October 20, 2011

One more day goes by, building the base for Business Excellence

Today, I had a meeting with one of my team mates, Peter, to discuss our findings on the mini projects and start making the presentation. The meeting was at 4 and I was a little behind the target I had set to reach before the meeting. Anyways, I got up in the morning with a fire alarm buzzing in my ears. It is really bugging the amount of drills these people have. Well, but it was good that it happened today because when I checked my watch it was already 12! I went back to my room and after taking a bath started working on the project. I went to the library around 3 and continued my work there. My teammate arrived at around 4. We had our discussion and we started with the presentation on Organizational Learning.

While reading the literature on Organzational Learning, I realized how important it is to have it in organizations. It is one of the major practices an organization should follow if they see themselves working and being successful in the long run. I realized how important it is to have a vision for future and work towards it rather than just tackling the problems of today. I thought to myself if a manager or a stakeholder of a company really wanted to be in the business 30 years down the line, he without even reading the literature should apply the principles of a learning organization. After reading about it I realized how common they are and how easily they should come to the mind of managers. Yet, we always tend to ignore them and concentrate on tackling the problems of today. The thing about continuous learning and improvement applies to every field. If you even have to make a living in this world you have to continuously change and adapt to the ever changing circumstances. It was a healthy and a timely realization I feel.

In the evening, we had a buffet which was virtually a metting with our Personal Tutors. It was pretty good and went really well.

I hope to continue to learn tomorrow and build upon my presentations.

October 18, 2011

Dayvon Goodsell Presentation

Well today we had a presentation by Dayvon Goodsell. He is a consultant who has worked alongside many organisations aspiring to achieve excellence and win the ultimate prize in Europe- The European Quality Award. Paul had told us it would bea very interesting presentation and you would lear a lot from it. Atleast, now we have realised that it is best to trust Paul and listen to him.

So, when I went for the presentation today my hopes were really high. I was hoping to gain some valuable insight in the EFQM model and I was not dissapointed. Mr. Dayvon gave an excellent presentation and I considered myself really privileged to listen to him. He told us all about the history and how the excellence came about in the first place. He told us why Japanses did way better than US in the 1980s and how the US and the European countries establised their own way to achieve excellence. He told us everything about the EFQM model, how the organisations perceive it and how they go about it. He even described the self assessment process in the EFQM and discussed everything in great detail. I really gained some invaluable knowledge and it did clear my take on the different models. He really cleared a lot of questions that were nagging me in my mind. The thing I was most surprised was I did not get bored. The time just flew by. What really impressed me was the good nature of Mr. Dayvon. He was really humble and patient with all of us. He entertained all of our quesrions and answered them in great depth. He made us aware of the answers really amazingly.

I enjoyed my session today. Previously, I would not have cared to attend such presentations but I have come in terms with the fact that our course MBE and our tutor Paul wont waste our time on any thing that is not worthwhile. I knew it today that it would be a very good experience and it really did give me a lot of knowledge and a base where I can bulid my study of this module on. I am really grateful to Paul for arranging this presentation and Mr. Goodsell to take out time and enlighten us with his knowledge and experience of the EFQM model.

October 15, 2011

Continuation of work on Team Projects

Phew!! Just finished reading all the content given on the CBE webpage about measurment of results. Measurment of results is one of the mini project on which we are suppose to work on. Paul (our module tutor) had given us certain links to the articles/journals written on this topic. When I went through them I realised how difficut it will be to get an answer out of these articles. They all do talk about certain points related to the questions but boy oh boy, they really does not provide a clear picture or a clear answer to the question. Paul had already warned us that this will be the case and now I am beginning to realise how honest he was with us when he told us that you will face a great amount of difficulty to adapt to this kind of study pattern. He told us you will need to put your own analysis into all of it and arrive at the solution. I now understand that it will be a little tough but I think I have the motivation to keep walking. I hope that by the end of this year I do adapt to this kind of research and learn to critically analyse others' work.

I will try and work out the solution tomorrow for the project. But I am really loving the challenge and I already feel as if I am opening my mind to so many things. I am already thinking of so many questions about the article which I would never had done before had I had got a straighforward answer to the problem set to us.

One more thing I learnt today is start thinking of the books you need to solve a particular problem on the very first day. When I searched the library catalogue to issue a certain book I found that almost all the relevant books are already unavailable as my dear classmates had already issued them. Wow! An eye opener!!

Hope to continue working on the module tomorrow!

October 14, 2011

Working on the team projects

I have finally started working on the team projects , a task set to us for our first module. I have to admit that it really was very difficult to begin my research. I could not think of any starting points but then I went to the CBE website and started reading the content given over there. It did give me a good start as I understood the concepts of this module and it offered a few references which directed me to the literature of the content. These journals and articles do seem to provide good knowledge about the topics.

I read an article on one of the topics , that is, organisational learning and it took me an hour and a half to read it. It was a very interesting read but when I read the question which I was suppose to answer I got really dissapointed as it did not provide an insight to the question. It felt as if I wasted my time reading that article. I really should have had the question in front of me when I started reading the article as it would have helped me scan through the article in much less time. It would have made me realise that this is not what I am looking for. I did find some interesting facts though in some other articles which I shared with my team mates on the wiki page we are provided as the working space.

Today's work and studies made me realise that this mode of study is not easy. It will take a lot out of you and you have to trust your instincts in choosing the articles you want to read. Knowing and understanding the question is one of the most important things in this course. That is the real starting point of any assignment you start working on. I hope to continue working on the projects tomorrow and hope it will be much more fruitful than today.

October 10, 2011

Creating Business Excellence– Day 1

Today, we had our first lecture on the module- Creating Business Excellence. Just that, it was not a lecture in the real sense of the word or like a lecture I used to attend in my Undergraduation Studies. It was incredibly great fun and much more knowledgeable than just long hours of gaping at the professor where you are more worried about the time left for the lecture to end than what he is teaching.

Paul ( our Module Tutor) told us on the very first day that this course has an entirely different kind of structure than other courses. The method of teaching is unorthodox ( I think I can say that) but effective. I could see the effectivness of the teaching in today's lecture itself.

Paul made us listen to a radio interview with Vineet Nayar, the CEO of the HCL Technologies and a video on the great American statistician , Edwards Deming. This was what on which the entire lecture was based on. I am being honest with you when I say that at first I really could not see the point of either the audio clip or the video. But, when Paul asked us to comment on these things and when we really started discussing these clips , I understood what he had intended to achieve. It was a really interesting discussion and the various different viewpoints of my classmates allowed me to see it from many different perspective. It made me understood the real essence of the video and why Edwards Deming was indeed a great business consultant.

We have been given six team projects which are due to be presented the week after. Paul has given us some content on the MBE webpage as well as a list of references. Its time now to get down to work and bulid up on the research skills. I realise the time where one was spoon fed is over and its like we are in the real world, doing research on real topics and giving our analysis for the same but as Paul puts it, ''in a safe environment''.

I feel it will be a great one year experience , one which I really expect me to groom as a professional. Looking forward to the year ahead.

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