All entries for October 2008

October 24, 2008

Demings Imperial Leader

I quite agree with Team 3 when they say that Deming's Prize leader is Imperial. One must understand that he/she is expected to have profound knowledge. For example he is probably the only one who knows the entire system, understands variation, knowz the psychology of the workers so he is the only one who can guide. Understand he is not a dictator but just the person in charge......if you see the difference........


October 23, 2008

Manager…...

Today Paul told us in class that he has never solved a problem in his professional life. He always delegates his problems to the workforce or subordinates. He treats everyone equally and shares the companies goals and values and missions with them

It really got me thinking after what Paul said. But later I realized that what he said made complete sense. It does give workforce more options to consider and not feel any constraints becuase of the manager being around. Few people feel awkward to give suggestion when the manager is around. Also involving everyone does bring more ideas to the table.

Another topic discussed in class that got me thinking was that how much information should one share with their employees. In class some people argues that all the information should be shared with employees...but is that right???

I do not feel that it is right. If you are a consultant company and one of your employee leaves, if he has your customer information then he could take some of your customers along with him. Also Coke does not tell most of its employees its trade secret of how coke is made. There is always a fear that some one or other may cheat you.


October 22, 2008

Organisational Learning and Leadership

Two examples that Team 3 gave in class were the very interesting. The example of 5 blindman trying to figure out what an elephant looks like was a very good way of showing how it is important to look at the entire picture. The blindman holding the trunk thought that the elephant looked like a carrot, the one holding the leg thought it looked liked a post box, the one holding the stomach thought it looked like a wall. If all the blindmen got the information together than they would have known what the elephant really looked like. Its very important to exchange information in an organisation. But one very important question raised in class was that how much information is right to exchange as sometimes employees can leak outr trade secrets for their personal gain

Another good example team 3 gave was about the football coach. How important it is for the leader to see the entire. This can be seen through the eyes of the leader. One important issue raised in class was why in some cultures men do not accept women leaders.


October 20, 2008

Seminar Topic 1 + In class team assignment….

Fisrt I would like to talk about the assignment we worked in teams in class. It was about a hotel and solving various problems. I was made the general manager. Firstly I would like to thank my team for being very supportive. They have been very encouraging throughout the team assignment. It was probably the first time I assumed a role of a leader in my team. I thought I did a good job. I talked to different managers, one at a time. I allowed othewrs to express their views as well. Though in the end it was my decision. To be on time sometimes I could not let arguements carry on and took decision. I ensured everyone participated. Sometimes I did feel as though I was a dictator. But I could not help myself as I know I wanted to finish not only on time but take the desicion that would benefit the hotel on the whole and not take a decision that would satisfy individual egos. I should have priortized  the important points first. This would have made things more easier. I contributed equal time on each issue rather than focusing more on important points. I hope my team members like my approach.

The seminar was really helpful. It gave me so many different ideas and different ways how people thing. I think the end result was as Pual says : Shareholder is King but Customer is God. Therefore the company must plan long term and continously improve applying qulaity models as this is more beneficial for the customers who pay the shareholders wage :)


October 18, 2008

Quality

In class Paul gave us some fantastic examples how quality mattered. Paul first asked the entire class to write a defination of what quality meant to them. It was so interesting to know that how the word quality meant different things to different people. Someone said quality was about costumer satisfaction, someone said how good or bad a product was, some one said the delivery time should be included. So in the final analysis we learnt that the manufacturer has to be very careful as quality meant different things to different people.

Paul then asked to associate quality to a company or a country. The first answer that came from everyone was 'Japan'. It is amazing how Japan has done so well for itself bu doing simple things such as waste elimination and just in time. Paul told us that we should work tords excellence so that next time our countries make it to the lisy too.

Paul then asked us who is more important, customer or shareholder. Paul told us that shareholder is the king but customer is the God. Paul said that customers are the ones who pay the wages of the shareholder therefore the company must keep the interest of customer in mind before shareholders. Many a times companys say that "if we take this step then what will happen to our shareholders?" It should not matter as long as the customer is being served.

Paul told us that it is not only important to match the customers expectation but give them something they did not expect at all and will be benefical for them. For example walkman was the first portable music player. Customer would not have thought of listening to music while travelling.

