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November 26, 2012

reflective thinking

Last month, I had a special learning experience. I acquired new knowledge about creating business excellence such as organizational learning, EFQM model, Deming¡¯s theory and so on. EFQM model considers people, leadership, process, resource, customer and some other factors to become an excellence business.

For me, the most meaningful aspect in EFQM was the self-assessment part in an enterprise. At first, I did not think it¡¯s a practical way to help companies to achieve continuous improvement because it¡¯s too immeasurable. Later, I realised that self-assessment played a crucial part in getting people be involved in the system as a positive way. It¡¯s not a statistic data analysis but a conscious and a kind of system thinking. Equally, this is probably related to continuous improvement which made organization to create a virtuous circle pattern.

Having read and discussed several factors that help the organization making improvement, I now think EFQM is really an effective way to make progress in business case. Furthermore, I have learned that people is the key part in companies. If we want to make continuous improvement, we should consider the factors related to people such as management, leadership, human resource and customer. However, I have not sufficiently developed my skill in use them proficiently. This skill is essential to me as a leaner because I want to use these theories in practical in my future life. I will now need to thinking more about enterprises innovation.

As a next step, I need to learn more about improving theories and models. Think their similarities, differences, and potential linkage. Put them into cases and make analysis to get new ideas. Collecting reports and journals from other people is a rapid way to acquire knowledge; however, self thinking and analysing are long term plans. I hope I can make combination of different models and find the best way for enterprises to make practical application.

Thinking about Orgnizational Learning

Today we finished the last part of presentations which are organizational learning and measurement of results. In this part, we acquired some knowledge about organizational learning. Nowadays, organizations are looking more and more towards the productive manipulation of information to succeed and stay competitive. If a company wants to keep its competition in the market, they need to learn new knowledge. Keep learning provides a way for businesses to help them make better decisions and take more productive actions. If we learn from others, total environment will be improved.

In my point of view, the learning process should not be isolated, on the contrary, we share our information and opinions each other just like a team work, maybe helpful to a learning organization. Moreover, the world is more like a compete world; the competition concern may exist in organizations. When we try to build a learning environment, we must make sure to let everybody know that it is corporations more than competitions.

In our presentation, we said that learning is increasingly seen as crucial to success of organizations. According to many theorists learning could be the only sustainable competitive advantage a company can have in the future. Learning is considered as a core element in the model structure and in the assessment mechanism as well of EFQM. The EFQM Excellence Model assumes that in order to sustain excellence, organizations assess and review their approaches and mechanisms regularly and questions themselves.

However, how to collect and analysis the information in an organization? How to use your leadership and resources to manage information in order to help the process improvement in learning organization?

If we build an extra special team to collect information, analysis the data and organize learning resources, is it helpful to build a learning organization or just a kind of waste time, people and money? Totally speaking, we build an environment for learning which everybody involved in and make contributions. But collect them and share them need a place and a regular way.

We need 5 key values to create a learning organization showed in below:

1. Incorporate Systems thinking

2. Practice Personal mastery

3. Develop Mental Models

4. Make a Shared Vision

5. Start Team Learning

The professor in class highly mentioned metal models and a shared vision because they are really important in a long term view. For example, why Martin Luther King speaks ¡¡ãI have a dream¡¡À, not ¡¡ãI have a plan¡¡À? That is the function of shared vision. People believe what they believed, not do your doing. If we make a shared vision for others, most of people are likely to involve in an organizational learning voluntarily.


Writing about web page 4-478X.htm

I saw the award model, the problem was as an important but nevertheless contingent goal. In my mind the main concern was to provide managers with a model that could help them to govern their organisations from a continuous improvement perspective. In plain terms (and having in mind what was happening in the US where a multitude of companies had started using the Malcolm Baldirige Model autonomously to assess themselves against the award criteria) I meant that the award, with all its emphasis on external assessment, had to be seen as the primer of a maturation process, at the end of which self-assessment should become the main instrument for improvement

Another key point of my proposal (after separation of enablers from results in the context of a true organisational model and assignment of a higher weight to the voice of the customer) was, in fact, to make self-assessment a pre-requisite for award participation. The application report should then be derived from an internal self-assessment report, consultable by the award assessors. From colleagues working with American companies that had applied for the Malcolm Baldrige Award, I heard in fact that the application report had rapidly become an image document (to impress the assessors). Many applicants were spending more money to enhance the quality of the application than to improve the quality of the company. External consultants were hired for that purpose; a kind of application report business was emerging, similar to the quality manual business that had developed in the area of ISO 9000 certification. Since the aim of the award was to recognize achievements through the use of TQM strategies, it was simply common sense asking for proof of that through a history of running a number of PDCA cycles. The report of the last check phase, self-assessment, should then be the basis for the preparation of the application report (clearly, to facilitate the external assessor's job, it was reasonable to ask that the internal self-assessment report be transformed into a standard document, the application report).

