3Qs businesses need to ask themselves
| Danial Norjidi |
TO BE resilient and able to endure a difficult business environment, entrepreneurs should first ask themselves three questions.
“I have discovered that the way for us to consistently bounce back over and over again is to do with asking the right questions,” said Dr Peter Ting, Chief Co-Creation Strategist & Co-Founder of the Strategic Co-Creation Group, Malaysia.
Dr Ting was speaking in a panel discussion during the Local Business Development (LBD) Forum held on Tuesday, in response to a question on how businesses can survive challenging times.
“It doesn’t matter at what stage of the growth we are in, whether we are facing any financial downturn or crisis,” he continued. “There are three questions that I have always learned to ask and have always asked my mentees to ask themselves.”
He asserted that “asking the right questions is more important than getting the right answers, because of the very dynamic environment. At different points in life, we need to ask the right questions.
“The first question is where am I now? This is about knowing what your current situation is, without explaining or giving excuses why it will not work. Ask yourself, where am I now?”
“Understand your current situation and find out how you can make the most of all that you have. Find out where you are now in terms of your existing products, services, resources, abilities, and which area you are yet to maximise or make the most of.
“The second question is where do I want to be?” Dr Ting recounted how he, as a lecturer, earned $50 an hour. Rather than accepting that he would earn this for the rest of his life, he asked himself what he could do to earn $1,000 an hour.
“Subsequently, I asked myself how to jump from $1,000 to $10,000,” he said. “Changing questions in my mind and how I talked to myself has really transformed my own journey as well as many of the mentees and businesses that I partnered and worked with.
“The last question is how am I going to get there? With a clear purpose, goal and focus in mind, the last question must be answered in great detail.”
“Excellence is to do with details. I believe that we need to ask questions to get our big picture right and know where we are going.”
“I ask myself this question all the time. If you don’t like where your business is, what are you going to do? Are you going to blame the government? Are you going to blame your staff – the staff hired by you? If you say your business is no good because your staff are stupid, the next question is, who hired them? You hired them? You say they are stupid? Then what is the boss?” The forum attendees responded to this comment with enthusiastic applause.
Dr Ting shared that his journey began 12 years ago, when he first hit rock bottom, after being betrayed by a partner in a previous venture and left with nothing. Financially, he “went down to zero”, he said.
What resulted for him were family and financial crises, as well as a fitness crisis, he joked. He asserted, however, that he had no time to remain in his crises.
“That is when I asked myself where I was and where I wanted to be. Although my previous dream had been shattered to pieces, I needed a new dream, a new vision for the future. So I asked myself the third question, what must I do? I had to pull myself together, and that’s when I realised with whatever business we are doing, it begins with leadership.”
“Keep asking the right questions. Asking the right questions is more important than getting the right answers,” he added. “After all, if you ask the right questions, the superior answers are waiting for you.”
As the Chief Co-Creation Strategist and Co-Founder of the Strategic Co-Creation Group in Malaysia, Dr Ting is responsible for mentoring his core team leaders as well as forming strategic partnerships to co-create socially responsible enterprises that are aligned and synergised with high value offerings for buyers.
Dr Ting and his team focus on co-creating sustainable breakthrough growth strategies at both personal and corporate levels with their partners and clients. Together, he and his transformation team have developed a framework with tools that are applicable in all walks of life, cutting across multiple industries.