All entries for Friday 18 February 2011
February 18, 2011
Vagelis asked me to suppose Deming was an employee and he presented his opinions to his boss, what was the possible consequence? It is really an interesting question which can generate lots of discussion and ideas. Will he be fired? Could be, who knows? Paul asked us whether it was useful to study something that was incompatible to our culture. I think Vagelis' question is helpful in answering Pual's doubt. Deming is kind of the God in management in many western countries, but does his opinions totally compatible to western companies? Take "drive out fear" for example, is there any leader in western companies who leads his followers without fear? Maybe, but only a few of them. I can see in many western companies, employees are still paid for performance and leaders usually scold their followers. Western leaders and companies are not doing what Deming suggested but trying to do or trying to achieve Deming's theory. Come back China, I agree many leaders behave different as Deming asked, they scold their people, set numeric targets and slogans all the time. But does it indicate they oppose Deming? I don't think so. I believe most of leaders in China tend to support him. It is because of the environment, the situation that don't allow leaders in China to put the ideal theory into practice and most western companies have the same problems, I'm sure. In my point of view, Deming's theory is kind of communism, it is wonderful, grateful but how difficult it is to totally achieve it! Most of the time, it is just the guideline, the ultimate focus that leads all companies.
What an amazing game we had in the morning! Everyone enjoyed it so much and even though we didn't have any relax during the game, all of us were asking for more time to finish it when Paul stopped us. I really had a strong feeling about controlling our emotion in leadership. For me, I think it was the most stressful and challenging exercise we had so far. Time was so limited and we had to totally concentrate on the game and do everything as quickly as possible. So you can image the pressure we got. I was just a follower so that most of the time I didn't feel stressful at all and only wanted to focus on it without disturbing. However, I became irritable sometime and seemed to have offended my group mates because I had already used all of my attention and energy in doing the game and didn't have any space for extra efforts such as keeping calm. If a leader is responsible for a high pressure task and probably he needs to completely throw himself into his job. How can he always remain such a space for keeping a clear head?
Besides, I don't think it is necessary and possible for every follower to understand each step in a task. For example, it is impossible for a fresh employee to know everything that he takes part in and it is likely that he nearly have no idea what he does. Obviously, he couldn't know what others talk during meeting. Can he always interrupt the boss and require explain? Will his boss and his colleagues explain everything he questions? Of course, no. What he should do is trying to find out answers by himself and catch up with others in future work instead of always asking for answers.