March 21, 2014

RDM–In Module Reflection

During the past two weeks group work to make team decisions, I learned group decision making process is sometimes easier but also more difficult. It’s earlier to see the circumstances thoroughly when team members have their own perspectives, but it’s also more difficult to incorporate everyone’s opinions to come up conclusions that everyone agreed. What we decided to do was to use various tools, came up with the suitable tools for every question and supported every decision we made.

We tried total 10 tools-SWOT, Decision Tree, AHP, PARETO, Risk Analysis, Grid Analysis, SMART, Soft system, Scenario Analysis, and PMI, after discussion, we decided every tool for each question.

Question 1-to continue or not producing the new product.

Tool-Risk Analysis. We conducted PESTLE-political, economic, social, technological, legal and environment to anticipate all external factors and came up with decisions.

Decision-Continue.

Question 2-Which location to choose.

Tool-PMI. We summed up all scores of the plus, minus and implications to get our decisions.

Decision-Lymington.

Question 3-Is an advertisement campaign is essential or not.

Tool-Scenario Analysis. We predicted importance and uncertainty to come up with scenarios and made decisions.

Decision-YES.

Finally, we used Decision Trees analysis to justifying all the decisions we made. Decision trees are a graphical representation of a decision, each tree has arms which represent the choices and a value associated with it. It clearly depicts all possibilities and values for us to choose and it provides a holistic view.

As Jeff said during class today, we can’t avoid bias completely which means there is no 100% objective decisions existing, tool itself may be scientific and objective but we can’t avoid our personal preference and judgement when we are using it, since we have different backgrounds, beliefs, emotions, cultures and values…etc that will led us to different points of view. Therefore, I think the most important thing is that we listen to others opinions to examine if there is any aspect we ignore, choose suitable tools based on information available, timescale, decision complexity, participant numbers in decision, factors in the decisions, and test various tools to come up with the most rational and logical conclusion to support our decisions.


March 13, 2014

RDM reflective writing

The previous two days lectures were quite intensive and it seems that there is a lot information for us to absorb, what I learned from the course is that we tend to make decisions by our preference which are system 0 instinctive and system 1 intuitive, and therefore there are lots of bias affecting our decision toward correct and effective decisions. For important and complex decisions, we may use system 2 process based system to make better decisions.

Moreover, this course taught me decision making processes,methodologies and tools, we should follow the processes and search for suitable methodologies and tools to help us making robust decisions. Since we may face time limitation, resources constraints, ever-changing environment...etc, that's why we need to learn all the processes, methodologies and tools for us to figure out the best decision under all aforementioned constraints which suit the situations. During all the tools, I like decision tree the most, maybe it's because we actually got the chance to make one, to draw all the possibilities and count the values and it depicts all possibilities and values for us to choose, it is really logical. Moreover, the soft system thinking provided some thought about human factors not just technique for us to understand better for poorly defined problems, this is another food for thought. Besides, how to get the data and information we need and analyze them properly are also crucial, if we can not get data and information and if they are not accurate, the following processes and all tools and methodologies will all go wrong directions.

This course is mainly about how to change my or peopl's behaviors to make robust decisions. Only when I learned and can apply all the methodologies and tools for my personal life and future jobs, I think that's what critical and logical thinking is.


March 02, 2014

Leader's Capability

In real life, organizations often promote their employees with high performance to management. I agree the expertise for leaders is essential, cause when I was working, if leaders can provide expertise and experiences to solve problems we had, we can learn a lot from them. Even if the leaders should equip with expertise and experiences or not is arguable, from my past experience, I will say if a leader with expertize and experience will benefit a lot. However, what makes management become a leader can not only rely on expertise and experiences, since effective leader requires more such as passion, commitment, willing to understand and listen, adaptation, communication...personality trait, and among all of them, willingness is the most important factors. If management is willing to become a leader, they can meet the requirements of a leader through training and other approaches then eventually transform to be a leader.


Effective Communication

As a successful leader, effective communication with his/her folloers is one of the crucial elements. Communication refers to convey information by exchanging thoughts and information between people. Communication is not only one side that leaders who would like to leverage their position power to command their followers, the effective communication should be double-sided, both leaders and followers. When we were in PIUSS module, Graeme told us communication composed by talking and listening, if everyone only tries to persuade each other with his/her thoughts without listening to other's opinion, the communication will not work. In real life, leaders who don't spend time on understanding and listening to their followers may inevitably turn their followers to working dead, then the cost may be incredibly high due to low working efficiency, In contrast, the leaders only need to understand and listen thier followers, try to involve and motivate them, the result may be completely different.


The Leadership Challange Exercise

The leadership challange exercise on Friday as per Paul was the most close to real life experience which I felt the same. Leaders will face limited time, money...resources and unknow situation and environment in real life, how to cope with the pressure, and lead the team toward success was not easy at all. I think at that time, we can not do all the works all together, leaders should based on each team member's ability to allocate work to save time, and make sure works done just in time, so the preliminary assessment is very important. However, I haven't work with any leaders within this week who actually did this, or we may work more efficiently. The leaders nowadays face limited resources and time pressure, I think efficiency and effectiveness is more important than persuing the best way to work.


