All entries for April 2011

April 20, 2011

MBE knowledge community. . . . . . . . . SOS see that.

I open here a topic regarding an idea that in my eyes we have to promote. I was thinking for creating an MBE community after graduation. In that community we could share ideas and thoughts that could be applied in our working life afterwards.

I have discussed that with some MBE students however it is a matter of everyone in MBE thus I wanted everyone¢s opinions. I didn¢t send you personal mail for two reasons. First I think that someone who doesn¢t frequently look the MBE blogs will not bother in the future to attend in something similar. If he/she does it means it is for money and knowledge is not about money knowledge is about self as well as system improvement. Secondly it should be an open conversation. . . . .

I would like to say that Paul is informed about that. Next week I will meet with Jeff to speak about the infrastructure support on it.

A good idea was given by the president was to create a simple web-site which will link into blogs and forums. Just ideas. Come on we are clever children we will figure something out.

I am looking forward for your ideas. . . . . .

April 17, 2011

MBE into practice. . . .

This weekend was too busy for me. . . On Saturday I had 2 hours meeting through Skype with the Managing director of the company that I was working for. The problem is that my company has some good offers from Middle East for big orders. As it is known when a country is in recession, like Greece, a good way for surviving is exports. So the story is that my uncle (Managing Director) called me and he asked for opinion for these exports and what should be our strategy towards that.

However as most of SMEs in that world, my family believes that strategic decision are easily taken. . . One problem of SMEs is that simple way of taking decision. In other words very short term thinking. So I just asked him do we have the knowledge to take this decision by ourselves. He answered no. So I went through all the decision of Vroom model which I consider as perfect. I was coaching at the same time by asking question and give him the opportunity to have his own answers. After all that I told him is pointless to discuss this now. Tomorrow (Sunday) let¢s conduct a meeting with all the directors of the company and discuss it.

Thus Sunday morning we had a meeting. The communication through Skype is difficult by the way. All of them were sitting in a way that I can see all of them. I could recognize same expressions as in the MBE teams. They started arguing giving their perception of the solution. I didn¢t speak for half an hour. I thought it is good to have a period of arguments so that good point can arise. SO when I consider as the right time I told “Ok now let¢s do it in a more proper way. You had your arguments and you developed ideas but let¢s put them on the paper”. During their arguments I had written their main points. Thus after we listed the options I consider useful to go for a PMI analysis. Through that we got a starting point for taking our decision.

We didn¢t come in a conclusion because we decided to get more data that was missing and it was considered as necessary. However we got the first point. In short term there should deep analysis of the markets there. So when we got all the data we will conduct a new meeting for continuing the decision process. Next meeting will take place in two weeks from now.

I was amazed how much the MBE knowledge helped me to organize people as well as data in the meeting. It was simpler than the meeting that I had before MBE with the same people in the same company. Amazing.

April 13, 2011

Bias in MOC. . . . . . .. .

Today at MOC (management of change) the tutor described a decision that was taken by employees in a factory for the problem they had with some pigeons. The pigeons were shitting in their products so there was a painting problem. . .. . The employees however decided to close a gap over a huge door from which the pigeons were entering the factory. They paid a lot of money for that. However while the gap was closed and pigeons couldn¢t enter, when the employees opened the door for the truck to come in the pigeons find the opportunity and went in the factory from the door itself. Clever pigeons.

So the tutor asked: “Do you believe that this is an idiot decision”

Most of the class students said yes except from me that said no. I explained it is bias to judge a decision after the event. . . . . The rest of MBE students were laughing . . . hehehehehee.

My point is that RDM made us thinking in that perspective. This is the out of the box thinking. If you wish we think differently.

Another aspect that made me today think of RDM is that at the end of the module the tutor gave paper sheets so that we can assess the team members in terms how they influenced change during a simulation that takes place. Each of the team members has a role which can be the managing director or a dispatcher. My point is how I can assess these two edges in the same range. The managing director has the most opportunities to influence change. While the tutor mentioned that potential source of bias I am not aware that we as students are able to manage it. Especially if you do not know that it can produce bias. (MBE students may be a little benefited from it).

I think it was Graeme that has told in a company it is always the selling persons that get the most bonuses because they are the ones who seem to contribute more or in a football team it is the strikers that always gain more.

April 12, 2011

Management of change a great module

MOC is really amazing. You learn a lot which most of them is about yourself. Stop blaming was today¢s module about. Take responsibility of you actions. I strongly support that. And I believe that everyone should be thinking like that. Everyone is responsible and has to face the outcome of his/her actions and decisions.

First of all we live in a system that by itself it is unfair. Dee today told me that I am defensive and more or less I always say that the system is unfair. I am doing that not for avoiding my responsibilities but to show that within that system we cannot say whose fault is something. In other words the annual merit system doesn¢t work. However the system is based on that to promote and fire people. Is that fair. . . . ?

Ok the point is that in the current system we operate and we have to adapt (not absorbed by it). This will give us the opportunity to change it and in that concept yes we should take on our responsibilities. So in that way I absolutely agree with Dee who is totally right when she is saying you are not with your mother now, take on responsibilities and stop blaming. . .

