October 23, 2008

Tools of study

Today, we had a very special and exiting group meeting.

It said to be special as it is not the normal concept for meeting; we actually had it online using Skype! All of our group members attended it to have our finalization of the reports. Meanwhile, we also used the tool called Google Docs, that's an online space for us to upload our works and share to the members invited. So everyone can see it and make the correction while we were talking on the Skype. We can highlight the problem sentence and discuss about it, then correct it, as soon as the correction has been done, everyone can see it.

It is just a new way of studying; we can have a meeting sitting at home, in front of computer with efficiency. We all have very high motivation during the meeting^^. I just very excited about this, so I blog it out to share to everyone. 


October 21, 2008

Thoughts about Credit Crunch

This article is just my personal point of view with no offense to anyone!!

I was reading a magazine talking about different country's attitude with Chinese Olympic Game 2008.

During March, April and May, some western countries intensively opposed the Olympic Games held in China and supported the independence of Tibet, arising a series of problems to China.

During that time the western countries' diplomatic relationship with China is getting worse, Chinese citizens' emotions to the event was getting increasingly intensive. E.g. held protest march, refused shopping in French Carrefour supermarket, etc. To be a Chinese, I attended the protest march on 19th April in London. We called that day " The Red 419".

Red 419

Red 419

For more photos about Red 419 in London, you can get on to my facebook, just search for Apollo Zhao.

I am not gonna talk about this in detail. But just combine with the Friday's lecture about credit crunch, I have some opinions relate to this.

During the period, why the westerns were so united? For example, Germany, France normally would not to take the risk to offend the Eastern giant ¡ª China. During the War of Iraq, they use to stand by the side of China, opposing US using force against Iraq. France, in order to keep good relationship with China, 10 years ago, it stopped arms trading with Taiwan which caused the direct economic losses for several billions. So, we have to think about why this time they were just openly hostile to China? Is it really because of Tibet or Olympic games which were completely irrelevant to them?

With the issue of Tibet, the westerns knew that no matter how they oppose it, the Chinese government would not to have concession. About the issue of Olympics, they were also clear that even if no leaders of the western countries attended the opening ceremony, it just embarrassed the Chinese but no real impact at all. Thus, Tibet was an excuse, Olympic Game was also an excuse. So what do they really want from us?

The westerns have been facing the economic recession, they needed a strong country to pay the bill for this recession. It goes without saying, they thought about China simultaneously. Why do I say like this, just have a look at their actions.

* Depreciation of USD.

Because of the depreciation of USD and revaluation of Chinese currency (RMB), the 1.6 trillion foreign exchange reserves of China have had a decrease of 300 billion and it was still decreasing. What more, the revaluation of RMB directly led to the increasing cost of Chinese exports which hit heavily on many Chinese enterprises. To their benefit, if the Chinese enterprises were getting closed, their manufacturing industry could be recovered.

* Collapsing Chinese economy through high oil prices.

The rapid development of China needs to import large amount of crude oil, while the western countries keep increasing their oil reserves which caused continue increasing of oil price in order to add the cost of Chinese economic development. And that was why US would strike Iraq: controlling oil is controlling economic lifeline.

* To promote Chinese bubble-economy.

Hence from where we can see, Tibet and Olympic games were only two hostages, their real purpose were neither Tibet nor Olympics, but to blackmail China into paying the bill of their financial crisis. If China refused, then just keep send you problem and making you mess. If accept, ok, sit down and let's have a talk!

Apologize for the language probably too intensive.


October 13, 2008

Some thoughts about Globalization

Today we have had our first GBE course, I have some thoughts about the Globalization.

When you sitting in the car ready to drive to school in the morning, your car is Toyota which made in Japan, your beautiful clothes is manufactured in China, the coffee you are drinking was imported from Brazil, when you listening CDs, the songs are recorded from American singer¡­ such and such, every product around your life nowadays are coming from different countries, this is because the Globalization. Generally speaking, it let the world become more integrated and more interdependent.

