February 19, 2012

We want you,...Jose..!!!!


My Chelsea is breaking apart,....

and Andre Villas Boas, the manager, does not seems to have a tube of super glue neither side of his hand. Based on the recent results and the given interview conceding that several senior players have turned against him, I'm convinced Mr. Villas Boas is lacking the leadership qualities required to manage the group of these high ego millionaire celebrities. It's no surprise the fans were chantting for their former dictator, the one whom was sadly overthrown when the team was in a much better condition a few years back.

And Jose Mourinho is his name, ladies and gentleman.

When Manchester United battled back for a 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge earlier this month, many people were saying that such phenomenon would never happened during Jose's regime and I couldn't help agreeing; not purely due to the tactic in which Jose would have dictated his players, but I don't believe the referee would have dared to award United two penalty kicks if Jose was still in charged; somehow the referee must have thought about listening to Jose's dark art of giving out after-the-game comments. His leadership style, dictatorship, is more or less proven powerful and set course of Chelsea's succcesses.

The tactical knowledges, this is another thing Villas Boas does not seem to be posessing and that's crucial to running a team. Villas Boas might have been successful with Porto, collecting three trophies last term, but how to handle bigger fishes and a much bigger pond seems to be too large for Villas Boas, in comparison to Jose, who out power Man United and Arsenal to the top of the league at his first attempt.

As a manager, a leader that manages the team and is responsible for game planning, Villas Boas miserably failed to understand the strengths of each player and is unable to manage this resource efficiently.

I have no clue of how the training sessions were conducted or how the tactics were instructed to the players, but the main difference between Jose and Villas Boas besides the results, is that Jose could deliver a result even when some of his players were not happy with him (of course not everyone want to comform to dictator, leader is not always liked but respected) while more and more players are turning their back away from Villas Boas. Jose was able to stop cancer from spreading all over the body and coordinate the other organs to function well together while Villas Boas will have to cut down more and more body parts.

Jose had become a leader not only to the team but also to millions of chelsea fans,......in Jose we trust :D

Failure after failure will eventually discredits the leader, for Villas Boas,...his chance to lead are numbered now.


.


February 18, 2012

…you, leader, can't be too emotional


One most difficult thing leader might have to face is handling failure.

Making a decision has a lot to do with risk analysis.

It is not so wholesome as a leader if he can only lead and make decision without ability to analyse and taking into account risk.

.....

For me, leading people to a wrong way that results in failure is too much to bear.
How disappointed the team would be? how much impact would this failure has on team's morale?
How would leader handle the guilt?

I am not saying that leader should always (100%) make a right decision to be deemed a good leader, uncertainty is out there everywhere in the world, every situation, ....that's just the way it is.

"Anything that can go wrong will go wrong" - Murphy's law

However, what would help leader minimise the chance of being wrong?
If something goes wrong, is it solely because of decision making?
or is it also about what leader does, how leader manage after he had made that decision?

.....

Failure is not as bad as letting your team down....
Keeping team's morale and momentum, learning from mistake and restoring confidence after that failure are vital.
If the team still has spirit and stick together, failure is just a bump, and success will be on a way.



.


…Dear Mr.Welch


Dear Mr.Welch,


This is my 9th year of service at GE, that amount of time is more than high school life and it was enough to build 4 Eiffle towers. And if an average lifespan of human is 80, I've already dedicated over one-eighth of it to this company.

I used to be in a very cheerful and happy mood on Monday, because I found my work very challenging and I like how the company creates such a dynamic environment. However, this workplace has turned into a battlefield and competitiveness has become new culture around here.
Lately, I work under stress, and sense of insecurity has taken over me knowing every year 2 people in our department will be fired. For the last four years, in order to get a good ranking, most people here have been trying to propose short-term project that shows quick result, and come up with poor solutions to the problem just for the sake of fixing it. Not many people dedicate their time to find the root cause and properly deliver what should have been done. Innovation and creativity has dramatically decreased and suppressed by this fear of losing the job.

