Paddling in sync: Creating a corporate culture to align every members' attitudes

Apr 26, 2017

The content below is an excerpt from one of the welcome letters from Clive Tan, to his team members in 8I Holdings.

Since 8I’s inception in September 2008, we have grown from strength to strength, and this has shown through our team achievements and business results. We remain encouraged by our achievements but the more crucial issue is determining what we do in the present so as to achieve the results for our future together as a team.

What is most challenging in achieving greater successes in the future is often due to the people involved. While people is absolutely crucial in achieving anything worthy to humanity, to get everyone to work together in an aligned manner is often not so straightforward. Just imagine a Dragon Boat Team: Even if everyone paddle and put in their 100% effort, if the team members are out of sync or paddling in a different direction, the Dragon Boat will be bumpy and moving in all other directions in the waters, eventually failing what the team had envisaged it to be. Yet, with everyone putting in his or her effort in alignment, the Dragon Boat can definitely out-sail a single canoe in a race. This is the reason why it is so important for all of us to understand that we are all inter-dependent on one another when we are on the same boat and that we have put in place certain policies and rules to guide our attitudes and behaviours.

While our past might have seem like a linear and smooth progression, the reality is that we have actually gone through plenty of volatility to reach where we are today. Just like the Dragon Boat, as our resources grow, our boat will also grow bigger in size. With that our journey will definitely not be a smooth ride and much progress has to be made by moving forward, in the best manner we can, correcting and refining our strategic and tactical moves like our paddle strokes as and when necessary.

It is my belief that if we are able to bring out the best in every one of our team members and that their efforts and results are aligned, we can achieve miracles together. I cannot imagine how else our company can grow well other than everyone of us being so inspired by who we can become and what our company can grow into going forward. And if we can do that, we can touch the lives of the many human beings who come across our paths and in turn be inspired to make their moves towards their own respective visions.

The biggest advancements and achievements in humanity have often been achieved through groups of people led by visionary leaders who took on the unknown and keep moving towards the vision. While the vision may be a blur in the initial stages (as if often the case initially since it is so far away!), it gets clearer as we move together towards it. And because the vision is a very big idea and imagery, it takes plenty of effort and time to move closer to that. The interesting thing is as we work towards our vision, it becomes clearer and clearer over time, like our strong Dragon Boat which will eventually reach our final goal.

Clive Tan
Executive Director, 8I Holdings Ltd

April 2017 

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