November 15, 2018


We all are into a very interesting week of our study, Currenting doing the "Process Improvement Using Six Sigma" module. I believe six sigma is more statistiacl controls and measurements , it is a single loop improvement tool. There is a reason why I am interested by this module. Back in India my organisation does not use the measurement systems to define outcomes, it just uses the experience. If there is a decrease in sales or profits, generally the cited reason is the recent government policies. The question that arises in my mind is , "What if the process of our organisation is not stable enough to support those changes?" It can be possible that the situation never improves if a better process is not introduced.To manage processes efficiently and effectively, it is important to instil the measurement mechanisms. The outcome can not always be a guesswork, it is important to make control charts. I feel control charts could be the first step to start measurement mechanism.

Other inherent feature of human beings is to resist change. Introduction of such mechanisms can cause people to resist it. It may even take some time to get it right. It is necessary to keep on learning the Statistical Process Control. All tye successful manufacturing organisations follow this up, example the control charts and process indicators that I spotted at JCB.

Most maangers fail to understand the concept of common cause and special cause. I look forward to imbibe this teaching in the coming week. Once I have a stable team and a stable workforce, I can go out and look at my processes. But I do not really know how to define stability scientifically. Then probably I can start off by implementing the control charts and even further after I can think about six sigma. It is a powerful tool. One teaching from today, "Never give bonus based on the Common Cause." It is so easy to understand yet so difficult. I always think about quality goods, yesterday it got defined. It means on target with minimum variation. I always have to eye the target. There are no acceptable limits to target. Just the eye of the fish to target. Also,"Averages are meaningless without the knowledge of variation". A very deep thought.

As the blog entry heading suggests, a good manager will only focus on the process, not the result. My mentor MS Dhoni(one of the most prolific cricketer in this era) always talks about the process as well. Slowly and steadily this teaching is dripping down my mind. The hitting the target with the golf ball simulation played yesterday was a good example of this as well. What it taught actually was that do not try to introduce changes without measuring the results. Taking a link from my last blog, think critically before you do something , remove any personal or emotional bias. Most managers end up with changing the process without even having a good sample space by measuring the process.This lands the company into trouble.

Dr. Deming once said, "Drive out Fear" ; therefore if we focus on process and not result we can drive out fear. I think that most of the organisations in my sector are making decision-driven data not data-driven decisions. The only thing that comes into my mind is that it is going to be a very long journey,let's sit tight and enjoy it. Feeling excited and anxious at the same moment.

November 04, 2018


With each and every day you get to learn something new. I had a very interesting conversation with a PhD student the other night. The conversation made me realize what are the areas that I need to focus on as a person to develop a aptitude for critical thinking. The person was debating how he would regard China and India as "poor" countries and not developing countries. The reason for that was the income disparity between the people and how the few influentiual rich people just skew the chinese national income graph above the basic poverty level. First of all I was shocked about the fact and thought how can a potential superpower be called a 'poor' country , but as the discussion went forward I realized what critical thinking actually is.

This teaching is going to be of utmost importance for the rest of my life. I am going to work in the sector which is crowded by several problems. I need to review most of the problems and not be biased towards the outcome of it. Having a perception about a topic and being biased towards it hampers learning. As researchers we all need to look at the various facts and get evidence to back it up. For my further research I need to keep my patriotic feelings aside and research about the problems from a neutral perspective , keeping the emotions aside. This kind of mindset will even help all of us in the long run where we criticaly review various facts and then make our argument, this way we can ensure that we are not stopping ourselves from learning the entire year.

October 25, 2018


Today I visited the JCB manufacturing plant in derbyshire. It was a good visit and there was a lot to take away from the day. Learnings and knowledge vary from person to person. A very interesting observation today was how most of the manufacturing units in the world rely on Just-in-time inventory for their processes. It is said that it reduces the inventory cost as well as helps to build continuous relationship with the supplier. Also, it helps to maintain the quality of the inventory as less goods are on the shop floor. It is an interesting observation because of the way our manufacturing sector works. All the people believe in ordering in bulk because it increases the bargaining power of the manufacturer. No one has ever thought about the benefits of just-in-time. The supply chain is unorganised back home. The reliance on the supplier of raw material to deliver goods on time is too less. So most of the small scale industries look at ordering in bulk and producing in bulk and capturing the market.

