Instruction Manual July 2017

In this issue, pick up more public service and tech jargon, as well as the leading terms in data analytics. Trace how Singapore has evolved over the years through key numbers, and get tips from a social innovation expert.


Tech Jargon

Electronic Direct Mailer (EDM): A form of mass communication to stakeholders or customers through email. Unlike a simple text email, EDMs can have custom layouts, images, videos and interactive elements. EDMs can also provide reader engagement statistics, such as click-through rates.

A form of marketing that targets users who have visited a website in the past to visit it again. For example, users might see banner ads directing them back to the website as they browse other web pages.


Public Service Jargon

Service recovery: The action or process undertaken by a service provider in response to a dissatisfied stakeholder or a stakeholder complaint, in order to recover the stakeholder’s trust. BPA: Best Practice Awards. Part of the Public Sector Transformation Awards, these recognise innovative and effective practices or programmes in areas such as resource management, regulation, service delivery and inter-agency collaboration.

Say It Like This

CISO: This acronym for Chief Information Security


Innovation through entrepreneurship

what-stories-can-do-for-your-team (1)

A Q&A with JONATHAN CHANG, Executive Director of the Lien Centre for Social Innovation (LCSI) at the Singapore Management University. He sheds light on social innovation, and how having an entrepreneurial spirit could improve your work.

Q: For those interested in social innovation, what are some steps to get started?

A: Social innovation is a complex issue. We can’t start talking about social innovation unless we know what social issues Singapore is facing, what the current solutions are, and why those solutions may or may not be adequate.

A great way to get connected to the issues everyday Singaporeans face is to volunteer. In addition to getting a sense of the social issues on the ground, leaders and team members should support each other in equipping themselves with the tools to think innovatively with multiple stakeholders in mind. A great training resource is the SkillsFuture movement, which subsidises many high-quality courses on social innovation, design thinking, leadership and entrepreneurship.

Q: What is a common misconception about social innovation?

A: One misconception is that we need to be in a leadership position to bring about change. Social innovation starts from within. We ought to know what drives us before we can effectively inspire, rally, or help others to address social issues. For me, living a life that is connected to a higher purpose keeps me grounded, focused and motivated, especially in difficult times. I spend a lot of time evaluating how I got to where I am today, and am grateful for the mentors and opportunities that have helped me become a better and more socially conscious leader. Indeed, my Harvard TEDx talk was on the power of having a mission-driven life. (Watch:

Q: How can the spirit of entrepreneurship be encouraged in public service?

A: Having an entrepreneurial spirit means we can be resourceful and come up with creative solutions. Bureaucracy shouldn’t stop the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. In fact, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing; bureaucracy provides parameters, guidelines and processes. The good thing about process is that it can be improved.

Managers can encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship by creating a work environment where titles and seniority are not the qualifiers for a final say on decisions, but rather a reminder of one’s responsibility to mentor and create a safe environment for teams to experiment and work collaboratively.

Great ideas often come from those without a lot of experience because they look at problems from a fresh pair of eyes. My team is deliberately diverse, and they get a lot of freedom to explore and be creative. They are also given the flexibility to decide their work schedules; I don’t micromanage.

As a leader, it is important that my team and I don’t just see ourselves as individuals, but also as integral parts of our communities, and understand that our actions and words have an impact on people around us.

LCSI’s mission is to catalyse innovative responses to social needs through applied research and capacity building, in collaboration with the public, private, and social sectors.

Create a work environment where titles and seniority are not the qualifiers for a final say on decisions, but rather a reminder of one’s responsibility to mentor and create a safe environment for teams to experiment.

Got a question or topic you want answered by a pro? Send your suggestions to


The changing face of Singapore



Use your SkillsFuture credits here


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is a marketing technique to boost a website’s visibility in search engine results when users search using keywords relevant to the site. Learn how to make a website for your organisation or project easier for citizens or customers to find:

Basic photo and video editing

For photos, Adobe Photoshop is the most complete software for making highly customised edits to images, including animated GIFs. Adobe Premiere Pro is a video editing program that lets you edit video clips, such as cutting out unwanted material or adding text overlays. Learn how to use both software: and

Visual Basic for Application (VBA)

VBA is a programming language that can be used with Microsoft Excel to create more efficient ways to sort and filter data, or automate other processes.

Analytics for Big Data

Business analytics requires a well-structured interpretation of data to support decision-making. When applying this to big data, the challenge is processing immense caches of data, which requires specialised software. Accountants, for example, can see how big data analytics can benefit their work with this course:

    Aug 2, 2017
    Brenda Lim
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