March 28, 2013

Transformational leaders

Transformational leadership theory is something new to me and to everyone here as it emerged recently and is most suitable to adopt in this competitive environment where change is compulsory and required to compete with others. Inspiring followers and communicating them about the need for change and its importance is the most crucial part for the top management or leaders but following the four dimensions of this leadership theory that is idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration made this task comparatively easier and gives a tool to the leader to follow.

While doing this PMA of leadership and excellence, the main focus of it wa to relate this theory to the practices in the real world and this was the main learning part. Reading about something is one part and implementing it is the other and I put myself in that situation and assuming the characteristics of a transformational leader made a chart of to do list for the CEO and HR director of waveriders which actually helped me to act as a leader in imaginary world and implement theories in real because they are useful.


March 26, 2013

Leadership and its effectiveness

Yes, all leaders are not effective and their effectiveness depends on three variables and four aspects. This is what we all know as it had been taught in module week that leadership is a function of Leader him/herself, the group members and the situation that is L=f(l,gm,s) as stated by (DuBrin 2007 :20). I had no idea about this practical approach to leadership before this module and getting into a deeper study about leadership and its framework gave me some more insight about its effective implementation. What we had been studying is that leaders are born and leadership can not be learned or taught but assuming all these three factors effective leaders can be made.

Leaders effectiveness is based on the characteristics and behavior he adopts relevant to the characteristics of his/her followers in a given situation or environment. Learning from this framework is about the importance of group member's characteristics in making an effective leader. A leader can be democratic, autocratic, charismatic but can not be effective until he/she is not able to understand his/her followers as all these variables are interlinked and collaborative exercise of these variables result in effective leadership.

In practical scenarios, while performing as a leader, I would prefer to understand the characteristics of my group members to be an effective leader.


February 15, 2013

Some difficulties to exercise effective leadership

We have been through many practical exercises where all of us had equal opportunities to act as a leader in different teams to experience different kind of followership and working environment. It was a good exercise but there are some points that were always highlighted to be adopted in order to lead effectively. The points are:

Did you identify the skills of individuals?

Did you motivate the individuals?

How did you re energize them?

Identifying skills of someone is not an easy job. How can you identify someone's skills? This is something vague to me. Yes we can delegate tasks to different team members and then we can observe that which person is doing it in what manner and can make better decisions the next time. Going to new teams and working with different members made this experience less understandable. Or there is one more option that a leader asks his/her followers to tell him if they have some expertise, but even in this scenario most of the followers will try to have the easiest task possible. So, I think observation can actually enable a leader to identify skills in his/her team and that observation needs time and same team members.

Developing inspiration or motivating your employees by some appreciable words is not enough when they know that they are not doing good. Results are the actual motivators. When you are not performing good and your team know that they are not meeting the ojectives, then how would you re energize them to work actively? I think in this situation, a change in leadership style can help. Leadership style depends upon situations and in this situation being an autocrat and making decisions on your own to meet the goals would be an appropriate option.

These are my thoughts and my learning from the team exercises and some questions being raised in the class. I would appreciate your comments and suitable answers to the above questions.


February 11, 2013

Are there any Bad effective leaders?

I was of this perception that effective leaders are not always good leaders because by this term of "effective leaders", we mean that wheter they were successful in achieving their goals and targets and there are some evil or bad effective leaders, who managed to achieve their targets but did not have all the traits of a good effective leader. Here comes the factor of "SITUATION" which determines the characteristics, that a leader adopts in that particular environment to achieve the goals.

Lincoln Abraham was an effective leader and as mentioned by Fabrice, he did not follow all those values which are practiced now but at that time and situation, they were not considered socially or morally wrong. So in order to be an effective leader, it is not compulsory that he has to adopt all the attributes, rather a combination of them best suited in that environment can result in an effective leadership.


Does Leadership Styles effect lead times in Manufacturing Organizations?

Now a days a biggest constraint to any manufacturing organization is "time". Taking less time to market the products is a competitive advantage to manufacturing organizations. We have studied that dictatorship style of leadership enables fast implementation of procedures as compared to democratic leadership, where consensus of majority of the people are taken before coming to a final conclusion. In today's exercise, we observd that the group following autocratic leadership style completed the task in the minimum time where as the more democratic style followers finished it quiet late. In this case ignoring all other aspects of creativity and innovation, assume a manufacturing organization making similar simple products and their main task is to reach the market in the most earlier time possible then automatically, they will move to autocratic leadership style.

I have come to a conclusion that democratic style is slow and time consuming. No doubt the results are better in terms of creativity and innovation but if we talk about "time" factor only then a clear direction from one authority would help in making that task possible. After practically experiencing in the class exercise.


