars don't see him as an asset but a thorn that must be eradicated. The leader of the hired from China bus drivers who proposed a strike has laid it out clearly:

“Obviously they think there are loads of us, a trip to China can get tons of people as workers. When we are of no use to them, or no longer obedient, they will kick us out. This strategy is very useful. Those few who speak up would be told to leave.”

For full letter of true leadership which I archived a copy, please read: Leadership of Lowly Educated Bus Driver Vs 3 Star General's. This 'lion' bus driver would certainly be viewed as an asset by Tony.

It is obvious that Sillypore govt & its govt-linked companies have the tissue paper mindset. Use & throw since there's plenty of disposable tissues to use & throw..


Remember what Tony Fernandes said. Even if he is a soft cuddly guy, he would still get fucked by those scholar military trashes who want docile sheep or disposable tissues(plenty).

“Everyone of his Allstars are encouraged to speak their minds.” - for Tony Fernandes
“Everyone of his sheep are to shut up & do.” - for Scholar military trashes

Why It Is Far More Difficult to Copy Heart Ware
Cash rich SIA can fund the planes of its budget airline companies but it cannot develop the human factor competitive edge easily 

AirAsia:  'Lions' + Egalitarian
SIA, Tigerair, Scoot:  Sheep + Rank & File elitism

AirAsia openly share the key components of budget airlines business model on their website: How AirAsia Offer Such Low Fares. They are not afraid of others copying because the human factor is what gives them the competitive edge.

It is far more difficult to create a culture of inspired workforce aka heart ware.

Instead of seeing the rank & file workers as “disposable tissue paper”, AirAsia see them as assets to give them the competitive advantage.

Customer Service Culture at Scoot
While Tigerair is suffering heavily losses, their facebook page has someone responding to complaints although it is in template format. Not so for Scoot. It is bochup for Scoot. No staff gives a damn to their FB complaints. Customer service is a cheap way of advertising & it is apparent the top management don't see it that way.

Scoot's booking system which went down last month shows:

Cog labor shut up & follow rules/orders like in military. Rule is pay $15 then got blanket.
“It may seem a high price to pay, but surely a company full of high achievers is far more attractive, albeit challenging, to lead than one where the staff are sluggish & desultory, doing only what they are told to do.”- Tony Fernandes

Rank & file 'sheep' wait for orders from the top. Is no wonder a limping terrorist can escape in 2008 & cannot be caught by local police.

Top brass wake up & go talk to peasants flying on budget? The corporate culture in these govt-linked corpserations often populated with scholars & retired military trash is that they consider themselves as high & mighty.

The haughty attitude is showcased by the CEO of S-league military trash. As govt-linked companies make up a substantial part of the local economy, its unhealthy practices infect parts of the private sector. Reading his blasting at minions replies is a reason why Sillypore workforce is severely bochup, unhappy, emotionless, among top 10 pessimists.

How competitive can that be with those traits?

Exemplary Example of Lack of Heart Ware
“The chairman of the club & the management committee are above all of you. You are players, nobody is bigger than the club. The chairman heads the club.” - military trash
Retired military trash still think he is in army after being parachuted to be CEO of S'pore football league. These retired military personnel can't win elections in a 1on1 fight so the hybrid regime sneak them in via the backdoor through the Group Representation Constituency System.

How to inspire others to higher standards with their haughty & elitist attitude? Tony Fernandes' down-to-earth & egalitarian approach is so much more effective & he can sleep soundly at night knowing his engaged workforce would tackle problems with initiative.

"There are no titles on their namecards. At AirAsia, rank & level are not as obvious or as important as they normally are at big corporations. Tony doesn't use his title of Datuk on his namecard."

Compare it with scholar military trashes bestowing big titles like 'Bus Captain' on bus drivers. Cheapskate method & the lowly paid peasant drivers are not fooled by the fake smiles of these haughty top brass.

“It is so true what you wrote about the side effect of corporations treating employees as cogs. Here in B.C, Canada, I have seen bus drivers (no need for big titles of "captain" here) taking initiative to change routes & call HQ to inform others of challenges/changes in traffic/passengers conditions. E.g. when they get caught in a sudden street demonstration or when the road is suddenly closed due to traffic accident. The bus drivers call HQ so that appropriate remedy actions can be taken. E.g. divert the other buses to another route, put notices for passengers waiting at bus-stops, send in more buses to cover the surge in passenger volume. Of course there will be some delay for those immediately caught in the situation, but at least the situation is alleviated for subsequent travellers. 
So sorry that bus captains (i.e. drivers) in Singapore are not treated with the same respect by their corporations despite their grand-sounding job title.”- Winking Doll in Heart Ware Not Needed, Cog Labor Will Do

Captain indeed! Hahaha.

To conclude this blogpost, :
“I think S'pore needs to learn how to deal with outspoken people like me, because it is not used to being challenged.” - Tony Fernandes
Best way for them to learn is to further trash their managed companies.

Best way for S'pore's hybrid regime to learn is losing more than half their seats in upcoming election.