FB Live: From Engineer to Entrepreneur

We just completed another amazing hour with Episode 20 of our Redbox Studio FB Live series. We had a meaningful conversation with Neoh Hock Soon who is the business owner of CFT Consultancy. He offers training, facilitation and coaching and yes, he is a certified coach. Watch the video replay to find out more.

Hock Soon has been an engineer all of his working life. He spent 22 years in product development in the manufacturing sector and last year, he decided that he wanted to be on his own and use his competencies to pursue his passion in coaching, training and facilitation.

He began his career in Solectron after graduation from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia before moving to Robert Bosch to gain exposure in the product development space. He spent about 15 years in Bosch and assumed different roles and it was here that he realized he had a keen interest in working with and developing teams.

Next he became an engineering resource manager, overseeing a range of
functions that extended to budgeting and control for the R&D department and managing engineering change, products and software resources.

In this process, he started to look into process improvement initiatives and expanded to cover training and development where he took on a trainer role to manage and conduct training for program managers and technical leads.

What’s interesting is that he was the key driver for the implementation of Bosch Product Engineering Coaching for leaders at the Penang Site.

He was trained at the Bosch headquarters in Germany where upon returning, he co-facilitated this initiative with the Head of R&D. This program was about driving higher engagement from management-level staff in the day-to-day engineering work, creating systematic review process, QFD (Quality Function Deployment), getting to the basic engineering principles and application in design work and design reviews.

After 15 years being in Bosch, he joined Bose as part of the initial local leadership team building up cross-functional teams and working culture in a newly set up organization for Bose Systems Malaysia.

Again, he led a team of diverse functions and engaged with peers globally to learn and drive for alignment, building up networks and relationship and establishing work processes for the site.

When he became the senior director for the entire design and development team, he took the team to transition from Bose to Flex as part of a merger and acquisition in 2016. During this uncertain time, he led the team through organizational and culture change.

As you can see, he has deep knowledge and hands-on experience in team leadership and change management in his 22 years before he left to start his own business.

On the community side, Hock Soon co-founded the Penang Chapter of International Association of Coaching in 2019 and was one of the panel trainers that taught the deaf community how to use coaching skills to help their fellow friends.

He also volunteered with the Penang Women’s Development Corporation as a trainer, enabling women leaders in the community to gain skills in public speaking and team building. He is also a certified HRDF trainer, completing his certification in November 2019.

After 22 years in the manufacturing environment, he decided to start his own training and consultancy with the experience he has had.

But that’s a common story right?

What’s a little uncommon is his approach towards starting his business.

He took on an engineering perspective and planned his exit from the company from a design solution approach!

As an engineer, he was methodical about putting things in order first as he has a family to take care of.

In our FB Live, we looked at the emotions of quitting a role that you have been comfortable with for most of your adult working life and taking on the unknown.

Hock Soon spoke about what he did to begin that process of getting out of a job and into the world he wants to explore yet without risking everything he has built up over the years.

Like this interview and want to know when the next one is coming up? Sign up for our mailing list and we will update you.

Leave a Comment