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So what do you do with this new-found knowledge?

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Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#1
Jamie expressed a common lament and frustration in class last night. So, what if you do start to understand some of these concepts, especially "systems thinking" and lessons from the "Beer Game", but your management is unimpressed. They just want to keep doing the same thing.

Now, this topic is not meant as a management-bashing exercise (you are all MBA students and thus may be a manager someday if you aren't already). I did ask you to read my "Lead to Succeed" article on week 1. I also believe that Tom Peters (http://www.tompeters.com) has some interesting ideas on what you can do from within. I am also attaching the paper I will be presenting in El Paso / Juarez on November 30.

So . . . what can/should you do now that you know some of these techniques? This topic is meant for the week after the midterm, and is worth +1 point on the final.
 

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Rob Nix

#2
Nice powerpoint presentation, Steve. :agree1: It uncannily harmonized with an article I wrote to supplement internal training about a year ago, especially your points on pages 14 and 18 about listening, teaching, and volunteering.

It was a rather rough article, but I'll attach it here anyway. Perhaps it will help someone.
 

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Jamie Morris

#4
Steve Prevette said:
Jamie expressed a common lament and frustration in class last night. So, what if you do start to understand some of these concepts, especially "systems thinking" and lessons from the "Beer Game", but your management is unimpressed. They just want to keep doing the same thing.

Now, this topic is not meant as a mangement-bashing exercise (you are all MBA students and thus may be a manager someday if you aren't already). I did ask you to read my "Lead to Succeed" article on week 1. I also believe that Tom Peters (http://www.tompeters.com) has some interesting ideas on what you can do from within. I am also attaching the paper I will be presenting in El Paso / Juarez on November 30.

So . . . what can/should you do now that you know some of these techniques? This topic is meant for the week after the midterm, and is worth +1 point on the final.
Steve,

Thanks for reminding me that even though I may have frustration with some management techniques, philosphies, and resistance to change, I must become a change agent in the organization using the leadership techniques that I have learned. I must "seek first to understand and then to be understood" (one of Dr. Stephen Covey's 7-habits of highly effective people). The only thing that we really control is our reaction or response to certain situations. As your presentation so aptly points out, we must seek continual improvement in our organizations, by pushing the boundaries of the box, striving to bring about positive change, and managing/controlling/channeling our responses in a positive direction. We must do this through integrity, honesty, and demonstrated commitment to our principles. Yeah, I know this sounds "mushy", but seeking change through system knowledge, customer focus, personal commitment, and demonstrated leadership is the only way to success. Certainly, as pointed out in your presentation, we must have a thorough understanding of the systems that we are a component part of, and we must know the difference between common cause and special cause variations within these systems. Having knowledge of these data points, we allow us to gently push for change that will be positive and that will have lasting impacts. Thanks again for the reminder - that we do not have to be CEOs to be leaders!
 
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terryw

#5
I looked at the information posted and its great to realize that everyone is working toward the same goal. Affecting positive change and working together when there can be so many different competing interests in an organization can be difficult and even disasterous at times. We are constantly talking about breaking down the silos in our organization, yet everyone has a very structured reporting environment, by department and no one is matrixed to more than one director or manager. The CEO is very interested in affecting a change in this approach and I have been charged with working on a strategic approach to this and other issues in the organization that could make us a more efficient and competitive entity. I am going to start by having staff in one of my divisions report to more than one manager with an emphasis on project management. Wish me luck at helping people to see the "bigger picture". Hopefully I can use it as a model within the organization for other departments to work from.
 
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jneely

#6
New found knowledge-J Neely

I agree with Jamie in theory and really do not think it is "mushy" dribble! However, being a "Hanford worker" in contracts and just going through the end of year buying frenzy I find myself asking" Isn't there a better way?" The beer game definitely reflects some of the practices I see in the procurement processes at my company. I would go so far as to say that, especialy year end spending, is reactionary not planned, even though the managers would like one to believe they do have a plan! With knowledge one would hope comes change, however sometimes the changes made do not improve the systems we have in place. Acquiring a firm grasp of the systems used in my position is basically non existent, constant "upgrades and improvements" find one a novice to the system over and over again. Management needs to have the grunts in the field be a part of the solution and hopefully with new found knowledge comes the change, or no change, that is needed to achieve the desired outcome.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#7
Steve Prevette said:
Jamie expressed a common lament and frustration in class last night. So, what if you do start to understand some of these concepts, especially "systems thinking" and lessons from the "Beer Game", but your management is unimpressed. They just want to keep doing the same thing.

Now, this topic is not meant as a management-bashing exercise (you are all MBA students and thus may be a manager someday if you aren't already). I did ask you to read my "Lead to Succeed" article on week 1. I also believe that Tom Peters (http://www.tompeters.com) has some interesting ideas on what you can do from within. I am also attaching the paper I will be presenting in El Paso / Juarez on November 30.

So . . . what can/should you do now that you know some of these techniques? This topic is meant for the week after the midterm, and is worth +1 point on the final.
It is an excellent and always relevant question. The answer (Change lies within, Grasshopper) is the nature of my response to this poster's question: http://elsmar.com/Forums/showthread.php?p=127093#post127093

A respected local colleague once told me he would recommend changes to his management and then shut up. When they invariably decided to shelve his ideas and the situation worsened to the point things were "broken," he calmly asked, "Would you like to try a new way now?"

We don't want disasters to "prove" the need for our improvements, but U.S. people are not pragmatic by nature. So, it's only possible to effectively initiate different methods when the decision makers decide they're ready and open to them. Thus, the newly-knowledgeable must be patient. They must be ready to apply the knowledge theoretically, be ready with the math showing benefits and be able to present the new concept in an appealing manner.
 
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Lori Beeler

#8
What to do now?

As the light bulbs begin to go on and the quantitative methods begin to make sense I can see a vast number of uses in business to help improve work situations and solve problems. Tried and true methods, proven results and the knowledge to turn to those solutions and approaches when asked ...that is a great feeling all in itself. Not necessarily being able to actually perform the analysis but know that it is available and exists is very powerful. When I am afforded an opportunity to contribute to a perplexing issue at work the value of all this new found knowledge will be clear.
Lori Beeler
MBA Student
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#9
Lori Beeler said:
As the light bulbs begin to go on and the quantitative methods begin to make sense I can see a vast number of uses in business to help improve work situations and solve problems. Tried and true methods, proven results and the knowledge to turn to those solutions and approaches when asked ...that is a great feeling all in itself. Not necessarily being able to actually perform the analysis but know that it is available and exists is very powerful. When I am afforded an opportunity to contribute to a perplexing issue at work the value of all this new found knowledge will be clear.
Lori Beeler
MBA Student
This is extremely encouraging, given my feeling over the past several years that too many MBA programs did not place enough emphasis on quantitative and qualitative analysis; fact based management--true critical thinking.
 
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scrowner

#10
new found knowledge

This is my first class towards getting my MBA. I did not realize most management decisions could rely so heavily on quantitative methods. I now find myself looking at all data differently. A piece of paper, with numbers, gets put in front of me and then I start questioning all of the "behind the scene" calculations that went into getting it into this reduced form. I am looking forward to using this knowledge that I have recieved so far in my upcoming classes.
 
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