All entries for Monday 18 November 2013

November 18, 2013

Chickens and Organizations!

Writing about web page PIUSS

A great example was shared in class today about the curve of learning. There were some chickens kept on a farm. Everyday, these chickens were given food at a particular time. These chickens got used to getting the food around that time. One day the food was provided, but a barrier was kept between the chickens and these chickens had no way to reach the food. What would the chickens do during such a situation? They would obviously try to cross the barrier, which shows their stage of denial. They are still unwilling to accept the fact that there was a barrier in between them and the food. Once they understand that there is a barrier and that there is no way then can get to the food, they have reached the engagement stage. After that comes acceptance that the food is unattainable.

This example was then compared to a changing organization and how it comes across each stage. When changing, every person moves through this curve, , one can not accept anyone to go directly to the acceptance stage. Everyone goes at a different rate through the curve and an organization must move together. If the leader has reached the acceptance stage earlier in the process, it cannot be expected from the whole team to do the same. Leader must ensure each team member is advancing through the curve with him. If this is not the case then a change is very difficult to take place.


Chickens and Organizations!

Writing about web page PIUSS

A great example was shared in class today about the curve of learning. There were some chickens kept on a farm. Everyday, these chickens were given food at a particular time. These chickens got used to getting the food around that time. One day the food was provided, but a barrier was kept between the chickens and these chickens had no way to reach the food. What would the chickens do during such a situation? They would obviously try to cross the barrier, which shows their stage of denial. They are still unwilling to accept the fact that there was a barrier in between them and the food. Once they understand that there is a barrier and that there is no way then can get to the food, they have reached the engagement stage. After that comes acceptance that the food is unattainable.

This example was then compared to a changing organization and how it comes across each stage. When changing, every person moves through this curve, , one can not accept anyone to go directly to the acceptance stage. Everyone goes at a different rate through the curve and an organization must move together. If the leader has reached the acceptance stage earlier in the process, it cannot be expected from the whole team to do the same. Leader must ensure each team member is advancing through the curve with him. If this is not the case then a change is very difficult to take place.


Kaizen: Toyotas Model for Improvement

Dear readers, the past couple of days have been very busy. Fixing my schedule and finishing the PMA was one of my greatest worries. I can finally take a deep breath as I am almost done with the PMA. Looking back to the time when I started to work on my PMA, I had no idea whatsoever what I was doing. Selecting a topic to write was the toughest task for me as all of them were really interesting. It was really hard for me to chose the best one, and I chose the first one about continuous improvement as I thought that I would benefit from my research in the future.

Before I started my research I had no idea what Kaizen was and I can bet very few of you had heard it before starting your PMA. Kaizen, is a Japanese word that means continuous improvement. After World War 2, the Japanese were in terrible shape and had to start all over again. Kaizen became a part of their lives. Some of the models that were used by the Japanese have become increasingly popular in the West. A few major strategies that form the Kaizen umbrella includes Kamban (ensuring zero wastage), Just in Time Production, Total Quality Management, Zero Defects, Customer Orientation, Productivity improvement and New Product Development.

An organization that has been very successful in implementing Kaizen as part of their Continuous Improvement strategy is Toyota Motor Corporation. Mr Taizo Ishida, former president of Toyota used to frequently say “to defend your castle by yourself.” During the late 1950’s, the term ‘Kaizen’ started to become a major part of Toyota’s production system. Toyota developed a six step Kaizen Method that would ultimately result in improvement. An ideal situation of Kaizen is to seek to produce greater quantities of greater quality products with existing resources. Kaizen aims to encourage creativity, autonomy and freedom within an organization to try new methods to improve processes by reducing wastage and eliminating all unnecessary details. Kaizen does not follow the typical approach to solving a problem rather goes a little forward and aims to create newer standards of performance.

According to Kaizen, improvement is not an option rather it is a requirement. Managers at a Kaizen run organization must be trained to be leaders. Each manager must act as a role model for his subordinates, know how to train and instruct efficiently and have good knowledge of the work and responsibilities. Employees must be able to classify, organize, quantify and specify the details, which may be different for each case. Hence, employees must be trained in generating the data that is useful in improving the processes, in order to work on the area that actually needs improvement. Kaizen does not just mean to do things differently; rather the resulting change must be for the better.


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