All entries for February 2012

February 29, 2012

can we mix leaders?

was it worth it?
to challenge years of leadership traits, an innate urge to stand forward and risk my reputation at every opportunity that comes my way? That confidence which kept on building itself and gained a momentum where i began to feel insulted if questioned.

Was it all worth it to take a leap forward let others judge myself.
personally if i tell you, i got all the reassurances i had of my leadership traits and the 'areas of improvement'.

Now, the real question comes into play when i have to analyze and select and apply a leadership theory to the leader of an organization in order to develop the leadership required to make the company successful.

The real question lies on which leadership theories will be applicable in this scenario, there is a possibility that there is a mix which will be used, my initial thought tells me that situational and management leadership theories can be used here but then management theories contain a major portion dedicated and geared towards employee reward and punishment. Recalling our LE module, i really want to refrain from using such motivational factors in terms of creating a group coordinated effort of management/employees.

I will definitely try to focus on creating a mix if possible during the course of my work in order to find the most suitable application which is optimal for the case in discussion.


February 28, 2012

Biasses arising due to time constraints

The discussion for today included an overview of numerous biasses which arise due to certain reasons, at times attributed to individuals and at times during groups as well.
Decision making processes are affected and thus the focus of 'Robust' decision making is geared towards looking for solutions which aren't only good decisions but also have a certain significance and certainty of success in their outcome.

Although we have identified the different types of biasses and also understood that we are to reduce them as much as possible i am struck by an issue which requires clarification.

Time constraints bring about biasses in group members, who after a certain point in time will eventually want to reach a decision, which moves the everyone or certain members of the group away from the objectivity of their goals.

How do we restrict or reduce bias which arises from time constraints...


February 27, 2012

There is no Triangle

probably the only lecture i have attended in my academic life so far which has proved my wrong at soo many instances that i came to judge my own judgement.

At a point Jeff remarked that we can't always rely on our visual system, we see things which aren't there and this is such that our cognitive functioning system -1 (Intuitive system) prefers to see things and in other cases miss things which are there. . .

Another point which needs to made is that RDM as a module will focus on moving our decision making from system -1 to system -2, so that we apply more reasoning, logic and exert effort in trying to judge certain things infront of us.

It is true, that we have preconceived notions about several things in life, we make judgements out of little details which might not be, and in most cases are not, conclusive. Yet, our mind tends to look for the easy way out at times and this affects our judgement and the eventual result, thanks to Jeff for showing us how poor our visual and cognitive functioning system actually is we have all been made aware that our mind like everything else needs to be trained to see, extract and analyze information in the correct manner.


One of the many things which were a basis for further learning today includes, making one person a devil's advocate within a group so the conclusions of the group can be challenged thus creating a proof checking within the group for the purpose of re-examining the results obtained by the team. I personally have played this part by myself without letting the team members know at times and it helps a lot in gaining the required justifications and explanations which could and have been used in past group presentations.

I believe, there can be many things learned from a simply exercise that we all carried out today and that more learning is just around the corner. But then again, there is no corner, it's right infront of us :)


February 22, 2012

London trip has a follower :)

The whole experience of being in the Leadership module gave us all an insight into our own capabilities and certain areas of improvements, but this module was more than mere insight for me.

Exercises built upon the very factors to assess leadership qualities, the pressure placed on the leaders, how they unlocked the motivation from within the team, the single factor of emerging leader etc. The Leadership module made me think, ponder over my past experiences, whether I could have done things differently and also on how to control myself in situations which I am yet to face.

One certain learning and practice was my weekend trip to London with my colleagues, a trip which was finalized on Friday so that we left on Saturday morning. I thought about it all and decided of being a loyal follower on this trip rather than inviting myself to lead. And in all honesty I should mention that the emerging leader was cracking up inside me all the time!!!

See, the thing with me is that I have always been fond of leading, may it be group projects to internship projects, out station trips to setting up the itinerary for all the members for a conference abroad. I have by some miraculous fate preferred to lead rather than follow and this urge became a habit which eventually lead to a point where I felt irritated if I was not able to lead.

During the Leadership Module I realized that I need to relax for a while and be a bit laid back, considering my current enthusiasm for leading. This unfortunately I could not during an exercise since even there I wanted to step up and start leading in the Treasure exercise.

This last weekend was a blast! Starting from deciding the route to the hotel to the lunch break to deciding what to do during the day, occasionally I brought forward my suggestions which to my utter surprise were straight away neglected J

At times I used to get frustrated because at the end of the conversation my colleagues used to reach to the same conclusion and then simply take on it instead of appreciating me a single time. This further de moralized me and I started following as the last person in the group.

