4 Highs to Staying Relevant in the Age of Disruption

The key to success in this transformative period is to build connections for potential collaborations as the new way of competition.

Andrew Chow, Media Strategist of Idea & Concepts, started his session at the SkillsFuture Festival Executive Series @ WeWork co-organised by Emergenetics Asia Pacific and Lifelong Learning Institute by sharing how he had self-disrupted his own career 5 times thus far.

One of his stints include disrupting Singapore’s dating scene in 2005, where he transformed a government campaign “Romancing Singapore” into a single social networking portal. He even moved on to found “Table For Six”, a premium boutique dating agency with a speed dating concept – the first of its kind in Singapore back then.

Based on Andrew’s diverse experience, one thing remains a constant to him – disruption. To him, disruption is to find opportunities to create a market out of nothing by anticipating customers’ current and future needs.

Can technology replace human interaction?
While we may worry that our jobs will be replaced by technology, Andrew highlighted that humans will not be replaced by technology, they will only be replaced by people who know and leverage technology. There is no excuse to stop keeping up with technology, because no one is too old to stop learning.

People talk to each other more than over… online! So what must we do to succeed?

Andrew shared: 4 highs to succeed in this age of disruption

1. Have a high profile:

Be visible

Personal branding is crucial in order to stand out and for customer buy-in. Branding is not a new concept – countries and cultures have been branding themselves for centuries. When it comes to branding, we need to be clear of personal vision (mental picture of your future), mission statement (what do you need to do to arrive at the mental picture), and values (how you conduct yourself when carrying out your mission).

Andrew suggested that for personal branding, LinkedIn is an essential platform to be on – there are 1.5 million users in Singapore, and 0.5 billion users in the world! 70% of the best jobs in the world were never advertised with applicants recruited through referrals. Get ahead of the game by placing yourself in a position to be referred. This also means building your profile and connections on LinkedIn.

Be heard

Master the skill of public speaking. It may feel difficult but it is a skill that can be learnt. While we may be good at what we do, we need to tell people how good we are at what we do.

Be recognised

Andrew encouraged everyone to practise writing and with enough practice, to create articles on LinkedIn and to get our writings published.

Here is a framework he shared with the audience:

What can you write about?

  • What concrete advice would you give to someone to enter your field?
  • What will (or should) your industry look like in 5, 10, or 15 years and how will it get there?
  • What is the biggest problem your industry needs to solve?
  • What skill is essential in your job or at your company, and why?
  • How has your job, profession or industry changed since you started?
  • What else would you do if you started all over again, and why?
  • How did you get your start in your profession?
  • What advice do you have for career advancement?
  • What challenges do you see for the future of your profession?


2. High touch
Leverage our experience to humanise automation. While technology can allow us to have chatbots that respond faster than humans can, we can add value by crafting the responses for a human touch.


3. High tech
Stay relevant – with current technology such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and 360 videos, we have to keep up and stay informed. As

Andrew highlighted earlier, humans will not be replaced by technology, they will only be replaced by people who know how to leverage technology. One example of how the real estate industry stays relevant and saves costs at the same time is by using virtual reality for potential buyers to view and explore the space, without even having to build physical showrooms.


4. High trust
Build and audit your brand story using LinkedIn with this cheatsheet!

All-star linkedin profile cheatsheet

“Keep your house (LinkedIn profile in this case) in order if you want to be a disruptor.”

A member of the audience asked how one can leverage LinkedIn and Andrew shared that one can build connection, trust, and brand by writing free content as an industry thought leader.

Key take-aways
Andrew summed up the session with these key takeaways:

1. Disruptions give new opportunities – be a learner of skills, knowledge and positive attitude.
2. Build a small circle of close connections to keep going


1. Change rules of your industry now – be an early adopter, spot and set new trends.

2. Up your game constantly – use 1 hour each day to learn and digest something new.

3. Create a new competition – Introduce new models. Understand how people prefer to think and behave in order to influence them – You can use the Emergenetics Profile to understand their preferences and motivations, thus reaching them the way they prefer to be reached.

I left the session with many practical tips on how I can improve my personal branding to stay relevant. In some ways, I am glad that in Emergenetics APAC, we’ve been looking as a team at our own LinkedIn profile pages, sprucing our profiles so we can leverage the power of social media for our work. I feel Andrew’s tips would allow us to further improve what we have done.

I also feel that Andrew’s session is a good wake up call to take action in terms of being future-ready right now instead of living in fear of being replaced by technology.

This reminded me of a quote from the book Future Shock by Alvin Toffler, which is often emphasised at Emergenetics workshops – “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

This article was originally published on the SkillsFuture Festival Executive Series @ WeWork

About the Speaker

Andrew Chow



Mr Andrew Chow
Media Strategist,
Ideas & Concepts

Andrew Chow is known to be pragmatic, visionary, competitive, intuitive and giving.

He is a social media and public relations strategist, entrepreneur and speaker based in Singapore. Andrew is also the best-selling author of a highly popular series of books: Social Media 247, Public Relations 247 and Personal Branding 247.

Andrew has spoken in over 20 countries within 5 years and addressed more than 30,000 people on Digital Marketing, Personal Branding, Enneagram, Public Relations and Branding.

Andrew’s career of 30 years has seen him work with an array of clients including AXA Insurance, Abbot Medical Optics, Singtel and Sony Pictures, M1, Starhub, and Sennheiser.

Andrew had more than 300 interviews and features about him or his business since 2005 from more than 40 local and regional media.

He is listed as the Top 10 Most Influential Speaker in Singapore in 2013 by the Singapore Business Review. He won the Spirit of Enterprise in 2008 and the Successful Entrepreneur in 2010. Before he served as the President of the Asia Professional Speakers – Singapore (APSS), he also won the coveted Spirit of Service Award from the Industry.


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Successful personal branding is the essence to turning Average Joe into Joe Extraordinaire. It is what makes you get noticed from the crowd. The way you dress, sound and behave for success—both online and offline—will determine the perception others have of you.

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