I have never doubt my performance nor has my manager. I have many times proven my skill by delivering many successful projects and constantly achieving my targets resulting in two promotions during my tenure.

Unfortunately, this year has not been good, I had been hit by life crisis, which are medical condition and a divorce. Although I am mentally and physically weaker, somehow I am still a responsible person and manage to get to work everyday with minimum sick day (as required by doctor).
Rumor has it, I might end up at the bottom of the ranking, I am aware that my performance has been affected by crisis, but I am recovering. Nevetheless, two people in my department has to be let go this year according to your firing policy.

My question to you Mr.Welch......If I were one of the bottom two on ranking this year, and If you were me, will you fire you?


Sincerely,
C.Z.


February 16, 2012

…holding the key



Black swan excercise confirmed me being unable to focus and think when taking in information at the same time with/when other people are around.
I need alone time to absorb information and draw picture in my head to see the connection.

What would I be if I were the leader on that excercise,...I think that I would have been under lots of pressure and not perform at all, but hey,... how would I know, it could be the other way around, it could be that when situation come I reached another level of my ability.
Instead of freanking out, I might be able to put it together and see this thing through.

The other day I took a role of leader in coffee spilling situation, it was not complicate at all, and so the challenge in leadership skill is not much there.

However, whenI got the briefing sheet, I told myself to focus and get on top of things, I quickly read through (but thoroughly) and instantly came up with solution to the problem in my mind.
So when it's time to join the team, I already know how to control the game because the solution is at the back of my head.
There's no pressure there when you understand the situation, less stressed less panic.

The surprise of that day is....a comment from the team,...that I am decisive....dahhhhhhh
DECISIVE...are you joking me, my forever-area of improvement is INDECISIVE (I can never have enough information to make an informed decision).

Seriously I wanna cry, the first time in my life I learned that I can be decisive.

I think..... I think, it is very important that as a leader, you need to be on top of things.
because that give confidence to yourself, and to the team.


p.s. real life = you don't always have that key.




…missing link


...

Without vision, everything would not fall right into place.
Without real understanding, you could be heading to a wrong direction.

Without vision, true value of CSR could be lost.
Without real understanding, CSR could be wrongly implemented.

Not connecting the dots will lead you to nowhere.

It is true, our presentation today does not sell itself.
We are missing the link, the CSR approach deployed through balanced scorecard would be more powerful and convincing if we have had understood the connection between CSR and organisation's goal (top to bottom/vision, then activities to respond that vision).

where is the link?.......lost on the way when vision is blurred.


hence,...vision is very important, for leader, it tells you where you're heading so you can make your follower understand why they are following,.....then every single thought, activitiy and task can be alligned to achieve that vision.


February 07, 2012

….no more egg from you !



It seems to me that majority of people still believe in goodness, otherwise CSR concept wouldn't have been this successful.

However, I bet there are only few companies among all that adopt CSR, has genuine interest, and truely cares about society, environment and emplyee welfare.
The rest are just too afraid to lose market share to its competitors or being sued (by NGO, employee as such).

Anyhow, I am very happy that at least the trend has made it almost mandatory right now to compete in business world.
what else could be better than maketing tool that benefits both company and other stakeholders....

I like what Zoe said that "use what you're good at" "dont just throw the money at them", it is a clever way to exploit CSR as a marketing tool. CSR benefits most when it is not simply a charity, CSR consumes certain amount of budget like other department, we might as well manage it in a way like we would do in other business function.

The more we get out of CSR, the bigger we can do with CSR in the future, and that is just a good sense.

In Thailand, there is a big brand that I stopped buying eggs (and other meat products) from because I learned about the company and I have some friends working for them, and to me they are horrible. Honestly, I have not heard anything good about them at all. If only I heard even a slightest news about their CSR, or other good aspects of their business conduct, I might have inclined to be their customer again.

