January 13, 2014

The Toyota Way

After learning about the Design for X in class today, I couldn’t help but think about the Toyota recall Crises that erupted between 2009 and 2010. Toyota had to recall different models of their vehicles due to accelerator problems (quality problem with the supplied accelerator pedals), power steering problems, and breaking problems. Toyota which was seen as a brand that stands for quality had to pay the cost of unreliability of their product which damaged the quality and reliability reputation that Toyota portrayed. The major cause of the product recall was traced back to Design errors in terms of environmental designs and design for serviceability. Although some errors were identified human errors but Toyota couldn’t blame their customers because it would go against everything the brands portrays ( The Toyota Way).

Toyota could have avoided this error if more attention was paid to the voice of the customers this would have helped them in designing product that can be used by anyone irrespective of height, gender or age. Capturing the voice of the customer is important in Design for X because this helps the business to fulfil customers’ needs by building the needs of the customers into the design of the product in terms of quality, reliability serviceability, and maintainability. Supplier’s management in relation to quality is also important because if a problem goes wrong in a supplied assembly part, the whole product becomes affected.


January 11, 2014

DFSS and Business Size

Today, I learnt that the DFSS and six sigma project are not mutually exclusive project which I absolutely agree because we have to apply either of them at different level of needs of a business whether new product development or process improvement. But then I thought that the size of the business also determines which methodology to adopt. DFSS or Six sigma

Researching this week on DFSS methodology I have come across lots and lots of large organisation using DFSS but hardly did I see a smaller organisation who applied the DFSS methodology. As a small business trying to grow and give better products and services, the six sigma methodology would be more appealing to them compare to DFSS due to the financial dedication of most DFSS projects and smaller business don’t have too much cash to ‘play with’ compare to larger business . By adopting the six sigma methodology for a small business this helps them to first gradually develop their existing processes and offer better customers satisfaction and then as time goes on when the organisation profit begins to grow (like Takashi Osada said ‘when the business process is right, the results would take care of themselves’) more customers demand their product then the DFSS methodology can then be applied because they would need to uphold their quality standard by improvising and innovating.

I think DFSS is more applicable in larger organisations who already have a large customer base and six sigma methodology is applicable to all organisations irrespective of their size.


January 09, 2014

Communication in DFSS and DEMAIC project

I am really learning a lot from my team mate while working on our presentation. Today I was confused on the level in which communication affects the success of a DFSS and six sigma project.

I used to think communication was more effective in a DFSS project compared to Six sigma project but I learnt that effective communication is necessary to achieve success in both project because if there isn’t effective communication then employees tend to show resistant or won’t see the benefit or importance of the six sigma approach and overall effective communication help employees overcome any personal bias and any difficulties faced as a result of cultural change in implementing the DFSS or Six sigma projects.


January 06, 2014

SIX SIGMA or DFSS which does it better?

After getting a background introduction of what DFSS is today in class and based on my previous knowledge of six-sigma I would say that DFSS seem to have a broader significant effect on organisation than six-sigma.

I think this is so because six-sigma is a methodology that focuses on improving existing business process especially in manufacturing industry and if the there is so much variation in the process this tends to affects the quality of the output and it would sort of be like a drawback in the organisations journey to achieving quality in its products.

This is where the importance of DFSS comes to play since the major goal of the DFSS is all about designing high quality product based on customers values and feedback organisation focus should be on designing quality into the product from the design phase and in such a way that much attention won’t have to be paid to the production process of such product. I think this is why Toyota is still one of the most successful automobile companies now because they have been able to fully implement the DFSS methodology (in terms of quality, price and continuous innovation) into their products and in turn satisfy customer’s needs.

Ability to stay ahead of competition in this age means ability to deliver high quality product at a minimal cost and faster delivery period. So I think organisations focus should be on adopting and implementing the DFSS methodology while using six-sigma as a supporting method..


November 04, 2013

Learning breeds learning

This past week, I have read and learnt a lot about the theory of organizational learning and what learning is to us as an individual and a society and also the importance of knowledge. For me,Learning is an important aspect of human life and we can't stop learning until we die. We experience learning in our daily lives which becomes useful to us as we progress in life. As individuals, we learn for self development and also to enhance our individual capabilities while organization on the other hand learn for continuous improvement ,innovation,Sustainability, transformation , to gain an edge amidst competition. Etc. A learning organisation can be seen as a dependent variable of individual learning . As an individual in our workplace, we are allowed to explore our knowledge and even build it and apply it in terms of innovation and for the growth of the organization. Individual learning and application of knowledge is vital to an organization that wants to learn because the employees are the heartbeat of the organization and they hold the key to giving the organization that edge..the key to transforming such an organization into a LO. So also is knowledge sharing that an employee has acquired as a result of learning also important.Like Fredrick Douglass once said, 'knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave'. An organization who has knowledge would definitely stand out and always have the edge. Learning and application of knowledge are paramount to success in organizations ,our individual lives and also in the society as a whole. I would like to conclude with the popular saying if 'knowledge is expensive or not important, then try ignorance' .

October 19, 2013

My Reflections 2– learning week

Learning this week for me was like opening a box full of treasures. As i sat in class all through the presentations and seminars all i could think to myself was how can you take all this back home and apply to real life situation. Well for now all i could do in my head was to just try and arrange the puzzle.

In my country, not much is been done on the status of customer orientation and its impact on business performance. Most industries survival lifespan is usually between 5-10years especially SME'S. How can someone create business excellence in situations like this.Well i guess thats what i have been learning all through the week. We can't give nothing and then expect something or better feedback in return. To create business excellence, i have learnt that organisations should strive for quality in everything they do.

