Connect with us

Callum Connects

Patricia Reed, Mentor of Female Founder

Published

on

Patricia Reed has traveled the world and ended up in tech consulting quite by accident!

What’s your story?
I have been greatly influenced by living on four continents and working in IT. Originally from Texas, I moved to Oslo, Norway with my family as a child. Then again my junior year in college to the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1994, I moved to Belgium, and spent 12 years in Brussels, Belgium, with one amazing year in the middle in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, and now eleven years in Singapore.

My entry into tech happened in the early part of my career. I was job-searching for an entry-level position with a firm that would provide me with opportunities for professional growth. I interviewed for a temp job to replace a secretary during her maternity leave. My ‘career’ had not gone as I planned, and I was not at all interested in the role, but it was for a relative start-up called Cisco Systems, and my friend had insisted that I go. Reluctantly, I went, having sworn I would NEVER take another admin job, no matter HOW much I wanted to get into the company.
My luck changed when I sat down with the interviewer and he asked, “So, you’re here for the Sales role?” Pause. I glanced down and saw that it was indeed my CV in front of him. My heart skipped a beat, then, “Why yes, I’m very excited about it. Could you tell me more?” Instantly, my level of interest shifted. I listened intently to all of the details he shared.

I spent nine great years at Cisco, moved from Brussels to Singapore, and have been in Tech consulting and leadership ever since.

What excites you most about your industry?
The constant change! There’s no boredom or fat in tech. There’s always something new developing, building, and challenging the status quo. Organizations are in constant flux too, reflecting technology. AI, Cloud, IoT, the sharing economy technologies, driverless vehicles, robotics- what business is NOT impacted by technology today?

What’s your connection to Asia?
Our family actively pursued a move to Singapore eleven years ago. My husband and I were keen for a change of scenery but were determined to move BOTH of our careers. Neither one of us wanted the other to have to sacrifice, (and neither one of us wanted to bear the burden of being the sole breadwinner).

I thought the opportunity for my children to grow up learning Mandarin, and working in what we thought was the biggest geography for growth in the world was a very exciting prospect. Singapore offered opportunities for both of us that most places weren’t able to offer.

Favorite city in Asia for business and why?
I love Tokyo. The richness of the culture, the level of professionalism and courtesy of Japanese colleagues, the amazing food, the different customs and their appreciation and care for their city.

My first trip there, I learned a lot about working hours in Japan. At our first formal meeting with our potential high-profile customer, my only meeting with a professional business translator, we had managed to get our company to agree to fly in a talented Russian engineer from London who had worked on a project they were supposedly very keen to hear from. Five minutes into Vladimir’s carefully prepared presentation, one of the five men from the client fell asleep, put his head back and slept! I could not believe my eyes. I elbowed my Japanese colleague and whispered, irritated, wanting to understand what was going on. My colleague explained in few words that it was ok. I learned that it is apparently customary for the most senior member of the meeting to snooze, as they work and stay out so late.

I made rookie mistakes I learned from – I think they must have thought I was an ogre at one point. I remember having a really bad cold and turning completely around to blow my nose while out at dinner. When I turned back around, five Japanese male colleagues were in shock. The blood had completely drained from their faces and were pie eyed. I was like ‘oops?’ I won’t do that again!
The business that I closed with Japanese companies remains some of my favourite work, in terms of meaningful relationships and richness and complexity of the projects.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Years ago, a boss I loved told me, “not everything is black and white, there are so many shades of gray.” It is obvious now, but at the time, it really helped me. It is sometimes hard to navigate the situations we can find ourselves in. Withholding judgement, and responding with curiosity to understand intentions behind actions serve well.

Who inspires you?
Entrepreneurs, Hillary Clinton, (she’s like the Energizer bunny- just keeps on going), and Elon Musk.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
There are a few things, but I’ll choose the one related to my industry- the two female tech founders of “Witchsy” invented a male co-founder to combat sexism from investors, but also from their own employees. “Keith” had a much easier time giving direction to their employees than they did.

These female entrepreneurs found a brilliant way to fight sexism.

Posted by ATTN: Life on Sunday, 5 November 2017

Another, (if I’m permitted!) is related to global warming.

