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March 29, 2011
From the very beginning of my PMA progress, I got stuck with the term 'coaching'!
What I confused was the way of coaching, the method of presenting or the know-how in consulting. Although all the theoretical examples about a holistic picture are provided, the same as other cases I came across during class, no guidelines are available to improve a typical case. To me then, in front of me were lots of theories and the Waverider case and if I bring the whole theories in (you have to understand customers'needs, you need to improve your operations, you need to think strategically, for example...), the Waverider board could have just bought a leadership text book (Dubrin's, for example). They should be able to use Porter's Five Forces or SWOT or QFD... themselvs. If they haven't known about those tools, a TQM or Operation Management book would help.
It also makes me think about my future employment. When I attended a workshop in skills porfolio of career office, I was introduced with a set of skills that I need to develop untill I finish my degree, there was one that really spotted on to me which is the skill to promote my selling points. From that time, the quesion always hanging in my mind is: what is my sellimg point?.
From this PMA, when asked to encounter a real case, I got stuck. Theories might be accessible for everyone but how can I make me different? how can I make it work? I can't go to a job interview and tell them the theories that I have learnt, as if I am a textbook published from my graduate school with chapters in Six Sigma, in Leadership, in EFQM ... I might be able to tell them what good or bad about those theories, when one should be used, what other experts say about it but how to make it works?? I don't really know or even if I do, how could I convince them?? Theories which are popular, everyone might have known, those are not, might have not been justified to a certain extent to hold true broadly... So what is my selling point?
Back to my PMA, stuck with how to implement those theories, I look for books in consulting and it does give me an idea how to start, where to look at and what steps to do. Of course, they just give a general idea and guidline of how to approach problems and some tactics to work with clients, problems might arise... And what I came across next was how complex the reality could be and how much a consultant needs to understand a company to do the consulting job well, how the smallest things might count. This makes me face with relevant assumptions need to be made and the available information means something else behind ...
This experience makes me look back on all modules I have studied so far, and feel like I haven't known enough about them. Deming said: "Knowledge comes from theory." and "without theory, there is no learning", he also said: "Knowledge has temporal spread."
I don't want to spend one-year time and all the efforts and resources to get just a textbook back, I don't want to get only low-hanging fruits ... It is 5-6 months left to prepare for my selling point!