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July 07, 2014

Post Module Blog KBAM 2

Writing about web page #KBAM

Investing time and money in creating a strategy that would optimize and enhance a relationship is a typically a wise approach to take. The process of having open communication and trust will exponentially improve your efficiency. As I have mentioned in earlier blogs, I plan on, in the near future, opening my own business. Developing mutually beneficial relationship with my suppliers will be a priority. By having open communication I will probably benefit from their expertise and experience especially during my first few years of running my business. The asset management PMA tested my writing and writing structure skills. While contemplating my Post Module Assignment question I changed my mind on which aspect of asset management I wanted to write about in my answer, why I wanted to talk about it. I went back and forth a number of times about how I wanted my final structure to be. The more I studied the question and research I gathered, the more doubts I had about my essay.

Post Module Blog KBAM

Writing about web page #KBAM

I initially thought it would be quite the challenge for me to select the topic or question I wanted to research for my Post-Module Assignment. Health and Safety is one of the most important aspects in asset management because it pertains exclusively to the wellbeing of employees and customers. The relationship with employees is one of the most delicate relationships a business will have. This relationship is important because it is a focal point in a business's operations. Without employees, a business will not be able to function. Unless it is a company that doesn’t require any human employees. However such companies would still need some employees to run and supervise the technology being used. It is an intricate system which requires an intricate relationship. After my research I have learnt that although a employer-employee relationship can be complicated, if a business applies basic mutual beneficial policies it becomes a lot easier. It is evident that in order to run a successful business it is absolutely important to create a good employer - employee partnership

July 01, 2014

Finding a basis for your practical implementations

Writing about web page #KBAM #Assetmanagement #postmoduleblog

Writing this KBAM PMA is a unique experience compared to previous PMAs I have written. It has required more self motivation than previous PMAs. This is due to a variety of reasons i.e. the upcoming dissertation date, changing UK weather, the commencement of the World Cup, etc.

However the biggest change in this PMA, for me, is the fact that we have to discuss a practical implementation for our recommendations. This can be challenging because it can be hard to imagine exactly how your reccomadations can be implemented when you dont have any experience regarding this topic you can relate to.

The best way, I realised, to deal with this issure is to assume, assume, assume. By assuming you can clean up any lose ends regarding your recommendations for Waverider. Also, by doing a little research, you can find some basis or foundation for some of you suggestions and feel comfortable about them. It took a while for me to get started, but once I started it was easier for me to write.

June 08, 2014

Knowledge Sharing

Writing about web page #KBAM #knowledgemenagement

A really good point was brought up in class on friday. It was brought up that since every organisation is different and every organisation has their own culture it will be hard for there to be a specific "knowledge sharing" rules for every organisationto follow. An effective knowledge sharing environment and system must be designed by the organisation to tailor to their specific brand of business. Of course, there are broad knowledge management principles that should be applied by every organisation. However in order to effectively manage knowledge, the organisation must study its culture and implement policies to trigger motivation to share and create knowledge. This is much easier said than done.

For example, if I were looking at our MBE01 class I would consider the culture and atmosphere of our class and use this to create a strategy to encourage knowledge sharing. I would say our class culture is social, open, fun and competitive at times. Based on this culture, I would develop activities and games that would be revolved around sharing reflections in class. This would appeal to the fun, social and competitive nature of our class. This was just an example of how organizations can tailor their KM and motivation to their specific businesses.

June 02, 2014

Layers of Asset Management

Writing about web page #KBAM #Assetmanagement

Asset management is a topic I have never covered before. But from reading and researching about it in the last week, there seems to be a quite a number of different aspects an organization has to cover in managing its assets. After reading through the material and afterdiscussions whit my group member, it was easy to see that these topics overlapped and seemed almost redundant at times. But after further thought, analysis and class discussions it is apparent to me that the aspects of asset management over lap for a reason. They are supposed to have overlapping ideas because they are supposed to be managed in unison and work together as a systemic management philosophy. They are not meant to be analysed and managed as individual concepts. The asset management concepts work together as a system to support, double check and balance each other out. Also this idea of an integrated and inter-related system is consistent with the excellence models we have studied and how these models emohasize the intergration and synergy of all areas of an organization.

