Enterprise Social Networking and Organizational Culture (Part 2 of 3)

Check out my 2nd of 3 vlogs on Enterprise Social Networking and Organizational Culture. If you missed the part 1, you can watch it here.





Building Corporate Culture with Social Learning in 5 Moments of Need

The ice-cream story

I’ll be posting my second vlog on Enterprise Social Networking and Organizational culture next week. Meanwhile, I thought you’d enjoy a “cartoon-strip” about ESN. I was inspired by a fabulous post  on the blog – This Much We Know. It’s the ice-cream story.  Enjoy!


It was a Friday afternoon. Danny, Senior manager HR, went to the office pantry.
He realized that there was a lot of left-over ice-cream from a previous
office event.


Danny went back to his cubicle and quickly opened up ToyBook-
the company’s Enterprise Social Networking Platform.




And all the way in accounting….
In another building…
in a distant part of the toy kingdom…


Soon, it was 2pm

Slide07 Slide08

Other toys saw that Leonardo was having a great time.



They didn’t think he deserved all that ice-cream to himself so they decided to stop by at the pantry too.

Many toys from different parts of the company turned up and they had a great time enjoying the ice-cream.


Danny was very excited when he saw his colleagues post about the fabulous time that they had together !Slide14


So THIS…is the promise of ESN. Connection and the promise of collaboration regardless of distance and time. But does it actually pan out this way for organizations that have adopted ESN? Look forward to my next post! I’ll be sharing exploring examples from Tesla, Red Robin and an organization that shall not be named!

Stay tuned and have a fab weekend!


Many thanks to the blog This Much We Know for inspiring this. Do check out that blog for some great insights into personal branding, the social enterprise, the future of work, the power of curiosity and other things.


My boys for sharing their toys with me. This would not have been possible without their generosity.

Twins Turn 5

My lil bubs who really aren’t lil bubs any longer turned 5 last week.


It was a hard week for me. It was a jumble of crazy emotions. I was excited about celebrating their 5th birthday and decided to throw them a little birthday party. I didn’t want them to feel like their birthday was different because we are so far away from home. Hubs and i decided to invite 4 families who we have grown close to here. And just have a get together at our place.

We decided to keep things simple. We didn’t even do a cake at their school or get goodie bags for their classmates. I’d love to say that it was because I didn’t want to forever raise my kids’ expectations on their birthday, but it really was because I had no bandwidth. I’m midway through the quarter and my workload is just crazy. So I really had to keep things simple. Especially when I didn’t have my mom and my sis-in-law around. Mom usually cooked for their birthday parties and my sis-in-law would help me with all the planning. I was also just missing my family period. And feeling generally overwhelmed!


The menu went from mee siam to roti jala because I needed to keep things simple plus i couldn’t find tauchu anywhere. My plans to make epok-epok got scrapped because thinking about peeling and cutting potatoes made me a little crazy. And as the weekend approached, I decided to not make little shepherd pie cupcakes for the kids. We ordered pizza instead.  Grand plans to make banners and decorate the apartment in a dinosaur+pizza theme was scrapped too. All I managed to do was this little birthday wall for my kids. And I only managed to get it done because I skipped a few readings for the week. All in all, I was a pretty big disappointment. To myself.


Seriously, everything went well. There was enough food. And hubs got the cake and pizzas sorted. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the kids had fun. Of course, Irfan ended up crying after everyone sang him Happy Birthday, but I guess it wouldn’t be complete if there was not a bit of drama. 



And courtesy of Fern and Stanley, we even managed to enjoy a yusheng and celebrate Lunar New Year. It was a birthday party cum reunion dinner (with roti jala instead of steamboat!)


To my darling boys, Ihsan and Irfan, Happy 5th birthday sweeties. I want you to know that Mama loves you more than life itself!


Winter break–> Almost over *Screams*

Oh my…winter break is almost over and I’ve done very little that I had set out to do. I had grand plans to revisit readings, consolidate the learning that I had experienced during the last quarter and to blog more. But all this lazy ass has done is bingewatched shows on Netflix.

Oh wait, I did read Purity by Jonathan Franzen and went on a road-trip so all was not lost…i guess. It’s a really good book, btw. I saw it at the Evanston library and picked it up, only because I read on NYT that President Obama is reading it. Yes…I read it because the president is reading it. I trusted that he had good taste in books. It was good. A little twisted. That is, almost all the relationships of the characters in the book are all twisted and dysfunctional.

