August 2008


VK fans, have a taste of season 2. X) I’m can’t wait for October. *prays that it’ll be October tomorrow* hehe.

WATCH VK GUILTY TRAILER

Advertisements

I took this test some years ago and took it again to see what has changed. X)

Old test results: click here

Advanced Global Personality Test Results

Extraversion |||| 14%
Stability |||||||||||| 46%
Orderliness |||||||||||||||||||| 82%
Accommodation |||||||||||||||||| 74%
Interdependence |||||||||| 36%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||| 62%
Mystical |||||||||| 36%
Artistic |||||||||||||||| 63%
Religious |||||||||||||||| 70%
Hedonism || 10%
Materialism |||||| 23%
Narcissism |||||||||||||| 56%
Adventurousness || 10%
Work ethic |||||||||||||||| 70%
Humanitarian |||||||||||||| 56%
Conflict seeking |||||||||| 36%
Need to dominate |||||| 30%
Romantic || 10%
Avoidant |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Anti-authority |||||||||||| 50%
Wealth |||||||||| 36%
Dependency |||||| 23%
Change averse |||||||||||||| 56%
Cautiousness |||||||||||||||| 63%
Individuality |||||||||| 36%
Sexuality |||| 16%
Peter pan complex |||||| 23%
Family drive |||||||||||||| 56%
Physical Fitness |||||||||||||||| %
Histrionic || 10%
Paranoia |||||||||||||||| 63%
Vanity |||||| 30%
Honor |||||||||||||||| 63%
Thriftiness |||||||||||||||||||| 90%

Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
personality test by similarminds.com

Stability results were medium which suggests you are moderately relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.

Still the same me with regards to stability. but I still doubt myself being an optimist.

Orderliness results were high which suggests you are overly organized, reliable, neat, and hard working at the expense too often of flexibility, efficiency, spontaneity, and fun.

Sad but true. T.T

Extraversion results were very low which suggests you are extremely reclusive, quiet, unassertive, and secretive.

True but I’m not sad about this. My life is better without the people around me.

TRAIT SNAPSHOT

  • clean = 8)
  • secretive = people say I’m an open book. But the truth is, what they read is only the preface.
  • does not make friends easily = I don’t usually take friendship seriously. Most of the so called friends are only after something by befriending me. IOW, I’m just a tool to them. But, I usually make things work to my advantage (as well).
  • observer = haha! bull’s eye!
  • hates large parties = hell yeah. I do hate parties. I hate gatherings. But I can force myself if you bribe me. lol
  • risk averse = I don’t want to complicate my life. *nods*
  • perfectionist = not really a perfectionist. I simply hate losing or making a mistake.
  • reclusive = I think this was explained many times already.
  • solitude loving = related to the above entry
  • more practical than abstract = being abstract would only get me to nothing.
  • does not like to stand out = I hate being looked at by people, for some reason.
  • high self control = I guess, I have control over myself. But as a human, I have my limits.
  • intellectual = I am?! the self-proclaimed academic delinquent?! lol
  • mind over heart = I almost said yes to a political marriage.
  • irritable = lol. reminds me of my brother who usually suffers from my pagtataray

Overall, I did not change a lot, except on the “romantic” aspect. :))

I pointed out in my previous paper that going lean is not just as simple as following the steps in a cookbook. One has to consider different factors for the program to be successful.

The article pointed out business strategies, leadership’s commitment, culture and having the right people in the right position as critical factors in which the 74% of the companies who are not successful in going lean failed to look into.

Reducing the cost of production is indeed good for a company; it adds to profit. But reducing production costs may not be aligned to the goals or market positioning of the company. Maybe it’s positioning is not centered on offering the cheapest product but instead it’s focused on improving the quality of its product in terms of innovation and usefulness to customer. In which case, focusing on reducing production costs might mislead the management away from their real goal. In this case, the management has to define what quality is to get a clearer view of what they really need to do and focus on. Maybe focusing their efforts in going lean should not be a priority.

