All entries for February 2013

February 25, 2013

Reflective writing on RDM (Day1)

What-I believe that most of the decisions I have made today were bias. And, because I have not or can not see the outcomes of those bias decisions yet, I can not conclude that bias decision leads to bad outcome. I remember there was an article saying about managers should make decision based on their first thought to the problem, first feeling, instinct. The reason in a real business world, there is no much time to make a rational decision. Especially, in urgent situation, managers are usually required to respond to the problem very quick and only a few minutes are left for the decisions to be made. Therefore, they have to make the decisions based on their experiences or perceptions. My opinion is that, after today's lecture, I agree that the process of rational/critical thinking is very important to day-to-day life. And in order to be critical, I need to think critically about critical thinking.

Why- Why it is important? As I mentioned earlier, time is the currency in 21st century. And the cost of wasting or losing time is much greater the cost of anything. Making a very rational decision is quite costly. However, you can argue that what measures a VERY rational decision. I don't know honestly speaking. I am not a critical thinking person, so most of time I make decision based on my "feeling" within a few seconds. And the outcome is sometimes it works well, sometimes it is very bad. SO, it seems like that the when is the critical time to make decision rationally becomes quite important.

How-Further to the question, I have not found an satisfied answer yet. But at least I have come up with more thoughts about critical thinking which is good. The base rule I apply to critical thinking everyday is by asking myself: what, why, and how. Although I admit that sometimes asking what why and how could lead me to more confusion, most of time it takes me out of the fog.

February 07, 2013

Language skill matters

What-Although I understand that it is not the appropirate time to discuss about this issue at the master level. But after several presenation, some team-based exercise, and serveral mini-projects, I realise that the degree of how well you master the English is the key factor that affects your overall performance. Not until this morning exercise, I call it treasure hunting game, which requires lots of communication. By communication, I mean discussion, debate, persuasion, etc that require quick thinking and "fast speak". More important, what the word you use is really really really matters. I stuck serveral times on deciding what kinds of words that will not cause any confusion but it is not a easy task for me at the moment. Since I read the blog on "leadership challenge exercise",(

I guess you may argue that "we should forget about our language accuracy and let our mind flow, coz sometimes a not-so-good-language speaks a God-damn-GOOD-Idea!" Well, it is not true because the underly assumption is that the person who speaks out a "God-damn-good-idea" is at least know a little bit English, i.e. IELTS socre 2.0.

How-What actions do I need to take now? Keep writing blogs. Never give up any presentation opportunity. Never give up the chance of group discussion. Never give the opportunity to talk with British people starting with this sentence: the weather is not bad actually. Last year, we had...

Reflective writing on the treasure finding name

What- The game itself is quite interesting and there are many learning points I can reflect, but I will talk about the most influencing one. The game is all about data analysing, decision making, strategic thinking, and time management. However, what makes this game really interesting is the leadership and competition aspects took in. For this game, I argue that an assertive leader is much better than democratic leader because of the following reasons: extremely time pressure and quick decision making.

Why-Democratic leadership style is good at collecting, generating, polishing ideas, but when it comes to execution or implementation, too much discussion slow down the time. An example is market trader. Therefore, I conclude that democrative leadership style is suitable for brainstorming stage, and assertive leadership style is good at taking action when it requires immediate response.

How-Unfortunately, there is really no such standard that I can follow in the future. The reason is my understanding of leadership changes when I read and practise. And either democratic or assertive really depends on the situation where you are. I would suggest first to evaluate the task, your team, working environment etc at first. After a well thought and analysis on the situation, it is not late to decide which leadership style that best suits the environment but not you.

Reflective writing on presentation on Winning Strategy 2

What- When you are given a task or a question, always start with analysing it first rather than go straight into the answers. This is the lesson I have learnt. In reality, it is quite impossible to cover all the aspects in order to produce the best answer for the question, and the answer based on personal experiences is usually very bias. Therefore, an comprehensive understanding of the question is at no doubt needed.

Why- It is important to understand what the question is asking. Otherwise, the answer produces bulls**t. In addition, analysing a question is a good way of practising critical thinking skill. I strongly believe that through a deep thought into the question, I will reveal lots more information behind it, e.g. underlying assumptions, implicit logical connection etc.

How- It appratently I could not give you the best solution/guidelines on analysing a particular question. However, there are certain ways which can help you to understand the question. One possible way is to do the research, i.e search the entirely question, search the key words of the question. Secondly, I usually use pyramid principle to see the logical connection for the question. Thirdly, I suggest to work with team. Collective intelligent is always better than single. Finally, ask the expert.