Anyway. It’s almost the end of the break and I’ve learnt something about myself. I’m an all or nothing kinda gal. A person of extremes. I’m either working very very hard or i’m totally slacking off. There is no in between or at least it feels as if there is no in between. I’m either very stressed or totally chill.

I bet i’m in need of some mindfulness. yes… well…sighs…

Till later…

Election fever in Evanston, Illinois.

This 2015 election was an extremely unique experience for me. It was the first time I have ever been overseas during an election period. I love election season and would have been very excited to attend rallies this year, if we were back home. Election season 2011 happened when I had 2 newborns in the home and found it difficult to venture out to partake in the rally festivities 
But alas, I was to miss them again…
Fortunately, there was a good level of interest in the event here. Singaporean friends here in Evanston have been talking a lot about the elections, everyone following the rally speeches online and keeping up with the news. In fact, this morning, I spent my entire time on the treadmill discussing the elections with a fellow Singaporean friend who lives in the building.
Woke up this morning, went to the gym, headed home, had breakfast, tuned in to CNA live and watched the entire election coverage, up till the announcement of the Aljunied GRC results, which came on about 2pm or so here. My wattsapp was abuzz with commentary from back home, slowing down as the night, in Singapore, wore on.
I was as surprised as anyone to see the swing towards the PAP island wide. It was quite surreal watching it unfold here, in the US, because everything I had been reading, watching and sensing was telling me that PAP was in for an equally challenging time as in 2011. I felt I was really missing nothing from not being ‘on the ground’. I guess I was wrong. 

I am a pretty superstitious person. During one the last rugby world cups, I was showing off push-ups to my brother when my team (the Wallabies) scored a try. From then on during the tournament, i would do push ups every time the team was on the attack. Yeah…so my lil superstitious mind, wondered…”Hey, perhaps PAP’s great performance has something to do with the fact that this is the first election ever that i’m not in Singapore and not voting?” Maybe, I can get the party to sponsor an overseas trip for my family and I every election season? lol…that’ll also mean I get to skip election duty, which I’ve been lucky to have been able to avoid over the years. Ha ha!

I miss you Singapore and I am going to miss the chatter about what transpired last night!!! To my friends who ran and won- congratulations?

To friends who ran in the opposition camp, or volunteers and worked hard in support of them- Thank you so much for giving us Singaporeans a chance to vote.

Till the next one folks!

With love from Evanston,



It’s been a long while. Didn’t intend to blog today. In fact, I’ve been thinking a lot about shutting this blog down but haven’t quite found the will to do it. Not because I don’t enjoy it but because in the scheme of important things in my life. It isn’t that high on the priority list.

But somehow today, I feel like blogging – jotting down my thoughts and sending them into the world.

What have I been up to?

Been doing a lot of reflections lately and praying. A lot. And I think there’s a considerable amount of work I need to do on the home-front, personal front and professional front. Need to spend time with the kids. Need to be a better person, contribute to society, need to develop some of my own competencies so that I have more options for the future. Need to deliver on the KPIs at work and the increasing expectations that are brewing (a lot of it largely because I spend time telling people how much great work my team does! *groan*).

This means I need to be more focused with my time. So blogging’s been shoved aside for a bit. Not sure now, if that’s a good thing.

But today, I’m feeling exhausted and drained. For whatever reason, I’ve been experiencing low energy levels this last few weeks. No, I am NOT pregnant!

Seriously, was feeling so tired end of last week. The weekend didn’t help that much. And given lower energy levels, I was feeling utterly drained after spending the day with the  boys at Port of Lost Wonder. It was awesome fun and it was the sort of quality time, I know I need with my boys. But it’s left me very tired.

Plus, I went for tui-na massage yesterday. It’s been 3 months since my last visit, so I’m not in good shape. My back is all bruised up (not me in the pic below, although I pretty much look like that) and the session tends to drain or sap your energy. So i’m feeling super tired. However, I am looking forward to when the bruises go away, my body recovers and my zhi is improved!

