All entries for October 2015
October 30, 2015
Success = Excellence?
My previous blog mentioned by Paul makes me thrilled and my thoughts were triggered further by the concept he shared.
Believing everyone of us want to be successful in our life, having the attention from the world, not suprisingly it was also my lifelong objective and unwillingly to admitted that I had even dreamt about my successful story being posted in news. In this closing date for Creating Business Excellence module, I would like to claim my thoughts or my brain are upgraded to a whole new level, speaking to the old me three weeks ago,"you are simply too young too naive". One can be a success, but will never be the excellence. Success is a destination whereas excellence is a journey. We will always be on the way of achieving excellence. Success is measured by comparison, while excellence is all about continuously improving, maximizing the potential and achieving as much as we can. The logic applies in every field, business, sports, organizations, you name one. Like playing golf, the essence is always focusing on the improvement of skills with a peace of mind. Apple's way of business never focuses on furious competition, instead they keep innovating and creating products consumers never realize they would possibly need. Rather than measuring themsalves against other companies, they became the measuring stick. We are living in a world loves comparison and we cannot change that. But comparing success or achieving excellence is not a question, this is a choice. If we focus on process, result is just a final outcome and if we focus on achieving excellence, success will find us someday.
October 29, 2015
Collaboration or Competition?
Not sure about other master student, but for me, pursuing a master degree definately means to be more competitive in work place no matter with regards to knowledge base or qualification. Or why am I spending loads of money and one year time to put myself trhough the learning process or pursuing process when I would earn 40k pounds in the year rather than paying 40k pounds here and spending savings meant for my dream car Mercedes-benz GLC300? ? The opportunity cost is pretty high. So I supposed it was reasonable to believe I would be equipped with the "weapon" that can "shoot" others down with me standing and winning the battle after walking out here with enough knowledge and a recognized qualification.
After only three weeks until now, my mind was completely changed and I even feel shame about the way I thought before. Rather than being here to gain competitive advantage, I have a bigger mission now: To change to world (hearing someone calling me Ms.Crazy). Money is no longer the issue as long as I am given an opportunity to influence people, even in a tiny scale. By studying on Deming's thoery and EFQM Model, I am deeply persuaded that creating a collabrative business enviroment without competition and target-based reward system is of great importance and the word "competitive" just should not exist. Understanding it is an ultimate challenge to introduce this change because the management theory that worforce should be forced to compete for promotions and bonus and this is the appropriate environment producing hard-working employees has been existed for so long and so inherently existed in most organizations, there are many studies proving result-oriented evaluation model has obvious drawbacks and creates negative and defensive climate. The only item needs to be changed is to set up a reward system encouraging cooperation which is not that hard to achieve once the mindset of management level changes. Once the reward is truly tied to team productivity, the evaluation of individual efforts takes care of itself as team members themselves become the evaluator(William Roth, 2014).
Mini–project learning process
It was totally astonishing to experience that three group of us can have such different intepretation towards the exactly same question. For the project of "Measurement of Resulte", we are covering totally different areas in which we all thought was more or less answering the questions. Then, I realized if all the three presentations were combined into one piece of work, It would be much more comprehensive or I can even call it "masterpiece" than individual existance. The learning process spoke to me how different human minds are and how vital collaborate thinking is.
The exchange of ideas within our groups and class definately promotes critical thinking and helps me to achieve long term memories. For being in cooperative teams for longer time, I believe we can achieve higher levels of thought together and the shared experience will be embodied in ourselves throughout the life long learning journey. Great way to learn and improve!
October 26, 2015
Make the meeting effective
We all went through lots of meetings, but 80% ended up with rambling chitchat chewing up time while works remain undone. We do know there must be a problem but no one seems intent to make it right. With the realtime role play today, we have takeaways to make meetings more effective and efficient. I will start to practive with our team meetings:)
1. Spending more time on generating AGENDA.
Specific agenda is vital for a meeting as common problem afflicting the meeting is not having clear objectives. Meeting leader should spend a little extra time to talk with other team members and make objectives very clear beforehand, stick to them during the meeting with arranged time spent for each objective, so it will save more time at end.
2. Time managment
Time is precious and time management should be used everywhere. Start with the objectives that are in Important and Urgent collumn and move on to the ones in Important but not Urgent quarant. Prioritze the objectives beforehand and allocate appropriate time for each accordingly. Streamline the meetings as much as possible and do not waste time waiting for late comers.
3. Get everyone participative.
Give every members a chance to speak rather than having people dominating the meeting. Make sure meeting stays on topic and summerize each item and ask members to confirm it is a fair solution then make notes for followup. At the close, list all the tasks generated and allocate accordingly and summerize the next step actions.
