June 08, 2011

Lifecycle Management: I think I now understand it..


This video (that I also posted on facebook) makes me wonder, is it that we are looking at the part of the lifecycle of products only to an extent that we think we can manage? There are other things which we never cared to think about, but indirectly (and unknowingly) we are attacking the planet!

For instance, how often have we talked about innovation with regard to creating newer demands, newer markets.. without thinking of the fact that we are accelerating the pace at which our old products become useless, and our customers need newer ones! which is great because it highers our bottom line, but have we thought that it also highers the landfills, and the pollution levels! Now as I'm seeing it, we as customers along with we as business owners/ manufacterers, we want it or not, are planning the demise of the planet!

Yes, we need innovation, but only to come out of the crisis that we've created for ourselves..

Atleast I had never thought in these lines.. I wonder how much is it that we're still not aware of..

June 06, 2011

Establishing an Excellent Entrepreneurial Venture

Project days on..

Just thought I'd share my experience of working on the project of visualizing an entrepreneurial venture.. Must say, it is a real difficult task for somebody like me who hardly has any work experience, to visualize the working of an entire business, that I am supposed to lead. With nothing materialised in front of my eyes, it is hard to imagine what should it look like, what should be the culture, where am I in the picture, will it work, where to find the people, what will the scene be few months hence..!?

And in the course of this visualization, I see various aspects of MBE modules running through my mind continuously.. It is like an automatic search engine that has been fixed in my mind which googles through the knowledge base and gives me thousands of results of the form 'Have you thought about this!?'

Since we've learned through case studies of existing companies, and ofcourse our beloved WaveRiders, what I am trying now is thinking of how these troubles can be eradicated from the root, trying to foolproof.. Though its not possible and there is always scope for improvement, but atleast now that i have the opportunity to carve a business the way I want it to be, it should atleast live upto the full utilization of my current knowledge.. And an integral part of this is, making inherent in the business, to keep learning..

If nothing else works, atleast this will..

May 06, 2011

Poka Yoke for Asset maintenance

Was at the library, and looking at the things you see everyday, you can sometimes learn interesting things..

What comes to my mind today when I look at those conical cups for drinking water in the library is that this is an interesting poka yoke for asset maintenance. Maybe there have been instances previously where students had glasses of water spill on the computers and the books etc. A simple change in the shape of the glass would never let this happen. Its foolproof!

Nothing but an example of looking at past experiences and finding innovative ways to counter the problem from the root. They could have thought of making students aware by putting up posters about the menace, but could it have been so effective..? 

April 21, 2011

The Asset of the Human Capital

“Human Capital adds directly to the bottom-line of the company and this is very evident from the shift in the line of thinking-people as cost to people as capital.” P. S. Srikumar, Vice President, Talentpro (An HR service provider in India) was quoted saying this in an article in an Indian newspaper I caught hold of in my flight. In my view this is more or less paraphrasing the view of extracting more than the mere acceptable minimum. Atleast I would interpret it that way.

In the very next few lines, the author quotes Ajay Trehan, Founder-CEO Authbridge (A risk0management consultancy in India), saying that "The only way to evaluate human capital and its contribution to bottom-line profitability is by creating a set of KPI’s that are directly cascading from the business’s financial targets.”

I was wondering, is this actually possible, mere mortals calculating a cost/benefit ration of human potential!? He advises that this be considered in the very beginning recruitment stages. And by the way, in order to calculate the benefits from the human capital, what would be the time frame considered? Unlike a machine human would not work the same way forever. It actually takes me back to the discussion in class regarding recruiting a person as a manager just means that they have a potential to be leaders, it does not mean they are leaders. And if you hire people looking at their potential, how can you be certain to evaluate the ‘ return on the investment’? As Dr. Deming says, 'The most important figures are unknown and unknowable.'.. I wonder these people are doubting Deming or are they trying to accept this as a challenge..

April 20, 2011

Decision for Importance or Urgency?

From some study on decision making, something just clicked my mind. We’ve been discussing the chart with urgency on the x-axis and importance on the y-axis a number of times over the year (One of Paul’s favourite diagrams ;)). I just tried to think decision making in those terms.

How different can decisions be in all four situations! In all four entirely different situations, there will be different frames of time, different mind-sets, maybe different alternatives, different criteria, and most importantly, different biases! Also, the tools and techniques used in decision making would depend on it (the urgency).

