Wednesday, April 28, 2010

React or Respond ?

I don't know if this is a reaction or a response to the forwarded email that I got today.

The email content screamed - "An intelligent person responds; a fool reacts." Now it was my turn to check if I was a fool, if I react or respond.

English Meaning
React: Show a response or a reaction to something;Act against or in opposition to
Respond: Show a response or a reaction to something;React verbally;Respond favorably or as hoped

When the meaning is so very similar in fact they are synonyms what is the main difference, the key lies right above in their meanings.

Do take note of the key words against & favorably - this is the key differentiator between the two words.

React means you are against something and you are giving out something not favorable to the other party. Well when I think of myself I can relate to myself reacting many a times and responding many a times. I react when I get offended, when I am upset, when I am hurt. I respond when I am normal, when I am happy, when things are going smooth. I would say it is human nature to align oneself towards this behavior. Can't term one as a fool or intelligent. But having said that am sure a more stable and mature individual will have a very high percentage of response rates rather than react back rates.

Anyways here is the forwarded mail, decent read, read and learn. [Click to look at the bigger, clear image]

I guess I choose to respond and not react.



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Types of Innovation & Org Structures

Some pointers from The Ambidextrous Organization by Charles A & Michael L T – HBR

Some examples discussed – Kodak, Boeing,, Ciba Vision.

Types of Innovation

1) Incremental Innovations – Small improvements in existing Products and Operations.

2) Architectural Innovations – Technological or Process advances to fundamentally change a component of element of the business.

3) Discontinuous Innovations – Radical advances / breakthroughs that my change / alter the basis for competition in an industry.

Team / Org Structures

1) Functional Designs – Integrate project teams into the existing org and mgt structure. Ex – mfg, sales and R&D reports to a GM.

2) Cross functional teams – Operate within the established org but outside the existing mgt structure. Ex – mfg, sales and R&D reports to a GM, but a separate unit called emerging business cuts across mfg and r&d report to the respective unit.

3) Unsupported teams – are setup outside the established org and mgt structure. Ex – mfg, sales and R&D reports to a GM, but a separate unit called emerging business also reports to the GM.

4) Ambidextrous Organizations – Establish project teams that are structurally independent units each having its own processes, structures, cultures but are integrated into the existing mgt structure. Ex – mfg, sales and R&D reports to a GM under the division existing business, but a separate unit called emerging business which also has mfg, sales and R&D reports to the GM.

The difference in many are the path that they choose,

1) Exploitative Business

2) Exploratory Business

Their difference would lie in the factors – Strategic intent, Critical tasks, Competencies, Structure, Controls, Rewards, Culture, Leadership roles.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Types of degree feedback

I have till date only heard of the 360 degree feedback.

The types of feedback are

1) 90 Degree Feedback – Collect data only from the leadership team of the division.

2) 360 Degree Feedback - Collect data not only from the leadership team of the division but also from multiple groups and multiple levels.

3) 720 Degree Feedback - Collect data not only from the leadership team of the division but also from multiple groups and multiple levels and the difference being data is collected from the external agency, customers etc.


Capitalizing On Capabilities - pointers

Capitalizing On Capabilities by Dave Ulrich & Norm Smallwood from the HBR spotlight.

The article speaks of the most admired companies like GE, Starbucks, Microsoft etc but a layman doesn’t know what transpires behind the screen, the number of leaders, their structure to success etc…

I will try listing some key points

* All specific organizational capabilities are called key intangible assets. They are difficult to measure. [That is why there is a clear difference in evaluation of startups in the same space, some might be generating more revenue but valued lower as the other has some great leaders and potential – Ex – Delta vs. JetBlue]

* In a unit these 4 are the main factors, Individuals Competence, Individuals Leadership, Organizations core competencies and Organizations capabilities (includes DNA, culture and personality).

The main 11 traits that are looked for are

1) Talent – Competent employees have the skills for today's and tomorrows business. The functions here are buy – acquire new talent, build – develop existing talent, borrow – get talent through networks and leaders, bounce – remove poor performers and bind – retain the best talent. The must is that good employees must get the best.

2) Speed – How fast can the company adapt to new opportunities and existing changes in the environment, ROTI – return on time invested index must be maintained and used.

3) Shared mindset and coherent brand identity – Get a consensus from your employees and customers on what they want to remember you as. Example – ask them what are the top three things they want to remember the company as? Good companies are in the range of 80 – 90 %

4) Accountability – Performance accountability needs to be firm and in place. Instead of giving an average of 3 – 4 % across the board ensure you give 0 – 12 % depending on the performance and the work done.

5) Collaboration – A organization needs to collaborate across projects, divisions, units etc.It also promotes huge savings.

6) Learning – Benchmarking, experimentation, competence acquisition, and continuous improvement are key factors. Also letting go of old practices and adopting new ones are important.

7) Leadership – The pride for a organization must come from the number of leaders / CEO’s they create and the number of back up leaders that they have. Example: Ex McKinsey employees take pride from the no of CEO’s they create from their alumni.19 former GE stars added a collective 24.5 $ billion to their organizations after joining.

8) Customer Connectivity – As usually one would like to have 20% of customer account for 80 % of profits, the ability to connect with the customer is valued very much.

9) Strategic unity – The three levels are Intellectual, Behavioral and Procedural.

10) Innovation – It excites employees, delights customers and gives confidence to investors.

11) Efficiency – It is the easiest capability to track.

Capabilities Audit – can be done by running through the 11 pointers in each unit, or the business as a whole. The PDF link provides detailed information on how to complete the audit.

Maximizing your capabilities

3 * 2 = 6

For the complete article go through the following link.