All entries for April 2011

April 30, 2011


Groupthink is a phenomenon that refers to the preference to follow the group consensus over the personal logic and reasoning. this can happen in any group even the good ones. there are many reasons for group thinking such as:

  • strong, persuasive group leader.
  • A high level of group cohesion.
  • Intense pressure from the outside to make a good decision.

to avoid groupthink, the team leader should understand and explain the groupthink phenomenon, build an environment of encouraging ideas and criticism, and to follow a decision making process that is clear and involves validating decision before and after they are made.

decision making tools, such as brainstorming and  risk analysis, can also help in avoiding or minimising groupthink effect.

During meeting a team leader should:

  • always look for signs of groupthink.
  • if signs are identified, the team leader should discuss the issue with members and make it clear.
  • assess all risks involved in any decision to be made. if risks are high, the leader should seek more validation for the decision.
  • can ask for external information and validation.
  • use decision making tools and techniques to avoid groupthink in the future.

Technology and Knowledge Management

Although effective leadership, culture and structure are important for successful companies, managing the firm’s assets are occupying a significant position in achieving strategic strategies and sustaining competitive advantage (Hitt, Keats, & DeMarie, 1998).

Assets management for acquiring competitive advantage focused on the physical assets in the past since it was functioning in the post-industrial revolution era. The importance of intangible assets such as people and information is increasingly taking a special importance. EFQM (2010) emphasises that excellent businesses should have the up to date technology and to effectively manage their knowledge and information. Therefore more theories and practices about managing knowledge appear in literature and in practical researches.

however, the integration of the two is the key for building the competitive advantage and achieving the desired returns. in maintenance for example, it is crucial to have a computerised system to manage the amount of data and information generated. new generation will, arguably, enhance performance and cut costs for its development is based on lessons learned from businesses experience.

April 27, 2011

Human Assets

Human intellectual are the source of knowledge, innovation and creativity which are the key for a successful company. Moreover, human capital is the most difficult asset to imitate and hence it is the one that builds the unique competitive advantage.

Therefore, managing human assets is essential. This management depends on strategies for obtaining creative, highly skilled, and experienced people and create a culture that rewards and motivates them and builds their loyalty for the company. 

all other physical assets depend mainly on human knowledge and decisions. having the human capital healthy and well managed is the way to guarantee that success of any physical asset management system.

Intangible assets and Competitive advantage

Increasingly, companies are trying to get competitive advantages that make them different and unique in the market. However, without having a sustainable competitive advantage a company would be threatened with loosing these advantages in such global, technological and competitive business environment that generates huge amount of knowledge.

While the trend after the industrial revolution was to focus on tangible assets, such as buildings and equipment, to create competitive advantage, the technological revolution made it clear that intangible assets are the most important competitive advantage for companies.

Microsoft and Apple are examples of this importance. Microsoft’s success and value are based on the knowledge, creativity encouraging culture that produced superior software programmes, and the creative marketing abilities that helped in building a huge customer base. Recently the significant importance of intangible assets has been under research in the light of the declined shares prices of Microsoft coupled with the rise of its competitors’ shares Google and Apple.

April 16, 2011

A video about Asset Management

could not insert the video here but here is the link to it. 

April 15, 2011

Things to Consider when Outsourcing

Some Idea to consider while outsourcing:

1-  Understanding what to outsource depends on understanding where the competitive advantage of the company comes from. the company's competitive advantages should not be outsourced if possible.

2-  Outsourcing is not about cutting costs only. The cost might increase but there will be an increase in the revenue too. Moreover, it might result in cutting some other costs.

3- It is important not to lose complete control over the outsourced activity because the client might not have the ability to control or effectively manage the vendor.

4- When an activity is outsourced, it is important to assign some mangers to handle the vendor.

therefore many researchers suggest that a exiting strategy should be established in the contract to handle any issues with the contract, security, or the quality delivered. this exiting strategy allows the company to switch the vendor without any damage.