The bulk production helps me link a new concept about push and pull marketing. When you are producing large amount of units and trying to sell you are just pushing the products into the market. It results into over-production. On the other hand pull marketing is about pulling in the orders. This is what JCB follows. It is a more organic way, it helps to cover up the problems of bulk production. Most of the firms in urorganised sector believe in mass production, the more you produce the higher the profits. We do rely on orders that's for sure, but most of the firms just keep on pushing the products into the market. This kind of thinking hampers the circulation of goods in the market, resulting in overproduction. One reason for that is the products are mostly homogeneous , so there is no differentiation, no basis for an organisation to set themselves apart. The way forward would be to set a differentiation for the product, maybe set yourselves apart. Branding can be a possible option. But what are the possible ways we can look upto? Is product differntiation the only problem or there are various other problems that hamper the growth of the manufacturing industries back home? What are the possible things that we can learn from the other economies? I don't know the answers yet but one thing that I am sure of is that , it is a journey that requires a lot of passion and dedication.

October 18, 2018


Today was a very interesting day. By interesting I mean a lot of thoughts and links getting into my head. The day started with a very deep thought, "It's our thoughts that make us experience life." A very important point about the fear of presentation was raised inside the class. The answer to that question was, "If you are feeling down , go pick yourself up." It really applies to every situation. Actually the never giving attitude is something that makes the life interesting.

There was also a reflection back on the measurement of results. Actually it is a very simple diagram that tend to tell a lot of things. That is the power of self-reflection, it just registers. Coming to the diagram, the process in the below mentioned diagram will never meet the desired target because of the range of the variability. The average will always come out yo be below the target . Hence, there is a need to chance the process.


The same concept is applied to the everyday process that we undertake. If we need to achieve a particular target/goal then we need to review our daily process, check it's variability and then define the limits as to where will this process lead us to. Once we know the upper and the lower limit we can easily conclude the aftereffects.

Finding the applicability of the excellence model in the unorganised indian sector was one of my objectives for this module. I think I am very close to finding it's answer. "Whether a new business should focus on the customers and profits initially and then build upon the fundamentals of the excellence model?" It was something that I was thinking about. The same point was discussed in the class. It was said to work on the enablers and the other things would always follow. It is important to set in the right procedures and processes into the business. Bring in the right leadership and the partnerships. You will always make profits. For the unorganised sector it is always said by Paul to not think about the EFQM. The first step is to always create the right environment.

"How do we really create excellence with the contract labours and the dynamic labour force?" It is important to have stable processes in the business and and stable workforce. That is something that I have to review. Surviving in such tough labour laws is going to be tough but at the end it is about looking forward and working towards a situation that you really wanna create.Just keep on initiating change , develop capabilities over a span of time. Whenever it feels like you are down , keep asking such questions, " Do you wanna grow old and just die or you really wanna create change?" You really cannot survive with a unstable workforce, it leads to unstable processes. Grow the business organically.

It is interesting that excellence model always talks about the improvement and we had a discussion on whether the model can cause innovation. innovation is discontinous improvement , and we are talking about the continuous improvement.Talking about the indian unorganised sector, it is a matter of starting with the right mindset and review your efforts daily. We had a discussion on EFQM and SMEs as well. a lot of problems came up. I am waiting for the mindmap. It will help a lot to reflect back. Somehow such problems seem interesting. They provide opportunities afterall.

So i think yes the Excellence model can be applied , but it requires the organisation to keep on learning and initiating change. Start organically and instill the fundamentals. Keep Believing!

October 15, 2018

CRITICAL THINKING – An everyday process

It was an exciting day today , getting to learn about the EFQM model in detail. EFQM model is a framework and a structure to quality assessment. There were some exciting concepts that came up during the discussion. Each group was given a characteristic about the excellence model and were had to critically analyze. This is the most interesting part for me. You get to learn from the thought process of each group. I ll list them one by one.

Developing Organisational Capability -It is very important for an organisation to have a conducive environment that fosters growth. Team 2 came up with a point on how government organisations can help the business sector to learn and grow. Various partnerships with the Chambers of industry and businesses acn develop a leaning relationships. The reason why this point interests me a lot is because it presents a developing country like India a opportunity to eralize its potential. The state of indian manufacturing is not good considering its contribution to the GDP. Surely indian governments ahs developed such organisations. But have we done enough? Is there no scope of improvement? Have we developed a learning environment? It's just about setting the right processes in order and letting the results follow.

Adding Value- A very intersting point was raised when it was discussed that how investment firms divert their clients to other firms who can fulfill the needs of the customers. By diverting it's clients to a new organisation , a firm is winning it's client's trust. I have experienced such a situation when I was working with my father. I asked him whether it was a smart move because according to me we were loosing market. But as he explained it to me, businesses run on TRUST. "It's easy to defeat someone , but it is really difficult to win someone." That's how you add value.

