1. 4th International Best Practice Competition & 4th Global Benchmarking Award – call for entries

    August 23, 2015 by ahmed
    4th International Best Practice Competition – 2nd Call for Entries

    The International Best Practice Competition, http://www.bestpracticecompetition.com, is now announcing a 2nd Call for entries.

    Have a think about what systems, processes and practices your organization does well and submit an entry form by 25 September 2015. If successful you will be asked to share your best practice in an 8 minute presentation on the 26/27th November 2015, Manila, Philippines, courtesy of the Development Academy of the Philippines and our sponsors the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce (who were hosts in 2014).

    This competition serves as a unique opportunity to share and learn best practices from around the globe. From the 1st call we received over 20 entries from India, Philippines, Singapore, Sri-Lanka, United States, and United Arab Emirates. In total we are hoping to receive over 50 entries.

    If you have not been to the Philippines before this is your chance for a once in a life-time experience to enjoy the warmth of Filipino hospitality. Watch It’s More Fun in the Philippines video to get an insight into this wonderful country.

    Download an entry form or view a promotional flyer to share with your colleagues.


    4th Global Benchmarking Award – 1st call for entries

    The Global Benchmarking Network (GBN) launched the Global Benchmarking Award in 2012 to recognise those organisations that had integrated benchmarking into their organisation’s strategy and processes in order to continuously learn and innovate.

    The winners have been Watson Real Estate (New Zealand) in 2012, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (United Arab Emirates) in 2013 and OCBC Bank (Singapore) in 2014. For videos on these award winning organisations go to http://www.globalbenchmarkingaward.com/past-winners.

    The 4th Global Benchmarking Award will be held at the 9th International Benchmarking Conference, 6/7th December 2015, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

    The closing date for entries is the 25th of September 2015, for more information about the award visit the official award website.



  2. 4th International Best Practice Competition – 1st Call for Entries

    August 1, 2015 by ahmed

    The Best Practice Competition, http://www.bestpracticecompetition.com, encourages organizations to share their best operational and managerial practices, processes, systems, and initiatives and learn from the experience of others. It provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams that have been responsible for creating and/or managing the introduction and deployment of best practices.

    Have a think about what your organization does well, and submit your entry by 14 August 2015. If successful you will be asked to share your best practice in an 8 minute presentation on the 26/27th November 2015, Manila, Philippines, courtesy of the Development Academy of the Philippines and our sponsors the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce (who were the hosts in 2014).

    Last year we had 52 entries with 32 qualifying to the Competition Event. Entries were received from 12 countries. This year we would like to do even better!

    Download an entry form or view a promotional flyer to share with your colleagues.

  3. At Boeing, Innovation Means Small Steps, Not Giant Leaps

    April 13, 2015 by ahmed

    Roy Conner BOEINGRay Conner, the CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes

    Originally posted on WSJ by Jon Ostrower

    The 99-year-old aerospace giant long has focused on developing new technologies that it reserved for big projects every 15 years or so to craft the fastest—and farthest-flying jetliners—such as its 787 Dreamliner.

    Today, Boeing is centering innovation on incremental improvements that it can deliver more quickly to airlines with greater reliability and at a lower price, said Ray Conner, chief executive of Boeing’s commercial airplane unit, in an interview.

    Mr. Conner is overseeing the development of seven models to upgrade Boeing’s portfolio of jets with capacities from 125 seats to just over 400 seats, plus a new military refueling tanker. The updated products are adapting some of the technologically advanced features of the Dreamliner to models that have long been in production.

    “It’s not to say you don’t innovate,” said Mr. Conner. He wants engineers “innovating more on how to [design jets] more simplistically, as opposed to driving more complexity,” he said. “How do you innovate to make it more producible? How do you innovate to make it more reliable?”

    The shift reflects how sharply the industry has changed. Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney last year declared its era of technological boundary-pushing “moon shots” over. Airlines, he concluded, don’t want to pay more for advanced technology.