It could be that their CSR is not working, or they do not have one at all, this part I couldn't be bothered to find out.


ahhhh CSR is a new face of the company.... invest wisely.


February 01, 2012

….scattered brain…, what is leadership man!


Today's class discussion about leadership was getting deeper and deeper to the point when a fine line between leader and idol, and direct and indirect leadership is blurred (to me).

Leadership has a lot to do with communication to followers in any mean.
Supposed two persons on a different side of the world do the same thing (e.g. silent protest like fasting) for a purpose, one is lucky enough that his action is propagated by media and the news has reached every corner, it captures people's attention, and they agree to his purpose (maybe just because they share similar belief) and automatically he become a leader. While the other person did not become a leader because no one knows what he did.

I think sometimes people are just determined enough to react to something, or strongly believe in something that they just want to stand for what they believe, it's not like they possess any quality to be a leader or want to be a leader. But situation and outside factors make it happen that way.

What I really believe is that charisma is very important for leadership.
To get someone to share your goal and vision and to gain their trust, so they follow you no matter what happen or whatever way you may lead them is similar to putting a spell on them.

I can say that leadership is an innate quality, people with leadership are those that always have an urge to lead (in almost any situation they find themselves in).

Well, that does not mean leadership cannot be developed, people with strong determination, belief and vision, and people that set their heart on something already have potential to be leaders to pursue what they wanted.

Natuarally, leaders always want to lead someone to accomplish something.


January 30, 2012

…what is a joy in leading?



Leadership is such a big word.....

everyone does have a certain degree of leadership in themselves, some are blessed with lots some are not and so they are quite passive.

what is a joy in leading people? How come some people always wanted to lead?

I am actually a bit convinced by Rasmus today, his argument went on about; if people like Brett (the pilot) was not put in the leading position, he would eventually find his way to lead anyway (hence there maybe conflict between Brett and the appointed leader). However, Rasmus' team also thought that Roger (training manager) can act as a deputy and manipulate Brett as occasion arises, does it suggest that Brett as a leader lacks some quality as a leader since he needs Roger to bridge the gap?

what is the prime characteristic of good leadership?

direct....asssertive.....decisive.....good listener....good interpersonal skill...connect with people (influence)?

Leader, if not always, most of the time comes with ego.
Without believing in himself, leader would not be able to make a decision (whether is a good one or bad one, good leader always confident with his action).



January 16, 2012

active organisation



It seems like it all come down to people again when talking about implementing anything new in an organisation.

the reason that Six Sigma is so successful in GE is because CEO like Welch is willing to open his arm widely to this new approach, not only that, he is so active as a leader, which set the tone of an organisation, and fill the air with thirst for knowledge and new challenge, a learning organisation.

learning can be boring sometimes, especially when you dont know what to get out of it, or how it will benefit you.
I believe organisation must help their employees to develop goal within/allign with organisation's vision and give them full support so that they can grow into it.

when we move, we move together...


Six Sigma for safety



Six Sigma, one of the most popular quality improvement concept a company should adopt; I wonder if quality is the most important element a company should consider. Agree as evidently proven that a good process of reducing defects bring forth an increasing financial profit and customer satisfaction, but a big chunk of profit can be dented by some other important factor, a lawsuit perhaps. Several of my good friends are working in an energy powerhouse and they were taught to remember that the first thing should cross their mind is safety. Despite spending millions on safty promoting activities including something similar to the Six Sigma of safety, none of them really believe the company truely care about their well-being, but rather afraid to be sued by its own employees and that could be substantial to the net profit and stock values. For example, an employee might sue the company for giving him a bad ergonomic chair, causing him a permenant spine damage.

