July 05, 2014

To future MBE students

MBE comes to an end. Looking back, I can definitely say I have learnt so much.

One essential thing to understand about MBE is that this course is not to learn something by hard. When Paul started the course in September 2013 by saying “we will learn how to learn” I honestly had no clue what he meant. Today I do. This course will help you to develop your personality by working in groups with different people from so many cultures, it will help you to learn about yourself and about your strengths and areas for improvements, it will help you to become independent and search for your answers yourself, it will definitely tell you what time management is and how important it is, yet implementing it will be your individual task. I personally loved the course, although the opinions diverge. I came here to improve my personal skills such as leadership, presentation, team member and management skills. If you are looking for a class, a lecturer-talking trough 6-9 hours a day - MBE is not the right place for you. You and nobody else will establish the knowledge. Tutors are there to support you but if you want to learn, it is about you, sitting down and research and discussing the topic with your colleagues. Unfortunately, this year was kind of tough and not everybody was happy with the programme. I was very uncertain before I came here to Warwick, and today I have to say it was the best choice I could have made.


November 18, 2013

Benchmarking and Six Sigma

Today I have learned that every change programme is unique and that there will never be a perfect model one organization could adapt. As I am originally coming from the tourism and hospitality industry, benchmarking was a great deal. You generally look at different hotels, their prices, their processes, packages etc. However apart from this very specific industry, organizations need to be very careful when conducting benchmarking. Organizations have different values; theories, beliefs, aims, structures, processes, customers etc. and they are very specific. Therefore bench marketing can sometimes be destructive for organizations. Believing that what has worked somewhere else will work in another organization can lead to destructive results. Therefore six sigma could be of great help to find their specific root causes and therefore adapt their solutions to the different processes. Indeed benchmarking could help organizations to become inspired but as mentioned before, one need to be careful when it comes to customizing these processes to a different organization.


November 12, 2013

Difference between Systematic and systemic

Yesterday I have learned that there is a difference between Systematic and Systemic. Until now, I thought that those approaches are the same, but it is essential to know that they are not!

Systematic means, that your are focusing on optimizing a part of a whole, for example when you try to optimize a division within an organization which has several different departments. The same accounts for the human body, where you might concentrate on one part of the body like the hard, blood, head… Yet herein lies the problem! In order to fix something human beings often only try to fix the special part which seems to need fixed without realizing, that these different parts are connected.

For example, I have back problems since a long time and everything started cervical spine. Right after treatment, where the doctor just treated my neck, everything seemed fine but after a couple of weeks, my pain came back, and in addition my lumba vertebra and sacrum started to pain, as I discovered afterwards they are directly connected.

Even if this is a complete different example, frequently this issue occurs in organizations, where they merely try to fix a problem without understanding the whole process around it.

Therefore systemic is very important, as it takes the whole organization into account. It means, that the whole organization is observed and that in order to fix the problem the process and interlinks must be understood. The key lies in collaborative learning in order to become successful. Understanding the whole picture will most likely result in better problem solving and when preventing the problem from happening again, the organization is most likely to succeed.

I personally still did not find anybody who could help me with my back, so if anybody knows a good doctor, physiotherapist or chiropractor I would be really thankful!


November 04, 2013

Sleepless

During my PMA assignment period my cognitive mind was not switching off. Did anybody else experience that? During the first couple of nights I was constantly thinking, how I could structure, organize, formulate my ideas – during my dream.

This is really annoying as I truly wanted to sleep to store energy in my banks to be mentally fit and write a good assignment. So I did what Paul asked us to do, to place a notepad next to our bed, so I could write all the good ideas down. As I was constantly dreaming about this, it would have taken me hours to write down everything I was dreaming about. I was not able to follow these instructions, and if I did it I did not understand what I meant. I just think it is indescribable how hard our brain is working all the time. The brain stores everything we experience during a day, the problem is just that we are not able to access it all the time. I really would like to know, how my assignment would have looked like, if my brain was connected to a processor and just typed down all my ideas and structures. I am curious if this would have been a better work than the one I submitted for feedforward.


October 25, 2013

Workshop on PMA

Yesterday I was visiting the Workshop PMA writing, and I do have to say, it was very helpful. I believe, that I did believe, that I knew most of the components, how to write a good paper, but honestly writing MASTER/Postrgrade papers is different.