If Americans substituted beans for beef, the U.S. could still come close to meeting its 2020 greenhouse-gas emission goals, pledged by President Barack Obama in 2009. EVEN if nothing about the energy or transportation system changed—and even if people kept eating chicken and pork and eggs and cheese—this one dietary change could achieve somewhere between 46 and 74 percent of the reductions needed to meet the target.
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/08/if-everyone-ate-beans-instead-of-beef/535536/

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
As I get older, I realize that there are so many things that I could have done differently, but ultimately, the choices I made were the best available choices I had at the time. They have made me who I am today.

However, as far as investments, I would have leveraged myself more in rental real estate. It’s fantastic passive income, and I enjoy having parallel active and passive strategies at work.

How do you unwind?
Talk to friends, social media, meditation, Audible books, a good Netflix series.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Anywhere that is without connectivity, in nature, with the sounds of nature all around. Hard to find. One of my favourite places was at Khao Sok National Park, near Phuket, on a paddle trip. It was a very rudimentary camp, bamboo bungalows floating on the lake.

Everyone in business should read this book:
“Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters” by Richard Rumelt. I hardly ever meet a business leader with a clear understanding of strategy. It explains the critical components of a good strategy. A few takeaways: 1) too many companies mistakes goals for a strategy. $5 million in revenue by Dec. 2018 isn’t a strategy, it’s a goal. LOT of companies do this! 2) Strategies are not just what you WILL do, it’s also what you WON’T do. Great book.

Shameless plug for your business:
I excel at B2B leadership and consulting. Getting to the bottom of what is not working and how to fix it. I’m an excellent coach/advisor and love working to help businesses succeed.

How can people connect with you?
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/patriciareed/

Twitter handle?
Pareedus

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

Callum Connects

Denise Morris Kipnis, Founder & Principal of ChangeFlow Consulting

Published

on

Denise Mossis Kipnis’ curiosity in people and the world, lead her to set up ChangeFlow Consulting.

What’s your story?
I’m driven by curiosity. Having been the only one in a room who looks like me for most of my life, I developed a curiosity about who stays, who leaves and who thrives in minority/majority situations including when and how connection and collaboration happen. I was a systems thinker long before I knew what that was, always asking why and so what; and seeing the pieces, the whole, and the places in between. So helping people and organisations move through the complexity of transformation feels natural to me.

What excites you most about your industry?
I see change and inclusion as two sides of the same thing; I don’t practice one without the other. Some people see change as death, as loss, as exhausting. And it can be. But I see in the work I do as an opportunity for something new or hidden to emerge. When an organisation understands that it is first a group of people, who themselves represent and belong to groups of people, and it begins to tackle what it would mean to understand and learn from all that talent, all that diversity, to have them all working for and not against the organisation, to truly unleash all that their people have to offer; that’s magic.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Change and inclusion are personal values as well as professional strengths. For me, living and working outside of the States was a bold experiment to see whether any of the stuff I’d learned about change and inclusion would work outside of the US. My husband and I targeted Asia specifically: it would be the greatest contrast, culturally speaking, for me; and a unique career springboard for him.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Although I’ve practiced in other cities, I am biased towards Singapore. In some ways it’s what Los Angeles is to the rest of the United States, a microcosm of sorts. The regional/global nature of it means that so many different nationalities and cultures are represented. As a result of this mix, you never know what you might get. In some situations, cultural dynamics are obvious, sometimes subdued. The variability is compelling.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Never ask anyone to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself.” Michael Rouan.

Who inspires you?
Often it’s a “what” not a “who.” I can get inspiration from a passage in a book or a situation in a movie, as well as a turn of a phrase or watching people interact. I often make the biggest connections between the various threads I’m working on when I’m sitting in someone else’s event.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’m honestly not blown away by much. Instead, I’m struck how circular things can be: ideas often come back around with a slightly different twist and I watch the way it shakes things loose for people. I recently sat through a workshop on Self as Instrument, and despite being thoroughly versed already, I learned something. In preparing for a panel on design thinking, I unearthed a new language to describe things.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
You’ve caught me at a good time. I’m sitting in appreciation and gratitude for all my experiences, because I wouldn’t be who I was today if all that has happened, didn’t. And yet one thing comes to mind: It wasn’t until I redesigned my website two years ago (shout out to Brew Creative!) that I realised I hadn’t made explicit agreements with my past clients as to what I could share publicly about our engagement, or whether I could use their logos in my promotional materials. In my business, confidentiality is so important, and yet I need to be able to talk about the work as reputation and experience leads to the next success, and so on. It turned out a lot of the contacts I had known had left the organisations where the work was done, so they couldn’t help at that point. So the practice I’m carrying forward is to get those agreements up front, and to make sure my relationships in client systems are broad as well as deep.

