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Monthly Archives: December 2013

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Get a 5 day or 7 day Japan rail pass. Validate it when you want to use it. As ww were going to Kyoto on the first day, we got it validated at level B1 of Narita airport. Book a train ticket from Narita to Kyoto via Narita Express 16 transit at Shinagawa to catch Shinkansen Hikari. Advised by the JR counter staff to change trains at Shinagawa instead of Tokyo as it was a smaller station and shorter distance to walk. No problems pushing our luggage as there were escalators.

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Hyperdia search for trains

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We stayed at the New Miyako opposite Kyoto Station which was so convenient and easy to find. Clean, newly renovated, non smoking, pretty spacious and no frills. Across the road are lots of restaurants and bakeries.

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Old neighbourhood of Gion

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Choose your favourite sake cup

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We had a lovely meal in a tiny Japanese restaurant Gion Raku Raku introduced by a friend. Only 3 guests and another lady came in at around 8pm as she works in Tokyo.

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Live crab ordered by a Japanese guest


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Wrapped in a rice ball


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Recently the Singapore government released a draft Master plan 2013 for the next 5 years.

I have attached a copy of the youtube video here. There are several for different areas of this island country.

Most people like this grand plan. Many feel that they’ve contributed to the plan. “Finally someone is listening to my suggestions.”

Apparently the authorities spent quite a lot of work and time sharing the draft plan with various interest groups. Not surprisingly,  comments from various quarters call it the best Master Plan they’ve seen.

From a management perspective,  what was different?  Quality of skills?  This is an organisation staffed by high quality architects and planners.  Who passionately set aside personal interests at the real estate to work for public sector. Level of skills,  precision,  conscientiousness.  This is Singapore, afterall.

Some comments

1. Vision unites. It is short and realistic. All effective managers and leaders must be able to create an exciting vision for the people. The plan is to develop “green, healthy, connected, strong in community interaction and spirit”.

2. Vision must be communicated. In today’s interconnected world, all stakeholders want to know. How the plan weaves in various parties and tells an exciting story. In what form this communication takes place. Possibly multiple including technology – youtube in addition to traditional media.

3.  Taking into account various interest (often conflicting) can be a delicate exercise. Treading on eggshells. Those with vested interest may not appreciate the open communication.  Other changing concerns – environmental factors need to be appreciated. Changing social demographic trends. A PESTEL framework is useful.

3. Most importantly, consulting stakeholders prior to the release.  In Lewin’s change management, to get people from the unfreezing stage to the movement stage, there must be some form of participation and consultation. URA said it carried out consultation meetings with MPs and key grassroot leaders from various constituencies. The feedback and ideas garnered have helped to refine and improve the review of the Draft Master Plan 2013.

Do check out the URA Master Plan. It’s such a visual treat.

Finally, does your organisation have a vision?

What about yourself? Do you have a vision for your life?