March 26, 2014

Post module assignment questions pt 2

Writing about web page #LeadershipandExcellence #Leader #MBE #LE #postmodule

Some of the apporaches I am discussing in my PMA seem like they can be grouped under each other. For example, I contemplated whether I could group transformational leadership, authentic leadership and team leadership all under the style approach. This could be possible because based on the description and characterisitics of style relationship. However I am going to keep them seperate in order to emphasize their differences and explain whether or not they can be applied to waverider's current situation and leaders.

Another thought I had while working on this PMA was how I could create the criteria for choosing the most appropriate leadership theory that would best fit Waveriders and its leaders. This could be based on many things such as stattegy, vission, type of strategy deployment being use, characters personalitie, type of employees that work at waveriders, condition of the current market, competition and past experiences of leasership appraches at waveriders. The hard part is choosing which variables are more important and which ones to focus in in determining which leadership approach will "fit" in the organization currently.

Post module assignment questions

Writing about web page #LeadershipandExcellence #Leader #MBE #LE #postmodule

There is so much information about leadership and its different apporaches being published and uploaded online that it has been quite a task just filtering out some of the information for my PMA. Having to pick out key information that can illustrate your main arguments is important. Also, with the numerous ammounts of appraches on leadership available, selecting which approaches to highlight and mention. I have decided to discuss leadership styles in more detail and discuss the theories in a broader light. This is just beause I believe the opporunity cost of not going into detail about the leadership theories will not be more valuable than discussing a few styles in depth that I can contrast with my justified point.

Another point of reflection I had about my PMA was whether a combination of more than two appraoches in coaching John Excellence and one of the direcotrs would be effective. I debated the question whether it would be harder to coach and implement more than two approaches per leader. Would it become so complicated that it takes away from the effectiveness of the approaches? I think the olution to this problem is to just address each legitimate approach that I think will apply to each leader's character and situation. Even if that means it will require more than two apporaches. The most important thing is that I clearly and concisely lay out the arguement and support it.

March 21, 2014

Group work reflection

Writing about web page #RobustDecisionMaking #RDM #GroupWork #Reflection

Decision making is a delicate process that requires a detailed account of all the variables and factors need to make the decision. During our group work I learned many lessons about developing robust decisions based on the decision making process.

One important thing I realised right away was that it would have been imposible for every team in our course to produce the same resuts even if we all used the same decision tools. This is due to a a few factors. One of the reasons for this is that during each of our decision making processes, we considered and assumed different things about the task. This was because depending on the point of view on the group, some variables were prioritised differently based on what each individual group thought was important. Also, due to some of the vague descritions in some parts of the task, this left a lot of room for each team to add assumptions and decide what they thought the task was asking for, And after the presentations in class, my predictions were confirmed.

The last important thing I learned about the decision making tools was that depending the tool you used, you could get different outcomes although none of the factors have changed. Again this reflects on what the group thinks was the most appropriate tool for each decision problem.

March 19, 2014

Approaches vs Theories

Writing about web page #LeadershipandExcellence #Leader #MBE #LE #postmodule

Assessing the different types of theories and approaches to leadership can get somewhat confusing because we are studying different concepts of leadership. Some are theories about what kinds of leaderships there are, some are apporaches on what researchers think make a good leader, and some are leadership styles that leaders can implement.

So far I am learning that there are many different leadership styles that can be a leader can adopt in order to lead. Also the phenomenon of whether the skills of a leader is inherent or can be developed by a person. There are many theories suggesting both ideas. Namely the trait approach assumes that leaders are born with the qualities needed to lead and cannot be developed. On the other hand, there is also a lot of information supporting the idea of leadership development.

At this stage of my research, I am leaning towards the idea that leaders can be developed. My PMA will probably support this idea and delve further into the topic.

