June 12, 2014

Health and Safety Management

Even though for the most of the developed countries health and safety of employees are guaranteed by labour policies and regulations, companies, which believe that these regulations bring extra overhead to the companies, sometimes attempt to go around these procedures. However, for the multinational companies these flies in the ointment might be huge problems over time, especially publicly traded companies, because the future of the organization can be knife on the edge regarding to investors perspective of view.

On the other hand, safety should be first priority during the every operation within company, because sometimes there is no recovery. Also these rules should be deployed by every member of organization, because in order to achieve the consistency in safety, every stakeholders' involvement is crucial, including board of directors.

Lastly, if you are staying off-campus or using the main entrance road to campus, there is big construction going on right now. The extension of WBS is being constructed by some companies, and I look every day at the safety equipment in the, such as bars, flat caps, etc. when I am at the bus. Even though they do not build high rise building, there have more safety equipment than I expected. It is easy to look around easily on the upper deck of busses.


June 09, 2014

Trade–off between productivity and health & safety issues within company

Writing about web page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soma_mine_disaster#International

We are in an era of consumption. Even though we all have come across with 2008 financial crises and have seen its disastrous results, it doesn’t either stem the increasing consumption or foster savings. There are lots of reasons that boost up consumption; therefore, let’s summarize the issues under the idea of bloody capitalism. 

Today, we all have seen the some examples of industrial accidents in the documentary. I believe that they might be the only ones that are noticed by people, there should be plenty of them that could be under investigation or closed by third parties in order to continue what they were doing in the past, because everybody recognized that an idle factory is the organization losing money. Over time people get into the habit of ignoring some safety regulations to prevent utilizing the time, and then they sometimes convince themselves by benchmarking with other competitors which neglect these safety procedures too, and finally they really believe that it was the appropriate way of handling that task. According to this perspective, these safety signs, equipment, training don’t matter, because they consider occupational accidents as a destiny, which I strongly disagree.

301 people were killed on 13th May of 2014 due to fire in the coal mine, which was the worst mine disaster in my homeland’s history. Although the file is still under investigation, the company, held by private equity, announced how they cut the costs from 140$ to 24$ and achieve enormous productivity, after they have taken over the mine from government. Was it worth it?

The company should pay more attention and allocate more resources than other activities, because there are some moments in peoples’ lives that don’t have any recovery or repetition.

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

-William Jennings Bryan


March 21, 2014

Robust Decision Making– 2nd Reflection

After 2 days of module, our tutor expected us to learn every tool, their applicability, and choose the suitable tools for Wave riders case study. When I saw first the case, I thought that it is not going to be very challenging; however, after I read all of the scenario and its possibilities, it gets complicated.

We as team C decided to distribute the each tool on the module notes to every member of our team, before we jumped to deal with the case, because we aimed to spend time effectively. In the forthcoming days, we discussed interactively these robust decision tools, and compared their usefulness. We eliminated some of the tools such as expert systems, because we thought some of them were not suitable for Wave Riders. The presentation is supposed to answer basically two questions: which location we have to choose and which marketing strategy we should deploy.

LOCATION

Even though the case looked complicated due to different possibilities, to make sense of it, we decided to use the decision tree, which analyses different options and their possibilities. There was a small conflict about converting all of the case to decision tree, because decision tree in some cases limited us, such as buying factory and equipment in advance for developing the prototype. After agreeing in the team, I prepared a detailed discount cash flow analysis to overcome this confusion. For the quantitative analysis, we reinforced our decision tree with this analysis which investigates every possible cases’ net present values. From the financial perspective, Lymington is the best choice for all of the scenarios, because it has a,lower investment risk, and higher expected estimated net present values (probabilities are taken in consideration).

From the qualitative perspective, SWOT alone is a great tool for understanding situation. To decide to continue this project or not, so we used it, showing us the investment’s strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. After that, we defined our significant criteria for location, such as geography, and warehousing, and prepared a weighted matrix. Weighted matrix helped us to compare each location in terms of each defined criteria, and Lymington got the highest point from the qualitative perspective, so we chose Lymington too.

MARKETING

Before we jumped into marketing tools, we prepared an agenda for marketing. According to our plan, we had to determine the target customer profile, and then find the appropriate marketing tools to achieve this customer group, and finally utilize the marketing budget efficiently. To determine which marketing tool(s) should be used, we exploited from the one of the robust decision making tools called SMART. After we chose our tools with respect to the results from SMART, we had to decide that how much we are going to spend. By researching the every tool’s possible annual cost, and I believe that we utilize efficiently the marketing budget.


March 18, 2014

Situational Leadership–2

As I mentioned briefly on my previous blog entry, situational leadership is one of common leadership theories in literature. Basically, depending on followers’ readiness level in terms of psychological and knowledge-based, a leader is able to put forth different leading style.

situational leadership

This figure provides what actually situational leadership looks like. Let’s assume that one of our subordinates is not capable of doing a task alone, because of the lack of competence and confidence. So his readiness level can be seen as D1, so the appropriate style of leadership would be “Directing” (Telling what to do, how to do), which is very task-oriented and less relation-based, because he/she firstly needs to learn how to cope with. On the other hand, let’s assume that even though one of our other subordinates is capable enough to deal with the case alone, he/she does not have sufficient confidence level, so the readiness level of this person is D3. He/she only needs some supporting, and the leader should encourage shifting these peoples’ readiness level one more step forward which is D4.

The methodology of Situational Leadership can be seen as deploying the right way of leadership to the right type of the followers. To sum up, the leadership style is not totally fixed in the situational leadership model; however, it is flexible enough to adapt to different styles over time depending on the self-development of people.


