Rhea Ong Yiu

Co-Founder of Teal Around the World

Rhea is a partner and catalyst at LIVEsciences AG, a Swiss-based consultancy that is actively helping companies to become more human-centric. In 2020, she also co-founded a not-for-profit called Teal Around the World, that brings communities like-minded teal and future of work enthusiasts together from all over the world to learn, exchange and experience immersive virtual co-creation that breaks the self-limiting silos of culture, language and geographies into one that brings resonance, courage and inspiration.

She is a synergy igniter, a community builder and a real enabler at heart. She is passionate about connecting communities, igniting movements that spark change, and supporting leaders and future leaders to unleash their inner superpowers individually and collectively within communities. As an entrepreneur, Rhea wields her core competence to impact the topline by bridging business and digital agility, using creative ways of connecting communities and competencies within the organization. Her vast experience in technology, innovation and strategy makes her a trusted advisor in such a complex domain as organizational change and transformation.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

LIVEsciences was founded by Frank, Timm and Steffen in April 2016 with a strong belief that we can make the corporate world a better place. Today, we have grown to a team of 16 experienced catalysts who passionately push the needle for change within organizations.

In April 2020, coming from a heart to become a community of communities around the world, together with LIVEsciences, Hive Logic, Emerge and other likeminded enthusiasts started the movement called Teal Around the World, as a collective platform to share experiences on new ways of working and to learn from each other. The overarching goal is to be the community of communities that can truly give the courage to shift the dialogue around ways of working and to give organizations and leaders the courage to make the change, within their respective ecosystems.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My day starts with 15-minutes of meditation: 5 minutes of reading, 5 minutes of silence and inner reflection and 5 minutes of gratitude for my day, before I set out to the fields for a peaceful walk with my dog, Coco. The rest of the day is about dreaming and scheming for the future, working with our clients and having virtual coffees to exchange ideas and experiences around Teal and Future of Work. On busy days, I am facilitating a workshop or doing strategic advisory with leaders and their teams, or working on fun projects like Teal Around the World our Living Room Conversations, which is a live podcast where we go deeper into the thought process behind change makers, their approach to shifting the needle and their experiences – all done with the intent to give courage and spark inspiration.

How do you bring ideas to life?

The greatest gift to innovation is through experiencing tensions. Being a problem solver myself, I am always curious what it feels like to be in the tension/problem zone, and imagine the possibilities that could emerge when the tension is overcome. The space in between these two is where the idea simmers, allowing those hypotheses to shape, while validating them through experimentation and learning from each iteration. And don’t forget to have the customer and other experts on board, because this is truly where the fun begins!

What’s one trend that excites you?

I’m never not excited about change, but the acceleration and recognition for the need to adapt, the need to do things differently, the need to be more human-centric as leaders is what keeps me out of bed everyday. I’ve been dreaming to see this realized in my lifetime, and I am excited that I can somehow play a part in making it happen in my own little way.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Not sure if it’s a habit but I’m always conscious about creating margin for the unknown. And because of this, I notice talent quite well, I actively think about what stuff is on my plate that I can handover to someone who can do better. In a way, it helps me free up capacity, while giving others the space and opportunity to develop or deliver stuff with much better quality than I probably could have. And never forget to recognize them for it!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Take your time to experience and learn things. Don’t rush it. Growth is a process and experience is priceless. Learn from yours and other people’s mistakes, and keep an open mind for the unknown. Be observant and have a sense for the unmet needs around you and imagine the possibilities when these needs are addressed. And lastly, don’t strive for perfection, but go for excellence in whatever you do.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I’m an ambivert. Apart from the personality assessments, almost nobody agrees that I’m one. I shape shift my energy, depending on the situation in front of me.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Be open, listen and stay connected. Inspired by a Greek philosopher Epictetus: “Nature hath given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.”

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

We embrace a mindset of abundance in all that we do. We love to help and serve people in the best way we could. When we think about people in the same line of business, we don’t see them as competition, rather than as partners, equally capable to support in the herculean task of busting bureaucracies at work and shifting the focus towards happy organizations that are thriving in the change.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Managing stakeholders is a big responsibility and it often sneaks up on us when we are least expecting it. Not setting boundaries sooner is definitely a huge learning for me, and it reminded me time and again how important it is to scope work, explicitly manage expectations and build trust. Together with the client, we corrected it with a conversation based on facts and some reflections on what is within and out of scope. This helped us to move forward.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Dog daycare and Baby Day Care Services near Co-Working and Corporate offices, hotels/resorts, groceries, etc. I’d be a happy customer!

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

A trip to the spa. Because self-care is important.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I’m not a digital native, but I thrive on technology. Cloud apps help me with my productivity, I can do things anywhere! Some of my favorites include: Whatsapp, Calendly, Slack, Miro, Google Suite

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I have more than one! When it comes to Org Design and New Ways of Working, I would highly recommend: Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux. It is foundational to shaping a new way of thinking, being and living that is more human. Brave New Work by Aaron Dignan, Lead Together by Brent Lowe, Travis Marsh and Susan Basterfield.

What is your favorite quote?

You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. – Christopher Columbus

Key Learnings:

  • A mindset of abundance is key to building great relationships
  • We are biologically designed to listen more than give advice
  • A successful change is largely dependent on the client. As catalyst, our duty lies in the sidelines of cheering them on and helping them manage that energy and appetite for the change.