March 12, 2014

RDM reflection

Writing about web page #RobustDecisionMaking #RDM

More often than not we are put in a situation where we are required to make decisions. In most cases, we don't even realize when we make a decision or why we made a decision. We tend to go with our "gut" feeling. The reality is that we tend to defer to our System 1 decision making skills. System 1 is generally automatic and intuitive decision making. This is based on our preference of taking mental shortcuts to solve a problem. This usually require minimal effort and leads to many wrong decisions. We base these decisions on four main heuristics. The representative heuristic, the recognition or availability heuristic, the anchoring and adjustment heuristic and the affect heuristic.

System 2 requires more effort and considers all possibilities and alternatives. A person can override their ssystem 1 decision making with system 2 if they aware of some of the system 1 mental shortcuts they tend to use.

This module really allowed me to rethink my everyday decisions and made me aware that I have to re-evaluate more important decisions based on facts and probabilities rather than intuition. This is much harder said than done. There are many psychological aspects a person needs to be aware of in order to consciously resist system 1 decision making.

Psychology and statistics play a major role in the understanding of this module. I think some of the concepts may have been hard to grasp due to our lack of in-depth knowledge the class had in these two areas.

March 02, 2014

Ted x Leadership

Writing about web page #LeadershipandExcellence #Leader #MBE #LE #tedxwarwick #tedx #perspectives

I attended the TedXWarwick event at the arts centre and was completely amazed by the speakers and performers on how well they were able articulate their ideas and talents.

Some of the talks were more influential to me than others. Two in particular stood out to me. The first speaker that really affected my way of thinking was a Slovenian born photographer that had lost his right arm as a child. He spoke about the phenomenon of different perspectives and the perspective of difference. He emphasized how important it is to apply different perspectives to every situation to be able to catch a glimpse of the FULL story in any given situation.

I believe you are able to apply this idea to leadership. An effective leader will not view a task, problem or goal through a narrow lens. An effective leader would certainly attain different perspectives of the same situation to determine the best course of action. By stepping back and seeing the whole picture, a leader can understand some of the implications his/her and their followers' actions can have in the future. As a leader, thinking further than the short term is essential in planning out key decisions. By viewing different perspectives of the same issue, one can try and predict the consequnces of each decision. These are the benefits of different perspecives and the perspective of difference.

February 26, 2014

Money as an incentive?

Writing about web page #LeadershipandExcellence #Leader #MBE #LE #moneyandhappiness

Financial security was quite a hot topic in class recently. One arguement consisted of whether or not to consider job satisfaction as the primary determinant for your career choice. The other arguement was to base your career choice on reputation and finance.

My thoughts on this idea are a little complicated. My view on this is that it is important to chose a career that can keep you motivated and challenge you in interesting ways. At the same time it is important to consider the financial aspect if you are looking for long term security for yourself (and family). But the point I dsagree with is to chose a career solely based on your interests while sacrificing financial secuirty. I beleive this would be a rash and somewhat irresponsible decision especially if you have family or friends that are dependent on you financially. I am not saying that one chose money over professional hapiness, but one must consider the consequences of not having some capital to invest in their life and well being. Contrary to the some beliefs of the "evils" of money, there are many benefits of living comfortably in terms of mental and physical well being. I believe the freedom and benefits of having a well paid job can make up for some of the dissatifaction endured during a career you are not completely enjoying.

February 25, 2014

Failing as a Leader

Writing about web page #LeadershipandExcellence #Leader #MBE #LE #failure

Failure in leadership seems to be a subjective concept. Discussing how a leader fails was unconclusive in class. This is because people believe that a leader can fail at achieving a task yet succeed in influencing, leading and changing the minds of his followers.

In a case like this failure in leadership is only dependent on how you define leadership. If your definition of leadership consists of achieving an objecive or a goal only, and disregarding the way the leader achieves this, then it is a failure when the goal is not reached. And if you define leadership as more than just readching the goal, then not reaching a goal is not necessarily a failure. In my opinion, it is important for a leader to influence and guide the ideas of his followers towards a goal. If the goal isn't achieved then the leader, in that leadership scenario, has failed. However it still does not mean that the leader has not accomplished something great. He could have impacted his followers on many different levels in a positive way. However the fact still remains; regardless of all the influence, inspiration and confidence the leader exuded, if he does not achieve the commpn goal, then he has failed in that scenario. There is nothing wrong with failure. It is an opportunity to grow and improve. But it is also important to not solely focus on results or be results oriented when leading. I think the key skill is being able fo find the delicate balance between results and the interaction between followers. This is what I will aspire to be an effective leader.