Finally, ask for feedbacks to evaluate the effectiveness of the meeting whcih leads to continuous improvement!! Look who turn out here? It is EFQM Model hahah!
October 18, 2015
Financial measurement. Needed or not?
If financial performance is deemed to be backward-looking focus and does not reflect other long-term planned activities, why do we still need a quarterly or annually balancesheet or income statment to reflect such inadequate behavior? If exhaustive process-oriented actions are correctly taken and continuous improvements are successfully implemented, the financial success should just be a logical consequences and unsurprising, then why are we still using it?
It was the question I kept asking myself during my readings and I have got the answer. Just testing your thoughts~~~
October 17, 2015
Create engaged students!
I kept thinking about the reasons for the dramatic change in my life. I have been talked about time management hundreds of time, have seen the Importance/Urgency diagram dozens of time and have fully understood the significance of managing my time to achieve excellence..yes trust me but it just didn't work on me somehow. I was still the old me with procrastination and always rushed for deadlines. Until two days ago, a two hours class changed my way of thinking and my behavior. I still cannot make the statement that it changed my life, but I am trying to make it a habit and i am totally convienced that it will.
How amazing it is! Except for being infected by the personality charm of our tutor, the engagement that has been created throughout the class is vital. He creates the atomosphere that stimulates me to open my mouth asking questions or sharing ideas with my incoherent english without feeling shame. Not only me, it happens on every students. I have never seen everyone of students being so engaged in classes throughout my academic life. Everyday before sleeping time, I will recall the classes and write down my thoughts, maybe this is the so-called reflective thinking and it feels good and satisfied. I still have not figured out how he did it, but i think the ability to create engaged students is a significant component for a teacher, as the same for a leader.
Cannot help to say that after hours of reading and study, writing an entry is just relaxing.
October 15, 2015
Mindjet downloaded! rediscovery my creativity
Having worked in the industry that creativity is the essence of business and worked with dozens of designers for over 3 years, even started up a design studio with a friend doesn't make me creative. I thought creativity was just not embeded in my genetic code even though i did make a good team with designers.
I don't know how mindmapping can help me with my dormant creativity but at least it helps me to manage the crowded mind in a very effective way. I find it generating ideas very fast and quickly giving an overview of everything at one glance, most amazingly it helps me to think deeper. I do not need to try very hard to memorize the content anymore since it just flows into my mind easily.
Being not a very organized person, I am surprised to see myself using spreadsheet to clockin and at least trying to manage my time properly, to write blogs in such a frequency trying to make writing a habit without thinking about marks, and even to use specific tools to organize my mind for study. One more thing worth mentioning is that I can finally read english journals till midnight not feeling tired which only happened for TV series before. Hallelujah! It is only in WEEK 2. can't wait to see the person I am becoming in one year's time.
October 14, 2015
Happy birthday to Stanley & Culture shock…boom
Writing about web page http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02yb2dr
Understand that Stanley would prefer to keep a low profile, but let's put our hands together and wish him a very happy birthday! We celebrate his birthday over the lunch that lasted very very long in conjunction with the journey we are about to embark on for the whole year. It was such a preasure start as the topics were all about marriage, social pressure, investment and educational system etc. except for either mini or mega projects.....Then the culture shock just totally floods into my mind, and I am sure Ipek and Vannessa feel the same. Wanna know in details? sorry it's our secret haha...
Now for a taster of the culture shock, lets see how the Chinese education system challenge the UK one. An experiment called " Are our kids tough enough? Chinese school" had been carried out by a UK high school and filmed by BBC documentary that 50 british students had to spend one month of school under the classes run by 5 chinese teachers, then they will sit in with other students to take the exams. The experiment is taken under the circumstances that UK students are falling behind in international competitions and wishes to see whether chinese education works in UK.
Taster is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02yb2dr OR http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTMwMzMwMjkzMg==.html?from=s1.8-1-1.2
The result (or you should say the short-term result) is not suprising but is it really the right approach to teach and to learn? The question is still haunting. Coming from a highly result-oriented background no matter in education, work force or even social context, I can already sense how my way of learning, living and performing will be challenged throughout the year.
What? Leaders are like farmers?
Leaders are like farmers? Seriously!
Farmers can never make the seeds geminate, but what they can do is to provide the right kind of soil, with the right combination of clay, the right temperature and the right amount of water and even sunshine etc. They plant the seeds, monitor the process and it almost guaranteed the seeds will grow and harvest as expected.
For leaders, it is almost the same logic. Leaders do not teach or motivate their followers or employees. They care for the physchological needs, for example, their feelings of autonomy, competence and relatedness, help them with right thinking process and create the approporiate environment for them to be self-motivated. That is the way to create engaged employees and in return almost without any doubts, they will create value back to the organization.