Formally, this proposal too was accepted and introduced as an admission criterion in the application guidelines. In reality, the application reports of the participants to the European Award followed more the logic of the Malcolm Baldrige Award than the original EFQM rules (by-product of the organisation own self-assessments, actively involving the whole organisation). Moreover, the policy followed by the EFQM since 1992 seemed to encourage the view that self-assessment is a by-product of the Award (the tail that wags the dog) not vice-versa. Suggesting for self-assessment the use of the same model and the same process of the award is clear proof of that. As a consequence of that policy, consultants grown up in the shadow of the award models turn out to be experts more in compiling application reports or in scoring than in organisational diagnosis and therapy. My opinion is then that the battle to make the dog able to wag its tail has been far from won (at least in quantitative terms).

If we call self-assessments those assessments that are made by organizations autonomously, for their own purposes and following their own rules, two kinds of self-assessment emerge: management audits and diagnostic self-assessment. In reality a third one exists, very peculiar: the self-assessment that organizations wanting to participate in an award (or be assessed by an external organization according to the award rules) make, to prepare their application report. For that it looks logical to use the award rules, in relation to both the model and the process. Except this latter case, self-assessment should never be enslaved to the award rules.

What would be important is the extension of the diagnostic processes to all self-assessments made for improvement purpose.

As far as the model is concerned, apart from those cases where it is used as a measurement standard (awards and the like), all the constraints should be removed. Excellence requires differentiation and competition, also in the area of models. Even if starting with a standard model, the contingency view (that is adaptation of the model to the characteristics of the organization) should be always pursued. Customisation, besides making self-assessment more effective helps in selling the model to managers, who are always reluctant to adopt models developed elsewhere, in different contexts. If top managers are involved in the adaptation of the model to their own organization, they will more easily accept and metabolize it and use it as a normal business tool.

November 25, 2012


While I searching information, I found a concept about TQM(total quality management).I think I need to know what's the EFQM is and analysis the extent to which the EFQM Excellence Model captures the main assumptions involved in the TQM concept. What's there relationship? (At the beginning, I guess the Total management model will involve the Europe quality management model.)

Base on collected literatures, I found that social and technical dimensions are used in the model and both dimensions are related each other which jointly enhance results together. These finding support the EFQM Excellence Model as an operational framework for TQM. Although there are lots of models and concepts about quality management, they have some common points which are, firstly, no matter how many categories, all of these models are a tool to help the organization to achieve high performance. Secondly, the management of social or technical TQM or EFQM issues cannot be performed in isolation. Every part is important to lead to a good or bad result. Thirdly, all of the model should consider in situation when they are put in practice.

According to the definition of TQM adopted in my study, TQM includes both technical and social criteria, which can be classified as the technical hard TQM and social soft TQM.(If we put this into EFQM model, the leadership, customer satisfaction, people or something like this are SOFT, process, resources or some similar criteria are HARD.) Enablers in the EFQM Excellence model embrace the processes, structures and means that the organization can use to manage quality. In order to think whether the EFQM represents separately the to analyze whether the EFQM represents separately the social and technical dimensions of TQM, we classify the enabler criteria into categories to capture the multidimensionality of the TQM construct. As Eskildsen et al. (2000) suggest previous research on the causal structure of the EFQM Excellence Model has shown that the enabler criteria are linked together in a very complex structure, making it very difficult to between them, so EFQM model picture is made like this:

Picture: The proposed structural model and the measurement model.

The picture shows the factorial structure of the result domain. The factorial view also recognizes that the interrelationships between results are explained by the underlying factor result excellence.

A fundamental premise in TQM literature is that the introduction of a TQM initiative leads to improved company performance and competitiveness. Although quality award models are not prescriptive in nature, and they do not state a clear interrelationship among their elements, a general consensus exists concerning a positive influence of systems on results.

These finding give me some new ideas about applying the EFQM Excellence Model to improve quality in company businesses and to guide the implementation of TQM. We can put the EFQM Excellence Model in our future study into the thinking of TQM systems. This way of thinking will be promoted with a greater comprehension of the linkages between the elements that compose the models.

reflective thinking

As a student in Warwick University CBE course, it is a pretty great opportunity for me to experience different learning styles and environments. Although I am making progressing everyday, there are still many difficulties I have to face. Now I am enjoying my life in Warwick . In this blog, I will evaluate my improvements and identifies gaps during the learning period.

The primary problem for an international student is language. For the majority of Chinese students, they could get high scores of reading part, for the reason that a plenty of practices have been done before the test. However, it is still a big problem to handle a considerable amount of thinking materials related to the classes, just as what happened to me in the beginning.

The incident occurred. The tutor gave us a task and some linking websites asked us to finish the assignment based on our research. I searched online carefully but still made a few mistakes and sometimes couldn't understand the writer's written words. Sometimes I could not get people's meaning. I think if my vocabulary and language ability increasing, I'll acquire more during this year.

In the further study, make the essential readings before class is the top rule which can make my classroom learning more effectively. I will concentrate on English study for the long-term. As an old saying, practice makes perfect. I'll continue to listening to BBC news because that is the native English and I can be informed of the latest news which may be used as a case study in the long-term.

I find some of my CBE classmates are full of critical thinking. They dare to think in a special way. They dare to ask questions. Sometimes I dare to ask questions as well, but I still can find the differences between the eastern and the western way of thinking.

To improve my academic ability, reading tons of books is essential. Furthermore, I have to develop my ideas according to the book. Master learning is different, which is harder than my undergraduate course, we should change the way of learning and get most use of this precious study year.

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