March 17, 2014

Situational Leadership

Although I had believed that there are some leadership skills or examples in my mind before I took this module, actually I can say that I learned lots of things about leadership itself, leadership ways, and its theories too, because I had a chance to see the each leadership skills with the in-class examples (simulations). Also I was one of the leaders of mini-project and felt that I am responsible for both establish the team harmony and complete all of our duties, so this module gave me enough time to show my leadership capabilities.

What I learned especially about leadership theories is that situational leadership is really important, a leader who is able to alter his/her styles for different situations and find the right leadership trait for a particular case, sounds an important trait to have. I read lots of articles and case studies about this theory, and decided to use on my PMA too. There are 4 levels in the Situational Leadership, a leader can be very task-oriented and can be less relationship-oriented, or can be both very task-oriented or very relationship-oriented, or can be less task-oriented but can be very relation-oriented, or lastly can be less task and relation-oriented.

Actually there is no perfect leadership style, so our leadership style depends on the situations which we deal with. For instance, in one of the in-class games, building the tallest or most creative structure, there are time constraints of completing the job, although autocratic way sometimes sounds so undemocratic or very low motivated way of leadership, we all have seen that autocratic way of leadership was best suited for that case.


March 12, 2014

Robust Decision Making– 1st Reflection

We unconsciously make hundreds of decisions every day either by ourselves or as a group, because it is our duty to cope with. I believe that making decisions by self is one of the differences between being mature and being a person who deals hard time with making decisions, so it can be seen as an indicator of self-development. Surely, sometimes the decisions that we’ve made might not right, although we aim to choose optimum ones. Actually, it is inevitable, because human is not a perfect creature; however, it does not mean that we cannot reduce the vulnerability of decisions.

In this module, we, as future leaders, have learned some tools and approaches to make right decisions. I think that it is too optimistic to say that now we are always going to make right decisions in every environment (at work, at home, etc.) until now; however, no doubt that these tools and methods will contribute a lot during deciding phase. For instance, “Tree Analysis” not only is one of the tools which helps making reasonable decisions, but also compares every option’s outcomes, such as cost and time, one by one by converting them to branches of trees. After visualization, the person or team who is/are going to make decision is able to choose the best option among others. To sum up, the tools like tree-analysis will simplify the complex situations and convert them to more understandable level than usual, so basically despite making any decisions for us they only show us a perspective of view from which we need to look.

In these two days, although some topics were duplicated, it gave me different point of view to evaluate the alternatives of decisions. Lastly, I want to talk about groupthink. Although being a group has beneficial points, there are some obstacles that reduce efficiency of making decisions in groupthink which are illusion of invulnerability, belief in group morality, rationalization, shared stereotypes, self-censorship, direct pressure, mind guards, and lastly illusion of unanimity. We need to avoid coming across these situations which I mentioned above in order to convert team effort to team success in the long-term, because these eight symptoms affect badly making decisions, and may lead running into bad outcomes afterwards.


February 23, 2014

Don’t mix up work with social life

As future leaders, deploying two different strategies is important in working environment. When we are working, actually we are just working; when we are dining and wining, we can have fun. They are different between each other. However, in the working hours, we have to be more professional.

Being a leader not only means that working like machine, having good communication and convincing skills, delegating task with respect to skill-set, and keeping the time precisely; but also means that leaders should sometimes meet with blue and white collars in the organization. It does not about seem as a person who takes them into consideration his/her employees’ opinions; it is all about the dignifying the people, so they feel themselves that the leader cares about them.


February 22, 2014

Isn’t Corporate Social Responsibility a marketing tool?

Honestly, I used to could not see the any difference between CSR and marketing. I believed that their aim were almost same, because both tools aims to increase the brand awareness via spending thousands or millions of pounds. After Zoe Chilton who works for one of the F1 manufacturers, attended our leadership class as an external speaker and talked about her experiences about how they deploy CSR and how they convince their target group. I understand that companies are able reach the values via CSR that cannot be purchased or reached by marketing tools, because marketing spends lots of money to create more market share for product generally. However, although CSR has a financial expectation in future, CSR tries to solve some problems that may be social or environmental, so it so more beneficial to our planet instead of wasting lots of money. According to me, as one of the future leaders, it is my objective to shift marketing reserves to budget of CSR.


While we were preparing our CSR presentation, I ran into with distinct CSR example which has been done by Dove. Here it is.



Power Struggle

Today I thought that there is a slim border between the democratic leader and ineffective leader. What I mean is basically if a leader want to seem more democratic and do not have power to take tough decisions, and followers drive the organization, we do not need to have a leader which is honestly ineffective leadership, so followers can break the bonds of leadership. I do not think that taking over the leadership from the ineffective leader is an issue, if you have high amount of followers. Being more democratic always has always scared me, because honestly I felt that I cannot control the discussions and lead the team through the right path.

However, what I have learned from this module is actually I am able to control the discussions going around and lead effectively (according to assessments), although I didn’t use my autocracy over followers.

Finally, I really thank to my brilliant team who are Vincent, Jaat, Sandra, Osama, Kwang. It was a great pleasure to have worked with them.

team


February 12, 2014

Leadership

The question rose in my mind that should everyone be a leader. Actually, I don’t think that every stakeholder of organization should be the leader. According to what I have learned today some people are good at management, some are good at leadership, and some are good at both of them. Instead of forcing or expecting people to become leaders, we can define ourselves as leaders and we need to make sure that they do their duty properly.


According from bottom to top perspective, we have to find the ways about how we can give a hand the people who works at the bottom in order to make their job as easy as possible. Especially, lack of degree (education) does not mean that lack of intelligence, we as future leaders should pay attention what they are talking about what kind of concern they have. Also one of the other important things is we, as future leaders, do not need to please people in order to be liked. The true leadership is more about sharing the ideas, and influencing people with them.


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