It’s also important for the leaders in a company to be committed to the program. Half-heartedness will only push one to nowhere. This happens because managers are afraid of changes and changing and feel safe to stick to the status quo. But I believe status quo exists to be challenged. There’s always room for improvement and it’s foolish to just watch that opportunity leave you. This reminds me of the story “Who Moved my Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson where the character lost his cheese after being complacent and believing that he’ll never lose it, so in the end he lost it. The world is rapidly changing. If we miss out to go with the flow, it might be the end for us. This is why being not afraid to change to cope with this constantly shifting business environment is important. This does not only apply to managers but also to the whole firm as well. With this comes the importance of changing the whole culture within a firm to further the success of the lean program. It’s useless if you target getting lean when your employees don’t even care about improving the quality of their production. As a manager, one needs to create a chain effect that will affect the whole. And one can achieve this through changing the culture, if necessary, in favor of that goal.

Strategic goals, leadership’s commitment and culture, these are but few factors one has to consider. But the main point is we should always strive to improve. The world is changing and it’s inevitable. If we remain complacent and chose to stay in the temporary comforts of status quo, we might just lose our cheese.

Customers are the lifeblood of any other business and they want value for their money, especially in today’s setting where prices are skyrocketing. So it’s banal for companies to strive to satisfy their customers.

Satisfying a customer starts from taking their order to the delivery of the product, as identified in the reading, after-purchase customer service included. The buzzword is total quality management. One way to achieve total quality is through lean management. It focuses on removing wastes and wasteful activities that doesn’t add value or is unproductive. By waste we don’t only think of defects but also waiting time, overproduction and conveyance risks to name some of the seven. These wastes can occur anywhere in the process. This is why mapping the value chain is utterly important. This gives the people in the firm an overview where they could identify problem areas and areas for improvement and eventually be able to plan and do something to improve quality. Sounds easy but these are not steps in a cookbook (the succeeding paragraph will tell you why).

To be successful in improving total quality, one has to create a firm culture that values quality work and customer satisfaction. Personnel in all jobs must understand what quality means and how it is important to the firm. And this should be also true to employees who do not have direct customer contact. As the name goes, quality management is not something done only by the QC people but by everyone in every process from the production to the delivery of the product. Quality management is a firm-wide effort, aiming to give customers the best of what they could give or do in each process. We can view the whole production process as a chain that a slight movement in one segment affects the others. Each employee contributes to quality. All members (should) participate in improving the processes in an organization and be committed to improving quality and customer satisfaction. These firm-wide efforts will then be reflected in the finished product. Of course, this whole culture-creation job can be best achieved through the managers setting good examples themselves, as one line in an article reads, “Total company commitment begins at the top.” Another important ingredient is communication. Since quality management, as we’ve identified earlier, is not just the work of QC personnel rather a firm-wide effort, communication plays another important role. It links every segment or department so as to enable all departments to work as one. Communication is not only limited to communicating progress but also includes communicating problems areas where they and the other departments can improve on. And lastly, one should always challenge the status quo. Having done huge improvements in total quality does not mean that one can stop. Quality improvement is a continuous process. There’s is always room for improvement, as a cliché would put it. Today’s market is continuously improving, the customer’s needs never stop evolving and competition is growing tighter, stressing further the need for a firm to continually improve in total quality management.

Achieving (total) quality is indeed not as easy as any recipe you’ll find in a cookbook.

Blog Entry Management failure Jul 31, ’08 10:34 AM
for everyone
This column appears every Thursday in BusinessWorld. The one below appeared on  July 31, 2008.
If you find the views expressed interesting, please feel free to pass this on to your friends.
———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— —-

STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVE
René B. Azurin

Management failure

Management performance must be evaluated on results, not efforts. Any Juan, Rick, or Harry of a management student can tell the executive secretary and Malacañang spokesmen this. Maybe these presidential minions will then stop brainlessly parroting the line that Mrs. Arroyo is a hard-working president. It is such a tiresome and meaningless phrase. Running around handing out doles or conducting meetings until 1 a.m. does not constitute managerial achievement.

Management students are taught (at least since Peter Drucker’s 1954 book The Practice of Management) that assessing managerial performance requires setting goals that are specific, measurable, and time-bound, and then measuring what is achieved against these concrete targets. This approach allows the elimination of much of the subjectivity that otherwise attends the appreciation of managerial performance and introduces hard measures that allow more objective evaluations. Management students are also taught that managers should be held accountable for their use of resources placed in their control.

Given the character and extent of resources placed under Mrs. Arroyo’s control, the specific, measurable, and time-bound goal I would choose to measure her (or any other president) by would be the comparative magnitude of foreign and domestic investment made in the country during her years in office. I particularly like this statistic as an overall measure of presidential performance because the amount of investment made in the country is intertwined with a large set of related factors that have to be addressed to produce an economic climate favorable to increased investment. Furthermore, boosting investment levels means increasing the number of jobs available in the country and consequently raising income levels in the general population.