Also we say the change steps which have already been taught by the awesome Graeme. And after that we went through the simulation. The results were worse than yesterday . . . hahahaha. No continuous improvement philosophy. Thus I went to my manager and tried to speak to him. I told him I do not think “we” are doing it right. “We” should change this and this. The answer was: do not tell me what “I” has to do “I” is your boss. He is not leading any more. He is using positional power.

However I cannot argue with anyone. I know this is my drawback I have to become stronger and understand that sometimes you have to be bad with the other. However I cannot harm anyone. I am too weak to do that. I stop speaking and trying to sell as more possible. The problem is that if you are doing your best in a system that is wrong as the system in our organization you cannot achieve a lot. “Your best efforts are not enough”.

So after the simulation we had a dialogue for what was going on. . . . . . . . . . . I indirectly explained the answer of my manager (described above) to the class by putting it in a more general concept like it is happening in real life. I didn't want to blame him directly and make him understand its fault. Dee told that this is a bad habit of managers. My manager told me “I am not treating you like that”. Ahahahah.Come on you told me that 4 hours ago and you do not remember it. 

I do not say, I have done a lot of mistakes as well. For example I went twice without sample of the product to sell. . . . . . I was putting pressure on the guys for dispatching. I placed wrong order. . . In aditon i am open in telling more of my mistakes and promise i will do my best not to do them again. .. . . However i listen to the others and i am not treating them as dogs. . . . . . . 

Tomorrow I will try to speak him again if he answers me like that I am going on strike. And I am a Greek I know how to do that. . . . haahahah. Also I will buy him a bood of Deming or show him a video of him on youtube. . ..  .

He miss of MBe culture. . . . We learned to include people in management. Also we learnt to accpet the responsibility of our selves as leaders. . . Because in my eyes any change as quality improvement programmes starts from the top. .. . . (Crosby)

Enjoy it. I feel relaxed when i am watching it. .. . . I see hope in that world. . . .

April 11, 2011

MBE is inside us .. . .. . . . .

MBE is embedded in our philosophy and whatever it happens we see the world through MBE eyes. At least it happens to me. . . . . I realized that in today¢s module Management of Change. . . .

Well let start. First of MOC is an MBE module. The underpin philosophy the way it is taught, everything is MBE. . . While the lecture was easy the simulation was a disaster. . . . The results were really bad so the tutors decided to stop it earlier and let us discuss what was wrong so that tomorrow morning we can change our organization.

I have to say here I am not a manager. I am just the sales negotiator. So all of us started discussing the problem of the organization. The question now is how they tried to look at the problems? As every manager in that world, by looking the financial figures. Well I didn¢t say anything at that point for two reasons first I am an employee not a manager and second i was waiting to see their decisions according to the financial data. So what was the outcome. They decided that we are not profitable because we have increased salaries for the employees. . . .ahahaha…….This is capitalism. As you know I hate capitalism. Thus I took action.

Deming immediately came to my mind (heheh). I asked the board:

I am sorry dear colleagues what are we discussing here. We work on the results of the process and not in the process (CBE, Deming).

Have we understood the process? Is the process working in statistical control? In other words does the process deliver what we want to deliver? (PIUSS, 6ó).

Should we improve the process or redesign it to be more efficient? (PIUSS, DFSS).

Are the leaders coordinating the organization or there is no coordination as it seems to my eyes? How you treat your employees because in that meeting of the team I heard a lot of times the word “I” and it is “WE” the right one. (Leadership)

Is the information flow within the organization? It was a poor guy that was trying to find some information about a product and it took it 35 minutes. And here is the most interesting of all. The same guy this morning claimed that he do not share knowledge with his employees because he is afraid they will become better than him and will take his job. The same guy was swearing on the evening because he didn¢t have the right information and knowledge that wanted to have and solve a problem (KBAM)

So before deciding to decrease the salaries as every poor leader would do try to address the process correctly. . . . It is important in every decision looking at the right aspect of the problem and do not take decision that seem easily but eliminate the alternatives. . . This will definitely will introduce bias. . . . . (RDD)

Life after MBE will be different. . .. . . .. I have said it again and I will tell it every time I love MBE

April 10, 2011

Health and Safety affects Product quality. A real example. . . . .

Two years ago I have been to an organization to analyze a problem that they had in terms of their product quality. I was working in CSR back then and my supervisor took with him in that organization for facilitating him.

The process was that a sheet of plastic was entering into a vacuum machine. The sheet was warming up and a mould was giving shape in the warm sheet.

After that the product was created and a cooler was cooling the sheet so that the operator can take the sheet out of the machine and cut the product from the whole sheet (Hope you understood the process).

The problem was that despite the cooling system the sheet was steel hot and the operator wasn't wearing gloves to grab the hot sheet. The boss had the belief that gloves will increase the time of production and thus the overall costs. I interviewed the boss to take that information and I interviewed the employ as well who told me that I cannot grab the sheet because it is too hot.