This can hence be extrapolated to, what happens when a decision gets delayed due to some reason? It may not conclude to the same result as it would have if more time was available. This sounds dangerous, doesn’t it!? And this will probably pay a heavy toll on the robustness of the decision!

April 14, 2011

Partying and knowledge transfer!

Just reminded of an example quoted by Graeme (I think) during PIUSS..

Some organization, i think Rolls Royce (some high class luxury car manufacturer)  chose 5 of there employees , gave them a huge sum of money each (dont remember the exact sum) and asked them to spend lavishly.

What these employees would do is spend all the money partying and in expensive lounges, where a sample of their target customers would be, gather information and send it back to their centre.

Tacit knowledge transfer!

All that amount spent is nothing but an investment to gather tacit knowledge is'nt it? Crazzy ideas to collect tacit knowledge!

April 13, 2011

Business: Not a necessary evil

"My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it till now"

- J. F. Kennedy

What I today realized is, more than anything else, MBE is an endeavour to correct the definition of 'business'. While most of us agree that what we learn here, is more like a fairytale and there is a real world outside.

But, today I really am fascinated, to try it for myself. Business is all about people, as we say it here. Could people be so cruel not to accept something in their own favour?

I've tried to explain people what we mean by Excellence, but have lost them the moment i say "business is not only about making money" Maybe I should not try to explain, rather act! The results here are all long term.. If nothing else, atleast I've learnt to keep trying..

I wonder business or trade in its earliest form was a win-win phenomenon. What has made it change to win-lose?

I am not sure if it is my childish mind that I get convinced so easily, but this does get me thinking! Of new ideas to do things in the best way, to integrate knowledge, to use it to the best of my ability, to be creative..

April 08, 2011

Emerging Leader– who actually has the power!

Today, only one name comes to my mind when I think Leadership.

Anna Hazare- a retired armyman, a social activist, who is fighting at this time against the government of India for an Anti-corruption bill. India is the biggest democracy of the world, and unfortunately one of the most corrupt as well.


The above link gives a brief introduction to what a leader like himself has and delivers.

It is all about stepping forward, thinking beyond the status quo, envisioning, and motivating. Everyday Indians, read the news, and curse the politicians to be corrupt, and how they are hampering India's growth. Some came forward and were thrown back.

But this to me is an example of unmatched leadership, emerging one out of more than a billion, able to motivate even the ones in power, for the benifit of all.

Yes, today after a four-day fast, he has been single-handedly able to provoke the government to accept his proposal, and this is what he calls 'The victory of the people of India'.

My salute to the leader of India's second struggle for independence..

April 01, 2011

An anti–knowledge base view!

Something just flashed my mind (Think am being to critical these days!)

We are all in the view, and so does the literature suggests that knowledge is a valuable asset. Right knowledge available at the right time is what must be aimed through IT knowledge bases as well.

On the contrary, can we say that there could be cases, where extensive and elaborate knowledge bases (not only IT based) may be used as readymade solutions and could halt creative thinking!? Say,an organizationa has an excellent knowledge base, with effective collection, storage and dissemination, in such a case, could it be that a decision that'd be available from a previous experience cause a bias in the mind of the decision maker (even though no two problems would generally be exactly the same), and hence lead to ineffective decision making?

Maybe this is a part of knowledge 'Management'! But how can a trade-off be achieved!?

Eager to listen to your views..

March 30, 2011

facebook: a Knowledge Management System

U guys may be thinking that am gone crazy, which I myself agree, I am seeing KM in facebook now! But I just cant help being facinated by KM!

I was going thorugh some literature regarding KM, and for a break, I log in facebook. The next thing that comes to my mind is, this is knowledge base too! and that too, quite an effective one (ofcourse besides all the crap that we share)!

How do I think it is so appropriate?

For instance, a friend of mine (fellow civil engineer) shares, he is at a site for tunneling right now in Srinagar. He has had this opportunity to visit the site as a part of his job. Though, this information is of no use for me today, but, in case I am in such a kind of situation, or have a project relating this, there it is, somewhere in the back of my mind, that he may know something about this. Maybe I can contact. Maybe, the day I contact, he doesnt have much to share, but on the other hand, maybe he knows somebody who has!

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