All entries for October 2007

October 29, 2007

manager, leader & leadership

A few thoughts:

  • Managers generate (good & bad) results
  • Leaders generate consistent good results
  • Leadership generates sustainable result of excellence

October 22, 2007


The training of EFQM Excellence Model self-assessment was pretty fun, must say. Eventually, got some practises on RADAR (Results, Approach, Deployment, Assessment and Review) scoring matrix.

We evaluated 2 criterion parts of the company in the case study. The enabler was very in tune with certified assessor. The result was also very close.

The evaluation approach is very similar to Delphi Rounds, also based on team consensus.

Successful Organizations

Did some query in the database of successful organisations of EFQM, found something very interesting.

A lot of major automotive company appeared in the database, their involvement are limited to the production plant in eastern European countries.

How can this be explained? The trend of shifting manufacturing business to eastern Europe, since their labour costs are slightly cheaper? But isn't EFQM Excellence Model are designed to be suitable for all kinds organisations in all industries regardless of their size? Thought one of the best approach to start EFQM Excellence Model was Top-Down or Headquarter Roll-Out.

The majority of key competences of automotive companies remains to be in western Europe, why they falls behind than their colleagues in the east? Is this an indication of any sort?

October 19, 2007

university is an innovative place?

Some of paul's comment today, made me realised the education spirit of Warwick or UK even European (could be only Anglo Saxon) universities in general is based on continuous improvement. You are not allowed to have an opinion, you are only allowed to give constructive critique, it is only after that you will be given the permission to propose something.

Surely in the span of universe, any change that we have accomplished is only an increment. But I really thought innovation is about making drastic changes and some times is even by not playing the rules. Peter Drucker has defined innovation as creating a new dimension of performance. I guess what my experience so far in Europe, would only mean making an improvements by introducing something new. Not sure if it is a remaining influence of aristocracy in Europe, in contradiction of the new continent countries. Or perhaps that they are just simply trying to ensure that performance would not be a flop.

Still trying to learn the rules, no more of playing square peg in the round hole!


Writing about Developing reflective practice from Paul's blog

I do appreciate that Paul has given us the opportunity to blog, considered it as part of the assessment, and even spent his time on looking at and making comments on our entries.

But I think reflection perhaps is a bit more about just simply putting an entry in your blog. Putting an entry in the blog, for most of times is nothing more than making a note or comment in one's journal (which was actually blog based on).

However, reflection whether it is  introspection or extrospection, it requires for most times, some form of contemplation and even meditation. Similar in Zen, this process of contemplation can be a gradual enlightenment or sudden enlightenment. I guess as for most people, it is a mix of both. The funny thing is most my enlightenment comes around late in the evening, when it is very quite, and it can easily drag me till early in the morning. Guess I have to find a better way sharpening my saw, instead of staying blunt during the day.

Quality is Free

Today in the guest presentation, Mr. Goodsell mentioned the Crosby Model or better known as Quality Management Maturity Grid. QMMG is one of the first models to benchmark the maturity of the processes. It was proceeded by the famous Capability Maturity Model (latter Capability Maturity Model Integration) a decade latter, which is adopted as the procurement standard of Department of Defence in U.S. of A.

The QMMG was first published in the book named Quality is Free written by Phil Crosby. (seems so many good books are out of print now a days! However our library has one copy) Mr. Crosby worked for Gleen L. Martin Company which now exists as Lockheed Martin after a number of mergers over time, as well as ITT Corporation which is another leading U.S. defence contractor.

Interestingly, his 14 steps quality improvement programme was more like a set of papers than what people recognise as process today. Also the definition of quality has changed in a great deal, since he defined the 4 major principles of "Doing it Right the First Time":

        • Quality is Conformance to Requirements
            • The Management System is Prevention
                • The Performance Standard is Zero Defects
                    • The Measurement System is the Cost of Quality
                    I doubt if they would still be held as correct today. Quality is no longer considered as a conformance to requirements, but satisfy customer expectations or even exceed. The role of management is no longer reactively to prevent defects, but proactively to build excellent practises within the organisation.

                    Punctuality is the Politeness of Kings

                    I think it was Louis XVIII of France who said that.

                    The value of time is the opportunity cost of time. English historian Edward Palmer Thompson even argued that neither industrial capitalism nor the creation of the modern state would have been possible without the imposition of synchronous forms of time and work discipline.

                    It is also believed, that Japanese Culture consider neither early or late is acceptable. The capability of fulfilling an obligation at a previously designated time is often associated with good manners and respect to others.

                    Interestingly, the only effective training on time discipline seems to be punishment. An uncivilised way to become civilised.

                    October 18, 2007


                    Interesting story about Xerox's former CEO David Kearns and Consultant David Nadler. Unfortunately, their book Prophets in the Dark is out of print, and I cannot find it in the library. Darn!


                    Writing this entry retrospectively. 

                    Paul said the energy level was a bit low during the seminar, thought Max was on the contrary excellent. He raised some points that truly I have never considered in the past, very constructive discussions we had, I think.

                    Visionary Companies

                    Writing about web page

                    This book is also fun to read: Built to Last by James Collins, who is one of the well-known American business consultant.

                    Not sure, if you can sort of relate this to effective leadership.

                    Some interesting points he made in the book was what mattered to the company was not the leader, but leadership, the culture & environment of nurturing and educating leaders, the succession plan, etc,.

                    He did advocate or sort of interpreted innovation as drastic changes or one even could say risking, betting or gambling on the future. This maybe criticised by some as his research was based on biased samples, as he focused on only the success but not the failure. However he did compare the success with a less success or even failure. I think his point perhaps was that the company must has the environment or culture of realising that a change is required, and is able to commit to this change at an organisational level. As they say, Nothing Endures but Change.

                    October 2007

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