How do you unwind?
Science fiction, puzzles, wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Home. I don’t travel to relax, I travel to learn and explore.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Built to Change, by Ed Lawler and Chris Worley. To my knowledge, it’s the first pivot from advising organisations away from stability and toward dynamism, from strategic planning to strategizing as an action verb; to blow up the traditions and rigidity that impede organisations from developing change capability.

Shameless plug for your business:
We’re taught that there are two kinds of people: those who see forests, and those who see trees. There is a third type, my type, and we see the ecosystem. Worms, climate, birds, the spaces in between. This is the perspective organisations need to be successful in solving complex problems and thriving in change.
ChangeFlow uniquely blends four disciplines (two of which are multi-disciplinary in themselves): organisation development, culture and inclusion, change management and project management.

How can people connect with you?
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChangeFlowConsulting/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dmorriskipnis/
LinkedIn Company page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/4862954/
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.changeflowconsulting.com

Twitter handle?
@ChangeFlow

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

Continue Reading

Callum Connects

Agnes Yee, Legal & Compliance Recruiter of Space Executive

Published

on

Agnes Yee started Space Executive in Singapore, which is a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies.

What’s your story?
After graduation, I joined a design media company as a Business Development Executive, during the era when ‘reading a magazine online’ was unheard of. I believe that laid the foundation for being unfazed by rejections.

I fell into recruitment pre-GFC and rode the highs and lows in the early years. A decade later, I decided to set up my own recruitment company, partly because I could. I’m acutely aware of the face that being an Asian female in Singapore is sometimes a privilege, and that many women in the world are living a very different existence.
Thereafter, we joined Space Executive as part of a merger. I am currently the Partner of Space Executive, a recruitment company focused specialist disciplines, including Legal, Finance, Digital, Sales and Marketing and Change. We also run Space Ventures, a venture capital business, which invests in seed and pre-series A businesses.

What excites you most about your industry?
On a daily basis, we’re influencing how one spends a third of their day. It is interesting how the Internet has transformed the industry, and I’m excited to see how we can harness technology to bring us to the next phase of this business.

The VC is an extension of applying our skills and experience in reading people. We very much invest in the people as much as the idea. Being a native Singaporean, it’s been exhilarating watching Southeast Asia becoming a hotbed of ideas; and young entrepreneurs simply daring to dream.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m a born and bred Singaporean. I love that I speak both English and Mandarin, grew up playing with Indian friends and eating Malay food.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore for the low barriers of entry to set up a business, but has to be China (and Hong Kong) for their hunger and constant innovation.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
青春不要留白 which translates to ‘Don’t waste your youth.’

Who inspires you?
Anyone who has gone against the grain.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It wasn’t recent but reading the article on https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html never fails to blow my mind how little time we have left. Charting our lives in weeks, and realising I only have enough time left to enjoy 60 Christmas turkeys, read 300 books (all if I’m lucky); and mostly, I’m left with the last 5% of the time that I spend in-person with my parents.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’m cognisant that every decision I made in life has brought me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t change one thing. But I’d really like to have had more time to travel.

How do you unwind?
Exercise and wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Trekking any mountain in Asia. It brings us back to the most basic. To overcome elements of nature and our own mind.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Start with Why, Simon Sinek

Shameless plug for your business:
Space Executive started in Singapore, a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies. We assist organisations in accessing a targeted and specialised, and often times transient talent pool.

Out of Singapore, we have recruited across 14 countries; and have embarked on our global expansion plans with offices in Hong Kong and London this year, and US, Japan and Europe in the following years.

Space Ventures provides funding, management and financial guidance to young businesses with original ideas. We have invested in peer to peer lending platforms, credit scoring, social media education, and other start-ups spanning diverse industries. We are always interested in hearing more about new ideas.

How can people connect with you?
https://www.linkedin.com/in/agnesyee/

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

Continue Reading

Trending