1. Executing Successful Business Surveys and Kuwait

    June 13, 2010 by

    Hello all

    I am bringing to your attention 3 articles on Executing Successful Business Surveys by Dr. Tariq A. Aldowaisan, Associate Professor at Kuwait University and Managing Director of Gulf Lead Consultants.  These articles are written from both an academic and practical perspective – thus providing some very useful insights into what needs to be considered when designing and executing surveys. Surveys are often used to obtain quantitative and qualitative feedback particularly from employees and customers on areas such as satisfaction. However, in many cases, not enough attention has been spent on survey design, sample size, and analysis of data – if you follow Dr Tariq Aldowaisan’s advice your survey methods and results from using them will improve.

    Read the first article of the series here . The remaining articles are available to members of the bpir.com.

    The photo below is when I was with Dr Tariq Aldowaisan in May 2010. I was providing a benchmarking training course on behalf of Gulf Lead Consultants – BPIR.com’s partners in Kuwait. Gulf Lead Consultants are playing a leading role in all aspects of quality management and business improvement. One initiative that Dr Tariq Aldowaisan hopes to start soon is the formation of a Quality Society which will help Kuwait in its endeavour to fulfill its 2035 vision (a vision developed by the Kuwait government with input from people such as the UK’s ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair). Like many countries in the Middle East, Kuwait has produced a long-term plan that is available for all to see – this helps businesses and society in general to buy-in and align themselves to the plan. Dr Tariq Aldowaisan believes that one key omission from the plan is the integration and use of quality – hence the desire for a Quality Society and a greater use of quality management tools and techniques to increase the likelihood of the plan being met. Further information on the Kuwait 2035 plan can be obtained here.

    Dr. Tariq A. Aldowaisan speaking during TRADE benchmarking workshop in Kuwait
    Dr Tariq Aldowaisan at one of TRADE Benchmaking workshops in Kuwait

     

    Best regards

    Dr Robin Mann, Commercial Director and Part-Owner, BPIR.com Limited, r.s.mann@massey.ac.nz


  2. Leading the generations in today’s workforce

    February 25, 2010 by
    In an article in the Quality Journal "How to Lead When the Generation Gap Becomes Your Everyday Reality", the author, Issy Gesell, identifies the four generations in today’s workplace as:
     
    "The Silent Generation: The oldest generational group, born between 1925 and 1945, is the Silent Generation. Also called Traditionalists, Seniors, and Veterans, this group values hard work, conformity, dedication, sacrifice, and patience. Members of this generation are comfortable with delayed recognition and reward.

    The Baby Boomers: The largest group in the work force is the Baby Boomers. Born between 1946 and 1964, Boomers are characteristically optimistic and team oriented. They place a high value on their work ethic while also seeking personal gratification and growth.

     
    Generation X: The smallest group in size is Generation X, which also is known as the Sandwich Generation because of its position between the two largest groups. These folks were born between 1965 and 1980 and were the first "latchkey" kids. They are self-reliant, global thinkers who value balance, fun, and informality.
     
    The Millennial Generation: Millennial were born between 1981 and 2000, and ultimately will become the largest group. Even though less than half of them are presently in the work force, they already are having a significant impact on organizational leadership. Members of this generation exhibit confidence, optimism, civic duty, sociability, street smarts, inclusivity, collaboration, and open-mindedness. They tend to be goal oriented.
    Most of today's organisational leaders represent the Silent Generation or Baby Boomers. Over the past 40 years, these two generations have learned to work together. You can begin to raise awareness about the differences among the generations and their implications to your organization by facilitating a dialogue between and among the generations. Current leaders would be wise to assess their leadership style, knowledge of the different generations, and personal attitudes toward the different members of their work force."
    Izzy suggests the following questions can serve as a basis for evaluating personal perspectives and approaches:

    – What differentiates each generation?
    – Which generations are you responsible for leading?
    – How do generational differences impact your perceptions and leadership style?
    – How do those differences manifest themselves in the organization?
    – How can you lead intra-generational and intergenerational groups?
    – What can you do as a leader to foster mixedgenerational dialogue and problem solving?
    – Which generation has the strongest impact on your organization?
    – Is your organization more like General Motors or Google?
    – How do the major aspects of your organization's culture ("generation-bias") align more with one generation than the others?
    – How does that generation-bias impact inclusion, recruitment, retention, and development of employees?

     
    How will you manage?

    We also found this clip on YouTube:

    "How will you manage in an era of transformative changes in workplace demographics, technology, regulations, and expectations? Kronos and XPLANE present fascinating statistics."

     
     
    Kevin McKenna
    BPIR

  3. Findings from a global survey on business improvement and benchmarking

    December 17, 2008 by admin

    Hello all

    Thanks to all those BPIR members/supporters that participated in the Global Benchmarking Network’s survey on “Business Improvement and Benchmarking.”

    In total over 450 people responded from over 40 countries. It was the most comprehensive survey to date on the use of business improvement tools and,  in particular, on benchmarking. Key insights were revealed into this increasingly popular technique and how organisations were applying it and using it to improve their performance.

    Key findings were:

    • Mission and Vision Statements and Customer (Client) Surveys are the most used (by 77% of organisations) of 20 improvement tools, followed by Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (72%), and Informal Benchmarking (68%). Performance Benchmarking was used by (49%) and Best Practice Benchmarking by (39%).
    • The tools that are likely to increase in popularity the most over the next three years are Performance Benchmarking, Informal Benchmarking, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, and Best Practice Benchmarking. Over 60% of organizations that are not currently using these tools indicated they are likely to use them in the next three years.
    • When Best Practice Benchmarking is done well significant benefits are obtained with 20% of projects resulting in benefits worth $250,000.
    • Respondents indicated that the external help/service that they most want (out of 8 services) is access to a best practice database!  This is obviously good news for the BPIR.com and means we are on the right track with our collection of 1,000’s of best practices.