Plus I’m feeling emotionally…kinda drained. I’m reading ‘Gaddafi’s Harem’ by Annick Cojean. It is vile. What is captured in between the pages of this book- it is inconceivable. And it makes me sad. For some reason, because I’ve been to Libya, and when all this monstrosity was ongoing, somehow i feel more connected to the experience of these women. I’m emotionally hyper-sensitive. I get affected by things around me very easily, and my experience with this book is a good example of how I can get emotionally caught up in things that may seem distant or separate from the individual. =(

While some men can be such vile creatures, I’m married to a really great guy. He isn’t perfect, but then again, neither am I. But I’m feeling greater partnership and support with and from him than ever before. We’re in such a good authentic place right now. Maybe it’s maturity, maybe it’s us settling into a more comfortable parenting role, maybe it’s the fact that our boys are bigger and letting us have more ‘us’ space. Whatever it is, I’m enjoying it and I’m hoping this partnership grows only stronger.

This sketch is the work of a former cubicle neighbour!

I’m feeling a little more energised now, people. Thank you!

Till next time!

Perth in 10 days with 8 adults, 3 kids and 1 uber cute little baby- Farmstays!

This wil be the 2nd last installment of this series (and quite a short one too). 
It’s taken much longer than I had initially planned for. But what I’m absolutely enjoying about this process, is how I’ve been able to savour and relish every moment of the holiday, again and again, as I revisit memories and photos for these blog posts.
Tonight I’m recalling my favourite bits of our trip. The farms and a cottage stay in a beautiful little cottage in between Manjimup and Pemberton- Diamond Forest Cottages
Before we headed to Diamond Forest Cottages, we had visited a little farm called Wonky Windmill Farm and Eco Park. The boys absolutely enjoyed feeding the animals at the farm. While my folks enjoyed some time picking oranges at the fruit orchard.
Llamas, donkeys, sheep, goats, kangaroos, chicken, lamb, you name em!
It was also enough running about in the outdoors to later knock the boys out in the car while we drove about 2 hours down towards Manjimup and Pemberton, where we went from driving past vineyards to roller-coaster steep roads deep in the woods.
With no cell-connection, so far in the countryside, and no maps. We trusted each other’s instincts and drove on google-map less!

The drive was absolutely worth it because we found ourselves at a wonderful quiet and beautiful retreat- Diamond Forest Cottages. Run by a charming couple, the property offers 4 cottages (that can house up to 4 adults each). The grounds were splendid and such a beautiful change compared to my own little life boxed up in a 4 room HDB flat, with a view of nothing but other HDB units.

The plan was just to chill and enjoy the property for the next 2 days. And we sure did…..Boy I miss the place!

Enjoy the pics!

My folks, brother and niece enjoying the afternoon.
One of the highlights of staying here was the animal feeding sessions every morning. You basically tagged along and fed all the animals in the morning. You’d have these friendly little doggie guides to walk along with you, often begging us to play catch with a chewed up tennis balls.
Ipin getting to know a really wet little baby lamb! Yes, he smelled much like lamb too after this walk!

I was amazed by just how brave my little ones were! 
The beautiful and friendly horsey, always came when we called and allowed us to stroke him as much as we wanted!
Baaaaaaaaa! And an Alpaca! Can you see? Or is it a Llama?

Soooo much space to RUN and muck about! 

My favourite Shetland Pony. I called him Noel, cos he reminded me of a friend!

The folks, the kids, the cottage and a really big chicken! You can see Mik looking very scared of it!

They were just sooooo happy!

You know you’re a city gal, when u see cows and want to take a selfie with them

Perth in 10 days, with 8 adults, 3 kids and a really cute baby girl! (Introduction)

So… I’m under some pressure to get my posts on our recent family trip to Perth out. Which is a good thing, because the memories are freshly imprinted in my mind. And because, I so want to capture the wonderful (and not so wonderful memories of travelling with the terrible two-ers) memories for my boys to read, when they’re old enough, I’m going to blog about it in a series of posts I’ve entitled ‘ Perth in 10 days, with 8 adults, 3 kids and a really cute baby girl!’.

Why? Read on!

Anyway, I hope you will enjoy this series, as much as I’m going to so enjoy putting it together.