Why the world is globalised?

The improving technology is a very remarkable facilitator for Globalization, it brings distant market almost accessible. Ages ago, we use to travel around world by boat, it took years to travel from Europe to Asia, then we have train and then Boeing Aircraft which takes us to anywhere in the world we want within 24 hours. The new E-business making even more convenient for people, they can use the computer at home or office to purchase, sell or exchange goods and services, to serve customers with partners, to transact within a company.

Also the governments¡¯ agreements open the world market, drives the cost down, e.g. WTO reduce of trading barriers, this also helps Globalization.

There are good things about the world to be globalised.

  • We can have great new market opportunities, especially for those home market is small or saturated, they can explore aboard. For example, China has great opportunities for E-industry as only 160 million in 1.36 billion population are currently internet users, also it is huge space in car industry as 1 out 7 people has a car. These are great chance for those internet producer and car producer.

  • Allow companies to reduce overall production cost though access to low cost labor. Also to access resources that is unavailable or more costly at home market. E.g. Japan lacks natural resources, if it wants to develop their car industry, it must use steel from other countries.

  • It can create jobs, say labor from India they are low wage but highly skilled workers. They are welcomed by developed countries. For example, some company¡¯s call centre just set in India as the labor cost is cheaper than in their home country and Indian people also speak English. Also, India is a location for software- writing operations.

  • It brings economic growth stimulation, the world¡¯s GDP has significantly increased since 1960s is because of the globalization.

  • lIncrease consumer¡¯s income. Like the example above, Indian worker are paid good salary compare with domestic level.

Globalization also causes problems.

  • It destroys manufacturing jobs in wealthy, advanced countries. For example China, the world manufactory base, many countries set their manufacturing line in China to use the cheap labor cost, letting their home unskilled workers losing jobs.

  • To some degree, it might cause loss of sovereignty, because globalization trends to nationalization. It eliminate the national boundaries, mix up and unite the culture.

October 12, 2008

First week's feeling

I have been at Warwick one week already, feeling complicated.

Firstly, I feel nervous. Not saying I was nervous about new people and new environment, but I mean I have missed one week¡¯s introduction, I saw everyone was getting started, they seems to be well prepared. I had to sort out my life, tried to get settled quickly.

Then, I was having lessons. Actually, self study! I have never met this kind of study method before. After I knowing that our course based on projects only but no exams, I was getting even worried.

However, after some negative impact on me, there was something which has changed my bad mood.

The teachers and staffs in Warwick are nice and patient. Paul answered every single question in detail and asked me for a question sheet, in order to understand my personal interests and goals which I think is a very responsible action. In management term, the teacher act like a sales manager, they have offer their teaching services down to every individual customer, making customer satisfying.

My team mates are nice and hard working. They always try to finish works with quality and efficiency. Sitting among them during the meeting, I can¡¯t be lazy any more. I have to show my effort. On the other hands they are helpful, we working with our individual part but solve problems together when anyone anytime through different methods, e.g. online, forum, meeting¡­

For example, during today¡¯s meeting, we have all about to finish the drafts of mini projects. Although we are responsible for different topic of 6 projects, we presented each part to group mates, in order to let everyone understand what others were doing. In this case, we have used the same time, but have learned six times knowledge.

That¡¯s why I am feeling complicated. There¡¯s too much to learn, too much to do this year, but with limited time. Big pressure comes to me¡­ but I like challenging.


October 09, 2008

About Organizational Learning

What I have done today, I have conclude below....

I feel a sense of achievement as I have read a lot of info, although maybe it is not good enough.

¡°A learning organization is an organization skilled at creating, acquiring and transferring knowledge and at modifying its behaviors to reflect new knowledge and insights.¡± This is the clearest definition.

The OL is generated according with Individual Learning (IL), they all have 4 steps to form a cycle.

IL:

Step 1. The cycle begins with reflecting, which means to observer one self¡¯s thinking and acting.