    Saving up a host of advanced technologies for a single new project has proved too expensive and disruptive.

    Mr. Conner likened the current landscape for selling jetliners to Apple Inc.’s iPhone. The smartphone’s starting retail price of $199 with a cellular contract has remained relatively consistent since its second model in 2008, even as each iteration is more capable.

    Boeing’s formula is aimed in part at reversing market-share losses to rival Airbus Group NV. Both companies have experienced a boom, as fast-growing airlines in Asia, the Middle East and South America and carriers with aging fleets in the U.S. and Europe have driven orders for some 5,800 jets worth $440 billion at contract prices. However, Airbus, which has generally had a more incremental approach to new planes, has eroded Boeing’s share of the high-volume market for single-aisle jets.

    Few are more familiar with Boeing’s approach to jet making than Mr. Conner, 59 years old. He started as a unionized machinist in 1977 not far from his current corner office here and held a range of jobs before taking over the commercial airplanes operation in 2012.

    With the Dreamliner, Boeing revamped not only the design of a modern jetliner, but how it’s built. The plane boasted a mostly carbon-fiber structure and advanced electrical system that replaced many pneumatic and mechanical functions.

    Boing R&D

    Design problems and an unprepared supply chain caused huge cost overruns and a 3½-year delay before delivery of the Dreamliner in September 2011. Boeing’s investment in the 787 program is now approaching $50 billion, estimates Barclays Capital analyst Carter Copeland, including research-and-development costs, new facilities as well as acquisitions of struggling suppliers. Boeing isn’t expected to start making money on a per-unit basis until next year, though the aerospace company reports the program as profitable based on its accounting method, which spreads the high early costs over many years.

    “Don’t judge our future by what’s happened on the 787,” said Mr. Conner.

    Boeing’s new approach extends to every corner of its operations. It is aggressively trying to renegotiate contracts with suppliers, which account for about 65% of its jets’ costs. Its push toward faster, better and cheaper production led Boeing in 2013 to tap Walter Odisho, a former head of Toyota Motor Corp.’s U.S. auto production to run manufacturing. The company has long looked to the Japanese auto maker for improving its processes, which are becoming increasingly automated. Both efforts helped the company save $1 billion last year, Boeing said.

    Research-and-development spending by Boeing’s commercial unit ticked up slightly last year to $1.88 billion, or about 3.1% of the unit’s revenue—below the nearly 16% in 2009 when R&D spending increased as it struggled with the Dreamliner and a revamp of its 747-8 jumbo jet.

    Boeing’s more pragmatic approach also comes as it ramps up jetliner production to unprecedented levels. It expects to deliver 750 to 755 jets in 2015, topping last year’s record, and that number could climb to more than 900 late in the decade if demand holds. A decade ago, by comparison, it delivered 290 planes a year.

    Mr. Conner said Boeing’s priority now is completing its current slate of projects on time and on budget. The seven projects include a new version of its 777 with composite wings, and upgrades of its single-aisle 737s with new engines.

    That doesn’t mean the company has given up on the idea of creating an all-new model.

    Mr. Conner said Boeing is polling customers to help conceive a new jet that seats more people than its single-aisle 737s, but doesn’t have the long range—and resulting extra weight to carry fuel—of the Dreamliner.

    Mr. Conner said the company isn’t likely to repeat the business model that created the Dreamliner, but is open to a large strategic partner to share the development costs.

    “These are things I think about all the time,” he said.

    One goal, he said, would be to design any new jetliner so its technology and production system could be scaled to eventually create a second family of planes, like its 737, which has been in continuous production for nearly a half century.

    “I think our job is make sure we totally understand what the customers are looking for and working on our ability to go execute” on a viable business case, said Mr. Conner. “And we will do that. We will flip the switch when it needs to happen.”