February 27, 2014

CSR

Today's presentation was about CSR-Corporate Social Responsibility, I really like our team's idea to donate 10 life boats to Italy government despite taht other teams challange and doubt if it is a strategic CSR. In my opinion, either is fine, cause while I was working in SME, there is no such concept about CSR, it's the big company's opportunity to compete for enahncing their brand image, by PR department's dissemination, other competitors may join the competition. But can we find any drawbacks of competing for charity? I would like to see the charity competition, since it will get more attention for the whole community, everyone will start to understand CSR, eventually, the view of CSR will instill into all community draw more attention, and get more good responses.


Self Discipline

This morning most of us came to class late, I understand if we are learning about leadership, as a leader, we need to be a role modle of our followers, if we don't want followers to come late, we shouldn't come late, either. The challange here is consistentcy, keeping punctuality everyday is not easy, it takes self discipline, and I observed most of the successful leaders have this feature.

Taking one example, the CEO of Yulon motors in Taiwan, he took over the business when the company didn't make any profit at all, he determined to make changes, but he started from changing himself first, his theory is if a person can not manage himself and his/her weight, what can he/she fulfill? He lost so much weight in a short period and kept healthy and slim every time when he was on TV. Althought the weight theory is arguable, the outcome is really successful, the company becomes the biggest local motors in Taiwan and have branch offices in China now. I think the reason why he succeed is that by changing himself show his determination to his followers, and his self discipline also affect his followers.


Followership

When we mention about leadership, the focus is always on the leaders themselves, barely no one firstly think of the followers. But i think followers are important. Folloers are the majority in the organization and they are the one who implement the work. If the followers are not involved and motivated, no matter how brilliant the leader is, the organization's golas will not be achieved. Therefore, one of the leader's job is to understand the followers and optimize their performance. If followers are working dead, they may be negtive and have relatively lower performance, understanding the reason, offering training and motivating them may help to improve. If the followers are urban terrorist, they are often competent, but not satisfied with the current situation or jobs, inducing them to what they want may turn them to stars. If the followers are stars, they are passionate, competent and commited to their work, if leaders can turn most of the followers to stars, the goals will be more possible to achive.

In terms of followers, I think followers may be more relax than leaders, but during the business simulation yesterday, if the leaders are not capable of leading the team for the reason either their personality or ability, the followers will suffer. In real life, the followers may surrender by position power and consequently suffer motionally and cause failures.


February 26, 2014

The Hotel Business Simulation

Yesterday's hotel business simulation was probably the most interesting and close to real life simulation, cause we can actually run the business, and get profit or suffer from loss based on our decisions. Leaders are always important cause their roles are steering the whole team for the vision and fulfilling the objectives successfully. Our team experienced two completely different type of leadership styles. The first leader was quite free style, cause our team members have quite strong opinions, if we have differnt opinions, it's really difficult for him to change our mind and the decisions, but the result turned out to be good, so he trusted us and not trying so hard to be a 'leader' he/she imagined-hoping followers to follow his/her decisions, most of the time, he/she was listening. The other leader joined us during the third quarter without adequate information, and he/she tried to show his/her authority, and tried to change our decisions by his/her position power, unfortunately, it caused adverse effect of argue and intense atmosphere, although our decisions turned out to be correct, we were all depressed and not motivated to our jobs.

In my opinion, why a leader tried so hard but received adverse effect and resistance, by contrast, the other leader seemed doing nothing but got better results? Cause the first leader is more adaptive, when he/she observed the situation, he responded to his/her team members very soon. While the other leader didn't create effective communication and just tried to use his/her position power eventually getting negative results. Adaptation is crutial factor for leadership, and flexibility is also essential. Flexibility to different team members means that facing different teams, a smart leader will try to find a most suitable leadership style to optimize the performance of the team.


Performance Appraisal

Today's presentation was about performance appraisal, promotion and firing systems, it provided some food for thought. As a employee, I was always nervous about annual review, knowing what I was doing well and what needed to be improved was fine, but I always worried about the appraisor, if their perspectives were different from mine, will I get into trouble? Maybe this situation is similar to GE-Jack Welth's measures-reducing the 10% lower performance of its employees every year. Why employees hold negative view to performance appraisal? It's because we always worried about if the appraisor is fair to everyone without bias, or if there is anyone manipulating performance and the system to get higher performance.

This concern not only causes irrational competition during each department instead of cooperation which will jeopardize the maximum of the success for the organization, but also reflect that how can we trust 100% for the appraisors and the system? What if the system is wrong? Who should assess the performance of the appraisor and the system? Maybe 360 degree appraisal can be a better alternatives of the current performance appraisor, but I thonk each organization should consider their sector, size, structure to figure out their own performance appraisal system that suits them best to let employees feel that the purpose of performance appraisal system is to provide direction, training and to motivate them instead of spreading fear, they will eliminate the concern and resistance for the system, consequently will benefit the whole organization.


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