February 05, 2013

Reflective writing on Hotel Exercise

Note: Group B1 students may want to look at this blog after the exercise.

(What have I learnt)-Negotiation and persuasion are the key skills when you are not the leader, the lead is not taking your advice, and you see something really wrong and try to direct the team to the right position. Because I had exactly same exercise experience when I was in IBM Business Challenge back to 2009. So when I looked at the scernario, almost all the details came back to my mind. Our team decided to go for high room rate, but based on my previous experiences, I insisted that it must be somewhere around 90 (since we are running site A). The result of such high room rate was we lost the game.

(Why it is important)-These skills are very important when you knew someone is doing something really wrong, and you have the better information to achieve the better result than he does. However, you may argue that just leave that guy because he can learn from his failures. In reality, resources are so limited. Yes you can fail this time, but you can't fail and learn from every time.

(How to apply it)-Negotiation and persuasion are more about language skills. And hence it associates with the culture, environment, history etc. But the most important thing is you must make sure that you voice is heard. I am not very sure how to improve negotiation and persuasion skills, and I will do some research on it.

Reflective writing on presentation on WS 1

(What have I learnt)-The presentation is more about your confidence, the way you delivery the message to the audience, the personal image you are creating during the presentation. Honestly speaking, there were many flaws in our presentation, and I was not 100 percent confident in delivering our content to the broad of directors. And I also understand that the whole purpose of this presentation is to understand Hoshi Kanri rather than anything else. But I don't have too much reflective yet.

(Why it is important)-I understand that if I am nervous, the audience would get really confuse. However, if I can clearly and confidently present what I have already known, without any bullshit, then the presentation may still go well. Like Paul, there must be certain area that we cannot cover, therefore, just make sure whatever we said in the presentation should be supported either by literature or empirical data. Please note that it shall not be any excuses that I can not do the best presentation.

(How to apply it)-Well prepare before the presentation. Value no matter presentation you have been given, and do it the best. Take the opportunity to practise. Despite you understand that there are some points that you are not able to understand completely, you should not be affected and become nervous.

February 04, 2013

Reflective writing on creating a harmony environment

What have I learnt-Leader can force people to do the work. However, that does not mean the motivation and potential of workers are fully unlocked. If leader use his position power, we argue that he is probably a manager rather than a leader. Therefore, leader's task is to create a learning and motivated environment which allows everyone in this environment is able to express his opinions and their opinions are valued. We believe that such kind of environment can really and fully unlock the potential of workforce.

Why it is important-Above learning points actually contradicts what I used to believe in leadership. I was not able to think deeply that actually it IS the environment that generate such positive outcomes. My old thinking is that it is leaders' responsibility to force his followers to do whatever the leader asks, and do it without any questions. However, I did not realise the problem that the follower may be not willing to do so or doing it involuntary. Leadership for me now is more about directing people to do the work VOLUNTARYLY.

How to apply it-Creating such harmony environment requires motivation and actions. The problem goes down to unlock the inner motivation about creating the learning environment. In practise, I will first let everyone's voice be heard, and more importantly it is to deliver a message that the mission is to create a learning environment. By educating and guiding the followers, I will concentrate on action rather than speak.

Reflective writing on taking risk

(What have I learnt)-Risk is everywhere. Predicting risk is not practical and probably a nonsense action. However, that does not mean we just take whatever risks we will have negatively. What we really should do is to understand the risk, and analyse the risk, i.e why that happen and how to reduce the bad effect in the future. Using knowledge to cope with the risk and take next leap.

(Why it is important)- I used to be a risk averse person. When I leaned finance during BA, I don't like the uncertainly of how market fluctuate at all. And I also understand that because of human nature, it is nearly impossible to win the market in long term. The learning point above actually makes me to think positively about risk. I tell myself that there is nothing wrong or right about risk, so just take it and enjoy it. Because the nature of uncertainty, the outcome could be quite fruitful or a disaster or in the middle of them. It therefore changes my attitude about the risk.

(How to apply it)-First, using whatever information/knowledge provided to evaluate the risk. Understand in what extent I can take the risk, by that I mean try to think about the outcome about the failure of taking risk. Once balancing the gain and lose, actions are required immediately because situation changes so quickly.

February 2013

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  • I have not received mine yet but when I do I will need help with it. by Wendy on this entry
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