Quality in terms of product,people(employees),processes and even quality in leadership and management aspect of the oganisation. Quality gives a company that competitive edge over its competitors. I once interned at one organisation where i noticed most of the employees are not motivated to work . They are always happy when granted leave and even when they return from the leave they would still be finding ways to apply get another leave of abscence. I just couldn't see the enthusiasim and i thought to myself this isn't what i want for myself. looking back at that time and applying what i have learnt so far on this module, i would say organisations should try and invovle their employees in the developement of values,encouraging them also to align their behaviours towards this values and then reward their effort for giving their best towards creating a good brand image.

I would encourage performance related pay because it really helps employees to stay committed to their work . From low level staff to high level staff, everyone should be rewarded when they perform well at their job. Performance related pay shows how much a company values its workers and encourage them to release their full potential. Creating a family like atmosphere for employees would give a business the long standing that its needs, desired customer results and also societal results. Employees wouldnt see the worplace as a money making venture but a place whereby they can effect change through Creativity, teamwork,honesty e.t.c


October 12, 2013

Emotional intellIgence vs Leadership and Job Performance

Emotional intelligence vs. leadership and job performance

 Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware, control and manage ones emotion and that of others. (Daniel Goleman 1995). Emotional intelligence to my own understanding is the ability to recognize ones strength and weaknesses and to serve others without seeing it’s as a “big deal”. Some leaders in the world today do see their people as an unimportant and also think why they should care what people feel or need since they take orders from him. But the irony of the matter is every leader supposed to be a servant to the group of people he leads. I was the maid of honor at my cousin’s wedding and she told me that ‘I want you to handle my 14 bridesmaids’ .As the wedding event came to a close, a bridesmaid walked up to me and told me you handled everything so well and you were calm all along. Looking back at that time I thought to myself that what could have helped me stay so calm and handle all the stress so well then I said it must be my Emotional Intelligence at work. My ability to not boss the bridesmaid around and respond positively to each and every one of them needs. The concept of emotional intelligence can also be understood in the works of Douglas McGregor theory X-Y (1960).

In the business world today, leaders are chosen based on their level of educational attainment and intelligence quotient. Some leaders do perform so well while some don’t but why is this? Demonstrating a high intelligence quotient is a different ball game to having Emotional Intelligence. The leaders who have demonstrated a high intelligence quotient and succeeded at their work one can say they must also have a high level of emotional intelligence. In one of Goleman’s work where he researched about 200 international companies he found out that the normal qualities that defines a leader i.e. intelligence, toughness, determination, and vision are attributes a leader must possess and are required for success but they are not sufficient.

Emotional intelligence can be attributed to these variables (Daniel Goleman).

  • Self-awareness: the ability to identify ones emotions.
  • Self-regulation: ability to manage ones emotions.
  • Motivation: ability to put effort into a job not because of the pay or the status.
  • Empathy: the ability to recognize and respond to the needs of others.
  • Social-skills- the ability to build good rapport within ones social environment.

This is summarized with an emotional competence framework,

  • Personal competence- self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-motivation.
  • Social competence- social awareness.

According the article “why an emotional education is indispensable” (Forbes) some questions were asked, where is the Harvard business school equivalent for emotional education? Why shouldn’t one prepare for emotional conflicts and management while one prepares for a career in business? for the society to build a leader I think more focus should be put on emotional intelligence. Families should help children develop a good emotional intelligence so they can grow up to be effective and successful leaders.

In conclusion, intelligence quotient as well as all other attribute of a good leader is very important in building a successful leader but emotional intelligence is the ‘heartbeat’ of any good leadership.

 


October 08, 2013

My Reflections

Blogging,this is so new to me. But anyways...... lets see how this goes.

I thought to myself what sould be my first blog entry........(thinking)?? then an answer popped up in my head "what have you been learning or what have you learnt so far this past few days???". Well, answering my own question, i think i have learnt a lot from the induction week till date. During the induction week we were made familiar with this saying"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day but teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" WMG has so far been teaching me how to fish in this huge ocean of knowledge and during my second week i actually caught a big "fish" in my first module...(smile) Creating Business Excellence. This is one topic i suddenly became keen about, i found it interesting and questionable at the same time. The interesting part is that i get to learn from whole new perspective and actually think the way people in advanced countries think and how various excellence models has been working for them. Models like the Malcom Baldridge model(American),the EFQM.model(European foundation for quality management) and the Deming models which is very practical and very logical which i very much agree with to an extent.The Deming excellence model whose keypoints is about the proper coordination of all the process in place i.e"enablers" which help the company to achieve its desired outcome "results" which brings me to wonder that if applying excellence model in an organistaion helps organisation achieve its goals, or get the desired output, then what about scenerios where the leaders of the organisations who are part of the enablers are maintaining the status quo and are arent willing to be the change agent.Speaking for my home country, i would say applying this excellence models can be very difficult to achieve cos the employees are not allowed flexibility in the working enviroment.Based on experience, i have seen where individuals mindset and approach to work is "whatever" and i thought to myself how then can the excellence model be achieved when the whole workforce of an organisation all have a kinda weird norm. Thinking this through from what my tutor Paul said today, that one should be the agent of change anywhere we find ourselves(i strongly pray to be one)and he also said "every leaders job is to grow a leader" truth, but what happens when the leader isnt "leader enough" to grow another leader.........???. I think i have to sleep over this one(yawn).


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