Thus to me, a company should adapt two concepts in parallel. One is the Six Sigma in safety, a statistical process to measure employee well-being at work and control all the potential incidents that might worsen this statistic - define, measure, analyse and so on, together with the ordinary Six Sigma; for the best of the company's financial status.


before browsing Lean



My family owns a Toyota, it was one fine car. Up until when I initially came across the "Lean" concept of reducing the wastes without knowing anything else in details, I wasn't sure that my next car would be another Toyota. I wasn't sure of what exactly defined wastes and reducing does not necessary mean a lower quality in production, but it gave me some concern for going for another Toyota while there are many other options, like Honda, another Japanese car supremo.

Nevertheless, in late 2011, when Thailand was hit by the worst flood in 50 years, Honda's production factory including over a thousand freshly manufactured were submerged under water for over a month while Toyota was pretty much dry. I was thinking, besides their "Lean" concept (presumably a good one, else we wouldn't be studying it), there must be something else about Toyota. They must have carefully selected the location before settling down; they must had seen that the flood was coming.

While Honda is too busy destroying their wastes; yes, that's over a thousand vehicles, I'm getting more and more impressed of Toyota as I get to understand more and more of the concept.


December 02, 2011

Red corner and Blue corner


when they don't understand each other


There was a clash in our six sigma project group, a heated argument you may say.

That really showed me how teamwork and dialogue are so important.
the argument delayed our team's decision and progress, it also ate up some of team spirit.

but the beautiful thing I learned from this is that people who are coming from different background/experience form their opinions based on how their cultures shape them.

sometimes what that is seemed to be good in one culture is apparently viewed as the opposite in another culture.
when people argue and do not compromise, it does not always mean they don't listen to each other, it could mean that they simply cannot see what the other might have to say.

for example, if you are coming from a 2-dimensional world (where you can only perceive width and height), it maybe hard for you to understand "depth" in 3-dimesional world (the world we are currently living in, width, height and depth)

like Greme said, it takes dialogue to bring about understanding and compromise.

I love how scandinavian people are so fair and straight-forward, and how south asian will do whatever it takes to optimise things....lol


What do I know, I only read from the book

It is not just about following the steps


One of my good friends asked me about six sigma, she asked if a person could instinctively come up with a way to cope with production and build process that renders only few defects without having six sigma knowledge.....

I went on and on about how six sigma project should be implemented, and the use of SPC and other charts as tools to help with successful six sigma project. Then I got to PDCA part, explained to her why continuous improvement is so important in the project. (up to this part I started to doubt that myself, continuous improvement is not a concept that is specific to six sigma, every disciplined and innovative person can come up with that themselves without learning about six sigma)

She wanted me to name the company that failed with six sigma implementation, and asked me if I know the percentage of the company that is unsuccessful with the use of six sigma......and I realised that people does not really understand what six sigma is, or most of the time six sigma is perceieved wrongly.

six sigma is not just something extra to the work or to the company, it is not design as a tool to cater profit. Six sigma has to be integrated in day to day business, it has to be the beat of every employee's heart.

Easier said than done, learning about six sigma is one thing, doing it in real world will be another thing.
there are so many critical factors that involved successful six sigma project. You can't just follow the book and think you will be able to implement successful six sigma in an organisation.

ohh...How I wish I had a chance to do it in practice......


November 15, 2011

Is working living..?



When an organisation wants to make a change, it does not mean people within it want to change too.

Always the reasons are among good business, more profit, better quality product (to increase customer's satisfaction-> more business), bigger chunk of market share, overseas market etc.
....what's in it for employees?

In the journey of change, incentive and rewards always be a part of the process to motivate people.
It is in our nature to resist change, when we are in comfort zone and already familiar with what we are doing, change sounded like an extra work....and nobody likes more work.

but what if people are told that the change is for their sake? will they be eager to adopt the change?

nhaaa,...not necessary,....

one-way communication is not enough, and I'm sure that motivation base on incentive can only last for a while.

The real deal is what Dr.Deming urged an organisation to do, to understand knowledge of psychology.

