All entries for October 2013

October 26, 2013

Does the CEO know it all?

As I reflect upon the class discussion we had yesterday, as a leader one is not required to have a specialization in each and every field/subject. For instance, there are many departments in a organization that include HR Dept, sales, Accounting and Finance, production, warehousing, purchasing and procurement and marketing and the list can go on!

The CEO is not expected to have a specialization in each and every field, as this would take him years of work/learning. Neither is he expected to have the solution for every problem the managers of each department face. His team of managers would obviously come to him if they face a problem, but since he is not the expert in the field, he would not be able to give a solution. What is expected of the managers is to come to the CEO with a proposed solution as they would be the best judge of the problem they face. No one other than the person who faces the problem could come up with a perfect solution. CEO/leaders must have have the ability/skillset to quickly analyze the problem, review the solution proposed, also discuss if there are any alternative solutions. As a team then they must decide on the implementation plan of the solution, and the manager must then implement the task, and keep the leader updated on the result.

One problem that organizations also face is the managers working for themselves and not for the organization. Each manager thinks about himself, how he could progress within or outside the organization. When a manager starts to think about himself, then there he also has a fear of losing his job. When that fear is there, that means he would not teach his subordinate the tasks he as a manager is supposed to do, just so that his subordinate does not take his job. However this is a very wrong approach and a method to correct this approach is to NOT PROMOTE UNLESS THEY ARE READY! Only those managers who have been promoted early have a mindset of working for themselves not for the organization. They would want to see themselves progress, they forget the concept that they will only succeed/grow if the company grows. Rather they think about their own personal self, and this results in non-effective leaders.


October 25, 2013

Organizations Competing but also Cooperating

Today is the day when I finally get internet in my house! Yayyyyy! So I decided to post the blog that I actually wrote last night.

We had an interesting discussion today about the reasons for competing organizations to work together. Although the groups were talking about mergers and acquisitions of banks/organizations, I have decided to sum up what the main reasons are for organizations to cooperate as well as achieve mutual goals.

1. When working together, organizations mostly experience a win win situation as the resources are divided and so is the result or profit.

2. More resource availability.

3. Can lobby against the government to have their demands met, regarding export/import or taxation matters

4. Also lobby against government to regulate price mechanisms, eg Pharmaceutical industry often does this, as the government usually sets a minimum price for drugs that are highly expensive in order for them to be affordable to the general public.

5. It can allow organizations to compete ferociously but simultaneously provide consumers with variety of choice as well as good quality products. Example, is the in some areas restaurants may open and they may cooperate with each other to attract consumers to that area by providing them with different variety of choices. So that in case if people don’t find space in one restaurant, another restaurant that might have availability is in the same vicinity. Area gets popluar and so does the chain of restaurants.

One major drawback of cooperating is that it may create an oligopoly, that means a few leading organizations may make the decisions in the particular industry, create entry barriers for new companies to enter. In this way they get to charge higher prices and exploit the consumers. An example about this is the phone companies in Canada, i.e. Rogers, Fido, Telus and Bell. These are the major players in the communication industry, and they have been able to create such barriers that it is very hard for new companies to enter, as the licensing requirement for the industry is too expensive to obtain. When this happens the government must interfere and regulate the industry in order for better industry practices.


SPC–Useful or not

After (Tuesday's) presentation it was a pleasure to hear Mr Graemes thoughts regarding Statistical Process Control as a tool to identify common and special causes. What I understand is that the tool SPC is used to identify ‘noise’ in the variation. This ‘noise’ is observed by the management and is treated as a special cause. This ‘noise’ is represented by the graph varying so much that it goes above or beyond the control charts.

As per Mr Graeme if there is a point in the graph that is above the chart, management must investigate as to why this has occurred, and then fix it. This process is referred to as ‘Find and fix it’. In the case, where the point is below the chart, then the management must investigate as to what happened that caused it to be below the chart. Once the reason is known, the management must try to repeat the process that resulted in the point being below the chart. The term for this is ‘find and keep’.

Implementing and incorporating this tool properly would enable the management to identify possible reasons for causing the ‘noise’ and thus the management must work on improving the process to provide a solution for the causes of this ‘noise’.


October 22, 2013

ROWE–Productive or Unproductive

After the seminar yesterday, it can be said that I have understood how creativity is promoted in an organization that has a result oriented work environment. However, it was pointed out by one of my classmate, that ROWE does not always work in being productive. Best Buy is one company that can be used as an example here, as ROWE was not helpful in increasing productivity in that organization.

