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     Finally we have warmer weather.


    And finally, those whom have decided to leave our companies this year have largely left.  Perhaps it's time to make the remaining people, as well as the ones whom have just joined work a little harder AND happier.


     Wouldn't it be nice that we can all have fun at work, and STILL get better results?


     Hence, this month's topics:

  1. How to Have Fun @ Work and STILL Get Better Results; and

  2. How to Make Your Own Movie, and Win  an "Oscar" in 24 Hours


     This issue's main article is on  "How to Have Fun @ Work and STILL Get Better Results", and we'll explore how we can make our people work harder, be happier and have lots of fun.


    In brief:

  • "The only advantage you can have is in the human stuff"

  • Making ‘work fun’ is important, for you and your team may spend up to 2,000 hours a year at work. That’s 23% of the year.;

  • The process of identifying and executing more fun into the company culture can be the foundation for moving your organizational culture to a more enterprising culture. Research shows that companies with high enterprising cultures have higher engaged employees.  Read on... ...  


     To read the rest of this newsletter, pls. click here (


    Want to know how motivated your team is?  Get your team to log on to and get them spend just 3 minutes to complete our "Motivation Level Diagnosis".  This survey is totally confidential, so do send an e-mail to if you'd want a report once we completed the survey.  E-mail us if you'd like to customise a survey like this for your company.


     Also, you can now train up to 35 of your colleagues on 40 modules of Leadership IQ's 100% Leader Series  eLearning programme for as low as US$206 per trainee.  Or train 35 of your colleagues in 1 module for as low as US$20.57 per  trainee.  All licenses are valid for one whole year, and your trainees can have unlimited access to the online training materials for an entire 365 days.  Pls. contact to find out more.  (All fees include invoice taxes and TT charges.)

How to Have Fun @ Work and STILL Get Better Results

by Jerel Bonner



          In today’s frenzied world of technical communication, the human element is being lost.  The pervasive presence of Social Media available through our smart phones is taking our attention away from creating deep relations with the people in our lives and people are not as happy being connected without emotion.  A recent engagement study by Leadership IQ shows only 6% of the companies in China have a highly engaged company culture.


     In Thomas Friedman’s recent book “That Used To Be Us”, Joel Cawley, VP of strategy for IBM is quoted "Two things will differentiate companies, one is analytics and the other is the old fashion stuff”.


     He also predicts

  • "All the old-fashion stuff will start to matter even more!"

  • "The only advantage you can have is in the human stuff",

  • "These will be the real differentiators, and the technology everyone will have."


     One type of old fashion stuff is having fun, which leads to being happier. This article shares the philosophy of “FISH”, which will help you as a manager create a work climate that includes fun; it leads to having happier and more engaged employees. The article concludes with suggestions for ways to create fun in the workplace that will lead to higher levels of engagement.


The philosophy of “FISH

     This book, published in 2000, is now seen as providing one of the most interesting and sought after “change management” concepts. It has four core principles for making the work environment fun.  These principles are:
  1. Choosing Your Attitude
  2. Make Work ‘Fun’
  3. Be Present
  4. Make Their Day Feel Special
1)  Choosing Your Attitude
     This principle follows’ Stephen Covey’s Habit 1 “Be Proactive”, from the book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”.  Everyone must be more aware that they are responsible for their decisions and need to have the courage to make the right choices that will lead to their happiness.  So give your team more opportunities to make the choice of how to have more fun at work.  Remind them that if they are not considering their choices, then they are choosing to let other factors impact their lives and their job satisfaction.
2)  Make Work ‘Fun’
     Making ‘work fun’ is important, for you and your team may spend up to 2,000 hours a year at work. That’s 23% of the year.  If we exclude the 9 hours a day that we are sleeping and eating that number is 33%.  As a manager that realizes that one third of our life is at work, encouraging your employees to create more fun means a more positive work climate and happier staff.
    Secondly, for managers there is limited fiscal risk in trying to have fun at work.  If the working environment is already boring or uninteresting, changing the situations has only upside potential to retain and attract new talent.
     In today’s business world, managers are looking for ways to get their departments to stretch their abilities.  So by being a manager that nurtures a philosophy of having more fun at work, you are developing more creativity.  Once again, practicing creativity and looking for ways to have fun at work has low risk. This can lead to employees forming new skills for solving other problems as well, leading your team to change faster than others.
3)  Be Present
     The focus of this principle is that we have to remember to concentrate on what we are doing and how it impacts others, especially when they are with us.  We have the choice to care about others feelings, concerns, and emotions so that we can interact with them in a fun and productive way.  It is not easy to be 100% focused on others, their moods, and their concerns.
     According to research conducted by Leadership IQ, "Being Present" means implementing the following Engagement Drivers:
  1. Managers hold employees accountable for their performance. 
  2. Employees agree with their manager's evaluation of their performance.
  3. When new changes are implemented, people embrace changes and push towards creating a new level of success.
  4. Managers provide meaningful positive feedback to their employees.
  5. When mistakes happen or people miss deadlines, people do not offer excuses (such as "I couldn't get it done because...”).
4)  Make Their Day Feel Special

     The last behavior is one of the hardest to achieve.  How does one make others feel special?  This too is another opportunity for you and your direct reports to practice innovation.  When we think about making people feel special, we learn to be present and aware of our customer’s needs and emotions.  When we make others feel special your staff will enjoy working for you, they will create more ideas, and like the positive energy that you add to their life. 
     As Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappo’s and author of Delivering Happiness says, “People always remember how we make them feel”.  It may sound old fashioned, though in tomorrow’s economy it will be an advantage that satisfies clients and attracts top talent to your organization.

