All entries for February 2013

February 28, 2013

New Product Development

If the firm uses a separate NPD department then there exists a potential problem of lack of "ownership" of a new product when it is eventually handed over to the existing product management. The recipients may feel a lack of enthusiasm for the product when, as they see it, all the interesting decisions concerning its development have already been taken. It is because of the difficulties inherent in these two approaches that firms often turn to a multi-disciplinary approach such as the new products committee or venture team.

People show less interest in DFSS

Although DFSS seems to be a very powerful tool but in reality not many company has consider to implement, existing company would rather improving their on-going project. DFSS is totally different to Six Sigma, a number of researcher has found if only use Six Sigma is unable to achieve 6 Sigma, but with combination of DFSS may able to reach 6 Sigma or even higher.

Six Sigma is commonly adopted in the production process in Europe, but country such as China shows minimum interest. There a limitations with Six Sigma process, which cannot be achieved in China. DFSS able to support development from the beginning and provide outcome that meet customers?? exact requirement. I think DFSS not only able to help achieving excellence outcome but also create a better management system, because it integrated a number management concept. Although we may not able to implement a Six Sigma project, learning Six Sigma and DFSS could inspire our way of doing things.

February 26, 2013

Decision making

  • Decision making process Define and clarify the issue - does it warrant action? If so, now? Is the matter urgent, important or both. See the Pareto Principle.
  • Gather all the facts and understand their causes.
  • Think about or brainstorm possible options and solutions. (See brainstorming process)
  • Consider and compare the pros and cons of each option - consult if necessary - it probably will be.
  • Select the best option - avoid vagueness or 'foot in both camps' compromise.
  • Explain your decision to those involved and affected, and follow up to ensure proper and effective implementation.

Problem solving and decision-making are important skills for business and life. Problem-solving often involves decision-making, and decision-making is especially important for management and leadership. There are processes and techniques to improve decision-making and the quality of decisions. Decision-making is more natural to certain personalities, so these people should focus more on improving the quality of their decisions. People that are less natural decision-makers are often able to make quality assessments, but then need to be more decisive in acting upon the assessments made. Problem-solving and decision-making are closely linked, and each requires creativity in identifying and developing options, for which the brainstorming technique is particularly useful. See also the free SWOT analysis template and examples, and PEST analysis template, which help decision-making and problem-solving. SWOT analysis helps assess the strength of a company, a business proposition or idea; PEST analysis helps to assess the potential and suitability of a market. Good decision-making requires a mixture of skills: creative development and identification of options, clarity of judgement, firmness of decision, and effective implementation. For group problem-solving and decision-making, or when a consensus is required, workshops help, within which you can incorporate these tools and process as appropriate. Here are some useful methods for effective decision-making and problem-solving: First a simple step-by-step process for effective decision-making and problem-solving. See also the decision-making facilitative questions template. And definitely see the ethical decision-making quick guide.

February 25, 2013


Today we started the first lecture of Robust Decision Making. It is very interesting course, and we have looked at a number of images about different brain activities leads to different decisions. I think it is a common logic, because everyone is different. Although we think differently, the most important is which way of thinking would lead to the right decision. In real life situation we make decisions trying to achieve particular aim, it would be useless to make decision without a point. Additionally, I think robust decision making support risk management and tackle with unknown or uncertainty problems. But in order to make the right decisions we also need to be based on our knowledge and experience.

February 23, 2013

Contingency and Situation

Contingency and Situation study back up my idea in the previous blog. Leadership should change depends on the characteristics of group members. From Fiedler's contingency theory defines Task-oriented leaders perform better in highly favorable and unfavorable situation. Relationship-oriented leader perform better intermediately situation. I think this changes overtime, because relationship takes time to build and trust. This also based upon how much the leader know about their team members, their skills and capability. And the willingness and confident of followers comes from how much do they know about their leader. These directly affect the process of achieving the outcome. Therefore, in real life situation, a new manager would usually start with task-oriented to reaching outcome.