Paul showed us a graph of customer satisfation to quality. It was very interesting to see the graph. It was a very interesting lecture :)

Thank you Paul....


October 17, 2008

Joint Venture and Cultures

Today in class we talked about how one needs to research when one is looking to start a venture or a joint venture in another country. It important to look into  various aspect of the culture. Professor talked about a American and Mexican joint venture that did not work out as the mexicans found the americans to be very aggressive in taking decisions while the mexicans wanted to take their own time to take an decision.

We also talked about how taking bribes is accepted in different countries. In some countries it may be a complete no no while in some other country it may be the only way to get your work done

Another interesting finding during the lecture was that the chinese people think that the number 164 is unlucky for them while 168 is good for them.

We named some top companies and realised that none of these companies came from India or China which are developing at such a high rate. We tried to reason by this. We realised that most of the top companies are doing well after licensing, joint ventures or takeover. For example Mc Donald- franchise, Walt Disney-licensing.

One of the biggest reason why microsoft did better than apple was that it licenced its products.

Its been a interesting lecture so far. I am looking ahead to the next lecture on supply chain


October 16, 2008

Strategic Analysis

We just had a lecture on strategic Analysis. It was very interesting. The first thing that stood out was "the goal of the business is to make money, NOW anf the FUTURE. One should not exploit any one for a short term gain. One has to keep in mind the long term success of the company.

One must have an operation strategy in place, must have operation objectives in place and also operations competitive role and position. The most important thing professor said was one should ask one self " how does one plan to compete? Why does the customer wants to come to you and not the competitor." This is because of the benefits you provide the customer which the customer values. The customer is not paying for good only but also the benefit provided. The benefit could be "quality,dependibity (consistancy), cost advantage, flexibility or responsiveness". Its important that the customer understands the benefits you prodive him/her. Many a times businesses say "lets pass customer expectation". This is wrong as if the customer does not understand the benefit then its a waste.

One more thing professor said I found really interesting was that according to More's Law (I hope I got the name right) the power of the computer is doubling every 18 months.....


October 15, 2008

Credit Crunch…..

We just finshed a lecture on credit crunch and I am here in the break time righting about it. Boy it was interesting.

It all began when bank started lending money to people they should not have for buying houses. The banks did that with the assumption that real estate would only go up. Banks also borrowed money from other banks. It had formed a chain. One bank taking a loan from bank b, which took loan from bank c.

So when one bank did not recieve its money back from the people it had to default and shut down, which lead to other banks to default. It thus formed a chain. No one knew who is in the top of the chain and who is in the middle....

Banks borrowed money on short term but lent long term. This is because they thought that people who banked with them would not take back the money as people have the notion that their money is safe in banks. So banks started packaging loans to people who they should not have

This is one of the biggest reasons for the sub prime morgage crisis in the USA.

Now governments have started to intervene. Some have started buying stakes in banks and recapitalizing banks and reduced their bad debt. US has a liability of about 3 trillion dollars while UK has about 7 trillion dolloars...(Its either dollars or pound for both US and UK....I am not sure)


October 14, 2008

Globalisation

This week we are learning about globalisation. Its very interesting to know how China has benefited so much from globalisation. In the last 25 years it has tremendoulsy increased its exports and imported very little comparetively. China also has 11 trillion US dollars (Professor was not sure of the whole amount) as reserves in USA. It produces very cheap goods. I would love to know how it does it.

Also another interesting topic in globalisation for me was the use of Tariffs by countries to reduce imports from other countries. This is very useful if your country is making a defeciet on the whole. Its so interesting to know that developing countries charge more tariff and can have different prices for different goods. Superpowers like US and European Union charge a lower tariff

The in class assignments gave us good understanding of the tariffs.

I wished the role of World Trade Organisation (WTO) was disscuessed more.


October 11, 2008

Seminar Topics

The topics chosen for the seminar are very interesting. It will be very interesting to know how efqm can be changed to be implemented in other countries or why is ISO9000 more popular or why do companies care abt hollistic approach if they only value stock prices and also the other questions chosen

But I do feel that we are only concentrating our focus on the quality control approaches such as efqm, demings, isO9000 and baldridge. It would have been interesting to discuss in class different benchmarking examples or different examples of comanies that have made selection biases and lost out in the long run.

But I am already looking foward to the seminar week as the topics chosen will be very interesting to research on....


October 2008

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