Finding permanence in constant movement

Categories: Entrepreneurship

Upon graduation from Engineering, Eugene landed himself a job in a well-known MNC Motorola.  He was selected for a program to specialize in statistical and analytical tools deemed extremely useful and popular in the 1990s, which led to his Six Sigma Black Belt certification.

That program opened a door for him to enter the mentoring and coaching space where he met candidates from diverse backgrounds and gave him abundant learning opportunities.  What also became clearer was his passion for Continuous Improvement career, where he could see projects from start to closure instead of a routine job.  

He took a leap of faith after a decade in Motorola and went to Honeywell to lead regional Six Sigma program that focused on Continuous Improvement projects driving cost saving and efficiency.  His regional role enriched his experience, but realized something he could further sharpen on : lean management skill that would make him more rounded in his profession – to expand his knowledge and experience from depth to breadth.

A job came by for him to move to China to work for automotive industry as Business Excellence leader.  This was a golden opportunity as lean skill is paramount in the automotive industry.   

He led business excellence program across 13 factories and other functions such as engineering and sales and travelled widely to run Kaizen (improvement) workshops.  While living in a foreign country managing a wide range of cultural shocks, adversity and challenges in work never stopped.  In one of the extreme situation, workshop participants said they “don’t want to do” and almost walked out of the kaizen workshop.  Riding through all these challenges and learnings, he acquired and appreciated the importance of soft skill that enables mindset change which drives behavioural and performance improvement.

After four years of extensive travelling, family priorities compelled him to leave for a job based in Singapore with lesser travelling and worked in a valve manufacturing company managing operational excellence program.  However, his experience in leading change and crisis management soon got himself pulled into a SWAT team that was parachuted into different sites diffusing crisis.  In one of the assignments, he had to constantly live in and out of Japan to oversee the operations.  Travelling was even more extensive than the previous job.  He enjoyed good team and comrades throughout his work, but eventually had to bid farewell despite being offered a higher role – a decision on what he could do versus what he liked to do. 

Settled back in Singapore working at Pfizer, he is still continuing his passion leading operational excellence program regionally.  His recent study in Neuro Linguistic Program (NLP) opens up a new facet of utilizing IQ, EQ, PQ (Physiological Quotient) and even SQ (Spiritual Quotient) to help in leading change management, operational excellence and innovation program.

It’s not easy to manage priorities and expect your next career transition, but years of overseas and diverse experience has taught Eugene to be “versatile and flexible”


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