Step 2. After consideration and comparison with old action, we have created ideas and possibilities for action, we have an abstract concept of how a process should be managed, then rearrange them into new forms.

Step 3. Applying the concept in reality.

Step 4. The experimentation in Step 3 generates experiences, which can again be used by learning and improving.

OL is a bit the same, however, this needs to apply on a small team, department or the whole organization. Hence here we need to consider every member¡¯s participation and interaction.

Step 1. In reflection stage, we are not observer individual¡¯s performance but view organizations as a whole.

Step 2. People need to communicate with each other about their mental models and beliefs in order to have mutual understanding among the team.

Step 3. and step 4 is more or less the same as individual one.

To develop a learning organization.

OL can lead to apparent improvement in behavior and ethos in the organization and hence productivity and quality. However OL is much more difficult as it needs people¡¯s participation and interaction.

For Step 1, Leadership is essential.

An Organization is made up by individuals, so the personal mastery is important for the whole team, especially leader¡¯s mastery. As long as the leader has the outstanding ability and leadership, can he able to view the organization as a whole and understand all level¡¯s job, hence able to integrate the observation from previous experiences. The leader in LO act like a coach, he also needs to make employees to understand how their jobs and positions related to others, to excite people¡¯s motivation for getting business improved, let then understand the development of organization is also their own benefits as people only do things well when they are interested in or related to them.  

For Step 2 and 3, to develop an LO, we need to create a heaving climate and an enabling structure.

Employees usually think new vision or new way of running a business is the job for top management team. Therefore to let people within the organization have mutual understanding and new concept, we need their interaction. The structure needs create willingness to experiment and innovate and generate constant change, in this case encourage all employees to develop themselves to improve the intellectual capital of the organization. As people are more intelligent together than apart, hence the climate need to be the relationship is like in college, people respect and trust each other, free to inquire an assumptions and biases about anyone, make no undiscussable questions. In this atmosphere, people are working together for improvement no matter what position they are, and no one is killed for making mistakes, then is easy to have shared concept about improving organization and also applying them in the reality to generate experiences.


October 08, 2008

Some thoughts about joining Warwick

It is really a shame that I have missed the first introduction week. After reading my group mates' blogs, I saw those lovely photos, especially the team photo with handmade Giraffe. I think I must have missed such wonderful time.

Lucky enough, I settled down quite well, and was put into team 3 in the first day when I arrived. People are looking nice and friendly in our team and Kang gave me the deepest impression as he has very strong confidence and outstanding leadership.

The way of teaching I have never met before, I even haven't had lectures but the projects come. It is challenging my self study ability which is the worst part of mine. ^^ We have 2 meetings up to now for our group projects. Some important issues have been decided and here I want to thanks Lila who is a very serious and responsible secretary of our group, she recorded every single bit of meeting and posted all to us, including time, who is attending, what have been discussed and the time for next meetings.

Now I am mainly working on the last two projects, I have borrowed lots of books from library, but don't think all would be helpful.


My first time writing blog

Ok, Let me just started my first time writing blogs.

I have used quite a lot of blogs before, like MSN Space, Face book, Xiaonei(Chinese face book) but have never written in English before¡­

Use of blog in the study is a new method (at least for me). I was getting surprised about this at first as Paul mentioned it will count percentage in our degrees. In my opinion, blog like face book was only a part of entertainment in the normal life. We use it to write what we think, what we like or to express depressed mood during certain time, also we use it to post our recent photos in order to know more about our friends and also let them know more about myself.

However, when I was thinking about what I mention above, I suddenly understand that if we use Blog in our study, let it be our part of life, then in other words, we also let studying to be our part of life. I think this would be a fantastic way to restrict the person like me, who hates sitting down and studying but likes having fun around. ^^ through Blogs, we can not only exchange the learning experiences in order to understand the knowledge in different point of view, but also to know our course mates more by reading their personal thinking.

But Please Please remember (this is what I am talking to myself), blog is good way of helping studying only if keep writing it!


October 07, 2008

Hello

Hello Guys.. I am just trying....


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