I learned, that writing is not only about creating an Amazon catalogue, where you state different arguments of different authors, the most important part is, how you apply this knowledge. I truly have to say, that I did not do this for my Bachelor Thesis. My focus was to try to find the best and most experienced experts of the field and summarize what they are saying. But it is so important to state your own ideas, if this is still applicable to today and how this contributes to 2days situation. SO I was completely wrong. And as I am doing my PMA on learning organizations I just learned today, that you never stop leaning, otherwise you will go down. I tried to implement my knowledge today in the PMA and after 20h I did read most of my literature, I reviewed what I have learned yesterday, I created a mind map and put this mind map into a structure, however I did not actually started to write. And until yesterday I thought that this is a very bad sign , however since the workshop I know that these (mind mapping, structure, create your own ideas, finding LR) are essential before you start writing. So I think I am on the right track and I truly have to say, that this workshop was very helpful and I would recommend everybody to take it! Also Vernon Blackmore showed us some magic tricks and he is an awesome presenter, so don't miss it :)


October 21, 2013

Mind Mapping

Today I had a workshop about mind-mapping. It is a very useful tool to get an overall overview of your ideas and to actually see them in a very organized structure on one page.

You start with a word, image or symbol in the middle and use key words around it to generate a whole tree of ideas. It could help you with many things to visualize a topic, to solve problems, to help decision making or to create an outline of a project. I believe that this is a very useful tool, as I personally do have a lot of problems when it comes to structuring my work, especially papers and reports. I often get lost when writing my ideas down, and I often start too soon, without having an outline. This is why mind mapping will definitely become an important part of my life now, to structure my thinking and hopefully to finally show the results in any writing I have to submit.

The workshop was very helpful, as we had to do 3 different mind maps, and as I do believe that learning can best be done by doing, I loved the workshop and I am sure I learned a lot about how to structure and organize ideas.


October 20, 2013

Chris Hakes and the EFQM

I completely forgot to mention Chris Hakes

I think it was on Wednesday, when he came to WMG and gave us a presentation about the EFQM model. We were afterwards asked to do a small individual and after that groupwork to get to know the RADAR logic.

I honestly have to say, that I did not completely understood the technique, as it is pretty complicated. It is a management tool, that helps firms to analyze their performance. One need to know that the EFQM has an enabler section and a Result section. In order to analyze your organization effectively one can not only look at the results section.

The people who are creating the product / service are very important too. The Radar logic should ensure, that your firm is successful, but not just now, in the long-term.

The EFQM model is not happening over night. It takes a while to implement and you also need the right people to follow the excellence model. Moreover it is not a recipe book, it is a framework an organization needs to adapt to. Or better the EFQM must be cusomized to the organization.

I think that many organizations would profit, if they implement an EFQM. I have never heard about the model, so I believe it is not very common in Austria. However, I told my dad to have a closer look at it and might get it implemented. They are struggeling a lot since they went together with another firm. I believe that his firm could profit a lot. They definitely first need to change their structure and work as a team, as the partners have some problems, as they disagree a lot. So first the management must be trained, they need to find a common vision and work together. I think that if the head of the organization is not working, the rest of the company the employees are not able to accomplish their work. I truly hope, that he can convince the company, that there needs to be a change and that they might adapt this model. I also hope, that somebody like Chris Hakes can give more presentations in Austria, to help organizations to adapt to change and be excellent.


Literature Review for my Project/ LO

Today I was broadening my knowledge about learning organizations. I found it interesting, that there was/is an evolution in organizational structures.

First there was the bureaucratic organization (around the 1900), which focuses on efficiency and rationality

Then there was the performance-based organization (around 1950), which focuses on results and effectiveness.

Today more and more learning organizations are appearing. Shell and Motorola are perfect examples for an organizational learning, as they ‘strived for excellence through continual organisational renewal’ (Senge, 1990).

Organizations need to stop to hold on to old principles and old and trusted methods as most of them are not up to date.

