1. My Name is Clark Kent and I’m a Workaholic

    June 14, 2010 by admin

    Hello all,

    Here is a great article on being a workaholic that has been provided by Adam Stoehr of the National Quality Institute in Canada. The National Quality Institute, http://www.nqi.ca, are BPIR.com’s partner for Canada.

    My Name is Clark Kent and I’m a Workaholic

    Adam   Stoehr, Vice President, Educational Services National Quality Institute

    By: Adam Stoehr, MBA, BBA, NQI CEP®
    Vice President, Educational Services
    National Quality Institute

    Hello, my name is Clark Kent and I’m a workaholic.  It has been 12 months since I missed an important date in my kids’ lives.  It has been12 months since I thought about work on a Sunday afternoon.  It has been 12 months since I worked beyond what is reasonably expected of me to meet my job requirements.  The last 12 months have been glorious and I feel fully engaged and satisfied in the workplace.


    If you consider yourself a workaholic, please don’t take offence at the following opinion piece.  Recognize that your actions may be having an effect (similar to that of kryptonite on Superman) on employee engagement, employee satisfaction, and the overall morale of your organization.

    For some reason, we tend to celebrate the idea of the workaholic.  Some people share their stories about weekends spent at the office, or pulling all-nighters, as if they were an achievement.  Some organizations even reward this kind of behaviour.  These stories become legend as if they were cover stories in the Metropolis Daily Planet newspaper.  I’ve heard on many occasions, “You should work more like Lois. She works 24/7 and she is really dedicated to the cause.”  Unfortunately, working more doesn’t mean you get more done, it just means you work more.

    A common side effect of workaholism is what I call the quasi-Superman syndrome.   Quasi-Superman syndrome is when good people chase problems with the sole purpose of being a hero.  They may even create a crisis (sometimes unconsciously) to get praised as a hero for solving it.  This desire for hero recognition is so strong that they may not even look for more efficient ways of solving problems (like using root cause analysis and process improvement tools for example).   Creative/strategic problem-solving takes a back seat to brute force problem-solving.  Quasi-Supermen and Superwomen are running around the office with their capes on, saving the day in an attempt to seem important.

    The real problem is that this behaviour can be like kryptonite on overall employee engagement, satisfaction, and morale.  A work environment driven by workaholics can spin into a vicious cycle of guilt, resentment, conflict, poor morale, and low engagement (refer to figure 1).  People who leave at 5pm feel inadequate for only working a “regular” 8-hour day.  The guilt makes other people stay late out of obligation regardless of need and independent of productivity.  This creates some Superman vs. Lex Luthor type resentment and can escalate to conflict.   This then effects morale and breeds more of the desire to be a workaholic, which starts the cycle all over again.

    Vicious Cycle of Workaholism

    Vicious Cycle of Workaholism


    Figure 1

    In order to increase satisfaction, engagement, and morale levels we must expose the myth of the workaholic.  They aren’t heroes.  They are not faster than a speeding bullet, in fact they tend to have lower levels of job performance (at least relative to the time devoted to work) than non-workaholic employees (i).  They simply spend too much time on inconsequential details rather than moving on to the next important task.  They are not more powerful than a locomotive, in fact they tend to feel anxious and upset when they aren’t working, and have higher levels of stress and more health complaints than other employees (ii).  They are not able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, in fact most of the time they have difficulty delegating or sharing tasks with team members more suited for the job (iii).  They should not be rewarded for this behaviour.

    The real hero is home enjoying life because they have figured out a way to get the work done in good time.
    If you feel you are a workaholic, or know someone who is, here is a five-step program to help:

    1.    Admit that you are a workaholic.
    2.    Recognize that cooperation and teamwork can give you strength.
    3.    Examine the past and how you can improve.
    4.    Channel your energy into tasks that link with the strategic direction of your organization.
    5.    Help others that suffer from the same workaholic behaviour to break the vicious cycle.

    My colleague Clark Kent completed these five steps 12 months ago, and the levels of morale, engagement, and satisfaction have gone up, up, and away!

    So what do you think? Is Adam correct with his thoughts on workaholics and how they should be recuperated back into civilized society?

    Your thoughts please?
    Best regards
    Dr Robin Mann, Commercial Director and Part-Owner, BPIR.com Limited, r.s.mann@massey.ac.nz

  2. 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

  3. Watch a pre-recorded webinar on “Business Excellence and Benchmarking – A Global Perspective”

    by admin
    Hello allI delivered this webinar on 8 April 2010 in Toronto, Canada.  It draws from three projects:

    • A research project on behalf of SAI Global in 2006 to review and update the Australian business excellence framework. This project has the involvement of 16 countries (including Canada) and was endorsed by the Global Excellence Model Council. It was a unique project in that it is not only looked at the design of business excellence frameworks but also how best to deploy them on a national basis.
    • A research project on behalf of the Asian Productivity Organisation in 2009 to identify the value and impact of business excellence. Five countries participated in the research; India, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.
    • A research project on behalf of the Global Benchmarking Network in 2008 to investigate awareness, use and benefits of benchmarking.

    The presentation:

    1. Reflects on the history of business excellence.
    2. Presents the research evidence on business excellence. What evidence is there that business excellence leads to long-term and sustainable business success?
    3. Describes where we are now in terms of business excellence from a global perspective and what the future holds. Are the models here to stay?
    4. Presents research findings showing how national business excellence custodians (the bodies responsible for business excellence) are assisting companies within their country and what more could be done to help companies on their journey towards excellence.
    5. Focuses on recent innovations in “Benchmarking” which has led it to become one of the key tools of business excellence and organisational learning.
    6. Presents the expert’s views on the steps to take to become world-class.