This made me realize something, being a follower at times is quite a peaceful position to be in (not that I support it by any means) but for me this was a first time experience and I cherished it while all the others tried to bicker for directions and plans and what not.

A wonderful weekend in London J


February 21, 2012

shopping and shipping in one cart! Nybox

Living back home always placed a limitation on accessories and clothing. Although there were brands and season collection, at times either the complete stock wasn’t available or at times there wasn’t much variety to be seen.
And when one can make use of online shopping, why make the extra hard work of going to outlets and selecting things from there when one can have deliveries made out in 1 week’s time.

So I was going through some wardrobe and accessory changes I wanted, as usual certain things were not available in the UK or EU market and they had to be bought from US. Now that brings another issue since each delivery from US costs differently furthermore the total delivery cost ends up being a monumental part as well.

The major advantage of online shopping is that it takes the away the hassle of finding the right accessories, takes away the commute time and disturbance (whether you’re on tube/car/bus) and plus it also saves on cash. But in cases where there is multiple shopping from different brands; some of which are located in the US, I have found a solution!

Enter, nybox! US Mail Forwarding Service
this website offers a service like none other and is special to all those who want their shopping done from the US and then mailed to them in any place in the world!Shop and Ship!

The whole point is quite simple yet lucrative, having a nybox account (standard/premium) will create a US shipping address; which is not a P.O Box Number so all sorts of packages can be mailed, this is used to send all US shopping to that exclusive address. What a further realized after going through the International Mail Forwarding is that I could store all the shopping for duration of 30 days so that all the shopping becomes one basket which I then ordered to be mailed to my UK address.

With the inclusion of shopping from ebay, amazon, access to thousands of brands and US specific brands and also retail coupons, nybox makes itself a service provider like none other.
This is all also due to the stocking option, which makes the customer stock their shopping and reduces the cost of delivery since all the shopping is then sent as one package instead of using independent delivery system that brands offer.

Going through the whole process was not at all difficult and since the details of the service are explicitly mentioned in International package forwarding done right, it’s very easy getting around the standard and premium memberships.

When I got around nybox, I started collecting items on my US shipping address and then when all the baggage was complete I ordered a delivery to my UK address, one package giving me a multitude of shopping items I ordered from different outlets, what better use of online shopping and shipping could it be.


February 11, 2012

films are for learning!!!

something should be confessed over here.
i watch a lot of movies and i am started to make use of a time, people started considering "wasted time".
Naah, seriously i have. I could find soo many inspirational quotes from soo many pictures that i have watched in the past...

Take for example, Inception.

Now everybody knows that the film presented a futuristic idea of 'extraction and Inception" and by the way Leonardo DiCaprio gave a wonderful performance in that picture, it probably was the rise of Tom Hardy as well from there.
Anyways, the concept of Inception and the way they actually gave the idea to Robert Fischer was different.

now, take into effect the learning we gained from Graeme's Coaching exercise.
The coach doesn't give the solution to the coachee neither does he provide any idea or past experience.
The coachee will know it was coming from someone else.

What the coachee needs to realize is that the idea or the solution to his problems in this particular case is coming from within and that is why he feels the need to perform on it and change himself.

I could go on with this...

Batman: Dark Knight

The Night is darkest before the Dawn.
Harvey Dent while making the announcement that Batman should be taken into custody.

Challenges are brought to our doors and we are faced with difficult situations and most of the times situations that we have not experienced before. there are times when things become soo dull and the motivation is at the brink of falling off from the group members.
That is the time when someone needs to make realize the group members that this moment will fade away and light will come forth.


Dead Poet's Society

Robin Williams starts making realize a group of boys at the Welton Academy to size the moment! Carpe Diem! and live for their aspirations as it is where the true passion lies in their soul...

Pictures like the Social Network provide the leadership and entrepreneural skills of the 21st century by depicting the actual events that followed in the life of one Mark Zuckerberg and fellow friend and shareholder Eduardo Saverin.

Although many films seem a good time wasted or at times a complete waste of time but there are things that can be learned from thousands of pictures.

Need i mention what a learning Godfather has been to thousands of people.


40 effective constructive performance Hours!!!

I just want to reiterate Paul's saying that one shouldn't spend more than 40 hours on one PMA.

Yes, if one begs to go beyond the stated time that is one the cost of something else; technically a zero sum game in respect. . .

i personally wanted to say putting 40 hours into a PMA and 40 Effective Constructuve Performance based Hours are two extremes :)

there are certain times when i personally work for an 8-hour stretch but the effective constructive time is probably 2 hours...
So, all of those who (might) have issues like mine!

consider when working on your PMA's.