Even, when Motorola lost their market position from being one of the leading cellular phone producers to being close to failure, they have found their way back. How? They are one of the textbook examples for implementing organizational learning. Today it is not only about surviving, it is about being efficient and being excellent. I believe that Apple will face a similar destiny if they won’t change. They have been certain about their market position, and continuing with what they are doing, meaning merely updating their software’s and selling the same products with minor changes, which are produced by children, for a ridiculous price, won’t let them remain to be market leader.

I believe, that Motorola, Nokia and co are striving for innovation, effectiveness and excellence. I learned, that this also counts for people, we all need to continuously change. There is no time to stop. To survive we should never stop learning. If you do so, you will end up behind.

My conclusion today: Face ever new challenges and never be certain about your position.


October 19, 2013

Why I do believe that the expenses to implement an Excellent Models might be a disadvantage.

Why I do believe that the expenses to implement an Excellent Models might be a disadvantage.

As we had a discussion in class, I wanted to again raise a discussion if you think that Excellent Models are expensive, or not.

I believe that implementing a model in the first stage, could be expensive, which could be a disadvantage for an organization. You ask me why?

When you are implementing a new system, you often need to completely change the whole organization. Therefore you need to focus on a change. Your need to train your employees, send them to workshops, trainings, meetings etc. This costs a lot of money. You might need to hire an expert to help you to implement a model and also new technologies are often needed. When concentrating on implementing a change to your organization, it might happen, that clients feel neglected and might go to competitors. They might not agree with your new concept and go to competitors (others would argue, that if this is the case you don’t need them as your customers, but what if this is one of your golden clients?). Implementing this change could therefor become costly and you might need to pay all these bills in the first couple of weeks of implementation. Therefore you run out of your cash on hand, you might even need to take a credit. Cash flow is very important for a business and if you use a lot of money, you might not have it for other important transactions.

Obviously, when implemented correctly, this change might lead you to success. You might get a 19-fold increase in the share of sales. So this is where I agree, you need to invest in order to harvest. And I see Pauls point when he is saying, that an investment is never a disadvantage. But I do disagree, as in short term thinking it might be a disadvantage for the company, because of the reasons I mentioned above, and in the long run IF IMPLEMENTED CORRECTLY it will became a huge advantage, but only if you can take your clients with your. However you risk a lot. You need the right people in the organization who need to have the same vision and need to be loyal to the organization.

I personally think it is worth to invest in education, training and making your employees the best they can be. I learned, that I would definitely try to convince my company to implement such a model and that is worth the costs, altough there are also some disadvantages in the short run.


Problems I see when implementing a new system

Today I was confronted with one of the main problems I see with work and implementing new systems. How can you make people to care about something and engage with work? To my opinion, this is the biggest problem companies are facing when trying to implement any excellence model or a ROWE. How can you make people to have the same vision?

What if some people are taking advantage and others who are working hard? Paul stated, that people will automatically adapt the behaviour, as human beings have mostly the same goal, to achieve something and to like what you are doing. However I am facing this problem right now. It is a different situation, not a working situation, but still one where you would think, that people are on the same page: Living in a clear environment, in detail clean kitchen.

When I woke up today and walked into my kitchen (I am sharing with 7 other students) it was a shock - terrible mess. Breadcrumbs all over the place, plates, beer, glasses, even whole uneaten rolls were on the table AND FLOOR, my butter was used up….I even saw a note from our, that she is not cleaning this (understandable), and if the kitchen looks the same on Monday, we need to pay extra money. We discussed this topic already 2 times in a kitchen meeting, and there are for sure, some people who are cleaning up but there are others who do not give a …..

So, I see the same problem in the working place. Some people are just going to work, in order to get their work done, others because they want to change and achieve something. But how are you going to sort them out? What if the majority of people are the ones that do not care? As Paul was arguing, most people would prefer to go to work where you are treated well, and where no competition is forced by rewarding systems. However, I still think, that this is a nice way of thinking but really hard to implement, as you need the right people to follow this vision.

I would assume, that people would love to live in a clean house, however there are lazy people who rather live in a messy place and let other people do their work. So again the question, what are you going to do? Can a good leader change this thinking or do need the people to be replaced (obviously not happening in a shared kitchen)? If anybody has a good idea how I could address this problem, I would highly appreciate your ideasJ.


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