News &
Fall 2016

Headline: Pokémon – Train Day & Night to Win
Success Requires Hard Work
E-file: I Want to be the Best Pokémon Trainer

Headline: Pokémon – Train Day & Night to Win

The craze around Pokémon Go’s was instant and global. The game combined the virtual world and reality in a seamless way, and allowed users to submerge into its gameplay in their everyday lives. It also allowed Gen Y-ers to transform themselves into their childhood cartoon idol Ash Ketchum as a Pokémon trainer – not only did that offer users to relive their happy childhood memories, but also let them achieve a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment through catching and collecting various Pokémons and engaging in “Pokémon Gym Battles”. Additionally, Pokémons tended to “spawn” or appear in locations with more people traffic like shopping malls, parks and other public areas. This encouraged a bunch of “homebodies” to step out of their houses and out of their normal zones in order to catch Pokémons and exchange insights on the game with other users.

Companies have tackled “Pokémania” differently. Some allowed their staff to take the afternoon off on the day Pokémon Go was released so they can enjoy catching Pokémons out of the office. Others sent out friendly reminders conveying to their staff that they may become a “full-time Pokémon trainer” should they choose to go on the game during working hours (meaning they could be dismissed).

Companies vary widely in their approach in dealing with this craze. The rest of this issue will focus on what we can learn from Pokémon Go as a corporate, and how management personnel could make the most out of trends to enhance staff engagement.

Success Requires Hard Work

A young woodcutter goes to the mountains every day to cut firewood. He notices an old woodcutter who always cuts more wood than he does, and sees the old man as his goal. However, no matter how hard he tries, he cannot seem to achieve the amount of wood that the old woodcutter cuts. So he humbly asks the old woodcutter, “I have observed for a few days already – I come up here earlier than you, leave later than you; I’m younger than you and more hardworking than you – and yet I cut less wood than you. What’s your secret?”

The old woodcutter pats him on the shoulder and says, “If you want to do it right, sharpen your tools first.” The young woodcutter finally comes to his senses. He thanks the old woodcutter, and decides spend time to sharpen his ax. He also works on improving his techniques to reduce wasting extra energy. After a while, he really succeeds in cutting dozens more wood than he used to.

To succeed in cutting more wood, it is undoubtedly important to set such a goal, but it is just as crucial to try different approaches through trial and error, as well as maintain hope, and believe that your persistence and efforts will pay off.


E-file: I Want to be the Best Pokémon Trainer

Joe reluctantly came in to have a face-to-face session with our consultant. His reluctance was due to the fact that he was “asked” to come in by his company’s request. The reason was because he was often found disappearing from his work post, sometimes for a few minutes or more at times. He explained to his supervisor that he went on bathroom breaks, but some colleagues reported that Joe in fact left the office. Therefore, his supervisor wished to help Joe regain his engagement at work through counselling.

At first Joe was unwilling to share, but gradually revealed that he disappeared from the office because he found rare Pokémons spawning nearby, and so he would rush out to catch them. Joe thought that this not only did not distract him from work, but catching new Pokémons actually made him feel more energized, motivated and efficient back at the desk. In contrast, he saw his supervisor as overly narrow-minded and did not understand the younger generation’s perspective. He even shared that his friend’s company extended 15 minutes more to its lunch break to allow its staff to enjoy themselves more fully. That was the management style that he agreed with.

In order to be more in sync with Joe, our consultant also shared her insights catching Pokémons. Later, she even pretended to catch a few in front of him. Immediately, Joe looked upset then could not help but ask, “Isn’t this time dedicated to counselling? I don’t think you’re actually paying attention to me.” The consultant looked back, smiled at him, and replied, “I feel more grounded after catching this rare Pokémon, and I can now better comprehend your situation.” Joe then paused for a moment, seemingly having realized something. What follows was how he could better control himself to not go off and catch Pokémons during working hours.

Joe also shared further that he would sometimes run into some obstacles at work which stressed him out. He felt that catching Pokémons somewhat relaxed him and freed up some mental space for him to re-focus back at work. So when he was misunderstood by his supervisor, this added on to the frustration. The consultant showed appreciation for his finding a means to de-stress, but also reflected that sometimes misunderstanding arise when others do not understand his true intentions and this may impact his work image. He agreed with the consultant, and was now more open to the idea of seeking help from or exchanging ideas with his supervisor or colleagues when he runs into problems at work.

After attending counselling, Joe is now very punctual going into work every day and more effusively engaged with his job. That is because he needs to catch up with his friends on time after work and dinner to catch Pokémons – a means to relieve stress!