Archive for March, 2010

A terrifying read

I read ” The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston it in one swoop overnight. The book scared me so much I haven’t stopped talking about this piece of non-fiction since.

Between 1967 – 1993 a deadly, exotic “hot” virus made its way from the African rainforests to  the suburbs of Washington leaving its victims literally dissolving to death.

The deadly ebola virus is the star of this bone chilling epidemiological thriller. 

Preston does a remarkable job of piecing together interviews and scientific information to craft a medical cliffhanger like nothing else I’ve read.

When Steven King describes this  book as “One of the most horrifying things I’ve ever read”, you know you are onto a really scary read.

This book was published in 1994; I have no idea why I took so long to pick it up.


 What did we look like in 1819? Read the story here:



Name one powerful tool for managing stress that the book describes.


Leave your anwer in the comments section here or drop me an email at .

Include your answer, with your name and email address and you could win a copy of the book!

Connect with Michelle here

Twitter handle: michellemartin_       (Don’t forget the underscore after her name.)

Or simply check out the twitter feed at the bottom of the main page.

Productivity seems to be the new buzzword.

For most people, this is worrying ; many think ” how can I possibly do more when I am already juggling about 16 balls in the air at one time?”

For companies, the present challenge seems to centre around the following dilemma.

How do you get more out of people without losing talent who may feel overstretched by this focus on productivity?

Ong Teong Wan’s latest book Results Management suggests designing systems that aim for results. Are your people management systems people-oriented or task-oriented? If the focus is on people, you set the tone for a place of work where excellence can happen.

I liked this book because it was a very honest and practical look at a field by an man who has had a really illustrious career in it for over 50 years.

I spoke to author of Results Management Ong Teong Wan and here’s a sprinking of his insight.

– When people are happy, results are achieved

– Larger than expected turnovers are a belated sign that your company’s people management systems needs an overhaul. Lack of punctuality is one early sign. People start dragging their feet to work when they are not happy on the job.

– Rewarding the workers in the office who are good at looking busy but little else is destructive.

It sets up a culture which condones and rewards non-performers. The good performers will feel this and start to leave and soon, all you will have is an office of non-performers who are good at shouting “look the emperor has got new clothes!”.

Talking to Mr Ong Teong Wan was also inspiring to me personally because he is in his 70’s but mor sprightly and and  interested in life than many other people I have met. He is consulting partner at SIM, runs his own management consultancy and sits as an independent director of several listed companies in Singapore. He also fits in a couple of rounds of golf each week.

“I don’t have a special gene or anything” he jokes,” my dad passed away in his 60’s.”

One senses he is always on the ball with life, because he has aligned his work with his values.

“I was a scout, all the way up to Commisioner Level, I like helping people and results management is all about helping people”, he says.

This is a passionate and powerful look at designing people management systems that work.

Read about this book here_

Listen to my interview with Mr Ong Teong Wan which airs wed 3rd March 2.20 and 9.40 pm on 938LIVE.