Ways to Make Work Fun


     Before I share some ways to make your work environment fun, I do not suggest playing pranks or games in a factory.  Safety must never be compromised for fun.  Now, on to some fun ideas that can keep you alert and present when you are around:

  • Joke Day.  Select one or two days a month per quarter where employees come to work with a joke that they can share. Give out small awards for who tells the best joke and who tells their joke to the most people.  Create a team of employees to be judges to prepare and present the awards. Remember to advise your staff to use good taste when selecting their jokes;

  • Bad Hair Day.  What would the office be like if everyone wore a wig to make themselves look like someone else.  The wigs can be taken off when meeting clients and vendors.  How about wearing crazy ties or scarves to the office.  I have a nice green and white tie that I wear to work on St. Patty’s day.  People loved it and it really matches the spirit of the holiday. How about changing casual Friday into custom Friday once a quarter?;

  • I Spy. Each month select one person to go around the office snapping pictures.  Most people love to see themselves in a photograph.  Buy a digital display frame and have the photos shown at the main receptionist.  Every quarter let the employees download their favorite pictures from a central location on the company network.  It may be wise here to set some ground rules, and agree that employees cannot use others pictures without approval from those in the picture;

  • SMILE.  Getting people to smile is one of the simplest things you can do to make others feel good.  Smile when someone looks at you, and you’ll notice that most of the time they will smile back at you.  This simple old-fashioned behavior is easy to measure as well.  Imagine what your office would be like if you smiled to everyone and they smiled back at you.



The Engagement Connection


     The process of identifying and executing more fun into the company culture can be the foundation for moving your organizational culture to a more enterprising culture.  Research shows that companies with high enterprising cultures have higher engaged employees.


     The exercise of creating a more fun work climate is highly enterprising and innovative.  When you allow your staff to drive these activities it will stimulate creativity and a sense of adventure that leads to constant change, which is the kind of climate where top talent thrives.  You also enable your people to be more willing to embrace change, so that you can be more competitive.


     As these changes become the norm, better business results are achieved through:

  • Higher staff retention

  • Attracting and recruiting top talent becomes easier

  • Employees become higher productivity

  • Employees are more adaptable to market challenges.

Success and Fun in One


     The future for all companies is clear. Employees want exciting adventures at work. The market challenges will increase, and those companies that truly create a work culture built on the spirit of enterprise and fun will be the winners.  Be the type of manager that ‘Lets the games begin!’


     Need help in getting your team to have fun while producing great results?  Simply e-mail or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha.  All information shall be kept in confidence.

Power Breakfast Hour: 22 May 2012

How to Have Fun @ Work and STILL Get Better Results +
How to Make Your Own Movie, and Win an "Oscar" in 24 Hours

  • What can be done to make your people have fun, be more productive, embrace changes, AND beat the stay competitive;
  • How to make your people stretch their abilities and give 100% at work; and

  • Developing creative teambuilding ideas so that your team have fun AND improve the ways they work together!


VENUE:  Crowne Plaza Shanghai • 400 Panyu Road (near Fahuazhen Road) • 上海银星皇冠酒店 •  番禺路 400 号 (靠法华镇路)

DATE: Tuesday, 22 May 2012

TIME: 08:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.




     To make this a more conducive discussion, we are expecting a small group of about 15 people only. The room can only take in 18, so please register early to avoid disappointments. Please e-mail your registrations to ;


     Pls. check out our web sites and for more inspiration.

Upcoming Events


     In case you'd like to know what other public events we have, here's a snapshot of what's coming:


    • Simple and Practical Ways to Hire Highly Engaged Employees with Great Attitude (Chinese)
      《成功招聘高绩效、高敬业员工的简单技巧》 15 May 2012 (Shanghai)

    • How to Lead and Motivate Your Gen Y Employees to Exceptional Performance (Chinese)
      《如何激励、领导80、90后员工发挥潜能,大幅度提高新生代敬业度》 25 May 2012 (Shanghai)

    • How to Hire High-Performance and Highly-Engaged Sales People (Chinese) 
      《如何招聘高绩效、高敬业的销售员工》 8 Jun 2012 (Shanghai)

    • How to Make Your Own Movie to Develop Highly Productive Corporate Cultures (Chinese)
      《如何通过微电影打造高绩效企业文化》 22 Jun 2012 (Shanghai)  

    • Become the Leader that Everyone Wants to Follow (Chinese)
      《如何成为每个人都想跟随的领导》 13 July 2012 (Shanghai)

    • Inspire and Influence Your Employees to Exceptional Performance
      《用启发的方式引导团队,创造骄人绩效》  27 July 2012 (Shanghai)


     Simply e-mail your enquiries to to or call +86-21-6219 0021 for enquiries. Sample video and audio recordings available upon requests.


