all – Engineering Leadership – Institute for Engineering Leadership http://ielstaging.net Wed, 14 Nov 2018 18:00:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.16 EHIVE: SAVE THE DATE http://ielstaging.net/ehive/ Wed, 14 Nov 2018 18:00:58 +0000 http://ielstaging.net/?p=8102 The post EHIVE: SAVE THE DATE appeared first on Engineering Leadership - Institute for Engineering Leadership.

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EHIVE 14 NOV http://ielstaging.net/ehive/ Wed, 14 Nov 2018 18:00:47 +0000 http://ielstaging.net/?p=8097 If you want to know more – kindly email to iel_events@nus.edu.sg

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EHIVE 14NOV

If you want to know more – kindly email to iel_events@nus.edu.sg

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Corporate Leadership in Action: Straight talk from an Engineer Leader http://ielstaging.net/seah-moon-ming-lecture-edm/ Fri, 26 Oct 2018 18:30:52 +0000 http://ielstaging.net/?p=8032 The post Corporate Leadership in Action: Straight talk from an Engineer Leader appeared first on Engineering Leadership - Institute for Engineering Leadership.

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InnoVenture Solutioning Workshop – Ideas for Ideas http://ielstaging.net/iv-2018-solutioning-workshop/ Sat, 15 Sep 2018 15:01:36 +0000 http://ielstaging.net/?p=8335 The post InnoVenture Solutioning Workshop – Ideas for Ideas appeared first on Engineering Leadership - Institute for Engineering Leadership.

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InnoVenture Solutioning Workshop – Ideas for Ideas http://ielstaging.net/iv-2018-solutioning-workshop/ Sat, 15 Sep 2018 04:24:20 +0000 http://ielstaging.net/?p=8318       InnoVenture Solutioning Workshop – Ideas for Ideas (15 September 2018) By Elijah Ng, IEL Student Writer Having explored, understood, and verified the problems faced by their target consumers, our students were now ready to begin ideating. To help them get their creative sparks flying, InnoVenture organised a Solutioning workshop, with guest lecturer Patrick […]

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InnoVenture Solutioning Workshop
– Ideas for Ideas

(15 September 2018)

By Elijah Ng, IEL Student Writer

Having explored, understood, and verified the problems faced by their target consumers, our students were now ready to begin ideating. To help them get their creative sparks flying, InnoVenture organised a Solutioning workshop, with guest lecturer Patrick Chia (Director of the Design Incubation Center) from the School of Design & Environment in NUS. To get participants into the groove of divergent thinking, the workshop was kickstarted with a simple yet challenging activity: draw 30 variations of an apple.

With their right brains jump-started, they were then ready to explore the various methods of design thinking — and to apply them to their own problems. One of these methods was the journey map, which is perhaps the best alternative to the business canvas that most entrepreneurs are familiar with. Instead of collating the pain and pleasure points into a diagram, the journey map approach involved plotting out the user’s experience in great detail and then identifying the pains and gains involved in each step of the customer’s journey. This breakdown allowed students to home in on exact points in the process to find design problems and opportunities. It was a new approach anchored in user-experience.

After seeing their problems with a fresh set of design-thinking lenses, students were now ready to learn new ways of ideating — the act of coming up with as many solutions as possible to their identified opportunities. One of the more interesting methods taught was to attempt a force fit of emerging technological trends with their current problem. Though this did not lead to the creation of a new fancy blockchain-based cryptocurrency (thank goodness for that!), it did get students to start thinking about the implications of such new yet accessible technologies and to examine if existing solutions to other problems might be applicable to theirs.

Lastly, to wrap up the session, students learned to evaluate their ideas. This was perhaps, the most crucial step towards developing a brilliant idea. After having generated tons of ideas throughout the session, it was necessary to filter them down and further refine the best of their ideas. To accomplish this, students were taught the evaluation matrix, a simple, graphical method of classifying and narrowing down their ideas, allowing them to pick out the top few. After that, they were taught to provide critical and constructive feedback by utilising three statements, namely: “I like…”, “I wish… “, and “what if…”. This allowed them to give adequate validation for the areas which were good (something quite often left out in criticism), while also positively pointing out possible avenues for improvement, as is necessary for all constructive feedback.

It was a long but intense crash-course to the design process, but with all these Solutioning tools in the bag, our InnoVenturers were now ready to hit the drawing boards, get crazy with brainstorming, and dream up their MVPs! Best of luck to them!

