All entries for October 2009
October 25, 2009
One should constantly learn and improve no matter how expert you are at a particular area. Expanding your learning not only helps you as an individual but also helps the organization you are working in. Some organizations are resisting changing and following the same path. These are the organizations who do not survive in the long run, because in this competitive era, the thing is not whether you change but it is, how fast you change.
I have learnt that in an organization what is important is, the divergent thinking of its people, organization should encourage people share their experience in the working context and through experimentation determine how the process is managed, by recording the responses of the system and the individuals in it. Interpretation takes place and the required action to test if the analysis is successful. Therefore it is not always necessary to achieve the desired result by applying the given theories.
Well, it is very important because then the employees feel participative which in turn motivates them. Since employees are considered an important resource to a company, it is important that their welfare is one thing which has to be taken into consideration. Participation also encourages them to be committed towards the company's policy and objective. It adds creativity, acquiring and transferring of knowledge which leads to learning organization.
Well, through organizational learning, an organization becomes a learning organization. Now the employees have adequate knowledge, are skillful but the thing which is still most vital for organizations is the outcome, and this learning can generate an economic value only when it is applied in the organizational planning to explore opportunities, make decisions and solve problems. Well, management plays a vital role to develop, maintain and improve the mechanisms to support and sustain learning in all its forms.
To adapt to change is a challenge!!
Competition is one thing we see everywhere, may it be sports, business, governmental or non-governmental organizations. What we see is what we learn, and what we learn is what we try to implement. So often you can see there is competition not only among the organizations but within the organization as well. Different departmental heads compete with each other to get the next higher position. There is a win-lose culture generally seen in most of the places. Well, I have been taught the same in my secondary and higher level of education. But when i studied that Co-operation is better and has many advantages over Competition, I found it challenging to accept and implement.
What I have learnt is Co-operation within the organization leads to shared building vision. Employees are no longer focused only on their departmental goals. Through cooperation there builds an understanding that, lack in one area may be necessary to achieve the company's goals. In an organization it is very important that management team views where the company will be in 10 , 20 , 30 years time, and if this thought is shared by every employee, then it leads to betterment. Co-operation establishes a win-win culture which is very important inside the organization. It helps people to share the knowledge they achieve through their experiences which will enable to do their job effectively.
Well, the important question is how you can attain Co-operation within your organization; it can be done by making the different parts of the company interdependent on each other, so that there is a greater need of co-operation in order to achieve optimization in the performance. Another thing can be, training to employees and making them understand the company's objectives and how co-operation play an important role.
Well, another thing that impressed me is if there is Co-operation among different organizations, then instead of aiming to make the other loose, you strive to create a new market and an opportunity to win for everyone.
Well, it is not easy to adopt a completely different idea, but since I have known the advantages of it, I can see how important it is to have co-operation instead of competition.
Monitoring and check is important but there is a way to carrying out!!
Deming in one of his 14 principles say, Cease dependence on mass inspection. He says the use of inspection to improve quality is costly, ineffective and unreliable. You cannot inspect quality into the product and therefore it is too late. Companies believe if you have inspectors to judge the final product, it can basically improve the quality of it. Sometimes they tend to employ two inspectors which makes it even worse, because then both the inspectors tend to rely on each other and the output achieved is unreliable.
Well, companies have scarce resources and it is crucial that it makes the most out of it. Time is a resource and if its use is ineffective then company pay its debt. I have learnt that focus of a company should be to improve the processes and if at all the inspection is carried out then it should be directed towards the improvement of processes. There are reasons associated with it. Inspection of the final product de- motivate the employees, they are no more willing to take responsibility of the products which are scrap. They leave it for the inspectors to judge. Targets are set to monitor the efficiency of the employees, which can be misleading. If targets are set too high, employees tend to either give up in the beginning or start playing games, they tend to adjust the figures and make it look as if they have achieved the required task.
Hence, it is very important that company be focused on upgrading the process and continuously improving on it. One way of doing it is understanding the variation in the processes. Make a chart; identify the deviation, and the reason for its occurrence. If it is avoidable then corrective actions should be taken to eliminate it.
But then the question arises, Should inspection be eliminated completely? Well, there should be check up going on in the company from time to time but not to assess the quality or the performance of the product and its employees but to keep track if there is any deviation from the given task and so continuous improvement can be made where ever required.
Well, It is not easy for the management to instantly shift from mass inspection which it is been carrying out for ages, towards improvement in the processes. But if it is explained in detail the weaknesses of the former then the company will definitely understand the advantage of it and how important it is. I have mentioned some points above which has helped me enrich my knowledge.
October 24, 2009
It is rightly said “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." Most of the time it happens that one tend to believe, one has a full understanding of a particular topic when in real it doesn’t. When we were given a report to write about Benchmarking, I believed that I have an insight about the topic, but when I along with my team mates sat to research, I realized that there is much more to learn.
Benchmarking, as i thought is simply not comparing the processes and services of one organization to another. But it is a continuous process of improvement through measuring the products, processes and services of one organization against the competitors and the best in class. It has many aspects to it which is very important to learn otherwise all the efforts and costs related to it will overweigh the actual outcome. The first thing I learnt while researching is, it is very important to have the correct data to compare with. Mostly the common belief is, if one want to be successful then one should try to adapt the methods of the successful companies. BUT IT IS NOT!! It is very essential to have the data of the company who couldn’t survive in the market as well. And then the comparison be made between the two!!
Well, you have the correct data but now the question is how you can use it to improve your organization. It is crucial that you have an effective management system to analysis and interpret the data collected so that it can be used fruitfully. Proper training to be given to the employees is one aspect to it because the competitive advantage comes when the workforce is skillful. All companies have the necessary resources, to collect data and carry out the required actions but the difference comes when the people handling the processes are efficient and effective.
Hence, I got to learn that while carrying out a Benchmarking study, it is very likely, that you get into the trap of selection bias, and end up collecting the wrong data. So even when the organizations are working hard enough, all its efforts go in vain since they have a little knowledge which is a dangerous thing. It is rightly said by Deming that there is no SUBSTITUTE for knowledge and that working hard without knowledge is our downfall.
October 18, 2009
I am Meenal Goenka, pursuing MSc in Management for Business Excellence. This is my second week in the university, and i am quite settled. As a person I like to try new things, and adapt to changes. So when we were told of writing blogs, I liked the idea behind it. Whenever we read information, we tend to believe we have understood it, but we don’t think of putting the ideas collected together in a constructive manner. Writing a blog actually made me think deeply of my thoughts about a particular thing.
Well, what I can see is, writing a blog in itself is learning. I tend to improve my writing skills.
Whenever I have a topic to study, I always get stuck on how to go about the subject, on how to proceed. Then we were told about Mind Mapping. Well, I tried to do that with the mini - projects we were assigned and it helped me improve my performance. Mind Mapping is simply classifying and structuring your ideas in different heads and sub-heads so that there can be a flow of ideas. It allows greater creativity. You don’t miss out on any part of the topic because you have everything written down under different heads.
Well, while working on Mini-Projects, I got to learn a lot of things. I got to know my team mates, their approach of learning, and their way of thinking about a particular topic. It made me think about the way I learn and how I can improve on it.
Well, I think writing a blog will also improve my communication skills; I will learn to communicate and convey my ideas properly to be able to understand by other people.