All entries for January 2012

January 31, 2012

Keeping the Voluntary Contribution Up!

Every time I write a reflective writing, I try to link what I have learnt with my past experience, beliefs or maybe to past situations and perhaps movies!

During Paul’s talk about positional power and voluntary contribution, I remembered one of the scenes from Star Trek movie “Generations” when Captain Picard and Data had an argument, and Captain Picard said to Data “Sometimes it takes courage to try, Data. And courage can be an emotion too.” I reckoned how Picard had the charisma to convince and influence on Data in order to increase the level of motivation to continue performing his duty as they were facing a dangerous situation.

As far as I have seen, Captain Picard was a “Situational and & a Crisis Leader” in this sense. Not only, he increased the voluntary contribution, but also, he tried to keep this desired voluntary contribution level up to defeat his enemies and overcome the difficulties which they were encountering.

I think it’s not just about increasing this level, because it might drive down over time, but most importantly, is to ensure that this voluntary contribution must maintain at the preferred level where the group/ company/ or project achieves the desired outcomes, or overcome the crisis which they might be facing.

January 15, 2012

Six Sigma Reflection

Before joining the MBE course, I came to knew that Six Sigma is one of the core modules in this course. During that time, I thought that Six Sigma is one of this growing list of management fads and that this term has fallen out of use, as the application of Six Sigma was seen in very few companies, with directors and managers regarding it as a fallen star and a jaded concept. However, my view has been totally changed after the completion of this module and the PMI yellow belt training. 

In this regard, I am able now to see through this module and the PMI training the advantages of using Six Sigma by equipping the organisation with tools and techniques and with more business appreciation. One of these tools is statistical process control, in particular, how you apply control charts to any business, and therefore understanding both, the customer needs (internal and external), and the process by monitoring the level of defects and variations overtime. And the ongoing investigation into the root cause of the variations or the problem rather than a quick fix, and hereby using tools for this level to come down, and therefore, improving the process by accomplishing stable operations on target with minimum variations.

This module is a mix of continuous learning of what we learned during our first module “Creating Business Excellence” based on Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge, his 14 points of management, and organisational learning. And how Six Sigma is grounded on the same principles of Deming of system thinking, and taking a holistic approach to the suppliers, customers, people, and processes which are the main components of the EFQM Excellence model. And the need for a theory, knowledge about variations, and the socio – emotional needs (psychology) are all related to Deming’s system of profound knowledge

Not to mention, the change management aspects and overcoming the resistance to change by successful management of relationships in the working environment and understanding the socio – emotional needs of the employees through promoting a culture of engagement and involving people in decision making, interacting with them, motivating them and training them.

Furthermore, Six Sigma ought to be a learning process, which significantly contributes to organisational learning, forming a foundation for a learning process model within an organisation which enables sharing good practices and experiences in a team learning environment where they share the same vision and concepts. But sometimes it might inhibit the learning over long time period if not implemented and integrated properly with the organisational learning core disciplines.

All in all, Six Sigma is a new way of thinking, a permanent transformation in attitude and mindset, A business appreciation that improving ideas comes from down – top approach rather than top – down approach, and how to sustain the business results achieved overtime.

Single Loop Learning & Double Loop Learning

During the first module and PIUSS I came through new concepts related to organisational learning, these terms are “Single Loop Learning” & “Double Loop Learning”. On the other hand, the integration between OL & SS, or in other words, the implementation of these two concepts is fundamental for the organisational success over long time period.

Six Sigma is mainly technical, single - loop type of learning, it is a problem – based learning process. However, by integrating OL with Six Sigma this will provide double – loop type of learning within an organisation to sustain success in the future. On the same hand, Six Sigma provides the means for organisational involvement and employee engagement and participation for establishing organisational learning framework. But what type of learning is appropriate for enhancing performance and continuous improvement? I think the two are important and they are interrelated in some way.

Anyway, the top management in any organisation is the basis for improving continuously and sustaining learning and they must be aware of those two type of learning to ensure the appropriate mix of them, and therefore the integration between Six Sigma and organisational learning.

January 11, 2012

Thinking Six Sigma

After the completion of Six Sigma module, I can see now the whole picture of how Six Sigma contributes for organisations to become excellent organisations.

The Six Sigma mindset compromises of some vital management concepts which allow the organisation to transform itself to an excellent organisation.

Thinking Six Sigma, or in other words, applying that methodology within an organisation implies business appreciation and awareness of change management issue which is becoming more and more relentless in this tough competitive world of business today, not to mention the organisational learning and system thinking according to Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge and the Fifth Discipline of Senge’s organisational learning, besides customer satisfaction and value creation.

Finally, the application of Six Sigma also implies raising awareness on issues like socio – emotional needs of the employees, motivation and team engagement which contribute towards an excellent organisation.

Definitely, those core respective elements are associated and incorporated with the application of Six Sigma. And indeed, those drivers are the main factors which differentiate great organisations from good organisations.

January 2012

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