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InnoVenture Customer Focus Workshop – Question, Question, Question http://ielstaging.net/innoventure-customer-focus-workshop-question-question-question/ Mon, 03 Sep 2018 05:10:32 +0000 http://ielstaging.net/?p=8068 The post InnoVenture Customer Focus Workshop – Question, Question, Question appeared first on Engineering Leadership - Institute for Engineering Leadership.

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InnoVenture Customer Focus Workshop – Question, Question, Question http://ielstaging.net/innoventure-customer-focus-workshop-question-question-question/ Mon, 03 Sep 2018 05:04:35 +0000 http://ielstaging.net/?p=8058       InnoVenture Customer Focus Workshop – Question, Question, Question (3 September 2018) By Elijah Ng, IEL Student Writer More than 90% of all start-ups fail. There are many reasons for that, but one of the most common problems that any enterprise can face is a disconnect between their product and the needs of […]

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InnoVenture Customer Focus Workshop
– Question, Question, Question

(3 September 2018)

By Elijah Ng, IEL Student Writer

More than 90% of all start-ups fail. There are many reasons for that, but one of the most common problems that any enterprise can face is a disconnect between their product and the needs of the market. Thus InnoVenture 2018 ‘s first bootcamp was focussed on the customer. Before they could even work on the problem statements, it was essential for the students to start with a clean slate, and question any assumptions they had early on. This was taught through a series of simple, yet thought-provoking activities. One of which was the classic build-a-wallet activity.

By probing into each other’s definitions of an ideal wallet, students were able to uncover the reality of their differing wants and needs. The ideal wallet is not a homogeneous idea: someone’s personal conceptualisation of the ideal wallet may not necessarily match another’s. While there certainly were some common wanted features, students were quick to learn that simply creating a product that they want was not a good gauge of its market desirability. There was a gap between the product they would have created in isolation, and what their neighbour would have wanted. It was only through connecting with their target customer and asking questions that this gap was closed.

Students were then tasked with prototyping a wallet and selling it to their friends. It was as difficult as it sounds, but lots of fun at the same time. The key lesson here was that it’s even harder to accurately implement and materialize something that was in-line with the ideals that the customer had laid out. Simply having the knowledge of a customer’s wants does not necessarily translate into being able to create a product that truly met their needs or wants. Students realised the need to continuously test their ideas, designs, and products. It was the only way to ensure that they were creating a product that the market really needed and wanted.

The session ended with team meet-ups with InnoVenture’s academic mentors and partner companies who had provided the problem statements for the year – InnoSparks, SAF Military Medicine Institute, Champs Industrial and Surbana Jurong. The first bootcamp provided the necessary foundation to start the students’ of on their InnoVenture journeys – they set forth to pinpoint the problems that truly need solving.

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Explore Beyond Your Boundaries http://ielstaging.net/explore-beyond-boundaries/ Wed, 29 Aug 2018 05:36:45 +0000 http://ielstaging.net/?p=8085 The post Explore Beyond Your Boundaries appeared first on Engineering Leadership - Institute for Engineering Leadership.

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Explore Beyond Your Boundaries http://ielstaging.net/explore-beyond-boundaries/ Wed, 29 Aug 2018 05:21:16 +0000 http://ielstaging.net/?p=8075   Explore Beyond Your Boundaries A sharing session with Mr Loke Wai San, Executive Chairman of AEM @ Engineering Auditorium on 29th August 2018 Organised By Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Institute for Engineering Leadership Article by Lim Teck Heng (Student Writer for IEL) Trained as an engineer but eventually making splashes in […]

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Explore Beyond Your Boundaries

A sharing session with

Mr Loke Wai San, Executive Chairman of AEM @ Engineering Auditorium on 29th August 2018
Organised By Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Institute for Engineering Leadership

Article by Lim Teck Heng (Student Writer for IEL)

Trained as an engineer but eventually making splashes in the business world, Mr Loke Wai San is testament to the benefits of a multidisciplinary education. In a sharing session with students, he recounted his school and work experiences, and outlined the values that fuelled his success.

Mr Loke listed his personal mantras, which also double as advice for students, as follows: keep learning, push beyond your comfort zone, take some risks, and remain humble. He also summarised the qualities that are important to him in the form of the acronym PACKING, which stands for Passion, Ambition, Courage, Knowledge, Integrity, Nurture, & Grit. In particular, he noted that most engineers were INTJs in terms of their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator which meant that teamwork does not come easy for them. Instead, it was something that needed to be learned and nurtured. He also pointed out certain synergies between the qualities: once someone acquires enough knowledge in the subject matter, the courage to take risks will come naturally.

At the tender age of 16, Mr Loke left for Lehigh University in the United States to pursue his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering. He branded those formative years as a period that ‘shaped his approach to life’. At Lehigh, he was challenged intellectually and forced to grapple with disciplines out of his comfort zone.