Boosting investment requires meeting subsidiary objectives in a number of areas. These include finding and adopting the right mix of economic policies and incentives, reducing corruption in government transactions, eliminating red tape and other barriers to entry and competition, eliminating cronyism in business and establishing what businessmen like to refer to as a level playing field, establishing a rule of law and reforming the justice system to allow contractual and other disputes to be settled quickly and fairly, maintaining peace and order, constructing necessary infrastructure, building up economic and social institutions conducive to business activity, improving the educational system to produce a skilled and competitive work force, developing entrepreneurial attitudes in more Filipinos, and, generally, maintaining a stable and competitive and business-friendly environment. In effect, realizing the goal of increasing the level of foreign and domestic investment in the country essentially implies that improvements are also being realized on various important fronts.

On that score then, how does Mrs. Arroyo measure up? Using figures assembled by University of the Philippines economics professor Benjamin Diokno, not so well. Dismally, actually.

According to Prof. Diokno, foreign direct investments which “were already at the $2 billion level before she (Mrs. Arroyo) grabbed power in 2001…. fell to a record low of $195 million during her first year and averaged just a modest $1.2 billion from 2001 to 2006.” Set side by side with similar figures for our closest neighbors, the figures look positively appalling: in 2006 when our own foreign investment figure spiked to $2.3 billion, Vietnam (a communist dictatorship) drew in $4.1 billion, Indonesia drew in $7.5 billion, and Thailand took in $8.8 billion. Worse, foreign investment in this country this year will be much lower than that 2006 high. What this implies is that foreign investors – whatever they may diplomatically say in public – are not at all convinced by presidential press releases about how hard Mrs. Arroyo works and how well she is performing in managing the country.

On the domestic investment front, local investors are clearly not convinced about Mrs. Arroyo’s management prowess either. According to figures drawn by Prof. Diokno from Asian Development Bank reports, “the domestic investment rate of the Philippines has dropped from 19% in 2001 (when Mrs. Arroyo took over) to a record low of 14.8% in 2006. By contrast, investment rates of our neighbors have continued to range from 20% to 40%.” Often heard muttering privately among themselves that Mrs. Arroyo is a non-performing chief executive with only a selfish political agenda, our own businessmen – again, no matter what they diplomatically say in public – reveal their true sentiments when they take their money elsewhere.

As a natural consequence of these dismal investment figures, the numbers of Filipinos unemployed and underemployed have been increasing year after year during Mrs. Arroyo’s overly long tenure. In no year during Mrs. Arroyo’s seven years as chief executive has she even come close to reaching her own much-ballyhooed target of creating one million jobs every year.

In sum, Mrs. Arroyo’s “hard working” efforts have not produced any meaningful results. As a manager evaluated on a job-defining specific, measurable, and time-bound objective, she can only be deemed an abject failure.

The (poorly) scripted applause of her latest state-of-the- nation address cannot mask the fact that the Filipino people, across all income classes, consider Mrs. Arroyo the most unsatisfactory and most distrusted president of the post-Marcos era. This is not, contrary to the mantra of her spokesmen, because she has been valiantly opting to make the right decisions for the country even if these make her unpopular. She is unpopular and distrusted because it has become obvious to the Filipino public that accomplishments that actually matter to them are simply beyond her capabilities. As an obvious indication of just how tiny her conception of her job is and how inadequate her performance as president has been, she had to trot out as a major accomplishment of her presidency this year her getting telephone companies to reduce the price of text messages by 50 centavos for the next three months. How earthshaking.

Mrs. Arroyo’s state-of-the- nation address was a badly written mixture of insipid excuses, vacuous boasts, and pusillanimous promises. One didn’t have to be a student of Drucker to feel somewhat repelled by the sight of an executive trying vainly to justify management failure. That exercise is always pathetic.

A text message now going around says that Mrs. Arroyo collects from taxpayers billions and, in return, she offers change, meaning not reform but barya (small change). The text “joke” then goes on to say that this could be funny, except that it is too painfully close to reality. Well, maybe this achievement calls up management ability of a different sort.

———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ———
http://www.bworldon line.com/ BW073108/ content.php? id=144

(This article may be viewed online at <www.bworldonline. com>. You may address reactions to it to the BW editor at <editor@bworld. com.ph> .)