  4. How Portland is tackling the innovation dilemma

    January 2, 2015 by ahmed

    Portland Mayor Charlie Hales set aside $1 million in his 2013-14 budget for an “innovation fund.”
    Now he’s ready to award some of the best ideas from city bureaus with money

    Originally posted on Governing, by Steve Goldsmith

    We rightly expect a great deal from our municipal governments. We want city departments to be innovative — but not to take unwise risks. We want their projects to generate impressive long-term results — but not to cost taxpayers heavily upfront.

    Can government be at once cutting-edge and careful? It’s a paradox that for years has stymied municipal innovation in cities across the country.

    Here’s how it works: Each year, the mayor sets aside $1 million in the city budget to support the innovation fund. City bureau directors hoping to win a chunk of that funding submit project proposals, which are evaluated by a task force of private-sector professionals who consider how effectively the proposals fulfill the goal of saving the city money or making government run more smoothly. The task force makes recommendations to the mayor, who then puts the winning proposals before the city council for funding consideration.

    In its first year, the competition received 22 proposals from 10 bureau directors. Based on endorsements from the inaugural task force, the city council approved six projects for a net total of nearly $900,000 in funding. Among the winning projects were those seeking to save money (the Portland Housing Bureau was awarded $48,000 for a data-sharing program aimed at reducing data-entry costs) and save lives (the Fire Bureau got $108,000 to implement a smartphone app designed to help cardiac arrest victims receive immediate assistance).

    Another winning proposal was aimed at improving the city government’s collaboration with the private sector. The Portland Development Commission was awarded $80,000 for a program that seeks to make the city an early adopter of new technologies being developed by Portland’s startup community for use in meeting the city’s maintenance and operational needs. The funds are going toward the roll-out of technology for an online portal as well as face-to-face networking events aimed at connecting local tech start-ups with city bureaus. Even in its early stages, the program has already fostered significant cross-bureau collaboration, according to Chris Harder, the commission’s economic development director.

    With the innovation fund now in its second year, city officials are making a few changes to the initiative to inspire more and better ideas. This time around, organizers solicited project ideas from all city employees rather than just bureau directors — a change that was aimed at fostering participation from all levels of the city bureaucracy. Organizers simplified the submission form and introduced a second round of consideration for larger projects. This year’s innovation fund will also place greater emphasis on training; some of the funds will be used to pay for workshops to help managers and supervisors be more creative in their jobs.

    All of these changes are aimed at promoting new ideas throughout city government. “I think the effort itself is something that should be embraced,” Harder said of the Innovation Fund. “Particularly when you work for a bureau, to have the leadership encourage you to think that way is very helpful.”

    Portland is neither the first nor the last city to look toward competition to try to spark creative government solutions. Baltimore has its own innovation fund, which, like Portland’s version, awards competitive seed grants to city agencies with creative project ideas. In the past few years, Baltimore has funded agency projects to install “smart” parking and energy meters, put in place new fiber-optic technology for the city’s broadband network, and acquire a new, more efficient DNA analysis tool. And earlier this month, Los Angeles announced that it would launch a $1 million innovation fund to support creative projects dreamed up by city workers.

    The Portland innovation fund can in part trace its roots back to a larger and broader predecessor based in New York City. This grant competition is run by the city’s Center for Economic Opportunity and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC. With support from the federal Social Innovation Fund, the center supports the replication of anti-poverty programs in New York and other cities across the country, using a competitive selection process.

    Innovation funds and other related initiatives offer an exciting new way of thinking about the problem of encouraging innovation in traditionally risk-averse government institutions. By combining an entrepreneur’s eye for creative solutions with a public servant’s mindfulness of limited resources, these initiatives have great potential to make government more efficient.

  5. Resilience – What is it and how can it help you?

    December 29, 2014 by ahmed

    What is Resilience, what are the benefits of being resilient, and how can one build their resilience? This Resilience Overview Documentary follows the story of U.S. Army Master Sgt. Jennifer Loredo as she dealt with the tragic loss of her husband, how she powered through and bounced back. Experts provide insight on what it means to be resilient and why it’s an important attribute for everyone to have.