February 21, 2014

Leadership and Democracy

Writing about web page #MBE #LE #LeadersipExcellence

Democracy is critical in leadership, but it is not necessary. If we take the the tenet of power do we really believe that managers are demorcatic? The fact remains that authoritarian leadership is used across all aspects of business, OK so in some companies there are diluted forms with some say, but this idea of democratic leaders is a false ideology, otherwise we would be hearing about average Joe the cleaner producing the next big idea! Through my time learning about leadership and Human Resource Management (HRM) it is clear that whilst the idea of being democratic is there, the reality is authoritarian all the way. Despite what academics, business staff and everyones favourite meddlers trade unions think about leaders being democratic the fact remains that authoritarian leadership style brings results. Anybody that thinks the leaders of Apple and Microsoft, 2 of the worlds biggest companies ever were democratic needs to assess their views on leadership and what about investors such as Warren Buffet, do we really think he willy-nilly lets other people decide what happens with his money not a chance. It is clear no matter what people wish to portray business as, that it is a profit making environment and money counts, as they say "cash is king". Of course this is only a viewpoint, there are many counter arguements I'm sure but blogs are for opinions and this is one here.

February 13, 2014

What values are you looking for?

Writing about web page #LeadershipandExcellence #Leader #MBE #LE #values

Individual values and organizational values are an important aspect of leadership. A leader will be most effective if he/she finds an organization that has a similar purpose, goal or values as him/herself. But is it possibe to adapt to an organization's principles and is it possible to adopt their way of thinking? This is an important issue that I have been thinking about in the last few days. It is especially important in to me at this moment because this is around the time we are seeking employment and applying for jobs. This is where we have to analyze a company's values, if they have any, and assess how much of a fit we are for these companies or firms. Also we have to evaluate whether we will be motivated enough in this organization or field of work to be a "star" (active leader) and a "fan" (active follower). Or is this organization going to lead me to a dead-end job and transform me into a negative uncooperative member of the company? Currently I have not really determined what values I am looking for at the positions I am applying for. This is actually due to not having had the chance to really delve deep into my mind and heart and determine what values are important to me and what do I consider "deal breakers." This won't be a quick or easy task, but I think these class discussions have gotten me on my way to refklecting on what I perceive to be important in an organization.

February 11, 2014

Leadership Experiment

Writing about web page #LeadershipandExcellence #Leeader #MBE #LE

The obsession on the idea of understanding the perfect recipe to create an effective leader is a myth. This is somehing I have known for a while and was reaffirmed at the beginning of this module. With the criteria for an effective leader being so subjective, it is unlikely that one perfect "combination" of skill and traits will mystically create the right conditions and sculpt the perfect leader. Another thing I learned, which was more revelating to me, was that treating and interacting people with different people in the same way is not will not yield the same responses.

I think the key to becoming an effective leader lies here. Yes, it is useful to have characteristics such as being able to motivate, engage, teach people, understand emotions, relating, etc. to be an efficient leader. But it is about analyzing what kind of interactions you have with people that will incite them to do what you intend them to do. At this point, I am starting to think of achieving leadership by experimenting and testing different ways of interacting with different kinds of people to find the appropriate type of interaction. This is a slippery slope because one might start to represent themself falsely to achieve a desired response from whoever they are interacting with. This may be the approach some politicians take to manipulate people in their respective regions. However it is important that a leader be able to channel their genuine intentions and temperament while tailoring their interaction to incite action. I believe this is key for a leader and leadership and I will try to implement this idea in my own life.