Teambuilding Tips for Managers:

How to Make Your Own Movie and Win an "Oscar" in 24 Hours


By c.j. Ng


In case you are planning for a teambuilding event for your team, you might be caught in a dilemma between 2 criteria:

  1. The teambuilding must be fun, so everybody enjoy themselves and feel energised; and

  2. The teambuilding tasks and games must create enough stress so that your team's potential will be fully unleashed, i.e. they achieve high levels of performance that they never knew they could

Most teambuilding events are "fun" oriented.  They are a way of getting team members out of their work, so as to communicate and bond in a fun-filled manner.  Fun teambuilding programmes are sometimes held in resorts or scenic locations, so that team members can do their sight-seeing after their teambuilding.

However, there usually is a lot less learning in these fun-filled teambuilding events.  Team members either forget what was learnt fairly quickly, or the teambuilding event wasn't even conducted to let team members learn anything (apart from having a great time).

To improve learning through experiential teambuilding, some teambuilding programmes are created to make team members "suffer".  This can be done either by having the teambuilding conducted in places where there are few or no amenities such as (tap water or electricity or telephones), or having the team members going through a military-style boot camp to enforce team discipline.  There will also be activities that will test team members levels of endurance, perseverance and determination.

While team members are likely to take away long lasting memories and learning experiences of such teambuilding events, team members are so exhausted that they would rather not attend another of such teambuilding ever again.  If not conducted properly, there are also associated high-risks (e.g. usage of high-element props, bad weather etc.) which sometimes can cause severe injuries or even deaths if accidents were to happen.

Hence, if there is a teambuilding event that cause enough stress so that team members unleash their full potential, and is fun-filled at the same time, this could be a panacea to all teambuilding event organisers. 


Introducing a teambuilding workshop called "How to Make Your Own Movie and Win an 'Oscar' in 24 Hours".  This is how it works:

  • Participants split into groups, where each group is given a theme (which could be based on corporate values, mission statements or new corporate initiatives);

  • Each group will then have to write a 5-7 minute movie script, which group members will then have to act, film then edit to make their own movie, ALL within 24 hours;

  • There will be technical specialists to help groups in the filming and editing, but groups will have to give specific instructions on what to film, and which areas to edit;

  • At the end of 24 hours, teams will then present their movies to a panel of judges, who will then give an "Oscar" to the group with the best movie.

  • Depending on how in-depth the teambuilding is going to be conducted, sometimes a facilitator can be assigned to each team to take notes of the group's behaviour in making the movie.  The facilitator will then feedback to the panel of judges the group's behaviour, which can then be used as judging criteria, but more importantly, as key learning points for debriefing.

Hence, there are a few key advantages in conducting such kinds of teambuilding:

  • Team members are going to have fun making their own movie, while at the same time, experience stress due to the tight deadline and the competition between groups;

  • Such activities can be conducted just about anywhere, be it indoors or outdoors, in summer or winter, in an office building or a 5-star resort;

  • Behaviours that drive innovative culture such as empowerment, honesty, leadership etc. can be spotted and used as debriefing learning points; and most of all

  • The movies can be brought back to the workplace so that the learning experiences can be reviewed repeatedly.


If you would like to generate more creative ideas for your teambuilding event, you can e-mail or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001

About Directions Management Consulting


Directions Management Consulting is the partner of LeadershipIQ in China and Asia.  LeadershipIQ helps more than 125,000 leaders every year through the facts drawn from one of the largest ongoing leadership studies ever conducted is used to help companies apply resources where the best possible results be achieved.


In addition, Directions Management Consulting is a leading provider of sales performance, innovation and experiential learning solutions in China and many parts of Asia. is the sales performance arm of Directions Management Consulting specialising in conducting training, research and consulting services for sales managers and their team.


Raybattle is the strategic partner of Directions Management Consulting specialising in experiential learning events and management retreats.


Currently, Directions Management Consulting has served clients such as InterContinental Hotels Group, Unilever, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche, Philips Lighting, Carrier, Ingersoll Rand, Freudenberg etc.


Through collaboration with consultancies such as Forum Corporation, MTI, de Bono China, ProWay etc., the consultants in Directions Management Consulting have served clients such as PwC, Air Products, Evonik, Wacker, Epson amongst others.


Directions Management Consulting will increase its efforts to conduct leadership studies in China and other parts of Asia, so that more companies apply resources where the best possible results be achieved in this part of the world.


Enquiries and suggestions, pls. e-mail or visit



Mailing Address: Shui Cheng Nan Road 51 Lane No. 9 Suite 202 Shanghai 201103 China