Email: We aren’t able to innovate effectively. A skills gap? (Malaysia)

A few humble thoughts. Innovation is a buzzword, a cult around. 70,000 books. Read 20 pages per day, 2,500 years to complete. Google search yields 2 billion results. While innovation really means improvement, employees may hear alarm bells! No time for positive spin before perceptions of a threat.

Instead of scaring with I-word, can we find words specific to context, industry that speak of curious evolution, continuous benefit? A global manufacturing company branded innovation process as a simple, manageable word – idea. While not everyone thinks they can be innovative, nearly everyone has at least one idea! Recognition, reward works wonders.

Perhaps, a ‘re-invention day’ to re-evaluate plans, recalibrate processes, bet on new ideas. Creative phrases for programs, projects like simplicity, growth, health. Ideas seamlessly integrated in business strategy.

The word innovation speaks to external stakeholders, but when it comes to engaging employees, rather not. Terms chosen for teams that resonate with innovation aren’t for PR, Davos announcements, CEO agendas. This way, innovation may actually stand a chance. Good luck!




Email: How can we improve emotional intelligence in team? (Spain)

E.I. is a unique human ability to work with, through others to accomplish important goals. A set of skills to recognise, understand, manage emotions, influence others. Critical in building, maintaining high performing organisational structures. A high emotional quotient (EQ) brings ideas, job satisfaction. Can be learned, enhanced. Building blocks:


An ability to identify emotional impact. Emotions impact behaviours, performances, interactions. Awareness brings confidence, creativity, passion, purpose.


An ability to manage emotions, team behaviours in different scenarios. Helps remain calm, balanced, focused in tough situations with positivity.

Social Awareness

Understanding emotions empathetically, compassionately. What others feel, share, wish to improve in job experiences.

Social Skills

Includes influence, conflict management, ability to inspire, stimulate belief. An objective sense of who we are, what drives us. Receiving honest, constructive feedback is key. High E.I. creates links between emotions, behaviours, goals. Handles challenges with tact, diplomacy.

Recognise emotions, name them

Can we name emotions? In stressful situations, which emotions typically arise? How do we respond? Can we pause, re-consider response? Tempers reactivity, resistance.  


Humbly audit levels of self-perception, self-love. No self-criticism. Recognise ones with high E.I.

Read literature

Reading improves empathy. Understanding people’s perspectives helps gain insights into their thoughts, drivers. Few recommendations:

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 – Bradburry, Greaves

Emotional Intelligence – Goleman

HBR Guide To Emotional Intelligence

Primal Leadership – Goleman

Working With Emotional Intelligence – Goleman

Hope this helps as a start. Love reading these books…



Email: How can we improve email writing skills in team? (Philippines) 

Only by trial & error! Still learning how to structure emails to maximise chances of success. A few tips:

1st thing an email recipient sees is our name, subject line. Critical subject clearly clarifies purpose of email. Specifically, what we want them to do with note. Keywords like action, decision, request makes stuff absolutely clear. Start subject – ‘Action: submit project proposal’. 

Military professionals lead emails with short, staccato statements called BLUF – Bottom Line Up First. Declares what’s required upfront. BLUF quickly answers 5W’s – who, what, where, when, why? BLUF helps readers instantly, clearly digest communications.

Short, succinct emails are more effective, try to fit content in 1 pane. Use active voice, puts nouns ahead of verbs. By using active voice we make verbs do the work for us…