January 16, 2014

FMEA and FTA: Useful in the right conditions

Writing about web page #PEUSS #MBE #FMEA #FTA

FMEAs and FTAs were a challenging concept to grasp initially. The value of these analysis to the Design for Six Sigma process is priceless. However to effectively conduct and study these types of analysis it is important to completely understand and be experienced witht the process. It is hard to create and FMEA and an FTA when you don't know what the process is, how the process works. It is challenging to assess the possible failures and effects if one is not familiar or has experienced the process beign discussed.

I think this was one of the problems we had in our group. Our lack of knowledge about the tank exercise caused us to struggle a little with creating a fault tree analyses. It was especially difficult with the fault tree analyses because you must realyy comprehend the process in order to accurately determine if some steps in the process are independent or dependent on other steps to illustrate OR gate or an AND gate. I think these types of analyses is useful to people that have experience with the subject at hand and can be a very useful too.

January 15, 2014

Customer is "god

Writing about web page #PEUSS #MBE #CUSTOMERISGOD

Listening to the customer's voice is VERY important but not sufficient in keeping a customer's loyalty. It was very interesting to realize that there so many expected and unspoken requirememts that customers take for advantage. In order to to keep a customer happy, it is important to maintain a level of unspoken quality while including customer requirements and more. I have realised that although it is impossible to cater to all customers specifically, it is possible to remove all possible obstacles that would give a customer a reason to not buy your product.

I have found that understanding customers is hard and impossible. The most important things to do to maintain or increase your market is to find your niche, find the customer segment(s) you really need to capture and cater to, listen to the true and unfiteredvoice of the customer, let the voice of the customer filter through the whole organization and produce a product that answers this voice. I believe it is also important to create or improve a product that will shock customers in a good way. Create something that customers don't know they need yet but will not be able to live without once they experience it.

January 13, 2014

CTQ and Customer Requirements


The most important point that was empasized during last week's presemtations was the point aout customer satisfaction. Design for Six Sigma seems to emphasize the customer satisfaction aspect of business excellence. I think customer satisfaction is emphasized more in DFSS than it is in a traditional Six Sigma projects. The reason I think this is so important is because when running a DFSS project an organization has limited up-to-date information other than the kinds of requirements the cusomer expects. When designing a product or a service, the key gaol for the producers is to be able to sell their product or service successfully. Listening to the voice of the customer is the only way to find out what they want. One of the most informative piece of information I learnt about while working on the mini projects was that fact that a product or service is only valauble if the customer thinks its valuable. After establishing customer requirements, then it is important to set up a system that can deliver the product or service in a consistent and reliable manner.

December 01, 2013

Green Belt and Rugby activity

Writing about web page PIUSS, Six Sigma, MBE, Green Belt

After Angie's guest lecture, I was left seriously considering doing a green belt six sigma course. I had not been convinced that getting a green belt certification was absolutely necessary prior to her lecture. However after Friday's class, I am certainly giving it a serious consideration.

I learned many things throughout the week. But Thursday and Friday were very interesting. First the lecture from the GE six sigma director was very enlightening. We had a great engaging activity that got all of us thinking. Within 20 minutes, I was able to decipher many real life implications the "passing the rugby ball" activity has. Communication got harder as the activity progressed. Without a direct, clear organsied channel for communication it is hard to come up with efficient solutions to certain problems.

Another important thing I realised is that sometimes when a new policy or strategy is implemented people are not patient when the first results come in. When we tried a different way of passing the rugby ball around and got a slower time, almost everyone assumed that it was a worse plan. However they didn't consider the learning curve that would be in effect since no one was used to this new technique yet. We tend to react quickly and irrationally when we don't wait and study the results.

Another thing I realised was that when it comes to processes, we do not always have to stick to the status quo or the norm. It took us a while to figure out that we didnt necessarilly have to move the ball, but rather keep the ball still and we all just touch it. This was thinking "outside the box." It is important to keep in mind that processes can always be improved. Just because there is currently one way to do a certain activity doesnt mean there are not alternative ways of doing the same activity. I think this lesson doesn't necessarily apply to processes but to life in general. Challenge the norm, think differently and act diligently.