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Lesson Blog

Lesson 4 Refection

posted 15 May 2009, 22:44 by Roderick Chia   [ updated 15 May 2009, 22:59 ]

Going through the presentation are both exciting and torturing. It is exciting when I see groups that presented very well what they wanted to do and have very good strategy in the execution.  The torturing came when I see problem but not supposed to guide them too much as the objective of EN105 is to assess their ability to plan and execute.  It should be based on their skill and strength as well as their business idea.  It should not be from me as it will not be fair for other groups if the idea from me. I need to balance this well. Some really did not understand what they have learned from previous lesson and need serious help. If I foresee serious pitfall, I may have to guide them from this blog.  Hope that they will read and get the "hint" ;-)

Lesson 4 (Business Plan Presentation)

posted 5 May 2009, 09:20 by Roderick Chia   [ updated 21 Oct 2009, 00:04 ]

What to expect?

Now that your exam has over, many of you start to put in more effort into EN105. The presentation and the written plan provide a total of 50% of EN105A score. Every participants present in the presentation are to provide your scoring and comment to the other teams that present.  The feedback will be done online via electronic form.  Instruction will be given on the lesson day.  The comment provided will be forwarded to the respective team for their consideration. Format of presentation will be 15 min presentation and 5 min Q&A. All team are advised to rehear before hand and keep to their time.  Tool for presentation can be ppt, flash or any other tools that could best bring out the strength of the team and the project.

What did Mr Roderick Chia want to see?

Don't waste time trying to second guess my mind! My interest, my style, my preferred business model and my desire got nothing to do with how I'm going to grade the business plan! In fact the Overview & Objectives of the course gives you very clear view of how it will be assessed.  A general guideline and the questions that I'll ask are,
  1. Is the team cohesive? If there are differences in the team, are they able to professionally agreed to disagree and make decision based on the best interest of the organisation (every members of a group are assumed to belong to an organisation or a company, whichever best fit the project or projects)
  2. Are the business model, strategy and plan innovative, practical and executable?
  3. Is the team able to preempt pitfall? In an event of a pitfall, is the team able to recover fast and move on correctly and learn from the mistake?
  4. Is it a one off project or a sustainable endeavour? For one off project, is there a proper plan for an elegant closure with accountable achievement? For a sustainable long term project, is there a plan that is workable in long term?
  5. Does the plan show clearly what the idea is and how it can be delivered?
  6. If the best interest of the organisation is to have more than 1 project concurrently, then the effectiveness fof the team to manage resource well enough to handle more than 1 project will also be assessed.
In a nutshell,  "Tell me what you want to do", "Tell me how you want to do" then "Do it"!

Official Course Assessment

Business Plan 50%

The business plan is to be around 15 pages but not to exceed 25 pages (exclusive of NTC's Assignment Submission Declaration Form).  Please follow the format given in the McKinsey booklet provided to you.  A soft copy and hard copy submission is required. During session 4, project teams are also required to make a presentation on the business idea (maximum of 15 ppt slides). Do note that the presentation information and business plan details need not be identical. Consideration should be given if sensitive information is presented: pay attention to what you present to whom and how! Hardcopy of business plan to be submitted to NTC reception; Softcopy is to be uploaded on edveNTUre via the link under ‘Course Documents’. Deadline: 22 May 2009, 1700hrs.

Preparation for Lesson 3

posted 26 Mar 2009, 21:41 by Roderick Chia   [ updated 27 Mar 2009, 10:13 ]

What to expect in Lesson 3?

In Lesson 3, every groups will be given 15 min to present the idea that they have, followed by 5 min of Q&A (setup time is part of this 20 min). For groups that have yet to confirm what they will be doing, they are supposed to present on a list of what they are trying to explore and the difficulties they face as well as how they intent to overcome them. 

Instead of standard ppt presentation, every group is EXPECTED to use their blog site as a visual tool for the presentation. As such, it is expected that all the blog is updated with the content and the right layout by Lesson 3.  Given that this announcement is 1 week before the lesson, ignorance is not an excuse. In view of tie schedule, the lesson will start right on time and every group shall strictly follow the time allocated.

BTW, please note that it is 1 week after my first lesson and 1 week more to the next lesson, yet only about 50% activated the account and logged in at least once. As far as I'm concern, if by the 2nd lesson, anyone yet to log in, I'll assume that the person has yet to do anything about the project.