    To watch the recording visit the following URL: http://connectpro24581019.acrobat.com/p54078139

    Access the recorded session with the following information:
    User name: benchmarking@nqi.ca
    Password: bench

    You will notice in the presentation I was a bit twitchy. This was because I was given 3 very strong coffees before the presentation as I was falling asleep. I had arrived in Toronto at 2.00am to find that  I was locked out of the hotel I was supposed to be staying at and instead had to stay at a flea-infested motel – must have been the dirtiest hotel on the planet but I had no other choice at that time in the morning! Anyway the coffee worked and I got through the presentation and now know where not to stay in Toronto!

    Thank you to the National Quality Institute, Canada, www.nqi.ca, for allowing BPIR Newsletter readers to watch the webinar.

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

  4. Asia Pacific Quality Organisation Announces Winners of World class Performance

    June 10, 2010 by


    business performance


    (APQC: Chicago) Asia Pacific Quality Organization APQO recently announced The World Class Winners of the International Asia Pacific Quality Awards.

    Now in its tenth year, The International Asia Pacific Quality Award  honor APQO members for outstanding performance and leadership in business excellence, the awards will be presented at the 16th APQO/International Conference on Quality in Kathmandu, Nepal on September 18-20, 2010 (http://www.nqpcn.org.np/invitation.html).

    The Award demonstrates the APQO commitment to business excellence and continual improvement through promoting quality initiatives to organisations of Asia and the Pacific region and helping them to be a global benchmark of business excellence.

    The following organizations have won the World Class Award (Highest):

    Large Manufacturing:

    • Larsen & Toubro Limited — Electrical Standard Products, Maharashtra, India; Mr. Ajit Singh, Vice President.

    Large Service:

    • Dahanu Thermal Power Station, Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, Mumbai, India; Mr. C.V. Prasad Rao, Vice President & Station Head


    • GTL Limited, Mumbai, India; Mr. Sukanta Roy, Chief Operating Officer


    • Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia; Mr. Mashkuri Bin Yaacob, Prof. Dato’ Ir. Dr.

    The following seven organizations won the Best in Class Award (Second Highest):

    Large Manufacturing:

    • Viglacera Halong Joint Stock Company, Vietnam; Mr. Nguyen Quang Mau, General Director

    Large Service:

    • ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Ltd., Mumbai, India; Mr. V. Vaidyanathan, Managing Director


    • Phu Nhuan Jewellery Joint Stock Company, Vietnam; Mrs. Cao Thị Ngọc Dung, General Director

    Small Service:

    • Shanghai Electric Power Design Institute Co., Ltd., Shanghai, China; Mr. Yu Yin, General Manager


    • Colombo International Nautical And Engineering College, Sri Lanka; Capt. Ajith Peiris, Group Managing Director


    • Global Indian International School, Malaysia; Mr. Atul Temurnikar, Chairman & CEO

    Not For Profit:

    • Gerencia de Centrales Nucleoelectricas, Mexico; Mr. Rafael Fernandez De La Garza, Gerente De Centrales Nucleoelectricas

    Finally, the following six organizations won the Quest for Excellence Award (Third Highest):

    Large Manufacturing:

    • LANXESS India Private Limited, India; Mr. Bappa Bandyopadhyay, General Manager—Head of Manufacturing


    • Marico Limited, Mumbai, India; Mr. Saugata Gupta, CEO

    Small Service:

    • First Philippine Industrial Corporation, Philippines; Mr. Leonides U. Garde, President & Chief Operating Officer


    • Long Hau Corporation, Vietnam; Mr. Doan Hong Dung, General Director

    Health Care:

    • Moolchand Medcity, New Delhi, India; Mr. Vibhu Talwar, Chief Operating Officer


    • Mepco Schlenk Engineering College, Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu, India; Dr. S. Balakrishnan, Principle

    About the Asia Pacific Quality Organization (APQO): The APQO was founded and organized by National Quality Organizations in Asian and Pacific Rim countries including the American Society for Quality and was incorporated in the Philippines in 1985. It is a non-profit organization formed to be a primary mover for quality and continuous improvement for goods and services and quality of life in the Asia Pacific Region. APQO has several hundred National Quality Organizations (Core members), Corporate members, and Individual members.
    For more information please visit: www.apqo.org or www.nqpcn.org.np or e-mail: icq-nepal@nqpcn.org.np

  5. Benchmarking in year 2030, any idea how it will look like?

    June 1, 2010 by

    Future of Benchmarking
    The Global Benchmarking Network is embarking on a project to look at the future for Benchmarking up to the year 2030. This project will take into account new technologies and social networking opportunities as well as issues such as global financial crises, governance, political, social and environmental trends and changing natural characteristics.  However the project also needs to look well beyond the current issues.

    Any inputs would be greatly appreciated.

    This project will answer the following questions – What will Benchmarking look like in 2030 – and in between? What are the tools, methodologies and technologies that Benchmarkers can use now to help organisations and economies to improve their outcomes? The main outcome will be to report on results of a  Roundtable at end 2010 – as part of the Dubai GBN AGM and Annual Conference.

    The project will investigate the use of benchmarking and the future use of benchmarking techniques: It will connect Benchmarking experts with people from politics, science and companies and discuss the use and future use of benchmarking (e.g. survey, roundtable discussion, delphi study). Key parties to the proposal are Bruce Searles, Benchmarking Partnerships (project leader), Dr Robin Mann, bpir.com and Dr Holger Kohl, Fraunhofer.

    Best wishes,

    Bruce Searles
    Benchmarking Partnerships