    BPIR members can read the full report here, once logged in, and non-members can read Excerpts from a Report on the Global Use of Business Improvement Tools and Benchmarking.

    Join now to read the full report.

    II hope the report’s findings will assist you all in undertaking benchmarking more effectively.

    Best regards

    Robin

    Dr Robin Mann, Commercial Director and Part-Owner, BPIR.com Limited.

     


  4. People, Priorities, and Wee-Early-Hours Finishes

    November 11, 2008 by admin

    Sat here in my usual apparent stupor, mouth open, eyes fixed – in between bursts of soft tap tap tapping on the keyboard – I am fiercely concentrating on the inside.  Its 2.17am according to my laptop. As usual I am working towards one of many regular weekly deadlines, any of which, if I miss, will affect people; individuals.  These take priority in my life over less personal deadlines that may in fact affect the company bottom line more significantly.  Why do I prioritise so?  And why do I place my own work-life balance, and even health, at so much risk on their behalf?   Thinking about this takes me back to an incident on eBay a couple of years ago when I invoked a ‘gentlemen’s rule’.  An item I had received was not as per the description advertised.  It was a mistake; nothing devious.  The seller, Jared, agreed to take back the item and pay for the postage too – both ways.  He ended up paying more in postage than the worth of the item he had intended to sell.   He said, in an email, “people before money, mate” when I thanked him for being so gracious.  

    Jared’s comment has stayed with me ever since.   He was right of course and is one of the ‘good guys’, but the point I want to make is that, increasingly, business is becoming more about individuals and relationships than about supply and demand.  The arrival of Web 2.0 and networking concepts referred to in previous posts here, and our deliberate move to orientate the BPIR resource towards a more personal relationship-based approach, is part of the natural evolution in our society.  Looking back, this change started to build up steam a couple of decades ago when terms such as ‘internal customer’,‘supplier-relationship’, and ‘customer-supplier partnership’ became new buzz-words in contemporary management jargon.  Mergers and Acquisitions gave way to Strategic Partnerships and Alliances, Collaborative Projects, and Joint Ventures.  The reality of these brave new concepts is of course that they were built around trust and strong relationships between the leaders of the participant organizations.  The coincidence of relationship-based enabling technologies and the ‘survival’ need for businesses to become more sharing, open to alliances and partnerships, and to identify and nurture Human Capital has forced an almost quantum leap in a few short years.  I have always believed that every business is a ‘people business’, but recognition of this is only now growing strongly.

    Well, I’d better crack on.  I just thought I’d share those thoughts with you since they derailed me from my work. It’s now almost 3am and I’d like to accomplish a few more tasks before bed. 

    Nitey-nite

    Steve

    General dog’s body, grafter, and MD of BPIR.com Limited  ” A boss with no humor is like a job that is no fun”


  5. You and the BPIR

    October 24, 2008 by admin

    Everyone that’s in business wants two things: more business and less work.
    Read that last line again and see if you spot the delicious pun, then think about it. Then think about where you fit into your company. Are you the owner? The bean counter? The junior executive assistance regional vice-manager? Regardless of how you fit into the grand scheme of things you have control over making your job easier and improving your company’s performance. Wait, wait wait. I have control? you ask. Ha! Do you know how many meetings and layers of management I have to go through to get anything done round here? Or alternatively, my job is to improve this company, and I’m pretty good at it thank you very much. See our last quarter results? That was me baby. I bought in a team of consultants. We had five strategy meetings a week. I got the results. Sorry, what was that? How did we do it? Well the consultants told me to implement a model. Which one? It’s a cutting edge one. How do I know it’s the right one? Look at the results! And the consultants are onboard for another two years to make it work. I’m not worried about the details, I’m paid to get results.

    Knowing what to do is two thirds the challenge, knowing how to do it is a whole other mountain. No matter where you are in the business world, if you know about the various ways to monitor and improve business processes then your job becomes that much easier and you’re that much more valuable. Being able to translate that knowledge to the real world means you can not only talk the talk, but walk the walk as well. And this ladies and gentlemen, is our segway into the BPIR. The BPIR (Business Performance Improvement Resource) is an information and networking resource that provides a complete library of benchmarking, business excellence (aka Total Quality Management), best practice and general performance improvement info. And we’re not talking disconnected theory that just sounds impressive. We research how these theories and models have worked in the real world and then include the results, the problems and the lessons as case studies so you can see how the ideas stack up in the real world. We’re staffed by some pretty amazing individuals who know what its like at the coal face, and we have issued over 10,000 passwords to BPIR to users in every level of every kind of business. Combine the information resources with the networking tools in place (and some very exciting ones opening up in the next few weeks) and you have a pretty amazing resource to help you do business better.
    This blog is our soap box to share our (it’s not just me, I like to share!) news, upcoming BPIR features and events, general musings and to discuss the world of business performance. I invite both existing BPIR members and casual readers to share their opinions and comments with us, and let us know your stories, challenges and what you’d like to see on this blog.
    A warm welcome from myself and the BPIR team to the journey that is business excellence!

    Chuck
    The BPIR Team.