Developing Markets for IT Outsourcing

some might argue that the major aim of out sourcing is to get the best possible quality in the lowest possible price. taking this concept as a way of work for IT services, it is interesting to know that  India is number four on the top five list of customer satisfaction in a survey done in the UK’s top IT spenders. Last year the percentage of UK companies that outsource IT services in India jumped from 47% to 57%. Moreover, the experts are expecting the Indian outsourcing market to grow in the next ten years and that new IT outsourcing markets to grow in the future such as the Egyption market.

businesses are becoming more globally managed. the physical location of a company is run by people from all over the world. 

Outsourcing 1

outsourcing is recommended by EFQM as it helps the organisation to focus on its core functions, cut the costs, and might help in getting better services.

I think outsourcing has proved a success in many organisations and its failure was usually related to managing the contracts and monitoring the quality or choosing the suitable resourcing provider.

it is recommended therfore that these aspects should be taken into consederation when out sourcing:

1- choosing resourcing providers and negotiating the contract conditions must me done by a team that involves all the departments affected by outsourcing such as financial, HR and others.

2- Prepare the staff in the company by informing them about the outsourcing plans. this can save the company staff resistance in the future.

3- choosing providers should have a balance between price and quality.

4- the organisation's requirements should be clearly identified before negotiating any contracts.

the subject of outsourcing is wide and I think it deserves to be explored and developed becuase it can be an opportunity to build a new business environment were sharing and cooperation is the norm.

April 07, 2011

No Decision?

Discussing decision making is always about how to make a decision robust. However, what do we think of not making a decision at all?

not making a decision can be either good or bad decision. it is good when it is resulted from making a robust decision to not to take/delay action. this decision is based on information that support it.

on the other hand, it is bad when somebody thinks that nothing will go wrong if they do not take any decision/action. so they take a decision not to make decisions based on fear/psychological concerns. 

arguably, both involve decision making that result in not making decisions. Differentiating both is important to be aware of how robust our decision are. Moreover, it helps in creating self-awareness that can be a base for developing personal decision making skills.

Is it All about Tools?

Is making bad decisions all about using tools? Managers have to make lots of decisions on a daily basis that are very important because they affect productivity, time, relations, and other personal aspects and hence the work itself. these decisions are made in a second which does not allow a person to use a tool. 

in this sense, robust decision making can be a personal trait that can be developed as it is the case in leadership. to illustrate here are some of the bad decision that people make daily suggested by decision-making-confidence:

  • saying yes when you'd rather say no
  • doing things that you don't want to be doing
  • making decisions so other people think well of you
  • spending time with people you don't want to be with
  • making decisions so others can feel OK but you have to sacrifice in some way
  • allowing others to treat you poorly
  • letting others make decisions so you're living the life they want you to live

someone might think that these are related to personal and social issues. yes, but I would think that business is a social environment where people interact and many of the previous bad decisions can lead to failure for a manager who is perfect in using decision trees.

I think that studying decision making as a subject that is related to personal traits is as important as teaching decision making tools.

Robust Decision Consequences

After using decision making tools, one can think that they are able to make a decision (robust one) that guarantee good results. practically robust decisions do not guarantee any results. the universe is changing continuously and has its own plans. the benefit that these tools add are trying to anticipate some results in the light of the existing information. however, given that information accuracy is a function of time, the decision 'robustness' is defined by time it was made. the consequences of the decision does not define its robustness. i.e. very bad results does not mean that a decision is bad and vice versa. it is impossible to know all the possible consequences of a decision until you have made it.

April 2011

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Mar |  Today  | May
            1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30   

Search this blog



Most recent comments

  • The sale man is indeed important for the organization in a short time. But he will impact on organiz… by on this entry
  • I think form a holistic picture is important. In the real life, we cannot igore the influence from k… by on this entry
  • If increasing information brings with technology development, whether knowledge management improves … by on this entry
  • nice discussion here, i think to minimize groupthink, leader should assign one person to act as devi… by on this entry
  • I think even effective leader cannot guarantee a groupthink free decision. an effective leader shoul… by on this entry

Blog archive

Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder