December 31, 2016

Executive Eclogue 2017 - Enhance Effectiveness, Efficiency, Engagement

Elevate 2017 - Enthusiastic Encore

Enjoy Excellent Economy

Enhance Effectiveness, Efficiency, Engagement,

Engineer Enthusiasm - Execute Eagerly, Earnestly

Elaborate Education, Experiment Enabling Ethos

Emend Earlier Exercises

Elegance Extraordinary Expected Effect

Eager - Full of keen desire, Strongly desirous

Earnest - Serious, Zealous, ardent

Easeful - Comfortable, Soothing



Educe - Develop,




Elegant - Ingeniously simple and effective



Emend - Remove errors


Encore - Call for repetition as audience has enjoyed the performace





Ethos - Characteristic spirit and belief




Experiment - Based on experience

December 24, 2016

January - Management Knowledge Revision


 Management News - Daily Collection

To take care of holidays during December - January revision articles are specified from third week only.

Frederick Taylor
Picture Source:

January 3rd Week  15th to 19th 2016

Development of Management Subject. Theory of Management developed over a long a period of time with periodic quantum jumps in thinking.
Scientific Management/Shop Management - F.W. Taylor Introduction

Industrial Management and General Management - Henri Fayol
Importance of Human Relations in Management - Elton Mayo and Rothelisberger (Insights from Psychology)

Organization as a Social Group (Insights of Sociologists)
Mathematical Models and Their Optimization

Control of Variation in Inputs and Outputs (Insights from Statistics)
Systems Approach in Management

Business Conceptualization (Insights from Economics, Engineering Economics, Managerial Economics, Industrial Economics)
Peter Drucker - Business Organization - Economic Function - Social Responsibility

January 4th Week   22 to 26,  2015

Global and Comparative Management
Management: Definition and Process

Process and Functions of Management - updated 26 Jan 2016
Planning: A Management Process  Recent study on 16 Jan 2015

The Nature and Purpose of Planning - Review Notes updated 16 Jan 2015
Objectives and Goals - Review Notes

Strategies, Policies, and Planning Premises - Review Notes
Business Firm and Society - The External Environment, Social Responsibility and Ethics - Review Notes

Decision Making - Review Notes  - updated 7 Jan 2015
Summary - Principles of Planning

February Month Management  Knowledge Revision

One Year MBA Knowledge Revision Plan

Month                 Subjects

January      (Principles of Management)
February    (P.of M & Marketing Management ) 
March        (Mktg. Mgmt. & Operations Management)
April          (Supply Chain Management and Financial & Cost Accounting)

May          (Management Accounting & Organizational Behavior)
June          (Innovation, Industrial Engineering and Economics)
July           (Economics, Engineering Economics, & Managerial Ethics)
August      (Statistics, Quality and Six Sigma, OR & BRM)

September (HRM, Mentoring, Training, Project Management, Maintenance, Energy & Environment Management)
October     (Information Technology and Management Information Systems, Warehousing and Transport)
November (Strategic Management & Financial Management)
December (Business Laws, Negotiation, Taxes and Government Relations)

Industrial Engineers support Engineers and Managers in Efficiency Improvement of Products, Processes and Systems

Industrial Engineering - January Knowledge Revision

Updated   26 December 2016,  4 December 2016, 26 January 2016

December 23, 2016

Must Reads from Harvard Business Review of 2016

HBR's 10 Must Reads 2017: The Definitive Management Ideas of the Year from Harvard Business Review
BOOK by Clayton M. Christensen, Adam M. Grant, and Vijay Govindarajan

This collection of articles includes
"Collaborative Overload," by Rob Cross, Reb Rebele, and Adam Grant;  January 2016

"Algorithms Need Managers, Too," by Michael Luca, Jon Kleinberg, and Sendhil Mullainathan;  Jan - Feb 2016

"Pipelines, Platforms, and the New Rules of Strategy," by Marshall W. Van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker, and Sangeet Paul Choudary;  April 2016

"What Is Disruptive Innovation?," by Clayton M. Christensen, Michael Raynor, and Rory McDonald;

"How Indra Nooyi Turned Design Thinking into Strategy," an interview with Indra Nooyi by Adi Ignatius;

"Engineering Reverse Innovations," by Amos Winter and Vijay Govindarajan;

"The Employer-Led Health Care Revolution," by Patricia A. McDonald, Robert S. Mecklenburg, and Lindsay A. Martin;

"Getting to Si, Ja, Oui, Hai, and Da," by Erin Meyer;

"The Limits of Empathy," by Adam Waytz;

"People Before Strategy: A New Role for the CHRO," by Ram Charan, Dominic Barton, and Dennis Carey; and
"Beyond Automation," by Thomas H. Davenport and Julia Kirby.

December 2, 2016

Negotiation - Theory, Techniques and Skills - Subject Update

Harvard Business Review December 2015 issue is a special issue on negotiation

Emotion and the Art of Negotiation by Alison Wood Brooks is an interesting article.

You have to express the right emotions at the right times during negotiations.

Just as you prepare your tactical and strategic moves before a negotiation, you should invest effort in preparing your emotional approach. It will be time well spent.

The Bad Habits of Good Negotiators

06/04/2013,  Updated Aug 04, 2013
Adam Grant 

Wharton professor and author of GIVE AND TAKE and ORIGINALS

Negotiation Advantage: Make the First Move

Updated 4 December 2016, 8 December 2015

December 1, 2016

December - Management Knowledge Revision

December (Business Laws, Negotiation, Taxes and Government Relations)


First Week - 1 to 5 December

Business Law - USA

Advertising and Marketing Law

Employment and Labor Law

Finance Law

Online Business Law

Regulation of Financial Contracts

Business Taxes - USA

Small Business Tax Center

Large Business and International Tax Center

Deducting Business Expenses

Excise Tax

Second Week - 8 to 12, December

Six Surprising Negotiation Tactics That Get You The Best Deal
(Based on Wharton Professor Adam Grant's Book Give and Take

7 Negotiation Techniques Every Small Business Owner Should Know

10 Techniques for Better Negotiation

Archive - Program on Negotiation - Harvard Law School

Negotation Techniques - An Introduction

Ten Tips to Convince Buyer to Pay More

Third and Fourth Weeks are left free as year-end vacation.

Bookmark and Visit on 15 January to start 2017 Revision

One Year MBA Knowledge Revision Plan

January  - February  - March  - April  - May   -   June

July  - August     - September  - October  - November  - December


First Week

Economics of Advertising - Economics for the CEO - Managerial economics

Managerial Economics of Basic Price - Joel Dean

Product-Line Pricing - Managerial Economics

Economics of Price Differentials - Joel Dean

Economics of Capital Budgeting - Joel Dean

Operations Management

Introduction to the Field of Operations Management
Operations Strategy and Competitiveness - Review Notes

Optimizing the Use of Resources with Linear Programming

Operations Management shifted to March

Third and Fourth Weeks are left free as year-end vacation.

One Year MBA Knowledge Revision Plan

January  - February  - March  - April  - May   -   June

July  - August     - September  - October  - November  - December

Updated 1 December 2016,  11 December 2015

November 19, 2016

Cost Of Ignorance - Knowledge Has Value

Ignorance - The Ultimate Expense

22 November 2016

James Morgan and Jeffrey K. Liker use this section heading in the book "Toyota Product Development System (page 213)", to highlight the need to develop deep knowledge in various persons working in an organization. In the absence of critical and advanced knowledge, brain storming is a suboptimal tool and solutions arrived will be suboptimal. Organizations need to have learning orientation and periodically they have to scan the environment to acquire new knowledge and include them in their mental as well as physical knowledge bases. The learning either explicit or tacit has to be converted into practice as appropriate to realize the benefits of learning or acquiring knowledge through explicit and tacit channels. Toyota gives explicit attention to learning, experimenting and practice to come out with quality products from the product development processes as well as manufacturing process.

10 July 2016

I saw a post in a Linkedin Community on Ignorance and wrote the comment that I developed the concept, Cost of Ignorance long back.  The search of my blog posts took me to a post in 2008.

6 September 2008

Marketing and Marketing Concept

I am writing articles on Google Knol platform with an intention to develop a management knowledge revision encyclopedia on the platform. I am calling it a revision encyclopedia as I want it to be useful to people who have studied the related texts and for the purpose of revising and refreshing their knowledge they read these articles. Knowledge workers have to make efforts to make sure that they bring all the appropriate principles into play when they are solving a problem or deciding an issue. Unless they make efforts to frequently revise the principles in various subjects related to management, managers cannot assure themselves or assure others that they are using all the relevant knowledge and taking right decisions.

Performing artists spend hours every day practicing their art and perform for three or four hours on a day. Many knowledge worker in contrast work a minimum of 8 hours per day. So they cannot study their knowledge material for an appreciable amount of time. But expecting them to spend at least half hour to sharpen their knowledge base in the brain is reasonable. Cost of ignorance is quite a large figure in the world. Knowledge workers also incur it and incur it for the organizations they are serving despite having certificates that attest that they have studied knowledge bases in a satisfactory manner. Knowledge base needs to be revised to make it useful when needed.

I specifically highlight the idea:

Cost of ignorance is quite a large figure in the world. Knowledge workers also incur it and incur it for the organizations they are serving despite having certificates that attest that they have studied knowledge bases in a satisfactory manner. Knowledge base needs to be revised to make it useful when needed.

The idea was again mentioned in 

26 April 2009

Narayana Rao K.V.S.S.

My aim is to provide revision or review articles for graduates of industrial engineering and management so that they can refresh their knowledge periodically. My effort of writing articles in all the subjects of the curriculum is to demonstrate that by appropriate committed effort, we can retain our learning of multiple subjects over a long period of time. 

Only when we retain a large number of principles in our brain, we take decisions properly when the occasion comes. According to me we are all incurring a huge amount of cost of ignorance.

My advocacy is the that knowledge workers have to make special efforts to retain, revise, refresh and update their knowledge.

I am happy to see that the idea has now captured the attention of many persons in the world



November 12, 2016

Leadership - Books - Bibliopgrahy - Information

Leadership in Administration: A Sociological Interpretation

Philip Selznick
University of California Press, 1959 - 162 pages

"Philip Selznick has profoundly affected how all serious students of organizations think about their subject. Leadership in Administration is, perhaps, his masterpiece: a lucid, rigorous, yet humane analysis of the essential task of leadership that brilliantly reaffirms the organic, value-infused character of a successful enterprise, whether private or public. The central concepts of the book--'mission,' 'distinctive competence'--have become so much a part of our vocabulary that we sometimes forget they had to be invented and that Selznick invented them. His reminder that the true exercise of leadership transcends a concern with mere efficiency is even more appropriate in today's era of quasi-scientific thought about organizations than it was when, presciently, he first set it forth in 1957."--James Q. Wilson, Harvard University

Organizational Culture and Leadership
Edgar H. Schein
John Wiley & Sons, 24-Mar-2006 - Business & Economics - 464 pages

In this third edition of his classic book, Edgar Schein shows how to transform the abstract concept of culture into a practical tool that managers and students can use to understand the dynamics of organizations and change. Organizational pioneer Schein updates his influential understanding of culture--what it is, how it is created, how it evolves, and how it can be changed. Focusing on today's business realities, Schein draws on a wide range of contemporary research to redefine culture, offers new information on the topic of occupational cultures, and demonstrates the crucial role leaders play in successfully applying the principles of culture to achieve organizational goals. He also tackles the complex question of how an existing culture can be changed--one of the toughest challenges of leadership. The result is a vital resource for understanding and practicing organizational effectiveness.

November 1, 2016

November - Management Knowledge Revision

November (Strategic Management & Financial Management)

Strategic Management

First week

What is Strategy - Review Notes
The Strategic Management Process - Review Notes

Analysis of Firm's External Environment for Strategy Making

Financial Management

An Overview of Financial Management - Introduction to Financial Management of Companies
Financial Markets and Institutions

Financial Statements and Taxes
Financial Statement Analysis for Financial Decision Making

Time Value of Money
Determination of Interest Rates in Financial Markets

Bond Valuation
Risk and Rates of Return on Financial Assets

Third Week

Valuation of Common Stock and Preferred Stock
Cost of Equity and Debt Capital

Capital Assets - Projects - Proposals Appraisal
Capital Budgeting and Risk Analysis of Projects

Capital Structure and Leverage
Dividend Policy

Working Capital Management
Financial Management of Inventory

Management of Investment in Accounts Receivable
Management of Cash and Marketable Securities

Fourth Week

Long Term Finance for Companies - USA
Financial Management Aspects of Mergers and Acquisitions

Role of Finance Managers in Enterprise Risk Management
International Finance and Financial Management in Multinational Company

December Revision Plan

One Year MBA Knowledge Revision Plan

January  - February  - March  - April  - May   -   June

July  - August     - September  - October  - November  - December

Updated  2 November 2016,  28 November 2016

October 30, 2016

Strategy of Market Leader

Marketing Management Revision Article Series

Strategic Choices for Market Leadership Firms

Market leader or leaders are dominant firms in an industry with the largest market share. Many times, only one firm is acknowledged as the market leader. Market leader usually takes initiative in new product introduction, price changes, increasing distribution outlets or coverage and increasing advertisement and promotion intensity. The leader may not be admired or respected but its dominant position is obviously visible to every observer.

The leader has to face challenges from competitors unless, its dominance is protected by a patent ( or legal monopoly). It has to defend its position against challengers. But the first strategic choice for the leader is to take actions that expand the market for the product in general. The alternative ways for increasing the usage of a product are: finding new users, finding new uses for the product and increasing the usage by existing customers. Market leaders make appropriate efforts to increase usage of their industry product. As market expansion is generally profitable to the market leader.

But in case there is competition for market share, a leader has to defend its market share. Kotler quotes Sun Tsu in this context. Leaders should not rely on the enemy not attacking, but have to become unassailable. Market leading firms have to innovate continuously and be the first to introduce new product variants and customer services. They have to undertake cost reduction and thereby decrease selling prices and improve distribution net work. It has to keep on maintaining and improving its competitive advantage and provide increased value to its customers. Increased strength is always the best defense.

The marketing competitive strategy literature has borrowed heavily military strategy literature. Philip Kotler and Ravi Singh in their paper, "Marketing Warfare in the 1980s" (Journal of Business Strategy, Winter 1981) identified six defensive strategies that a market leader can implement to ward off competition or challenge.

1. Position defense
2. Flank defense
3. Preemptive defense
4. Counteroffensive defense
5. Mobile defense
6. Contraction defense

Gaining Market Share: Market leaders can also try to increase their market share. According to Buzzell and Wiersema ("Successful Share Building Strategies" Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb 1981), gain in market share can be achieved by new product introduction, improving relative product quality and increasing marketing expenditures relative to market growth.

Further Reading

Read how a market leader in Thailand applied the defensive strategies. (2008 conference paper)

The Best Defense
Jim Stengel, author of Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies, introduces an excerpt presenting tactics for protecting your market share from Defending Your Brand: How Smart Companies Use Defensive Strategy to Deal with Competitive Attacks, by Tim Calkins.

Originally posted in

Updated  1 November 2016,  1 June 2014

Strategy Execution - Best Practices

October 26, 2016

Marketing Warfare - Confronting The Competition in the Market Place

Marketing Management Revision Article Series

Marketing Warfare - Based on the Art of War by Tsuntzu

Paul Hoyt


Defensive Warfare


Principles given by Al Ries and Jack Trout, Marketing Warfare, McGraw Hill, 1986

1.  Only the market leader should consider playing defense.

2. The best defensive strategy in marketing is to attack yourself.

3. Strong competitive moves should always be blocked.

Don't spend all your resources in defense. Spend only what is necessary to defend and keep the rest for reserve. Only add more as the intensity of the attack increases.

The goal of defensive warfare is marketing peace.

Offensive Marketing Warfare


Principles given by Al Ries and Jack Trout, Marketing Warfare, McGraw Hill, 1986

1. The main consideration is the strength of the leader's position (it is actually an understanding of the market strength, resources, competencies and capabilities of the leader).

A company want to launch an offensive attack on a leader has to assess the strength of the leader's position in the market.

2. Find a weakness in the leader's strength and attack that point (It means, a weakness which can be attacked successfully by the offensive company).

3. Launch the attack on as narrow front as possible.

Narrow front means attack an individual product.

Remember that odds favor the defender.
Find weakness in leader's largest selling products.
Good offensive ideas are extremely difficult to find. Be prepared to do a lot research to the weakness you can exploit.
You can afford to spend more on an offensive attack because you know the market is there for you to get a share.

Flanking Marketing Warfare


Principles given by Al Ries and Jack Trout, Marketing Warfare, McGraw Hill, 1986

1. A good flanking move must be made into an uncontested area (in the same generic product).

2. Tactical surprise ought to be an important element of the plan.

3. The pursuit is just as critical as the attack itself.

In a flanking move, after you taste success, you have to reinforce it. The best time to build a strong position is in the beginning period of a new product. Flanking is always done with a new product category which is the company is introducing. Hence, if it is successful, more resources must be spent on it to build a strong position. A flanking attack is to earn market share.

Flanking Alternatives

Product category
Low price - no frills product
High price niche product
Small size product - small screen, pocket size
Large size product - Big screen
New distribution channel
New product from - ex: liquid in place of solid, new colors symbolising different things,
Diet products in food items

Guerilla Marketing Warfare

Al Ries and Jack Trout, Marketing Warfare, McGraw Hill, 1986

The enemy advances, we retreat. The enemy camps, we harass. The enemy tires, we attack. The enemy retreats, we pursue.  Mao Tse-Tsung.

Trouble a leader, survive, injure a leader, survive, defeat a leader, win.

Guerillas need to have a survival plan. If they survive they can fight the battle once again on a different day. The cost incurred in defeating a guerilla is very high for the opponent.

Al Ries and Jack Trout give the following as principles of guerilla warfare in marketing.

1. Find a segment of the market small enough to defend.

There has to be market from which you can earn revenues. Guerilla marketers may have a diffuse market which the leaders cannot even identify.

2. No matter how successful you become, never act like the leader.

Don't declare victory early. Guerilla strategy and tactics are essentially opposite of what's right for Fortune 500 companies.

3. Be prepared to bug out at a moment's notice.

Whenever you venture into the main visible markets, get out at the first instance of trouble. Conserve your resources.


Al Ries and Jack Trout, Marketing Warfare, McGraw Hill, 1986

Al Ries, Jack Trout, "MARKETING WARFARE", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 3 Iss: 4, 1986, pp.77 - 82

October 24, 2016

Management Theory Blogs

Management Theory Review by Dr. K.V.S.S. Narayana Rao

New blogs added in October 2016

Perspectives on Management and Governance

Mark Woeppell on Management and Execution

Management Adventures by Dr. Jose D. Lepervanche, Professor Supervision and Management, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Kent Campus

Human Resources Management

Organizational Design, Development and Change

Supply Chain Management Research

Practice oriented

Strategic Leadership Institute Website

Updated 29 October 2011

Management Theory and Practice - Bulletin Board - 2015, 2016

Engineering and Management News - A Daily Publication  - Management Principles and Propositions

HBR Business Blogs

Amoeba Management - Kazuo Inamori - Full Web Page on the topic with various links

27 August 2016

Why Companies Can’t Perceive Customer Insights and Can't Turn the limited Customer Insight into Growth

BCG Perspectives
16 August 2016

Many companies spend more time looking inward. Check in your next internal meeting, record on one sdie each mention of an internal topic, such as financial or operational performance, plans, metrics, organization, employees, or culture. On the other side, record each discussion of an external topic, related to competition such as technology, innovation, purpose, testing, social media conversations, or topics related to customer,  customers’ behaviors, needs, and wants. You will be surprised to see that internal topics dominate the external topics. Hence people spend more time in preparing for answering internal issues related questions and spend less time customers and competition.  This is not a good way of allocating top management and middle management resources. At each meeting, the priority area is to be decided and adequate time is to be given to that area. There has to be balance in various activities of the organisation. This principle was given by Henri Fayol way back in 1920s.

Values of Business Schools

Popular Posts of This Blog







Updated 20 October 2016,  27 August 2016,  18 September 2015

October 23, 2016

Attack and Defense Strategies in Marketing Warfare or Competition

Marketing Management Revision Article Series

Philip Kotler and Ravi Singh described this topic in an article in Journal of Business Strategy (1980; 1(3); 30-41).

Marketing Attack Strategies

Frontal Attack

Example of a successful frontal attack: S.C. Johnson's promotion of Agree bond of hair conditioner.  In 1977, it promoted the Agree brand with a promotion budget of $14 Million. This amount was equal to the promotion expenditure being spent by all the other competitors. It distributed 30 million free samples. It grabbed 15 percent of the market share in the first year.

Similarly it entered shampoo market in 1978 with $30 million promotion budget and grabbed 6 percent market share.

Modified Frontal Attack

In this attack strategy, the challenger claims that his product is as good as that of the competitor but is available at a lower price providing value for money to the buyer.

Helene Curtis used this strategy to increase its market share from 1 per cent in 1972 to 16 percent in 1979. It beat P&G's Head and Shoulders and Johnson's baby shampoo in the process.

Flank Attack

In flank attack, challenger searches and finds out the weak spots in the leader's or target's product and market segments. In the product segment, he identifies the needs not met by the existing product portfolio of the target and introduces products to satisfy the unmet need. In geographical segment or market segments, he identifies areas that are under-served by the sales channels of the target and increases his marketing and sales efforts there. This way the challenger tries to increase his profitable business without fighting a direct battle in the areas of the target's strength.

Honeywell focused on rural areas not given much attention by IBM salesforce.
Japanese and German auto manufacturers focused on small cars in USA instead of bigger cars produced by leading American producers.

Encirclement Attack

It is an attack on all fronts of the target. The attack is mounted in all product segments and geographical segments where the target is present and also more segments are covered by the challenger.

Bypass Attack

In bypass attack, the challenger does not attack the competitor directly in any product or market, but identifies products or markets where the competitor is not present to increase his revenue and thus strengthen himself for direct confrontation later.

Colgate followed this strategy from 1971 to become a strong competitor to P&G in 1979.

Guerilla Warfare

In guerilla warfare, very small battles are fought to inflict a greater damage on the competitor. The challenger withdraws quickly from the battle thus thwarting the counter moves.

Marketing Defense Strategies

 Philip Kotler and Ravi Singh in their paper, "Marketing Warfare in the 1980s" (Journal of Business Strategy, Winter 1981) identified six defensive strategies that a market leader can implement to ward off competition or challenge.

1. Position defense
2. Flank defense
3. Preemptive defense
4. Counteroffensive defense
5. Mobile defense
6. Contraction defense

Google Book Link Page

Al Ries and Jack Trout, Marketing Warfare, McGraw Hill, 1986

Guerilla Warfare

The enemy advances, we retreat. The enemy camps, we harass. The enemy tires, we attack. The enemy retreats, we pursue.  Mao Tse-Tsung.

Trouble a leader, survive, injure a leader, survive, defeat a leader, win.

Guerillas need to have a survival plan. If they survive they can fight the battle once again on a different day. The cost incurred in defeating a guerilla is very high for the opponent.

Al Ries and Jack Trout give the following as principles of guerilla warfare in marketing.

1. Find a segment of the market small enough to defend.

There has to be market from which you can earn revenues. Guerilla marketers may have a diffuse market which the leaders cannot even identify.

2. No matter how successful you become, never act like the leader.

Don't declare victory early. Guerilla strategy and tactics are essentially opposite of what's right for Fortune 500 companies.

3. Be prepared to bug out at a moment's notice.

Whenever you venture into the main visible markets, get out at the first instance of trouble. Conserve your resources.


Al Ries and Jack Trout, Marketing Warfare, McGraw Hill, 1986

Updated  26 October 2016, 1 June 2014

The Emergence of Chief Growth Officer

World Class Operations Management

In the global market, world class companies have to deliver performance (customer satisfaction and company profit) that is more than the performance of their strongest competitors. Company has to concentrate on  the efficiency and effectiveness of operations, but also needs to manage the culture for future performance. World Class Operations Management (WCOM) is a significant concept for simultaneous improvement of effectiveness, efficiency and culture.

Traditional manufacturers have not achieved  a balance between efficiency and effectiveness. F.W. Taylor pointed out that, managers and business owners of his time (1885 to 1915) have not developed any understanding of the use of machines and manpower. Therefore, the factory operations were inefficient. He developed methods for improving efficiency and published Scientific Management and Shop Management. Industrial Engineering was started in engineering institutions due to the strong advocacy of Taylor that there is big scope and opportunity for implementing scientific management in engineering organizations by industrial engineers. Larry Miles developed value engineering after world war II. He strongly mentioned that performance (effectiveness) oriented work is only taken care of value (efficiency) oriented work is neglected in the organizations

WCOM (World Class Operations Management): Why You Need More Than Lean

Carlo Baroncelli ( ), Noela Ballerio
Springer, 19-Apr-2016 - 277 pages

This book deals with World Class Operations Management (WCOM), detailing its principles, methods and organisation, and the results that this approach can bring about. Utilising real-world case studies illustrated by companies that have adopted this model (interviews with Saint-Gobain, L’Oréal, Tetra Pak, Bemis, and Bel Executives), it describes common patterns drawn from decades of hands-on experience, so as to present a theoretical approach together with the concrete application of its principles.

WCOM, adopted by several multinational companies, is one of the more innovative management practises, as it integrates the best Continuous Improvement approaches (Lean, Total Productive Management, World Class Manufacturing) as well as the most innovative approaches in human dynamics like Change Leadership, Performance Behavior, Shingo Model, to name a few.

Maximising reader insights into the successful implementation of such an approach, and explaining not only its potentialities, but also its implementation dynamics, the critical points and the ways it can be integrated into different situations, this book is also about how to create a culture of excellence that is sustainable over a long period of time and delivers consistent (or ever-improving) results.

Operational Excellence: A Concise Guide to Basic Concepts and Their Application

Gilad Issar, Liat Ramati Navon
Springer, 14-Jan-2016 - 194 pages

As industrial companies are placing a higher focus on operations, this book comes at the right time with a compilation of basic concepts of Operational Excellence and their application.

Operational excellence allows companies to recover from reductions in gross margins and low profitability, which largely occur due to a rise in agile competition and the short life span of new technologies. This book helps managers and consulting academicians as a ready reference for cross-industry implementation of operational excellence.

October 20, 2016

Technology Life Cycle - Employment and Income

Core Competencies - Concept - The Present Status

Bain & Co. Note

Idea of Core competence
Sep 15th 2008

Strategic Management and Core Competencies: Theory and Application

Anders Drejer
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 - Business & Economics - 224 pages

Managers and management scholars alike need operational models and concepts for dealing with core competencies within strategic management. This book provides tools for the practitioner as well as fundamental theoretical concepts to enable scholars to further build upon Drejer's work. His main argument is that understanding core competencies is key to explaining why some firms enjoy a competitive advantage over others. Drejer proposes models and means with which managers can proactively identify, design, and develop their firm's core competencies in strategic alignment.

More than merely a how-to book, this work places an equal emphasis on the concepts behind competence-based strategy. The author offers the reader multiple perspectives on the background of competence-based strategy, the relationship between strategic management and the development of core competencies, and the application of competence-based strategy to praxis. He provides the tools necessary to identify, analyze, and develop the competencies of a firm, and in so doing performs a valuable service for practitioners and researchers.

October 19, 2016

Importance of Manufacturing, Construction and Engineering in World Economies

Japan Economy

Industries by GDP value-added 2012.
Based on the exchange rate on April 13, 2013.

Industry GDP value-added $ billions 2012 % of total GDP

Other service activities 1,238 23.5%
Manufacturing 947                         18.0%
Real Estate 697 13.2%
Wholesale and retail trade 660 12.5%
Transport and communication 358 6.8%
Public administration 329 6.2%
Construction 327                           6.2%
Finance and insurance 306 5.8%
Electricity, gas and water supply 179 3.4%
Government service activities 41 0.7%
Mining 3 0.05%
Total 5,268 100%

German Economy

The service sector contributes around 70% of the total GDP, industry 29.1%, and agriculture 0.9%. Exports account for 41% of national output.

October 18, 2016

White Space Mapping

White Space Mapping – Seeing the Future Beyond the Core

Exploring white space in innovation, is exploring under-served markets or businesses that are outside the core product portfolio of an organization. White space is where unmet and unarticulated needs are uncovered to create innovation opportunities.

October 12, 2016

GE's Management New Management Initiatives

GE is a company that is used to reinventing itself by implementing new management methods and techniques periodically. It has implemented a strategic focus on simplification over the last several years. The company builds complex products. Employees and customers were noting that the company itself had become too complex: Customer outcomes were slowing as processes grew burdensome. Simplification is now an integrated part of GE’s strategy, encompassing lean management, speed and competitiveness, commercial intensity, and digital capability.

First, GE is asking leaders to implement lean management: remove layers, increase spans of control, and reduce the number of checks and approvals needed to get things done. Wherever there is complexity and duplication, shared activity and services is being advocated. The company is implementing new digital technologies that simplify work and make employees more productive wherever possible.

Second, GE has developed a  program called FastWorks.  FastWorks involves a new way of working that begins with an intensified focus on—and understanding of—customer needs. Experimenting and iterating quickly to create solutions that add value or create value are hallmarks of the approach. FastWorks is being used throughout GE to help teams move faster, bring GE closer to customers, and to maintain a high level of customer input and involvement across the product lifecycle.

Third, GE is promoting belief, and behavioral changes to help leaders and employees reduce complexity and to create a new culture within GE. The culture of simplification is coming to life through a set of new “GE Beliefs,” which are focused on delivering fast, better solutions to customers. The GE Beliefs, created through a crowdsourcing process within GE, are:

Customers determine our success
Stay lean to go fast
Learn and adapt to win
Empower and inspire each other
Deliver results in an uncertain world

The GE Beliefs play are  used to change how GE recruits, how it manages and leads, and how its people are evaluated and developed.

Fourth, GE has recently redesigned its performance management process, with an emphasis on agility, continuous discussions, and customer outcomes. Today,  managers emphasize priorities, helping employees continuously adapt and channel their efforts to the most important customer needs. The old world told people to “do more with less.” Today, GE tells its people to “do fewer things better.”   The focus on simplification is helping employees to focus as well as helping the company to operate faster, compete more vigorously, reduce costs, and improve quality. For GE, simplification is now part of its new culture, as the new behavior is giving positive results. Culture is the result of behavior that leads to positive outcomes.

Organizational Health - Introduction - Measurement and Management

The concept of organizational health

The concept of organizational health was first put forward in 1969 by Matthew Miles (Miles, 1969: 376). The relations between the students, teachers and managers in school were defined and observed through a simulation.

Miles suggested a model for organization health analysis of schools, and defined the healthy
organization as follows. “Healthy organization is one that does not survive only in the environment it exists, but also constantly develops in the long term, improves its coping and surviving skills.” (Miles, 1969: 378).

In general, organization health is expressed as the capabilities possessed by an organization to adapt to its environment successfully, create cooperation between its members and achieve its targets.

According to another definition; it is such an organization that supports organizational success, environment, employees’ welfare and happiness with its authority structure, values system, norms, reward and sanction systems.

The Organization Health Dimensions Developed by Miles

According to the model brought forward by Miles, dimensions of the organization health may be summarized as follows (Hoy&Feldman, 1987: 30).

The Task Needs Dimension
1. Objective-Focus: The objectives are easily understandable, acceptable and achievable by the
organization members.

2. Communication Adequacy: An in-organization communication system preventing misunderstandings is available. Thus, the employees access correct information and increase organization efficiency.

3. Optimal Power Uniformity: Distribution of the power within the organization is relatively uniform. They always think that those at lower levels can influence those at the immediate upper level.

• Survival Needs Dimension
4. Effective Use of Resources: Task distribution within the organization is done in the most effective way - neither less nor more than as required. There is a coherence between the demands and needs.

5. Organizational Commitment: The employees like the organization and want to stay there. They are
influenced by the organization, and they make efforts for unity of the organization.

6. Morale: There is employee welfare and team satisfaction in the organization in general.

• Growth and Development Needs Dimension
7. Innovativeness: The organization develops new procedures, sets new targets and constantly develops.
8. Autonomy: It is proactiveness in the organization. It shows several independent characteristics to the outer factors.
9. Adaptation: The organization has the skill of making the necessary changes in itself for growth and
10. Problem Solving Competency: The problems are solved with minimum energy expenditure. Problem solving
mechanism is constantly supported and strengthened.

Organization Health Dimensions Developed by Hoy

Hoy and Feldman examined organization health in seven dimensions. These seven dimensions are as follows (Hoy&Feldman, 1987).

1. Organizational Integrity: The organization’s ensuring integrity in its programs through its capability of adaptation to its environment.
2. Influence of the Organization Manager: The organization managers can influence decisions of the senior system they are subordinate to. The ability to convince their decision organs, having reputation and not being blocked by the hierarchic impediments are important factors of the organization managers.
3. Respect: This involves the friendly, supportive, overt and sincere behaviors exhibited by the organization managers to the employees. Such behaviors are important for increase of performances of the employees.
4. Work Order: This involves behaviors of the organization manager relating to various tasks and achievements. Expectations from the employees, performance standards and polices are clearly expressed by the organization manager.
5. Resource Support: This involves availability of sufficient machinery and equipment in the organizations, and procurement of additional resources when requested.
6. Morale: This is the sum of friendship, openness between the organization members, and the senses of excitement and confidence they feel about the work they do. The employees treat each other tolerantly, they help each other, feel proud of the organization they work in, and completing the works make them happy.
7. Importance of the work: This is about the organizations’ efforts for increasing work excellence. Work is started by setting high but achievable targets for the employees, and production activities are carried out in a serious and orderly fashion.

It is possible to group these dimensions as organization health dimensions at the institutional, managerial and technical level. Accordingly, Institutional Level consists of institutional integrity dimension, Managerial Level consists of the dimensions of work order, respect, influence of the organization manager and resource support, and Technical Level consists of the levels of morale and importance of the work.

Measuring Organization Health

Likewise, people who take their health for granted till some trouble appears, in the organization management also, managers usually do not measure organization health until they encounter a crisis. However, in order to achieve and sustain organizational health, a healthy organization structure should be formed beginning from establishment of the organization, measures should be taken against the problems that may occur, and organization health should be measured periodically. The measuring health of the organizations may reveal some weaknesses, but it may also give some clues to prepare improvement plans based on the obtained results. The organization’s being healthy or unhealthy is an evidence for need of change and innovation. But we need to determe what causes the unhealthy organization structure. Briefly, measurements set the conceptual basics in identification and solution of the problems. The strengths and weaknesses of the organization as well as the opportunities and threats it has are revealed through measurement of organization health.

Characteristics of Healthy and Unhealthy Organizations

It is required to know the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy organization so as to derive the desired benefit from organizational health. In the light of these characteristics, the organization should be analyzed, the revealed data should be interpreted, and solution of the problems leading to the unhealthy structure should be ensured.

                         Table : Characteristics of Healthy and Unhealthy Organizations

Healthy Organizations                                 Unhealthy Organizations
Open to innovation and improvement         Not open to innovation and improvement

Its long term effectiveness is high               Its long term effectiveness is low

Employees are ensured to participate          Employees apply the decisions made by top management
in the decisions
Organizational commitment is developed   Organizational commitment is not developed

Responsible to the environment and employees      Not responsible to the environment and employees

Proactive, takes preventive measures              Reactive, corrective actions are taken

Work stress is low                                        Work stress is high

Work satisfaction and workplace peace       Work satisfaction and workplace peace is low
is high
Importance is attached to employees               Importance is not attached to employees

Number of absences and quits is little            Number of absences and quits is big

Communication between the individuals       Communication between the individuals and top              and top management is strong                        management is weak
Worker safety is present,                               Worker safety is not present, work accidents are
work accidents are scarcely encountered      frequently encountered

Employees work with high motivation          Employees work with low motivation
and exhibit high performance                        and exhibit low performance

Unfavorable internal and external                 Unfavorable internal and external environmental
environmental conditions cannot                   conditions can damage the organization
damage the organization
Team spirit is developed, employees act         Team spirit is not developed,        
with the sense of “us”                                       employees act towards their personal interests

Employees feel themselves safe in the organization     Employees do not feel themselves safe in the organization
Information flow is robust and timely            Robust and timely information flow is unavailable
Strategies are put into practice successfully    Incapable to put strategies into practice
An open, trust-focused and encouraging organization culture is present     A closed, retributive and unfair organization culture is present
Problems are solved by digging                       Evidences of the problem are addressed, the                   into their causes                                                core cause cannot be identified
The organization is efficient and effective       The organization is not efficient and effective
Source: Karagüzel, 2012: 21 (Turkish paper)

What to do to enhance Organization Health

As in the human organism, healthy structure is hereditary in most of the organizations (Aguire et al., 2005:1).

According to Miles, the following five approaches are very important for increasing the organization health (Miles, 1969: 376):

• Supporting personal development
• Placing importance on communication
• Strengthening information flow
• Establishing an open-to-change organization culture
• Specialist support

The above content is based on:

The Relation Between Organizational Health and Organizational Commitment

Asst. Prof. Dr. Aydan Yüceler, Asst. Prof. Dr. ú. Didem Kaya
Necmettin Erbakan University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Konya, Turkey

Dr. Burcu Doøanalp
Selcuk University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Konya, Turkey

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences
 MCSER Publishing, Rome-Italy 
Vol 4 No 10
October 2013, pp. 781-788 

Aguire, D. M., L. W. Howell, D. B. Kletter ve G. L. Neilson (2005), A Global Check- Up: Diagnosing The Health of Today’s Organizations,
Organizational DNA Research Report. 

Hoy, W. K., ve Feldman, J. A. (1987), Organizational Health: The Concept and Its Measure, Journal of Research and Development in Education,
20, Summer. 

Miles, M. B. (1969), Planned Change and Organizational Health: Figure and Ground, in F. D. Carver & T. J. Sergiovanni (Eds.) Organizations and Human Behavior: Focus on Schools, New York, McGraw Hill

McKinsey on Organizational Health

McKinsey consultants have given importance to Organizational Health concept in recent days in their consultancy practice.

Organizational health: The ultimate competitive advantage
By Scott Keller and Colin Price
McKinsey Quarterly June 2011 

Organizational Health Index

Organizational health matters more than you might expect.
Leadership in context
By Michael Bazigos, Chris Gagnon, and Bill Schaninger
McKinsey Quarterly January 2016

October 11, 2016

Agility of a Business Organization and Its Performance - McKinsey & Other Top Management Consultants

Definition of Organizational agility

Organizational agility is the capacity to identify and capture opportunities more quickly than rivals do. (Donald Sull, Don Sull is professor of management practice at the London Business School and author of The Upside of Turbulence, which introduced the concept of operational, portfolio, and strategic agility)  In the article Competing through organizational agility
McKinsey Quarterly, December 2009,

Organizational agility is invaluable.

The Agility Factor

A few large companies in every industry show consistently superior profitability relative to their peers, and they all have one thing in common: a highly developed capacity to adapt their business to change.
by Thomas Williams, Christopher G. Worley, and Edward E. Lawler III
(Thomas Williams is a senior executive advisor with Booz & Company. Based in Ridgway, Colo., he specializes in strategy, organization, and management systems for energy and industrial companies.)

Defining organizational agility

Aaron De Smet: Agility is the ability of an organization to renew itself, adapt, change quickly, and succeed in a rapidly changing, ambiguous, turbulent environment.

Why agility Pays

The 10 Dimensions Of Business Agility

Enabling Bottom-Up Decisions In A World Of Rapid Change
September 9, 2013
(Access forrester database)

Traits of truly agile businesses

Exploring the best practices leading companies adopt to drive business agility.

Leadership imperatives for an agile business
Learn how the traits of effective leadership can create a more agile business.

The Agile Organization: How to Build an Innovative, Sustainable and Resilient Business

Linda Holbeche
Kogan Page Publishers, 03-Jun-2015 - Business & Economics - 288 pages

Given today's context of tough change, organizations need to be able to innovate as well as develop and implement strategy quickly and efficiently. The key to this is agility - a set of capabilities that can help organizations to rapidly adapt to changing circumstances. At the same time, resilience is also essential if benefits are going to endure over the longer term and if employees are to be kept on board. The Agile Organization focuses on how to build both agility and resilience at individual, team and organizational levels. It draws on a wealth of research, including the lived experience and learning of managers and HR and organization development (OD) professionals to show how it is possible to 'square the circle', becoming more sustainably agile while also enhancing employee engagement and resilience. The Agile Organization showcases the latest thinking - new organizational models, ground-breaking themes and case studies - that illustrate how organizations are addressing the challenge of developing organizational agility. Packed with helpful checklists and practice pointers, this book is a 'go to' guide for senior leaders and managers, HR and OD specialists who want to help bring about organizational transformation and create the new resiliently agile 'business as usual'.

Agility is a prerequisite for all organizations to survive.


Building Agile Enterprises


Innovation And Strategic Agility In A Time Of Recession

July 28, 2009 By Jurjan Huisman