Decoding the winning formula


Dubai-based Goan Stephen Fernandes who has worked at various tech companies, has now come out with a five-phase framework to help people succeed in the new normal era, in his new book ‘Relaunch to Win’


Q. Your book began as a series of notes for your children. When did you realise that you should instead put this together into a book that would benefit everyone?

I began writing notes for my children to share my learning and experiences accumulated over three decades. Around this time my business technology articles started getting published in the Tech Talk section of The Gulf News, UAE. The feedback I received from my readers encouraged and inspired me to regularly publish my articles. My business technology articles were written under the theme ‘Simplifying Complexities’… How does one demystify and comprehend technology and apply it in real life.

This got me thinking and I realised that people in our new age economy face a unique situation; that is, how do they transform and grow, to bring about sustained success in their lives. The rapid pace of change in this new age economy adds further complexity to their situation. Thus rapid transformation is required for their survival and growth. And this unique situation is no different across age groups, genders, and cultures.

I decided that I must compile my learning and experiences and simplify it into a framework (Relaunch X) that could be used by people across the globe, to address the situation they face in the new normal. The five-phase framework (Relaunch X) has been detailed in ‘Relaunch To Win’.

Q. How did you go about realigning the focus of the book to meet the new normal scenario?

The digital disruption has been there for a while, but it has now converged with the pandemic disruption to form our new normal. This has forever changed the way we engage and the future of work. In this new normal, change is the only constant, where people have no control over the micro/macro-economic factors affecting them. That said, they can undoubtedly control how they relaunch themselves into the new normal by swiftly assessing their current position and aligning and transforming themselves to achieve their new goals. The new normal demands people to realign themselves to continuous improvements, rapidly adapting to change while driving their own transformation, rather than being driven.

This book is a companion to help people shift from their current state to a successful or a more successful state. It is based on the principle of continuous improvement of your current state and being proactively prepared to progress in your life journey. If a person is successful, then how do they stay successful and achieve more? If a person has failed, then how do they shift from failure to success? Continuous improvement drives continuous innovation which in turn drives continuous transformation.

The challenges faced by individuals living in the new normal can be addressed by adopting a five-phased framework called Relaunch X. This demands an understanding of oneself and establishing an alignment with the new age economy by applying the five phases of Relaunch X – Assess, Align, Transform, Monitor and Measure, and Relaunch, as a way of life. Relaunch X calls for people to take the first step towards a progressive and positive change. This starts by resetting their minds, knowing their life purpose, and recalibrating their journey to achieve their life purpose

Q. How did you personally struggle with the new normal and adjust to it?

Initially, like everyone else I too struggled with comprehending and grasping what was happening around us and our loved ones. What the uncertainties meant to us and how it would impact our lives. Working From Home was initially welcomed, but then it brought about its own challenges and opportunities. The struggle was amplified when it included not only managing myself but also supporting my family members, friends, and customers.

I took a step back for a few days to reflect on what was happening around me. I realised this disruption was permanent, was continuously changing, and was here to stay. The impact of this disruption was immeasurable. I also realised there were aspects I could not control and more importantly aspects I could control. I listed down what I could control and relentlessly focused on managing them to get the desired outcome. I checked in on my bucket list and aspirations of everything I wanted to achieve. I learned there were a few journeys I had started but needed more time to complete. I used the pandemic lockdown to get the much needed time to complete the tasks to achieve them. I believe this helped me not only adjust to the new normal but also extract the maximum from the prevailing circumstances.

I applied the Relaunch X learnings to my professional and personal life and was delighted with the results I achieved. I took this one step further and shared the learnings with people I actively engaged with, they too got the results they desired!

Q. You mentioned that there were several occasions when you thought that you would not get through the book. Tell us more about this.

All of us have inherent fears, uncertainties, and doubts. As I was writing my book, there were several occasions at critical junctures when I could not allocate the time needed to progress on my book. My professional job took priority. I had to innovate and make time to either restart or complete the critical pending tasks. This was not easy as the creative juices flow in your mind when you least expect them to. There were other occasions when the uncertainties got the better of me and I wondered if my framework was worthy of being shared, while there were other more celebrated experts out there. Every time I thought I could not progress, I used to reflect back on my life purpose to derive the energy and passion. This helped me stay focused and persevere on my goal of publishing my book.

Q. Self-help books today have become quite the trend. Why do you believe that this is so?

The last few decades have witnessed continuous changes and fast-paced transformation driven by several factors. This has mandated people to quickly change and adapt to their ecosystem. This has forced people to reflect, discover themselves, and play on their strengths. Self-help books have helped people achieve this and how to successfully apply it to meet their life purpose and goals. As people become more aware of themselves they feel the need to delve deeper and focus on specific areas of improvements. There are various types of self-help books out there with each one adding value on their own merit.

‘Relaunch To Win’ is unique as it provides a framework (Relaunch X) for continuous transformation in life. It predominantly focuses on individual transformation while bringing in perspectives on organisational transformation.

Q. Do you intend to continue writing books in the near future?

I derive joy and satisfaction by sharing my learning and experiences with people; and even greater fulfilment in helping people bring about a positive shift. Writing is one of my passions and I believe writing books provides me with the platform to achieve this. I will continue to write and release my next book in a few years.