Leadership- It is a term that really excites me. Leader is someone who has a mission, vision, and can inspire someone. Example of Mahatma Gandhi was quoted and rightly so. Paul once told, "managers do the things right, leaders do the right things."Can leadership be learnt? Is leadership just about winning and giving results? I think it is important for a leader to create a right kind of learning environment and let the people express themselves. The more risks you take and let individuals take responsibility, the better chances of improvement. I am eagerly waiting for the leadership module, I hope I can transform my style.

The one thing that I very much like about the excellence model is the concept of win-win. Last week I phrased a question with. "Can we". The reply to this phrase by paul was that if yoy say can the answer is yes or no. But if we use the phrase ,"How could" we are focing ourselves to critically analyze. There is nothing right or wrong in this world, it's just about moving ahead.The same concept applies for lagging indicators. If I set a target and while trying to achieve it I am not able to get to the desired result , it puts us in a dilemma.Hence it becomes important to measure the results backed by processes. If the result is not desirable then we can go back to our enablers and reverse engineer and atleast improve, which is not the case with paired comparisons.

The only thing that I want to find answer to and discover more about is the application of the EFQM w.r.t organisations which are not very mature. The closest example that I can think of is the indian unorganised sector. The model sounds really great but I am want to look at it's application for a new business which doesn't have enough resources to carry such an assessment. As the year goes ahead I want to learn more about it. The change needs to happen and it needs to happen now. The business environment is too dynamic and it erquires an evolution mindset.

"We all should believe that we can be the leaders of change."

October 11, 2018


"Loosing creativity is normal but NOT NATURAL." Mind Mapping is a very strong tool to reflect back on your thoughts and therefore put your thoughts in a more structured way. It is a tool to help your brain find the link to various thoughts. I have made mind maps during my school days as well, but during those days I was not able to realize it's potential. It literally applies with everything , same happens with human beings. Once you realize your limitless potential you understand your importance and able to apply yourself better. Everything in this universe runs on belief. If you believe it can be achieved. A very important concept that has registered into my mind is that of THE ATRA OF CONCERN AND INFLUENCE. One you find your area of concern(Purpose) , one just needs to increase their influence and undertake human revolution. It is exciting to undertake something which is larger than yourself. To lead a meaningful and purposeful life you need to impact lives in a positive way. This is a never ending journey. Just do what your heart tells you to and everything will fall into place. Same applies with the mind map . Just pen down your thoughts and eventually you will get the structure that you desire for. Out of many things , one thing that I have learnt is very important - Life is a journey of continous improvement .

Just believe in your process (Enablers) and the results will follow. Quantitave Targets can be misleading sometimes.



In the above image the outer circle defines the area of Concern ( which can be referred to as your passion or interest). The smaller inner spiral is the area of influence. Once you have a larger objective to think about then you can slowly and steadily increase your area of influence. IT IS A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THE EXCELLENCE IDEOLOGY. Nothing is a quick fix , all the results are achieved through quality processes.

October 10, 2018


It is the first official blog of the year for me. Today we had a session on time management. It is such an irony that even after attending the session , I am still finding hard to manage myself ( You manage yourself , not time). But I ll learn eventually. The day started with a very interesting reflection for me. It was about the PDSA cycle game that we played yesterday. There were cries around that our team has made a bad decision, we risked too much money on the market prediction. But as Paul said today ," There are no good or bad decisions." Life is about taking risks. If you keep on playing safe you will eventually win nothing. You cannot have a first mover advantage until and unless you take risks. If your decision goes right then it's a good decision , otherwise it is a bad one. As managers and leaders we need to keep this in mind and try to achieve the organizational goals. The PDSA cycle applies to all spheres of life.

Now coming to a very important learning about time management. The points that were discussed in the session made quiet a lot of sense. One always needs to focus on the 2nd quadrant of the time management matrix. A person who is always firefighting is not in an ideal situation.Never put yourself into a crisis situation.

"Planning for every minute of the day is planning to fail." Four important things are necessary to manage time and plan-

  1. Identify your roles
  2. Select various goals based on each role
  3. Schedule the week ahead ( not every minute)
  4. Adapt daily and be flexible

I hope I am able to follow the methodology for atleast 6 weeks , then eventually it will go into my system.Life is about exploring and having fun. Give equal importance to everything , having a work-life balance is a absolute necessity. Reflection helps to imbibe the learnings and that's what everyone will try to do w.r.t SELF MANAGEMENT ( time management).

November 2018

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  • Good post Saurabh. I agree that sustainable success in any field cannot be achieved through a quick … by Paul Roberts on this entry
  • Thank you for your thoughts Paul. Critically analysing the point, most of the business have short te… by Saurabh Kukreja on this entry
  • Lots of thoughts here Saurabh. Picking up on your last point, perhaps the starting point is to consi… by Paul Roberts on this entry

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