If you want to start counting the hours to start getting estimates on your PMA's.
Try to do so by counting the effective hours!!!


February 09, 2012

the 21st Century Motivation

I'm sure almost all of you got around the insightful moments when we go through during one of the TED seminars.


Although i totally understood what he was trying to make us realize, that the 20th Century management and motivation has taken it's course and may not be able to fully maximize the performance of employees and the way to the future are the motivational factors of the 21st Century.

Autonomy
Mastery
& Purpose.

Truly concur with the arguments of the speaker that these are far more useful than the typical rewards program where performances are measured and benefits are given to employees, they being considered as the main motivation towards their performances.

But this is how i percieve the whole scenario according to my thinking.


as far as i believe, the 20th Century Management & Motivational factors have paved the way for the 21st Century Management & Motivational factors.
We as businessmen and researchers could not have started thinking about Intrinsic motivation until or unless we had applied and integrated completely the extrinsic motivational factors. Furthermore, up to the point where we started critically analyzing the extrinsic factors.

Yes, there have been exceptions where many companies have been able to successfully integrate and reap the benefits of employees through immediate intrinsic motivation but then those are exceptional cases, if they were general then the majority of the companies would have had applied these 21st century concepts.
this is in no way an argument against the intrinsic motivational factors, it is the time duration and the learning curve which is appealing to me since i belong to a region of developing countries, lack of proper education.
Where having information and just saying it out is called knowledge and intellectual people are a rare commodity.

Coming back to my original analysis, for companies which have yet to create an organizational learning impact, they require to go through a stage of extrinsic motivation and develop through it to have an overall impact. It is pertinent to have the money put aside at a certain stage, but this stage cannot come when employees do not have their basic needs.

Considering Maslow's theory of needs, money can't be put aside, yes it can be provided to such an extent that it is not considered an important factor but that only takes place when enough money has been put on the table...

Money is needed for employment, as it stands as the basic requirement, yes the differential of money whilst choosing jobs does not matter or should i say should not matter.

This begs us to consider certain assumptions when we have to bring people to their full potential which exceeds the compliance level.

1. they have enough monetary funding that their financial worries are settled/resolved.

And this is not the case for major emerging markets majority. Take India and China for example.
and then crawl this idea to other developing or recently industrialized countries as well.


Until this issue is not dealt with, the intrinsic motivational factors cannot be fully utilized or introduced in the fullest respect.


Criticism

a general discussion during sessions lead us to dwell into referring to our perceptions or experiences from the past.


i feel criticism/feedback has two sides to it.
the person giving feedback (critically analyzing)
the person receiving the feedback (person being analyzed)

According to my experiences.

criticism should always be taken positively, even at times when the criticism is being said negatively.
reason being, because these are rare opportunities of facing a true feedback.

Yes, the person giving feedback should remain on the simple stance, to give feedback but in a positive constructive manner.
This does not happen always or in all situations, mostly seniors or people giving feedback are negative in nature. They give feedback which is not geared towards resolving the concern or assisting the person in resolving it.
But the person receiving feedback should at all times focus on the critical points being mentioned during the criticism because it will eventually help him/her.


February 08, 2012

A Growing concern of critical analysis

as we are progressing further in our modules, i am realizing something i wouldn't be sure to say for other colleagues in WMG but this is for sure observable in MBE.

I recall in our first module CBE, Paul was appreciating students who came from abroad and also who did not have English as their first language. The appreciation was geared towards students making an effort of presenting with confidence an coming out of the void.

We then moved on towards Graeme's module, PUISS where we found out that Graeme would find those certain loop holes in our presentations and question us on those. He would expect us all to know every inch of the presentation; something i totally agree with, but there was an occasion where i did not answer something Graeme asked of me and that was because i did not go through that part of the presentation infact the other members had written those 3 slides out of a total of 18.
The point of the matter is that Graeme increased the level of difficulty to the compliance level so that we all should be quite aware how our presentation has been formed and support the answers with the references we used.


Come, Leadership & Excellence Module now.
I am obersving an increased level of difficulty during the presentations where Paul is expecting us to comment on the references that we have used. Paul questions us on things like whether the references we used and the conclusions we used from them are right in our sense or not?
In crux, making us increase our level of critically analyzing on authors and their papers and the credibility of those papers and their conclusions.

I honestly believe this is a stage where Paul is teaching us to get started to analyze papers and not just take them for what they say right away.

Although i should mention, that Graeme just mentioned to us riight now that the level of our presentations today compared to the PUISS module have risen by a large percent.
This means, we are improving!!!

Great going MBE's!!!


February 2012

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