Another Good Initiative

ImageNew initiatives are important at work to improve the existing work processes or initiate new process. Initiatives can be new products or another sub-product. Organizations usually encourage employees to present new initiatives frequently. Some organizations evaluate their engineers or experts by the number of initiatives they produce every year. I was discussing this issue with a consultant once, and he complained that some organizations evaluate the engineers’ yearly bonus on number of new “money-saving” projects. These organization end up with multiple projects by the end of the year waiting for execution.

The problem with “opportunity” initiatives or “money-saving” initiatives is in their evaluation. Many initiatives promise to solve the organizational problems, save $$$, or introduce found breaking products that will make the organization the best in its market segment. Very few initiatives produce %90 of promised result. Most of the initiatives stray in a side track or end up as an embarrassing memory. Initiatives should be supported with a strong change management  plan and good management support or it will be one of the arrows in the attached figure!

What Is Right For The Business?

Many employees work very hard to perform their  daily tasks, but they make mistakes and got blamed for it. The first reaction from their superiors is to look for the obvious mistakes and shortfalls in following the plans, procedure or regulations. Catching the obvious mistake is easy but will only solve the problem momentarily. Eliminating the cause of the problem is very difficult. Sometimes, the organization needs to change the procedures, review their assumptions or even ask themselves if they need the workers to perform that task at all. The following discussion and examples will show how mistakes and errors can take place and how we can we eliminate these mistakes immediately and permanently. Long term solutions needs time, effort and big budget, but eliminating a reoccurring problem will worth the cost, effort and time spent. Read More …

Your Discussion

Listen to this postWe have discussed many issues, challenges and opportunities with different people but we rarely notice how we discuss or negotiate. We start the discussion with a strong believe that we are right and are able to convince the other side to agree with us. We should open the door for the other side to express and discuss their points also. Their ideas might be better than ours but we will find difficulty in accepting their points. The best way to go about such conflict of interest is to share our views and be ready to integrate or mix both ideas and come up with a solution that please both sides. Lions mark their territories with their urine, and I do not suggest that you do the same for your ideas during the discussion, but give the others a chance to change, ultra, expand or add part of their thoughts into the final solution and they will definitely agree with you. Sometimes, when you offer a complete solution to a different department or organization you notice that somebody for that department will disagree and become a roadblock. All you need to do is to give them a chance to review your offer and suggest how you can customize it to their needs. If the changes they suggested are not fundamental then incorporate their input into the offer and announce that they have helped you to reach the final solution. You will see them championing your work and help you in many ways.

Giving Feedback: Positive or Negative

Listen to this postGiving feedback or confronting employees is one of the most difficult social task we face in our lives. Giving positive feedback is sometimes called motivation or encouragement, and many of us are sometimes doing it wrongly by generalizing the feedback by saying “you have done a good job”. A good feedback should be specific like saying “Your report has listed the major critical points that we did not notice before, thank you for reporting them to us.” We do similar or even worse mistakes when we give negative feedbacks. Sometimes our negative feedback has more destructive effect than the constructive change we hoped for. Reading the following pages will help you understand the types of feedbacks you may use at work or at home. Some valuable examples are given at the end for your reference.

Giving feedback or confronting employees is one of the most difficult social task we face in our lives.Giving positive feedback is sometimes called motivation or encouragement, and many of us are sometimes doing it wrongly by generalizing the feed back by saying “you have done a good job”. Agood feedback should be specific like saying “Your report has listed the major critical points that we did not notice before, thank you for reporting them to us.”We do similar or even worse mistakes when we give negative feedbacks. Sometimes our negative feedback has more destructive effect than the constructive change we hoped for. Reading the following pages will help you understand the types of feedbacks you may use at work or at home. Some valuable examples are given at the end for your reference. Read more …

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How Does It Help Us!

Sharing information in an organizationListen to this postTeams or departments acquire skills, experience and knowledge while doing their daily work and overcoming the new challenges they meet occasionally. The knowledge and experience are learned by the team members or the department employees only. Other employees in the same organization will not learn that important experience or knowledge if it was not documented and shared. However, “knowledge is power” as they say, and many department managers or leaders would like to keep the knowledge or experience confined within their teams or departments. The new knowledge might speed up the work process, prevent mistakes, save money or do these advantages and that’s why some people avoid sharing them. The team is afraid that they might lose there competitive advantage if they share what they have learned. If you approach the team leader or the department manager and ask him or her to share with you that knowledge, they would say something like “how does it help us!” and they mean that they will consume their valuable time and give their competitive advantage when they share their advantages without feeling any direct benefit to them. Not knowing that sharing the information will benefit them indirectly especially if they are working in the same organization. They will benefit a lot when they share. They will have better support from the supporting staff, they will have less mistakes and fewer wrong deliveries and they will have smoother supply chain. The organization will do better and will be more profitable which will generate more capital to invest and grow. When somebody tell you “how does it help us!” you tell them that everybody will serve and cooperate better with them when they share their competitive advantage.