So the overall outcome was that the employee was letting the sheet in the machine more time that necessary. This affected as it is obvious the time aspect. However this was not the main problem. The sheet was under the special lamps that were creating the heat for more time. Despite the lamps were closed they still were warm and they were burning some sheets. So the surface of the product was not so good in terms of quality.

One of the solutions was to buy a new vacuum machine cost about 200000 Euros which will automatically put out of the vacuum a cold sheet ready to get cut. However the organization was a small Greek organization so there was no money for that investment. Thus, what I have proposed to that manager is to buy a pair of gloves and give it to the operator (cost 60euros). Only by that the percentage of fault products were dropped by 65%. . . . .

In my eyes this is a good example of how health and safety can improve the time of producing as well as the product quality. . . Also by thinking in a narrow minded perspective and do not consider all the alternatives can lead in poor judgments of the situation.

PS: Unfortunately I was a student and I did that for knowledge. No bonus on that . . . hehehehe

How I realized the importance of Knowledge. . .

Reflecting back in the in module work of KBAM I am thinking of a meeting conducted for developing the presentation of Friday. While we have finished the ASSET management aspect we wanted to create the Knowledge Management one. However we started creating ideas by having little knowledge regarding knowledge management itself. After 15 minutes I realized it was pointless.

We were speaking about Knowledge management without having the knowledge to do so. What an irony. . . . Thus I recommended to call it a day go back home and everyone study about Knowledge Management. After that we could meet again and decide what to do. All the members agreed.

In my mind came people that without knowledge trying to speak for something new. Like all these that have experience and based on that experience trying to speak about something new that they do not even know. In the case of the team this would have led in a disaster.

Is that what happening in real life? Decisions taken without knowledge or at least without information could lead in absolute disaster?

April 09, 2011

Was our judgment biased?

Yesterday we had to assess the team that was presenting to us. However this made me think the RDM module and I am wondering if we were biased. Our judgment is affected by our knowledge regarding how we perceive the topic. This Knowledge has developed some mental models which will be the comparison model for what we see. In my eyes this

So yesterday when we assessed the other team were we open minded in order to see some improvement regarding our knowledge (which was expressed in our presentation) or we were stick to our knowledge?

Is it again about cooperation? Is cooperation affected by our mental models or if you wish our negative proud in terms that we believe that we are gods. I do not know. . . . .

On the other hand there is the case to be too open-minded so that we will not see the drawbacks of the team presenting to us, so that we will give really high assessment.

Where is the balance on that? Is there any way to avoid bias in that case? Even the most numerical based way to assess the other cannot avoid the bias caused by mental models. How we eliminate the mental models. Because lack of self confidence cause mental model as well . .....

It is so complex. . . . .

April 08, 2011

The only sustainable competitive advantage is Cooperation. . . . .

What I get form this morning presentation is that no one has the answer. The module was huge as problems in real life will be. So who was right and who was wrong? Is it again bias of our assumptions that made those presentations so different? I really do not have the answer on that but what I am sure for is that if we combine all of our presentations we will have a powerful result. This clear reveals to me that in a team or if you wish in an organization everyone has to express opinions and say what really believes so that we can develop synergy.
I will link that with one phrase of Adam Smith (personally I do not like his opinions come on invisible hand?) who has said that “You should think in short term. In long term you are dead”. What an idiot phrase. Is similar to the one “do whatever is necessary to be competitive in short term without thinking in long term”. Personally I believe that looking the world from its own eyes is the meaning of vanity. World's system is fundamentally wrong. If it wasn't, there would not be so many people in poverty. . .. .

I really believe that the only sustainable competitive advantage is cooperation. This was clearly proved today in our presentation. All together we would have a great result. By transferring that in real life we can say that in our class we would fight for the tangible benefits and awards. This would have led us to forget the benefits of cooperation and beat our colleague for the money and glory. Where this would lead? Nowhere. In short term the best one will take the benefits in long term everyone will lose. Now I will quote Deming “by working in a team you may not get a hit”. That is true so the question is that do we work for the system or we work in the system for our own selves? ????? Let answer that.

I really do not like phrases like I see the world through the eyes of reality and try to compete. When we will finally understand that the seeking of money and glory will lead in Vanity.

Bastard system you have transformed people in animals.

The unbearable lightness of human being. .. . . . .

April 07, 2011

Knowledge management after MBE…? Why not…. A recommendation for MBE students…

Studying Knowledge management not only for the PMA but also for the dissertation I have came to the conclusion that it is fundamental for a business success. I linked that with the importance of searching externally for data as well as the importance that networks and clusters have in SMEs……..

After these thoughts I came to a proposal for MBE-2010 students. . . . I propose to create a framework of communication after MBE. Framework where we will be able to share information raise topics for discussion or even state problems so another colleague can give recommendations.

I think that it will be a good idea. We will face different things out there which will make us thing differently. As we know understanding variation is fundamental, so different opinions will have better results. . . . . .

I am serious on that. . . . Also we can speak to Paul for developing a framework of MBE students not only of that year but also of every year. . . . . .

We may beat EFQM you never know……….. ahhaha. I am joking but still it is a good opportunity to create an excellent community…….

I am looking forward for your opinions……

April 2011

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