Our adventures must obviously start with one question and one question only- How did 8 adults, 3 kids and a baby decided they wanted to go to Perth for a holiday?
One of my bestest friends from Secondary School had moved to Perth after her ‘O’s. I had never visited her even though we’ve kept in touch and she visits in Singapore quite often. So I decided, 2013 would be THE year, that hubs and I will bring the boys to Perth to visit. 
We thought by that time, we would have the guts to go through aiport security and custom checks, with 2 prams, 2 little fidgety boys AND suitcases. It also seemed realistic that by that time, we could imagine  spending 4-5 hours in a small confined space with our 2 very active little boys and a planeful of passengers who just want to relax and enjoy inflight entertainment, without one of three scenarios unfolding:
Scenario 1:  Boys throw uncontrollable tantrums and, Hubs and I throw ourselves out of the plane
Scenario 2:  Boys throw uncontrollable tantrums causing us to throw the twins out of the plane and 
Scenario 3: Boys throw uncontrollable tantrums, I breakdown in hysterics while hubs blocks everything out and continues to watch ‘The Intership’ on KrisWorld…and the other passengers throw all 4 of us out of the plane. 
In short, it would be a good time to test our mettle as parents of young twin boys.
Shared my idea with my mom, who said that she wanted to go to Perth too. She wanted to visit a cousin who had recently moved there. ‘Great!’ I thought. It would be great, if my mum and dad could come. It would mean much reduced probabilities of the 3 scenarios I outlined above, happening. This would be fabulous!
Then younger brother went, ‘Oits! We also want to come!’ His newborn would have been about 7 months. And it would be about time, both him and my sis-in-law would have emerged from the drunken stupour of (a) having plopped out a newborn into the world (my sis-in-law, not so much my brother), (b) having had to fuss over a cranky newborn day and all night and (c) having to deal with a firstborn who is going through a painful identity crises having lost his status as only-child, so very recently.
I kinda thought, ‘Oh shucks, this kinda evens up the possibilities of the 3 scenarios. In fact, the odds could work against us! It could be ALL 4 of us AND our 4 kids being thrown out of a flying aircraft.
But blood is thicker than my paranoia, so it was settled then, 6 adults, 3 kids and 1 little uber cute baby girl!
Then just a few months before we were arranging for tickets. Mum mentions randomly to some of her sisters that she was headed to Perth. And one of them said, ” Oits! I also want to come! And I’m bringing along my daughter”.
I’m not sure whether she knew what she was getting into, when she hollered,”Oits!” Cos, when my mum told me, my aunt and my younger single cousin was coming along,  I was thinking to myself,”Are they friggin crazy? It is going to be an absolute circus with the twin terrible two terrors, a 7-month old baby who screams her head off everytime she’s made to lie down and a little 3-year old boy who gets into daily scuffles with the twins.
Anyway. We warned them. Told them that we were planning an itinerary centred around keeping the kids occupied (who really cares what the adults want? Right?). And reminded them that we would not take any responsibility for any mental health issues or physical hurt they may encounter, or inflict upon themselves, if the children…or for that matter…any of the other adults…drive them mad.
Mum assured me that there was no need to ask them to sign a legal indemnity form. 
And so it was, that we embarked on our adventure of Perth in 10 days, with 8 adults, 3 kids and a baby.
Stay tuned…
In the next installment of Perth in 10 days, 8 adults, 3 kids and a really cute baby girl….
Unexpected Spring Showers initially dampen spirits but, nothing stops the party of 11 from spending some super cool time feeding super sleepy kangaroos at Caversham Wildlife Park….

A sneek peek of what’s to come!….

11 Random Facts- Liebster Blog Award

Singapore Tam Tam has honoured me by awarding this blog the Liebster Blog Award!

Of course, like all proper awards, it comes with strings attached. These are the strings:

1. When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer 11 questions from the person who nominated you.
2. Pass the award onto 11 other blogs (make sure you tell them you nominated them!) and ask them 11 questions.
3. You are not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated you!
4. Make sure the blogs you chose have 200 or LESS followers

So here goes!

Random Facts
#1: I cannot, for the life of me, stand seeing coins lying around. Coins MUST be placed in a purse, piggy bank or coin holder. It should not EVER be lying around.

#2: When I was 11 I had a crush on a girl in the next level at school. Being from an all girls convent school, I wondered if I was a lesbian, and told my mother. She said its natural to admire someone else of the same gender. She said that we sometimes can confuse admiration for romantic feelings, and said she also experienced something similar when she was a young girl. I love the fact that I could talk to my mum about things like that from a young age!

#3: I used to listen to Malay Sandiwara (drama) on the radio with my late grandfather when I was a very young girl. He also taught me many Malay poems (which i don’t remember now) and would get me to recite them to visiting guests. He was the first person to start coaching me on public speaking! I’m not half bad at it today!

#4: I was skinny only once in my life. It was because a guy I really loved broke my heart, and I lost like 10 kilos because I lost the will to eat. 