After giving it some thought, I came to the conclusion that ROWE is not something that can be incorporated within an organization in one day. It is a process of converting the organizations culture and work environment and cannot be done over night. Google is one example that works well with ROWE, and this is because the organization has been operating in that fashion over a long period of time. Google hires people who are self driven, intrinsically motivated, and who don’t have to be supervised.

In my opinion, if an organization wants to adopt ROWE, then the first step must be to teach the managers how to lead. I say this because leaders create change for the future, and the managers would only be able to bring about a change if they start to lead and plan for the furthest future. Then these leaders must start the change by giving their employees some autonomy and freedom and allow them to make their own decisions to a certain extent. Slowly and gradually there would come a time when the employees won’t need any kind of supervision and that would be the time when the organization is operating in a result oriented work environment. It is a gradual process and the leaders must have a clear and constant vision to achieve what they aim for.


ROWE–Productive or Unproductive

After the seminar yesterday, it can be said that I have understood how creativity is promoted in an organization that has a result oriented work environment. However, it was pointed out by one of my classmate, that ROWE does not always work in being productive. Best Buy is one company that can be used as an example here, as ROWE was not helpful in increasing productivity in that organization.

After giving it some thought, I came to the conclusion that ROWE is not something that can be incorporated within an organization in one day. It is a process of converting the organizations culture and work environment and cannot be done over night. Google is one example that works well with ROWE, and this is because the organization has been operating in that fashion over a long period of time. Google hires people who are self driven, intrinsically motivated, and who don’t have to be supervised.

In my opinion, if an organization wants to adopt ROWE, then the first step must be to teach the managers how to lead. I say this because leaders create change for the future, and the managers would only be able to bring about a change if they start to lead and plan for the furthest future. Then these leaders must start the change by giving their employees some autonomy and freedom and allow them to make their own decisions to a certain extent. Slowly and gradually there would come a time when the employees won’t need any kind of supervision and that would be the time when the organization is operating in a result oriented work environment. It is a gradual process and the leaders must have a clear and constant vision to achieve what they aim for.


October 13, 2013

Do Financial Incentives Work on Employee?

Hello readers, hope everyone had a good weekend!

In my opinion, the best way to improve is to encourage employees to take risks. The employees/managers must be given the autonomy and freedom to decide on their own what steps to take to improve the particular process they are involved in. The management must take final decision, but it is their duty to make it possible for the employee to implement what he thinks is the best method to improve the process. If the management does not appreciate the efforts of the employees and does not allow him to implement the change, change won’t be possible. An environment of trust must be developed within the organization, plus the management must be approachable.

But then a question comes to mind, why would an employee think about changing/improving the process. An important lesson learnt in class was that financial incentives do not work, for the motivation of employees. Intrinsic motivation is the way to go! The best way to keep employees motivated as well as productive is to make them think out of the box, and take risks. Employees/managers must list the problems they face and tell them to come up with solutions on their own time. This way they would be involved in the process of critical thinking which is beneficial for the company's growth as well as their own personal/professional development!


October 10, 2013

Being good at the job won't get you promoted!

Procrastination, a very bad habit that results in plans getting delayed. I planned to blog about my day but unfortunately I couldn’t yesterday. Why did that happen? So I planned on writing my blog later in the evening after I had my dinner. As I don’t have internet in my room I had to go in the hotel lobby to complete my blog, but after dinner as soon as I lay on my bed, I just couldn’t get up to go down to the lobby. And yes I don’t have space on campus and have been offered temporary accommodation in a hotel in Coventry.

This was an example of not managing myself rather than managing my time. Had I managed myself and forced myself to get out of bed, I would have been able to complete my plan for yesterday.

One of the important concepts I learnt yesterday that I would like to highlight upon is that an employee must only be promoted once he is ready for the promotion, not if he is good at the job. This is a key concept for the human resource management, as they must understand every employee, his strengths and weaknesses, his habits and character, to decide whether he is ready for the promotion or not. I was just thinking about this concept, and an example came to my mind, that I would use here to understand and explain this example better. For example, there is a child who is 15 years old who knows how to drive, he is an excellent driver, but why he is not eligible for a license? This is because the hormonal changes a child is going through that age may cause the child to be a careless and reckless driver. So once he reaches the age of 18, and the licensing authorities find the child to be ready to become a licensed driver, is when he is allowed to drive with a permanent license. This example makes it easy to understand the particular concept of only promoting when ready.


October 2013

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