February 19, 2013

Leader and follower

Although employees are often dislike managers use their power control over people, to some degree leadership is require people to do the things you wanted them to do. I think a good leadership is control people but don't make them feel been controlled. Most companies are looking for leaders who can inspire the others, but I think inspiration also comes under certain bias. Leaders are also people, they have their own ideas and thoughts, so when they inspire the others they also communicating their own idea across. That's why we often hear "My manager is not happy." It is because things did not move the way he/she expected. Instead of going around circles, managers could tell employee what to do which may also save time and cost. I think it is good to say that leader should inspire employees, but in real life situation unless the employee has come up with a much better idea, they often follow the leader's idea.

Value and attitude shape a person's response to situations, but affect themselves and others. I wonder, what the right attitude to become leader is and especially when we have interview, how the HR judge a person can be a good leader or not. Although we talk about our leadership experience but I don't think this can really show we are a good leader or not, may be just good at organising events.

February 10, 2013

Self–assessment and feedback

I have leant so many things through these two weeks, not only on academic leadership theory, also experienced a number of leadership style and how to work as team from both leader and followers view. I think the game it-self is not important, but the process and rules provide opportunities to work with different team and different leaders. We often quite calm and trying to solve questions, but when we had the "Black Swan" and Paul pointed out there is a competition, the environment became serious and I feel more pressure.

I think competition can be both positive and negative as I have mentioned in Performance Appraisal presentation. It can create motivation in short-term view, but in long-term it strikes people confident, no one can always win and someone may never win. And I think competition is not appropriate for all departments within an organization. For example, finance department may not need competition but marketing department team often need competition to increase the sales.

February 07, 2013

Leadership team work

We did many exercises during leadership course. The Life Boat exercise is a good example of people considers what best leadership is. Because every group has different answers, this means each group need different leadership style, and they chose the most suitable one. However, in a real life situation, we don't usually have chance to choose leader or people you want to work with. I have experienced these through our mini-project leadership. We have been randomly put in to a team, and there are two new members we haven't worked with before. I did not know their skills, capabilities and attitude, so it was quite difficult to lead the group. As the members also do not know any information about me and each other, so it was untrusted atmosphere between each member. Think back at our first meeting, I think skill assessment should be conducted!!! Or each of us should give an introduction about ourselves and at least we should know basic information such as:

  • What subject we have studied before
  • Work experience
  • What areas particular good at
  • May be personality

There are many things I have reflected on through our teamwork. I will continue on another day.

I think leadership is about learning the right attitudes, not learning how to do things right!!

Recently I am reading a Dale Carnegie's book name "How to win friends &influence people", which has been seen as the most popular book that has influenced a number of great leaders.

I think leadership is not about lead people, is about how to communicate with people and social skills.

Dale Carnegie's Top 10 Tip

  • 1. Create your own emotions.

"If you want to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic."

  • 2. It's not so much about the logical stuff.

"When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion."

  • 3. Three things you are better off avoiding.

"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving."

  • 4. What is most important?
"The royal road to a man??s heart is to talk to him about the things he treasures most."
  • 5. Focus outward, not inward.

"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."

  • 6. Take control of your emotions.
"The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another's keeping."
  • 7. No, they are not holding you back.
"Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire."
  • 8. So, what's in it for me?
"There is only one way to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it."
  • 9. How to win an argument.
"The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it."
  • 10. It's about more than your words.
"There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it."

February 03, 2013


Leadership is an activity a leader lead a group of people to carry out certain task or achieve an objective.

Leadership involves

1. Establish a clear vision.

2. Share the vision with group members and make sure they understand and willing to achieve it.

3. Identify methods to realize that vision.

4. Coordinate the process.

5. Balance the conflict interests of group members and stakeholders

I think leadership is a very interesting top to study and there is no exact right answer. Everyone has their own opinion on how leadership should be, and has their own idol of great leader. I think leadership is a very arguable activity. No matter how well you think you can lead there will always be someone dislike the style. That's why we have elections.

Leadership cannot be taught and it may be learned from experience and mentoring. People who are great leaders today has progressed and learned from early failures. I also think leadership should be continues and development process. You can a great leader in today's situation but tomorrow is a new day and different issues will occur. A leader needs to have critical and analytical thinking and fast reaction. Need to think around crisis and the impact it can course to bigger environment instead of focus on the problem it-self.

February 2013

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