#5: I am such a procrastinator! I almost always wait till the last minute to get something done.

#6: I LOVE Rugby! I used to train with what became the first Singapore Women’s Rugby Team but ended up not following through because I had to focus on my ‘A’ Levels!

#7: I met someone who asked me to help him with a Foundation to Teach English in Iraq in 2005. I really wanted to do it, but my parents said to earn money and ‘pay them back’ for their investment in my education. So I stayed in Singapore and got a job in the “gahmen”.

#8: I once acted as a Horny Malay Makcik in a Musical that was produced by Teater Ekamatra. It was written and directed by Gene Sharudyn.

#9: I once acted as THE Minah in a play titled ‘The Miseducation of the Minah Bukit” written by Alfian Saat and directed by Sani Hussin. I wish I could get my hands on the tapes or the script and recreate that event. I LOVED IT!

#10: I know I wasn’t born on 15th August 1947. But because I was born on 15th August, I believe I AM A Midnight’s Child (Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie). I was just born too long after 00:00 that my powers are very weak- they are powers of persuasion by the way. =P

#11: In Secondary School I was really close friends with 3 other girls, we called ourselves ‘US 4’. Yeah, how original? We always kinda, played pretend depending on what was our latest preoccupation. When we were crazy about U2, we pretended we were a band. When we were crazy about X-Men, we pretended we were superheroes. We would create alter-egos and everything. Us4 Rocked!

Now, answers to 11 questions Singapore Tam Tam posed:

1. What song or performer will make it onto every mix tape or spotify list you’ll ever assemble?
Keane- Somewhere Only We Know. Love that song and it has a lot of romantic history for me, with multiple men! lol…

2. What book or article are you still thinking about?
Twilight. I can’t believe I read the entire series even though I thought the writing was quite rubbish! Shame on Me!

3. Where on the internet do you waste most time? And where on the internet do you find most interesting/inspiring/influential news and stories?
Erk…online shopping sites! Way too much time on them, and I hardly buy anything! I find most interesting influential stuff on blogs of course!

4. What newspaper/website/twitterfeed do you follow to keep abreast of current events in your geographic area?
Singapore’s Straits Times, BBC, CNN and New York Times. Singaporeans think the world is their geographic area!

5. And where will you take me when I come to visit?
My parents home for dinner. My mom is  great cook and my dad is just a chatty person everybody just HAS to meet!

6. How do you meet locals in your neighbourhood?
I kinda like to keep to myself. So it’s random meetings in the lift. I also always give something during festive season to the neighbours. That’s when we make small talk and try and get to know each other.

7. How would you describe your style?

8. What’s your favourite hobbyhorse to get on? What do you love to hate?
I’m not sure I have a hobby. Is watching lots of tv shows a hobby?  =( I love to hate rude people on public transport!

9. What parenting taboos or practices have you come across in your culture?
Oh my folks tell me that if you have an unruly or mischievious little girl, bathe the young child under the groin of the father. And if it’s unruly little boy, bathe the little boy under the groin of the mother. That would set the kid right!

10. What parenting practices do you think should be adopted from elsewhere?
Hmmmm….I’m not sure. I’m kinda a go with the flow kinda mom, so I don’t know how to answer the question but to say, just got with your gut?

11. When and what made you change your mind?

Once sometime in 2006?…I was dating a guy I had had a crush on like forever. I seriously thought he would be it, until he told me to be cautious of a group of friends I was growing increasingly close to. He said they had ulterior motives in befriending me. I was like…WTF? Those people have proven their friendship to me when he hadn’t even begun to. Dumped him!

My 11 questions:
1- What’s the wildest, most unexpected thing that has ever happened to you?
2- What’s the last thing you do at night before you go to bed?
3- If you could be reborn as someone else, who would it be and why?
4- What’s the first thing you ever learnt to cook?
5- If you could travel anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be and why?
6- What’s the one thing you look or looked for in a partner/spouse?
7- If you could donate 1 million dollars to a good cause, what cause would it be?
8- iPad/iPhone or Galaxy Note? Why?
9- If i challenged you to a swimming race, what swimming stroke would assure you a win?
10- What’s the scariest thing you think you will never be able to bring yourself to do?
11- What’s your favourite number and why?

The blogs I nominate:
Lil Snooze
A Dallop of Me
Like A Wind
Fern of theForest
Our Little Smarties
Lady J

Looking forward to reading your responses! =)