One-third of our time, we spend it on work, however, most people go about the day with no purpose, working like a machine, and just want to finish the work and go home to live their lives.
This is all because they cannot connect to the organisation and the job they are doing, and they do not have passion for it. Work is just something they have to do, and an organisation is just someone who pays them money in exchange of their labour.

If only an organisation can find the way to make these people turn around and think that working is actually living, make them pround and happy with the job they are doing, make them feel belong and make it feel like a family in an organisation.

Think about how much you can do for your family, and how happy... how willing you are to do those things for them.
You actually want the best for people you care.

Imagine if an organisation is a big family.......change will be just a small thing to ask from their employees.







November 13, 2011

Oh…it has to become a way of life.


This is ridiculous, I've been working on continuous imrovement-PMA for quite some times.
All I could think about is the question CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT HAS TO BECOME A WAY OF LIFE.

I just realised that for all this time continuous improvement has not become a way of my life at all.
yes yes yes, it is a bit hypocritical learning about behavioural change, routine and mindset and not able to apply it to myself.

There are so many bad habits I promised myself to grow out of, so much I wanted to change, still I've not changed a single bit.....And it's all for my own good, not for any organisation.

It is real hard to change people ( especially for someone else's benefit), let alone organisational change.......

October 23, 2011

No true Compromise

Collaboration


There is no true compromise, this is one thing I learn from teamwork.

No one truly gets what they really want, but compromise begins when every party is settled with what they get, or at least believe that they get the best they could hope for.

To create a win-win situation, you must not put yourself as priority,
quite often you need to learn to sacrifice, though not bending over too much in order to keep balance.

Sometimes it makes competition easier than collaboration, because in competition you only concern about yourself and it's a one mind game.
Collaboration has a lot to do with many people, million thoughts, different needs, and conflict could happen everywhere in the process if compromise is not restored.

An organisation can move forward smoothly if collaboration is achieved,
that means everyone is satisfied with whatever they are assigned to,
even if it means longer working hours, larger responsibility, making some sacrifice
(e.g. to optimise a process in one department could impact another by creating more work, but for the best result the latter department agreed with more workload and happy with it.).

What would be the heart of collaboration then?, what would hold people's minds and direct them into one direction?

p.s. What is it in an organisation would be meanignful enough for people to sacrifice for and working towards the same organization's goal?




October 22, 2011

…from one mind to another

Transformation

I asked Paul the other day "what made you become a person you are today?"
(in this context, I meant he is very open-minded, forward-thinking and avant-garde compared to others from his generation), his quick response was being old has its advantages.

Our last session was about comparison of 3 excellence models, EFQM, Baldridge and Deming. When I started working on my presentation I thought why are we comparing these 3, because for me Deming is more of a philosophy than a model.

At the end of Group 3's Presentation (conclusion was adopting Deming model then later opt for EFQM or Baldridge for business excellence), then Paul mentioned that an organization wouldn't even need the latter two if they really can follow Deming's Profound knowledge, if the management can really change their mindsets......

The question is, how hard it is to transform management's mentality, to accept Deming's way, and how many of them can really do that?

I think it is the key for practising excellence, and that is why I asked Paul, because I really wanted to know what kind of experiences he had gone through, what made a person who see the world in black and white become understanding and broad-minded.

For excellence model, I think it is very crucial to know how to initiate a change, how to make people change in particular....

October 20, 2011

Flipped

Flipped

It was amazing,......just like the last time when I thought capital punishment was good, then my whole belief system had changed because fortunately I opened my mind a little bit wider to hear the other side of the argument (of why capital punishment is bad).

Again, today....Paul got me convinced that measuring people performance (with numerical target, ranking, comparing etc.) is no longer that good. I started to see the other side I've never thought of before, and it dawned on me how stupid I am for overlooking that aspect and being blinded by the idea embedded in competitive world.

I'm still not sure if people are born ambitious and competitive or is it the world's today that requires people to develop such traits for survival......