Latecomer & Absentee

In order not to be identified as a latecomer, I suggest that you plan to arrive 10 min before the lesson.  Considering that you have only 3 official lessons with me, missing 2 out of 3 lessons shall consider missing the stipulated attendant requirement. This shall have negative impact on the grade irregardless if there is a valid reason for missing lesson.

  • How do I embed Flash files (.swf) into my blog?
Technically, you cannot embed anything that Flash file into the web page via normal edit tool provided by Google Site. However, there is nothing in Google Site that prevent uploading of any kind of files. If you create the page as a File Cabinet, you can certainly upload flash file. But how then can you get it to display in the blog site since Google site does not support embed and script? This is where you need to innovate-between-2-boxes. Note that Google Site support google gadget (under Insert-> More...). As there are many developer developing for google gadget, you may try to find if there is a gadget called Flash Player! If there is, then "bingo", you have a solution. View and see what I tried as an example ;-)
  • If there are discussion that our team does not wish to share with the public yet have to keep instructor in the loop of the discussion blog, how can we do it?
Create a Google Document and make the document viewable by the instructors and editable by the rest of the team members.  However, a summary of the discussion need to be presented in the blog as a shared content for education and presentation purpose.

Follow your Dream!

posted 22 Mar 2009, 21:16 by Roderick Chia   [ updated 22 Mar 2009, 21:37 ]

Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

I've a Dream

While getting involved in EN105, I notice that there are individual that are always passionate about their work and there are those that took the course just as another academic pursuit.  For the former, you are on my side and for the later, you are losing a big part of your life.  I took up this appointment not just because it another job but out of passion for education.   In view of this, I strongly suggest those that have a dream to have the courage to follow through.  To cheer you up in downtime going through extreme hardship in the pursuit of your dream, I'll like to introduce you to a lecture by Randy Pausch.  His mindset is what we can learn.

Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch, who is dying from pancreatic cancer, gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium. In his moving talk, "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," Pausch talked about his lessons learned and gave advice to students on how to achieve their own career and personal goals.

If you have 1hr 25min to spare, do click on the video on the left and watch the motivational video of a real life story.

Lesson 2

posted 22 Mar 2009, 06:13 by Roderick Chia   [ updated 26 Mar 2009, 21:40 ]

A Good First Lesson

My first official lesson to students of EN105 has been rewarding because both the classes ask enough questions so that I was able to set my expectation very clear in order not to have students coming to me telling me that they are unaware of the objective of the course.  Below is the slide for those that missed the class and for those that want to review again.  Anyway, the slide did not tell much as the content are all being shared verbally and the slide contained just pointers.

Google Presentation

In this lesson I mentioned about the unique strength of Google unknown to many.  To have better understanding of the edge of Google, I suggest the book "The Google Legacy".  It highlighted many insights into an innovative company. 

Below is a video taken from "A Beautiful Mind" explaining the concept of governing dynamic in a layman point of view. This theory is the foundation of games theory and highlight the importance of collaborative thinking. Unfortunately, just noticed that this video cannot be embed by request so for those interested, visit YouTube directly to view this video.

A Beautiful Mind - Bar Sence

In the lesson I also shared about Blue Ocean Strategy and I recommend those who wanted to learn more to refer to the official site for information.  


Before the morning class started (since a number of them were late and class is delayed), we briefly discussed about current affair with special focus on money politic.  In the class I highlight the important of understanding what money is. Yet this very complicated subject has great impact to entrepreneur that really understand it.  I'll like to shared this video below that I strongly recommended for those who like to know more.  

Enjoy and hope that you have fun understanding money!

Money as Debt

Social Entrepreneurship

I'm happy to know that there are groups looking into social entrepreneurship, however, I need to highlight whichever group proposing social enterprise is mindful that it is not merely clarity. While that maybe different definition of social entrepreneurship as this phrase has been greatly abused, in this course I'm inclined to follow the view as set by Ashoka founder, Bill Drayton.  His view of social enterprise has a more sustainable greatness as such, I'm of the same view.  Below is his address to employee of Google.

"Social Entrepreneurship" - Ashoka's Bill Drayton speaks at Google

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