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Preparing the Survey

Listen to this postSocial values and belief systems influence individuals by shaping their attitudes and behavior (O’Donohue & Nelson, 2009). Beliefs must be rationalized and justified to be believed. Values are at the heart of the belief system and difficult to change. Attitude is a hypothetical structure that represents individual’s like or dislike (Vaske & Donnelly, 1999). The influence of values on attitudes and behavior occurs indirectly via other components in the cognitive hierarchy. For example, “basic beliefs serve to strengthen and give meaning to fundamental values” (Vaske & Donnelly, 1999, p. 525) . Read more …

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Everybody Should Answer This Survey!

Please check one

Please check one

Listen to this postLarge and medium size companies usually ask consultants to help them improve their administrative and human resources work. The consultant usually start by distributing a survey to assess the current condition and find gaps from the desired conditions they are in at that time. Most of the surveys used by the consulted are well constructed surveys that were used in different companies before. The consultant usually do few tweaks on the standard survey to customize it for each company’s special needs and culture. The problem with most of these surveys is the method it is written with. The questions are written in a way only middle management and senior staff would understand and answer. Junior staff will find such questions to be difficult to understand because they are related to the company’s long term strategies, failure of change management and other complicated issues. The consultant needs cross sectional response and the management wants the survey to end as soon as possible. The result would be using a well constructed survey for the wrong population to produce wrong results. Normally the results are never showed to the junior staff., but the management would ask them to carry out the recommendation in every possible way. I am sure that some of the surveys could be more successful if more time is spent in writing them.

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One Thousand Visitors

Candle

1000 visitors and going strong

AudioI set up this blog and started fiddling with it in November 2009, but started my first regular posting in Jan 3,  2010. I targeted 1000 visitors in the first month, and you made it possible. As I write this post the count is 995 visitors to the blog in one month and this count  does not include the blog subscribers who receive the new posts by E-mail the moment I post them. Thank you for visiting me again! I try to write interesting and thought provoking posts and you were generous with your constructive comments, so please keep them coming.  I have added audio feature to the post for your convenience. So if you would like to listen to this post you need to click on the small speaker-like icon on the top left corner of this post and enjoy listing!

The top 5 posts in this blog  so far are:

1- What is behavior?

2- What happen to my Latte !

3- Your Smile Will Last Longer

4- When We Will Meet Again

5- Customer Retention

Please let me know how I can improve this blog. What do you like to read (or not read) here.

Smart note:

Thirty one days past since I started posting in Jan 3, 2010. This is equivalent to one month and 14 hours  or 2.678 x 106 seconds  or 44,640 minutes or 744 hours or 4.429 weeks … To simplify this subject for you I would like you to image that if I light up a candle that day, its light would travel 802,901,721,600 kilometers or 498.9 billion miles in 31 days. While the light was traveling all that distance, and feeling exhausted, this blog site got 1000 visitors!

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Constructive Criticism

Flower 1

How constructive are you?

AudioThe English publisher Thomas P. Jone once said “Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.” We love feedback when the feedback is positive and is given in front of a group of people. We encourage such feedback and we always dismiss the thought that whatever was said is a complement. We think that we have done an excellent job and it is about time for the rest of the world to acknowledge our achievements. We rarely accept the negative feedback and we immediately ask the feedback giver for prove, details and witnesses. After arguing for some time, we usually label the negative feedback as jealousy, envy or hatred. Actually, some of the negative feedback could be coming from somebody who had a difficult day and need a listening partner.

Author and business speaker Ken Blanchard said “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” I believer that feedback (positive or negative) is constructive criticism as long as it shows us the faults, shortfalls and point us to a better solution. The american  author Elbert Hubbard said “To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” I would like to encourage you to send me constructive criticism to improve my writing and sharpen my thoughts to write an interesting post that attract most of you.  You can click on the post heading to direct you to an exclusive page for that post were you can select the proper rating for the post (number of stars). There is a link on top of each post to add your comments or start a discussion about the post.  Go ahead, tell me what you think.

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