I was raised and influenced by my mother, a gen X, who doesn't believe in encouraging words. I remembered how scared I was when the exam report came at the end of the semester. If I didn't get good grades I'd be punished for that, seriously real punishment.
She always tell me that if I'm not stupid then I can prove it by getting a good result on the exam. So sometimes I enjoyed my class, and sometimes I didn't, because all I cared about was the grades. I didn't actually realise what education is until I'm a grown up.


But I really wonder, would I get more out of it if I was not forced to learn?
If it wasn't for the grades, I wouldn't have gone extra miles studying, remembering what I learned.
If it wasn't a competitive learning environment, I wouldn't have beaten myself up to get to the top.

Anyway, I am not certain that the knowledge retained in my head is from the learning part or the study for exam part, or a bit of both....Would I be lazier knowing I needed not to worry about my grade?


Today's discussion really changed my view,...
Paul has a very good argument, what I need is an equally strong counter argument.

I'll think about it later....




October 18, 2011

Where true virtue lies.

Happiness

I almost shed a tear today when Paul said something about happiness, I couldn't recall the exact sentence but it goes like this ..."if your happiness is not centered in you, it's hard for you be happy because you'll always have to find it outside yourself,...and run after it."

I don't know how far I've come from where I used to be. I've lost my way because I've been swayed from the tide of illusion of materialistic world...I place my happiness outside myself, not where my true virtue lies.

If I were to manage a company, I would want to pride myself for delivering quality product, developed and created by knowledgable and skillfull people in my company. I'd be happy and proud to know that my quality product makes people happy. I know I would not be happy if I just make money out of something I don't believe, a product that I don't even use.

People nowadays are quite superficial, so are many organisations. I don't think that ISO is bad, my concern lies within the company that adopt ISO for a wrong reason. ISO certification seems to be an easy way to dress up a company, sending out a message that its product is more desirable, easily let the customer to falsely perceieve that. I wonder if what the comapny really cares about is marketing its product under ISO badge, making big profit out of it, and cares less about the quality and wholesomeness of the product it offers, would that make the company proud of what it's doing...??

On the contary, EFQM does not offer any badge or certification, therefore an organisation that opts for EFQM must truely wanted to be excellence, to deliver quality product. Continuous improvement is sustainable and really draws out the meaning of pride of workmanship and quality.....I like it, it is as if the company with EFQM centers its virtue within itself.

I don't want to be superficial, I don't want to look for happiness outside myself......So yes,....happiness is not far.


October 12, 2011

Enslaved by Unmindfulness

Enslaved by Unmindfulness

I like to plan things ahead, I laid out everything I want to do. The thing is I cannot bring myself to do it if I'm not in the mood. I'm easily distracted and have a very short concentration, I also get bored easily.

Yes, my big problem this year is gonna be about committing to time table considering the amont of study and assignment I have to complete.

My head said "do this", my heart said otherwise. I'm more of an artist, I could not deliver any work if I don't feel like doing it.

Paul asked the class today, what do you expect from Time Management session?
I wrote down "some words that will trigger something in me", a snap, you may say. Fortunately, he said few words that really got me going. They were "pre-determined" and "consciously thinking about a week ahead".

I immediately thought about what I just did recently.

......I did it before, first week after arriving to the UK, I had cookies everyday. It is not because I love cookie, I just love Ben's Cookie so much. Since Ben's Cookie is not available in Coventry, I had to buy M&S's freshly baked one in order to suppress that craving. I started to put on weight then I realised that I was only fooling myself, it's not worth taking in excess calories if it's not the cookie I really wanted. I didn't understand why I did that, it's just a substitution. So I came to closure, I pre-decided that I will not have anymore cookie if it is not Ben's Cookie........That's right, I was able to stop myself many times from eating cookie, because I had pre-decided on that.

Conscious,...this word means so much to me. My mind always wanders somewhere else, not enticed to present. If only I had concious, knowing what I have to do right now....my life would be more focused and in control.

Thank you Paul....


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