February 07, 2013

Corporate Social Responsibility A term used to make money

Zoe Chilton had a wonderful talk about Corporate Social responsibility but could not defend the argument that organizations use such tactics of doing good for society just to sell their brand image and make money out of it. There are no pure intentions of just doing good to the society without earning some monetary benefits in return. The defended argument by her side was that each organization has three components to sustain and they are 1) environment 2) Social and 3) economic. So organizations have to think in terms of economic gains in order to sustain but if they are making money by doing something good for the society then that is a good thing.

Examples of companies like TATA who donates 50% of their generated profits to charities is worth mentioning here as they might not be getting any monetary benefits out of it but this deed makes the environment better and more and more people would like to work for such a company who is doing such a good job for society and eventually their recruitment would become easier and they will save money.

So Corporate social responsibility is a process of doing good to society which ultimately leads company to attract benefits from social, environmental and economic point of view. This is my definition of Corporate social responsibility.


January 18, 2013

R&M Reliability and Maintainability

Reliability can be defined as the probability that the specific item will perform the same function without failure over a period of time. Reliability is the term used for quality over a perioed of time. Where as maintainability can be defined as that the product or item can be restored to its original position within the specified period of time. Hence R&M focuses on the time frame of the product or item. They address the customer requirements as they do not want things to deteriorate quiet early.

This R&M case which is serving British Ministry of Defence identifies its customer requirement in the most initial phase of the process and constantly those R&M requirements are consulted to meet the desired requirements. To ensure the reliability and maintainability of the product the supplier also understands the R&M requirements of the customer and hence chances of failure are quiet decrease.


DFSS and Product life cycle

After getting feedback on our presentation which was definitely a hard task to do, we were quiet happy that we almost managed to cover all the aspects of DFSS and R&M but the point where we lacked was the comparison of DFSS with the product life cycle. In this case the comparison was quiet obvious as the DFSS totally fits into product life cycle which is Design, Develop, Manufacture, Test and use. Here The define phase of DFSS addresses the develop phase of the life cycle where risk is identified and a design accordingly is made then followed by measure phase of DFSS is the development of product where design is developed using VOC to fulfill the customer requirements. The manufacturing phase is followed by the analysis phase of DFSS where strategies are made and analyzed and then design to test product and control phase is the usage of that product


January 14, 2013

DFSS and R&M Case

During our group work on the comparison of design for six sigma and R&M case, we came across that both the DFSS and R&M case work on some similar basic principles and any organization does not need to do any effort to implement DFSS into R&M case. This comparison between the approach and document revealed some following similarities and differences.

They both address the voice of customer, they both focus on long term results and results are long lasting in terms of quality and reliability. The use of tools to measure the associated risk and prepare plans to avoid that risk or draw back up for the risks is addressed in both the cases. DFSS does not address the customer supplier relation where R&M case directly addresses the customer supplier relation as Supplier understands the R&M requirements of the customer.

The integration of DMAIC and system life cycle of R&M case is quiet understandable as they both start with a concept and definition of problem and then the best approach is selected and demonstrated as in the measure and analysis phase of dmaic. The solutions are then produced and then supported as in Improve and control phase of DMAIC respectively.

Both DFSS and R&M can integrate with each other quiet easily and if any organization needs to integrate DFSS into R&M then no effort is required in extra.


December 03, 2012

Variations, Defects and Eliminations

Why companies lose customers? There could be many reasons. A company may not be good at meeting customer demands in terms of providing good services or products. Six sigma actually enables an organization to avoid losing its customers. The six sigma project helps organizations in improving their processes and this improvement in processes lead to improved results leading to increased customer satisfaction. Another major focus of six sigma project is company growth, that is less variations, less defects, less waste leads to increased revenue. Organizations are keen to adopt this method because the whole project talks in terms of financial benefits and increased revenues. The focus of this project is to minimize defects almost reaching 3.4 DPMO to achieve six sigma level. This tool is a target based approach and drives the whole organization to work hard to achieve the stated target. According to Deming, short term targets must be replaced by long term goals but six sigma opposes Deming's view in this scenario as it focuses on eliminating variation and reaching to a stated target in a limited period of time. But it does involve people from all levels in its implication and addresses some major tools required for continuous improvement. However, it is a good aproach to follow.


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  • Firstly, its mental model :) Secondly, it is a new term but don't you think we have been using it si… by Kamil Murad on this entry
  • Hi Paul. Yes, I agree that other factors are at play in here but ignoring innovation and creativity … by Muhammad Khan on this entry
  • Hi Zain. If your generalization about the impact of autocratic leadership is based on a sample of on… by Paul Roberts on this entry
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  • True, but this is what I never realized before doing this module. For me it was a one man show and I… by Muhammad Khan on this entry

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