Mr Loke encouraged students to take up a mix of sciences and humanities to achieve a balanced education. He had fond recollections of his Freshman English classes where he had to pore through philosophy classics by the likes of Plato and Nietzsche. Initially, he struggled with academic writing and thought Freshman English was his toughest class ever at Lehigh. Yet by the end of it he was thankful that it shaped him into a more critical thinker. He felt that the ideas were so invigorating that he eventually pursued other subjects in Philosophy. He also went on to do a minor in Psychology.

Microelectronics was another class that Mr Loke enjoyed. It imbued in him the enduring principle of starting with the end in mind that he still holds dear in his heart even today.

In his macroeconomics class, the professor saw his potential in a finance-related career and advised him to reconsider his future. His professor’s words proved correct as Mr Loke later went on to have an accomplished career as a business consultant and entrepreneur.

Outside of academics, Mr Loke shared about the hobbies that he indulged in, and how they had shaped his character. He participated in team sports which taught him how to embrace failure and get up stronger each time he fell. Playing chess taught him the importance of having a game plan and plotting three steps ahead.

Mr Loke also urged students to mingle with overseas people when on exchange instead of sticking to the Singaporean crowd. He was speaking from experience as he had forged diverse friendships during his time at Lehigh. In his interactions with his overseas friends, he was humbled by how hard some of them worked to get a place in school.

After graduation, Mr Loke secured a R&D engineer position at Motorola. As a junior engineer, he was sometimes placed in high-stress situations and was expected to make huge calls that implicated entire production lines. Starting with the end in mind was a useful principle that Mr Loke abided by. It helped him make important decisions swiftly and efficiently. On one occasion, he decisively called for a systems level test when the production line was down. He intended to identify where the holes in the system were so that they could work backwards and debug the problem. After discovering that the problem could only be remedied the next day, he decided not to waste everyone’s time and asked for the workers to go home for the day. His spontaneity and openness with sharing data allowed him to bring engineering concepts to market quickly, earning him fast promotions up the corporate ladder.

During his subsequent tenure at management consulting firm AT Kearney, Mr Loke found that the Pareto Principle worked wonders for him. The Pareto Principle states that 20% of one’s effort brings about 80% of the outcome. This taught Mr Loke to be efficient with his resources and avoid investing excess effort into projects that would only reap diminishing returns. He also emphasised the need to be data-driven in problem-solving. He would begin with a hypothesis and gather evidence in a way that was mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive to validate his initial conjecture.

On the topic of investing, Mr Loke drew parallels between risk taking and a game of Texas hold ‘em. In Texas hold ‘em, one would fold after getting dealt a bad hand and calculating that the odds are stacked in his favour. Similarly, in investing, when credible information comes in showing that your stocks are failing, you should not persist with your bad investments in the blind hope that you can recoup your losses. In his words, ‘one should not take grit the wrong way’. Grit might be important but knowing when to cut your losses was just as important. He claimed that failure was nothing to be ashamed of, and that it was better to fail fast and start again. He did recognise that folding might be counterintuitive especially for INTJ types who are confident about their own judgements, so he emphasised that folding must be learned.

Mr Loke took questions from members of the audience. In one question, he was asked about the leadership qualities that he feels are important to an engineer. He highlighted two defining qualities: the ability to influence and change habits, and having a compelling vision for people to follow. Elaborating on his notion of a vision, he explained that today’s leaders cannot gain legitimacy just by ‘barking ideas’; there is a need for the ‘persuasion of critically thinking minds’, and a robust vision does just that.

Mr Loke also discussed what students should consider when deciding whether to join a start-up. He claimed that this decision should be personality-driven, and that students who derive a lot of joy from thinking of new ideas would be suited for start-ups. However, he offered a word of caution that jumping right into start-ups as a fresh graduate would expose one to too much chaos, and also hinder one from developing robust, long-term habits. Instead, he advised students to get their grounding first at a bigger company before moving to a start-up.

Mr Loke closed his sharing by issuing a call to action for all the students in the audience. He reminded them that while what they were learning in school was no doubt invaluable, they must stretch their learning and explore beyond their boundaries.

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InnoVenture 2018 Kickoff! @ E-Cubes http://ielstaging.net/innoventure-2018-kickoff-e-cubes/ Tue, 21 Aug 2018 07:45:53 +0000 http://ielstaging.net/?p=7947 The post InnoVenture 2018 Kickoff! @ E-Cubes appeared first on Engineering Leadership - Institute for Engineering Leadership.

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