The Importance of Innovation

Innovate or die. I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase. It’s advice I agree wholeheartedly with. Why is it so important though?

The market now is constantly evolving. Not only do businesses need to survive and thrive with advanced technology, they need to ensure they are always ahead of the pack.

An example of a good innovator is Steve Jobs. He did not invent the computer or the mobile phone but he definitely revolutionised technology. It’s almost like being a chef. You mix and match raw ingredients and invent a brand new dish. That’s my mantra in business. I don’t think it’s necessary to create something new, but rather reinvent something that is unique and fresh.

When we founded QNET, there were similar companies around. However we took on the very powerful concept of Network Marketing and adapted it. QNET’s offering initially was just a few simple products. We increased and refined our product range every year, adding one or two products each time. Every six years, we conduct a thorough market analysis and trend forecast to ensure QNET remains ahead of the curve. Before we take one product off the market, we produce new and innovative products as new offerings. In terms of marketing, our team is proactively seeking ways to engage with our customers.

An example of that is V-Con. Would you believe that our first V-Con had only 98 participants? Compare that with V-Indonesia this year which attracted 10,000 of our distributors. Throughout the years, V-Con has gone through many changes. It has grown to become an all-encompassing entertainment extravaganza with an adjoining product exhibition area and musical performances. In 2010, we decided to leverage on social media and technology, and bring the V-Con action to all our customers who couldn’t attend. Anyone from the furthest ends of the world can keep abreast with the goings-on at V-Con as long as they have access to the Internet through the QNET blog and social media sites. I see this development as part of innovating.

No one knows what the future holds but we keep looking for things that would excite our customers. Most times, it’s based on a gut feel. There are no experts in business, in this day and age. There are products that did not do as well as expected. On the other end of the spectrum, there have also been products that I didn’t like, that ended up being really successful. Hence, I’ve learned the key is to have an open mind. It’s all about trial and error.

Isn’t that the way most things in life are?

Yours sincerely,

Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director
QI Group


The upcoming V-Malaysia 2011 event will focus on the topic of “Belief”.

The first thing I asked myself when I heard about the theme was, “What is belief? What does it mean to me?”

It is such a simple word but it carries a heavy meaning. Understanding and dissecting our belief can be the key to happiness.

Belief, itself, is intangible. It usually refers to an opinion or conviction. However, our belief does not necessarily represent the truth. We can believe in something that’s wrong.

A long time ago, people believed that the earth was flat. Their conviction in this belief was so strong that anyone who opposed this theory was immediately deemed crazy. Of course, after some time, it was discovered that the earth is actually round.

This is a perfect example of blind belief – accepting things without cementing them with facts.

We should never be afraid to challenge our beliefs. Only then, would we realise the truth.

I have come to realise that there are always two sides to a coin, and it is important to consider both.

We should not simply reject something just because we do not fully understand it. I’m sure you will agree that it is unfair to make such a judgement, when we do not fully understand why it is right or wrong in the first place.  

That is why, my friends, our beliefs are extremely important. They are the first step in establishing the truth.

Yours sincerely,

Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director
QI Group

Character Building is Integral in the Journey of Life

During the recent V-Convention last month in Malaysia, I had the privilege to address an audience of over 6,000 people. One of the topics I spoke on was ‘character building’, which I have also occasionally touched upon in my previous Gems of Wisdom posts.

What is ‘character’? Character is the most fundamental definition of any person. It is what differentiates us as humans. It is our very essence. It is what guides us in our journey from being a ‘nobody’ to a ‘somebody’.

How then does one build character? Character building begins with our thoughts. Thoughts translate into words. Acting on our words forms habits. And over time, habits shape character.

Character development is a continuous process and is so important in our lives. Be it the business of life or the business of work, the reality is, our journey is all about relationships and teamwork. Remember, you are the leader of the team you build. And if you seek to build a team that lasts, as is the goal of every leader, it is important to have a rock solid foundation of good character.

True, every person is unique. We are all born under different circumstances; go through different life experiences, all of which contribute to shaping our character. While some take on leadership roles effortlessly, there are many who feel they lack in the qualities of a good leader. This is where character building helps.

Generally, every human being is unconsciously attracted to people with good qualities. Virtue, compassion, goodness… these are just some of the qualities people seek in others.

Remember, whether we want it or not, our character comes across clearly and transparently to anyone tuning into us, consciously or otherwise. So avoid falling into the trap of pretentious behaviour just to impress someone or achieve short term gains. To be really successful, be honest to yourself, and to your team.

To be a successful leader, build that character in yourself that you would like to see in your leader. Ask yourself, “Would I actually like to follow a leader like myself?”, “Am I not a leader?”, and “Should I not have the qualities that make one?”

Your character determines your destination. If you don’t like where you are headed today, create your path towards your desired destiny. Character is what will help shape that path.

It is no secret. There are many ways to build your character. One way is to conquer your fears. It is one of the biggest tumbling blocks in developing character. Be confident!

Talking about a good thing also leads to it. Constantly associate with people who carry good qualities or are successful. Learn, adopt and absorb their positivity.

Refrain from doing what is not good for you. Control your senses. Weak morals point to a weak character. If you allow yourself to be swayed by simple things, how can you expect to be trusted? Practise strict discipline. If a person is not hard on himself, the world will be hard on him; if he is hard on himself, the world will be easy on him.

Last but not the least, in your journey from being a ‘nobody’ to a ‘somebody’, find someone who will be a contrarian to you; someone who will challenge you just when you think you have found the easy way to success. By doing so, you will find yourself sharpening your skills, wanting to learn, focussing on building yourself and making the necessary changes to be better. This is the fastest way to build your character.

Please take a moment to ponder… Character building is not a one-off attempt. It is a continuous process in the cycle of life. Once we have traveled the path from being a ‘nobody’ to a ‘somebody’, we have to start all over again. We have to step back into the shoes of other ‘nobodies’ in our team and lead them through the same journey. And that is the true test of character.


Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director
QI Group