Doing business with ERIC in mind
| Danial Norjidi |
ELIMINATE, reduce, increase and create (ERIC) – these four words represent a key aspect of what was taught during a two-day business workshop that concluded yesterday.
The relevance of these four words to businesses was highlighted by workshop facilitator Dr Peter Ting, Chief Co-Creation Strategist & Co-Founder of the Strategic Co-Creation Group, Malaysia.
As he explained, eliminating unnecessary activities and reducing the use of resources can allow a business to increase the resources elsewhere and create other opportunities.
The workshop began on August 12 as part of the Local Business Development (LBD) Forum, which was organised by Asia Inc Forum with major partners Baiduri Bank.
Like the forum, the workshop centred on the topic of building resilient businesses – resilient in the sense that they can thrive, progress and be successful, particularly in challenging situations, such as difficult economic climates.
“To do that, there are a few fundamentals that we must put into place,” Dr Ting said in an interview yesterday.
These fundamentals pertain to three questions that businesses need ask themselves, which he first highlighted during the LBD Forum itself.
The three questions were highlighted in the workshop. In further explaining the concept yesterday, he said, “First is to clarify our strategy intent, by asking yourself, ‘where am I now?’, not just in business but in your personal life,” he said, while also underlining the importance of growing leaders within one’s business.
“The second question is, ‘where do I want to be?’, how to create a new future. The question sees us go through the same thing, which is sharpening our focus in terms of focusing on activities that will be of high value and result in high growth.”
This, he said, is “because we are all limited by 24 hours in a day only, so focus on doing the vital things that really matter.”
He asserted that all of the participants’ focus have been sharpened to centre on high value activities or activities that will make the most return in terms of the investment and time, as well as how they can do more with available resources.
“We are not talking about additional investment or resources, but how to do more with what we have, how to reinvent ourselves moving into the future by answering that second question of where we want to be.
“Now, as we move into the future, it is not something that we do through trial and error. Doing business is high risk. So what we’ve been going is showing them how they can minimise the risk of failure while maximising the growth of opportunities before them in a systematic step-by-step manner rather than going through trial and error.
“The final question we ask ourselves is, ‘how are we going to get there?’. With all the new insights we have acquired by asking ourselves the first two questions, we then figure out what are the resources, activities that we need to eliminate or reduce? This is because whatever you eliminate or reduce will lower your costs of running.
“If I lower my internal cost, I will increase my profit margin. So once we know what to eliminate and reduce, that’s one side of the coin. Then you release your time and resources onto the other side of the coin which represents areas that you ought to do more in or increase.
“So eliminate, reduce, increase and create,” he added.
He also shared that they discussed the topic of “intrapreneurship” – creating and developing entrepreneurs among staff within one’s own organisation. This, he said, can help create leaders in one’s business, and can both motivate and empower them, and thus, ensure better performance.
Six companies had representatives participate in the workshop. These participants each gave short remarks to share their thoughts on it.
One participant said, “This workshop has allowed us to open our eyes and see where we really are and thus cast our vision forward, and potentially create a good future for our company.”
Another said, “Coming from an engineering background, this was very interesting and useful for me. The facilitator is very knowledgeable and very interactive.”
Still another participant said, “The training was very good. I have never experience business training before, and this was very worthwhile. I really do appreciate this.”
To mark their involvement in the workshop the closing ceremony saw participants given certificates by Pengiran Azaleen bin Pengiran Dato Haji Mustapha, Head of Retail Banking and Branch Network at Baiduri Bank.