All entries for Sunday 27 October 2013

October 27, 2013


The past one month has been an intense studying process for me. The module is not difficult, but it contains huge amount of information and requires great practices. I was never particularly good at time management, so this was definitely a challenge, but the good thing is I am getting better at it. Paul has emphasized many times in class that ‘time is the currency this year’, and now I understand what he meant!

I was learning everyday, from classes and course mates, during researches, by doing presentation and writing reports, and self-assessment. Among all the things that I have learnt, I just want to pick out a few points that have influenced me the most.

1. I knew nothing about ISO 9000, or EFQM before coming to WMG, and had never even heard of Deming. And now I can easily give my friends a 10 minutes presentation on any of those topics.

2. It was extremely shocking when first hearing some of the management philosophies, and I remember that I could not get my head around and was arguing with Paul in class many times. Yet through this one month, I really start to compare those new management tools with the old ones that I was used to, and I realize how these tools are so much more advanced. I learnt to jump out of the box and re-examine the knowledge I was taught before. I started to adapt into this new way of thinking, and I truly appreciate this transform.

3. Group projects were definitely a challenge. Although I have done quite many group reports and presentations during my undergrad study, but one of them were like what we are doing in MBE. And many of the comments are so useful. And I can actually see myself improving throughout the 6 projects.

4. I like how this course always gets you thinking.

In general I enjoyed CBE a lot. It is definitely a new approach of learning to me, and I am looking forward to what is coming next.

Cooperation Between Competitors

I was reviewing the Seminar 2 topic: why do business competitors cooperate with each other, and I thought of an example that may best explain this phenomenon. I am a member of ‘sky blue’ club. So whenever I fly I collect points/miles from my travelling and I can use it for my next travel. There are many airlines in this club, including Chinese Southern Airline, KLM and other companies. As I used to study in Edinburgh, I always flew with KLM. And for the miles I collected, I can use it when booking a KLM flight or any other company’s flight, such as China Southern Airline flight. It gives me great deals on travelling. So for one KLM flight from HK to Edinburgh, I can exchange one domestic flight ticket with China Southern Airline. Travellers choose sky blue, knowing that they get benefits from all these airlines. Yet these benefit as well as customer loyalty would help travellers to stick with the airline companies within this ‘Sky blue’ club, which is then becoming a benefit for all these member airlines as well. This creates a win win situation. And travellers may choose whichever companies according to their own demands and situation. As if one is flying within China, he knows that he can choose Southern airline, while if he is travelling abroad, there are other airlines he can go with.

These airlines are competitors, yet in this case, under 'Sky blue', they are cooperating with each other.

ROWE (cont.)

Continuing my last blog, I realise that transaction into ROWE not just requires revolutionary change of the internal organisation culture, but of the culture of the society the organisation lives in.

ROWE is valued very differently in different societies. This is decided by the elements and values within the society, including, for example, the education system, religion, economic and political reasons, and market structures etc. Out of all these aspects, I would assume that education is the most fundamental reason for any social structure and value. To introduce ROWE into the society and its companies and have it accepted by its people would possibly have to start first by introducing the philosophy behind ROWE into that society. This is a meaningful step for the development of the whole society for the following reasons:

1. -Thinking outside of the box: ROWE as its name suggests focuses on results only, and does not force any particular process of achieving that results to its people. Therefore, it provides great freedom for people to decide whichever routes they are intend to take, and to encourage them to brainstorm the most effective and efficient working way. This is not only important in organisations, but would be a general benefit if the society adopts this thinking logic.

2. -Encourages respects to individuals. Organisations that use ROWE are giving freedom and space to employees, they respect that each individual may have its own working patterns and habits, and any employees may have to deal with unexpected personal issues outside of work. The philosophy behind this is that every individual should be respected and understood, rather than used as robots. ROWE, to a certain degree, promotes human right development.

3. -ROWE is not only about completing missions. It is about creating values. Creation shows development. It is not only needed inside organisations, but also in the improvement of a society.

Start from education. Change how people think and believe about management. That is important, and that change will then be fundamental and would last and change the society structure and value.

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