All entries for October 2013

October 31, 2013

MIND MAPPING –used to solve the puzzles in PMAs and other plannings

Hello World,

Today, I was so thrilled by the idea behind mindmapping. It is such an awesome tool! I mean what was I thinking when I missed the first workshops?

The workshop was done by Paul himself, our Senior Tutor. He said alot of helpful things. I will just quickly point out one in this entry, which is:

  • There's something called unconcious mind and its like a 5year old who can wake you up in the middle of the night just to tell something he find intriguing! hahaha. So the "unconcious mind" is like a part of you that somehow never really goes to bed because it has the capacity to think even while you are asleep..He added that it thinks about everything we are not thinking about conciously. And

And so if you wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, that is the acts of your unconcious mind and sometimes it refuses to sleep until you address it...its safer to quickly write it downimmediatley to aviod the idea from fading away or losing it meaning by morning, in that case sleeping with a book and pen by the side of your bed is not a bad idea to allow you do it without having to walk around searching for a writing pad and pen grumpily.

Incase you are reading this and wondering what mind map or Mind mapping is. Mind mapping is a tool that helps enhance individual's or organisation's efficiency, productivity and creativity. (Menton, A. et al 1999), as it captures thoughts in a visual manner making it easier for addressing.infact it is an advanced note making technique.

How it helps(in my own understanding)

It helps you paint and see a picture of what you want to do

It helps you document your thoughts with visuals

It helps you do deep reflections

It breaks the work/task/planning down making it easier to do

It engages both sides of your brain (left and right)

Once you can mindmap a task, you should be able to perform it.

oh how I love this mindmapping thing!. And its funny how I didnt realize that I had heard of it a long time ago while in secondary school -maybe because it was then called "TREE DIAGRAM".hehehe.And its not just recommended for individuals but also for organisations and leaders in organisations. to help them perform creatively and effectively.

I will definately use this tool more often than just for PMAs and dissertation, Its will serve as my second pair of brain....can't afford to carry everything in my brain any more when I can store them in my mindmap! hehehe. Atleast now my 5year old unconcious mind can sleep!

October 27, 2013

CBE classes comes to an end….will miss you!

Follow-up to Learning beyond the course notes from Anne's blog

Among other things, I am eager to state some things I left with as CBE classes come to an end.

  1. COOPERATIONand competition
  2. Before you plan presenting, know your audience so you can identify core areas to focus on in your presentation to enable you cover important ares that will grab the attention of the listeners
  3. In looking or applying for jobs you shoukd realize that you also should be auditing the company as they are auditing you by researching to get information about them and thier practices this will help you making ip your mind as to whether you can contribute there or not
  4. TIME AUDIT will help you audit your time and let you know or identify how long you spend on tasks.
  5. PMA writting is an opportunity not threat: (yet to find out.....)
  6. An organisation can only be said to a learning organisation after when it has applied Organisational Learning. (OL)
  7. Meetings are not set to work but to make decisions
  8. Deming says replace supervision with Leadership
  9. People's potentials can be developed
  10. The journey of MBE is a continous pursuit of Excellence
  11. Training a potential leader is a good practice
  12. Shareholder is King Customer is god
  13. We can not manage time but we can learn to manage ourselves around time
  14. We must continually think "system"
  15. There is no such this as failureonly feedback: (hmm interesting!)

Learning beyond the course notes

From plain presentation slides to presentation slides with pictures and illustrations.

Last week we had series of presentations from all 3 sub groups in group B. Its was a wonderful time. Even though frankly I was so much in a panick state most of the times I was to present because presenting is definately not one of my strong points. But gladly I made it! we all made it!!

Like Paul said " learn to speak by speaking..." I wish to grow and develop this skill as time goes on.

All the feedbacks we got from Paul and Graeme were very helpful as it helped me to see things in a different light. For example after I did my presentation on Tuesday on the topic ISO 9000 vs EFQM, I thought my eye contact with the audience was okay but Paul suggested it would be better if consistent eye contact are made the listeners and less reading from the slides.

And just in the few days I observed that even though our group's first presentation slides were so plain and not colorful like others, we were unconciously developing our visual skills that our last presentation is AWESOME! I thought and so did everyone else.

There was an obvious difference between our first presentation slides and our last. Apart from that, I particularly learnt and saw things in the eyes of 12 other Group B members (excluding my group members) while they were presenting on each of the topics. This is important because sometimes when you have only one person doing the teaching, talking, explaining etc. it might get boring and easy to loss track. But it difinately sticks better when different people say the same things in maybe slightly different ways with Tutor there to draw attention to areas wrongly represented.

Learning was fun for me....even though we had to work extra for longer hours just make sure we understood first hand what we were ask to present on.

October 23, 2013

Monday Morning Managers meeting at Turner Hotel

This last monday, we were given managerial roles as managers in Turner Hotel, and were asked to meet with the General Manager to make some decision and address some issues the Hotel was facing.

I was the Human Resource and Training Manager which I loved being. The meeting as timed to last for 45mins and we were asked to spend 15mins to read and understand our roles before we began.

In my judgement, I would say the meeting was organised, productive, issues raised were efficiently addressed, points mentioned were taken note of by me who volunteered to be the secretary at the meeting taking down minutes of the meeting. we had the Front House manager as the time keeper. The GM made sure every issue raised had a solution drawn out for it for by team and all the managers who had responsibilities after the meeting were asked to follow through and return with feedback the next meeting day which was fixed for wednesday 9am.

But after the meeting excercise, Paul began to ask some vital questions like:

Did you have objectives/agenda for your meeting?

Did your take down notes on action points and conclusions?

Was there a time keeper?

Did the GM chair/control the meeting?

Was everyone given a formal opportunity to present their points?

Well the good news is some those thing our group got them right but some we were completely clueless!

So I learnt that for a meeting to be effective and truely productive, there must be an agenda and time allocated to each agenda/objective. Every one must be given a formal opportunity to present their contribution and there should be no side talks and talking over each other's head instead all discussion should be directed to the Chairperson and spoken to hearing of every one.

October 16, 2013

Why I would implement ROWE

Writing about web page

Being in group B feels good for now...a lecture-free week! waow! short relief from 9am joggles. Yes, I don't fancy getting out of bed that early but well I have been coping so far.

So I have been thinking or should I say reflecting on the week so far and all I can think is the power of working in groups.6 people spending 5 hours = 30hrs. faster and more efficient than 1 person having to spend the 30hrs.

On Friday, in class this video of Dan Pink was played for the whole class. And sadly I got in few seconds after the video had started and this made it abit hard for me to follow because I had missed the introduction but thanks to Siddharth who posted the link on his blog. I was able to watch again and thanks to Paul who encorages bloging..oh its compulsory I almost forgot!

Dan Pink gave an illustration of how incentives/extrinsic motivations can affect performance by using "The Candle Problem" as stated in the video above. I will give a brief summary of what I extracted and why I would implement ROWE:

EXTRINSIC motivation can be replaced with INTRINSIC motivation:

Autonomy: The urge to direct our own lives -self direction.

Mastery: The desire to get better and better in something that matters. -Consistency and persistency in practice

Purpose: The yeaning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves. -Living for something.

ROWE means "Result Only Work Environment" This an working evironment where no schedules are made, people work from anywhere at anytime but produce results.

Where I can not implement ROWE:

I would not implement ROWE in an environment where workers do not have self direction, self discipline, drive, understanding of vision and purpose of the business and no passion at all for the business. Basically ROWE implementation would be a blunder if implemented in an organisation where AMP (Autonomy Mastery and Purpose) i.e intrinsic motivation is not present in some form or the other.

But I can implement this where the above stated points are present and more as in a city where traffic is heavy at peak periods so instead of people spending productive hours in traffic, they can invest those productive hours into the business. Cities like Lagos and PortHarcourt in Nigeria are examples. In Lagos, People Living outskate would have to leave their homes at about 4:30am some 4am to get to work after driving through a heavy traffic for about 4 hours and same 4hours is spent while returning home from work sometimes even upto 7hours. That's a total of 8-11hours daily driving in traffic. And these same people spend 9hours working. But the truth is the first 2hours are used for adjusting Because you will definately need to adjust to be able to work effectively after spending such time on the on the road. and the last 2hours are used for preparation for the journey that lies ahead of them.... It a very common think for all workers around Lagos to begin to wind up at about 3PM. From that time meetings are attended grudgingly. It is very common, infact a norm for Lagosians to arrive home at 10-11PM on days the bottle necks were frequent.

Even though it can lead to cheating of some sort, I believe when workers have a healthy work habit, implementing ROWE will not detoriate the system.

Hmmm quite long I know.. but I had to pen it down its up my throat for a while.

October 11, 2013

Creating Business Excellence 2

It has been an interesting week for me so far because everyday I learn new things. And its been so cold that I would literally have to defrost my hands and legs immediately after I lock my room door. I wonder how it would be during winter?

Okay so again I learnt something very interesting....

Have I ever experienced terrible leadership? Have I ever experienced horrible coaching? Have I ever wished I was mentored better? I thought about these while Paul was sharing with us in class why it is appropriate for aspiring leaders/managers to consider a course in leader development before taking the crown. He did mention that in some well structured organisations, the hierachy is well outlined for each department as such that a technical engineer for example while climbing the ladder of leadership can in future become a Technical Manager or CTO (Chief Technical Officer) but he might not have the capacity to play the role of the CEO just unless he's equally DEVELOPED that skill.

And I would say must organisations may not necessarily follow the manner in the example I have stated above but have in some form frequently promoted people to managerial roles wrongly or just too quick!

So I thought again to myself would the answers to my questions above have been all No if the people who were supposed to play the leadership roles in my life-work-school-church had DEVELOPED themselves?

So as a future leader, I take the importance of leadership development for aspiring managers with me to the organisations I will be working with in future. I hope I am not alone here...

October 09, 2013

Self Management –The new cliche

Writing about web page

Okay Because I have alot of other commitments I will only spend a little time on this one. Today in class Paul shared with us on the topic Time Management, Sorry I meant Self Management. Well its still sounds new to me but I agree its a better way to look at time.

He said "we can not manage time but we can learn to manage ourselves around time -around the clock" (paraphrased) Using the Time management matrix by Stephen Covey, describing in details each quadrants and their results just helped me to see the true possiblities of self managements.

I would have loved to give a detailed description of these quadrants but time won't allow me as I am only expected to spend 3 hours on blogging weekly....hehehe I hope I got that right. But here's a link at the foot of the note I found that would help capture further what I learnt today should you be asking questions in your mind -so what did the quadrants say?

So basically, for me the self management topic today was just reminding me of the purpose for which I am here in school for, setting priorities right, not all urgent stuffs are imporatant and vice versa. So its like applying a continous filter to one's activities in my own understanding.

I will not forget to mention that after Paul spoke in details about how much time is expected of us to put into our mini projects per week and the blogging and the leverage we have as groups of 5 and 6...I was like woooow!!!! then why have been sooo depressed with high workloads? 28hrs/wk. 5hrs/ mini project. But offcourse we all know sometimes we might not be able to get the right information on time we cannot all say that 5 hrs is 5hrs and would be effective 5hrs but that now becomes a case of research methodologies and speed.

So I as continue the MBE journey help me Lord!

web link:

October 08, 2013

Win–Win Mindset Vineet Nayar cont'd

Follow-up to Discussion on the MBE learning environment. Employees first Customers Second from Anne's blog

So basically I think in my own understanding of what Vineet principles of employees first and customers second is in "Enabling the Enablers" in my term. so like he said if employees are challenged to create solutions to the company's problems then the company will a bunch solution providers(in my own words). I cannot help but agree totally to this. And well its not so far from what we discussed yesterday in class about creating a safe environment for employees to work and there by bring better results.

Using the EFQM model, the enablers come before the results so he encourages, motivates, improves the Enablers and this makes the Enables produce better and improved results and these cycle goes on and on. I seeee.

Enablers = Employess

Results = Customers

So he is indirectly using the EFQM model diagram concept..... I think.

So the employees win by being enabled, motivated and encouraged and then also the customer wins!

Discussion on the MBE learning environment. Employees first Customers Second

The highlight of today for me during the class discussion on MBE learning environment is the "win-win" mindset. This year Paul said he wants us in the MBE to challenge everything. we must think system -this breaks down competition he also added that we are agents of change, Leaders who seek positive changes.

And the BBC radio clip on CEO HCL Technologies Vineet Nayar which was played for us from the moodle site is one that i find very interesting. He believes in placing the needs of the employees first before the customers. I find this strange because I am used to the customer first believe.

Really I am still trying to reserve my thinking pattern in this context pardon me if this takes while... sigh*

October 07, 2013

Creating Business Excellence 1

Dr. Deming believes that organisations do not need competition but cooperation. His principle is one that supports an organisation as being a whole system responsible for quality management. One of his key message from the video we watched today in class was to eliminate waste and incentives given to individuals at workplaces as a reward for better input.

The importance of Deming's principle I believe is to help every single one in the organisation to grow and really an organisation cannot grow if the people are not growing and this cuts accross all the levels in the organisation. The Senior Tutor Paul Roberts who taught the course, with series of relevant illustrations made me understand that the "Aim is to create safe working environment" for the employees

Most companies and organisations which I have heard of practice this e.g Ford as the Executive Director mentioned in the video. Employees especially in the sales and marketing departments are given some sort of targets sometimes its so huge that it seems really humanly impossible to achieve those in the time frame set. Having had some friends who have been in this shoes make me realize how stressful the task is and inconsiderate the managements can be. There is usually a reward set for the employees who would meet these target in time. And this can even result in creating sales demands to exceed supply.

Now personally I think yes the incentives (always monetary) are good and they are made to push one. But I use to ask what if they are being made in form in training? yes it might sound funny but I think knowledge has power. For instance a sale representative meets his/her targets and then he or she is sponsored on a trip abroad for training on an international Sales course and this knowledge when applied will boast the companies sales.

I will say that I agree with Dr. Deming on his view on recognition and reward, as in the past this has driven employees to begin to work under so much pressure thereby not able to be freely creative.

As a future manager I will like to encourage my team members to grow both individually and most importantly as team because no man knows it all and can do it all. Once competition sets in, information begins to be hoarded. If I head a Sales Departments in a company, I would make sure no one handles more than three (3) clients at a given time, especially when they are new clients (still the decision process) because one person might not have the ample time to respond very well to all the clients unique requirements, meeting schedules, etc and I think this is to enable information sharing and allow other sales reps to support when necessary. I will closely monitor these.

It helps build a good support system at the end of the day. Yes...We are a Team, aren't we?

October 2013

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