Friday, October 24, 2008

SOFT and HARD factors

"Plans are less important than planning," Dale McConkey

"Objectives are not commands; they are commitments. They do not determine the future; they are means to mobilize resources and energies of an organization for the making of the future," Peter Drucker.

It has been a while since I made a post that wasn’t copy-pasting some other article. A lot of work, final year projects, assignment and co-curriculum activities. Don’t we all? Anyway, talking about co-curriculum activities, I was on a committee that was supposed to design a project for a student organization in UPM. I said supposed because the committee wasn’t moving much recently, at least I’m sure I’m not. And also a few weeks ago, I had a discussion with the president of this organization about a similar topic, which was how to improve the projects. Unfortunately, I haven’t made any suggestions or solutions. And so I went back home after the discussion feeling I owe them an answer, a good one at that too. But I had nothing in my brain, and I felt quite disappointed. However, my answer came a few days ago.

My answer came in the form of a lecture from my Operations Management Class. The topic on the day was about supply chain and logistics. He told us about how easy it was to manage supply chain with the invention of the internet, information technology and so many management models to help companies in this matter. But what was profound to me is he said, that even with all those technologies in place, a supply chain requires 3 ‘soft’ factors, which are: trust, commitment and communication. It had an impact on me, because I was spending hour learning about the topic, and then suddenly learnt that such things relied on 3 such simple things that weren’t part of any system that is in our syllabus. Only then I realized about that everything we are learning is ‘hard’ factors. So today, I will give an answer to my friend about how to improve projects with the perspective of these ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ factors.

Let us begin, it started with my statement that the project is having high expectations, and the experience of the member should be the ultimate priority and not exchange numbers. From there, me and my president friend about Organizing Committee (OC) Hierarchy, job descriptions and Education Plans; and they’re role as solutions to my statement. The core of the problem is about how we make sure that people would commit, not too much departmentalization, not making our members feel like they’re doing work, how to make members competent and contribute to the project.

However, a Hierarchy or chain of command, education plan, job descriptions are ‘hard factors’. They are the things you do to create ‘soft factors’ that you need to reach your objective. For example, you have a chain of command (hard factor), it is there so that the team can ‘work together and stop quarrelling’ (soft factor) because there is a leader. However, the solution I discussed with my president friend does not create ‘soft factors’ in solving the core problems that stated earlier. Having a hierarchy does not solve the problem of commitment, having education plans or any plans does not ensure that your OC follows it, and proper division of work through job description does not ensure that the member won’t feel like they’re doing work. But don’t get me wrong, all those steps are important and must be used; I’m just saying you’re digging too much in the wrong whole.

What is the solution? Remember the core problems stated above:

How we make sure that people would commit? How to make not too much departmentalization happen? How not to make our members feel like they’re doing work?

This is a matter of commitment, and because it is internal, it is the hardest to manipulate, however, we can make it reduce the motivation for members to leave by making reasons to stay. Bonding is the answer. Yes, I know, we’ve done this before, everyone tried. But where we lack is make it compulsory, consistent and impactful. Make it a JD of a leader, make it a culture, do anything as long you make it happen. I’m not talking about the occasional mamak. I’m talking about a day out like playing kites…Lol, or a game basketball. Make it personal, make it enjoyable. It can be as simple as inviting a few people out thru facebook. It can be integrated into the education plan. Hopefully, this will divert the stress when it is most, create a sense of belonging and purpose and serves an avenue to interact regardless of department. Oh yeah…that reminds me, the bonding suppose to solve departmentalization so don’t forget to ask everyone.

How to make members competent and contribute to the project?

An education plan is a must wherever, whenever and whoever it is. But your problem lies in the method of information sharing, and commitment to implement it. Bonding should solve the problem of commitment, should anyway. The best way is to have hands on tutoring, like when you learn to drive you need an instructor in the car, same also here, but only for the first few times. I know this requires more commitment which makes it harder. But again document (information management) can be utilized to support this, this is IM (information management), they are to support not to become teachers themselves.

But my solutions require more time or manpower, you might say. I say that our lacking in investing our resources this way has caused enormously in our failures. When I say failures, I’m saying about the difference between mediocre and great. Our projects are reasonably well, but there are always glitches and problems, right? This is the key to take it to next level. I believe, this is the 'foundation' that you said you wanted at the beginning of the your term. I understand that doing so will cause you not to set high expectation for your projects. Well, I understand. For your information, I will remain skeptical to high expectations until a detailed plan (and the assurance it will be followed) is given, or proven by actually doing it. Though I may remain skeptical, I will support it, after all, it is your project.

To end, I will say that these are the answers that I can come up with. The choices you will make upon reading this are yours and yours alone. I did not influence you, I intend not to by writing this neither post, nor do I intend you will be influence but I do expect you read it and ponder upon it, and respect it as the advice for which you sought me for. Like I have said before, you make the decisions, and as for me on the sidelines, is to give my support. I hope this would be sufficient in compensating for my inactiveness in the projects committee. That’s all for now.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Unnecessary Politics in the MPP and MTP System

Yesterday, I got a piece of paper from the Pro-Mahasiswa movement. Yeah, the ‘opposition’. But that’s not the point. Upon reading it, I must say that university politics is a waste of students’ time, and I am indifferent of any sides. I don’t think there will be a difference. It is not because of the people but the system that is bad.

The systems are creating politicians who talks but not leaders like CEOs who manage and motivate. You will have talkers saying “we must equip ourselves with soft skills and bla…bla…bla…” but these people have no idea how to do so, how to design an activity to reach this objective, and how not to make it a random activity. Read http://beyonduni.blogspot.com/2008/08/ciri-ciri-aktiviti-sebuah.html

I see Malaysia has a very unhealthy culture of over-politicking at every level and field of our society. This is a dangerous trend, especially to be seen in the student organizations. You see, we are teaching talkers and not thinkers. Imagine, a country where the loudest would win, and when the citizens don’t trust the government they would turn to blogs and believe everything in there without thinking rationally. Because we are not teaching our people to THINK but we are teaching our people to TALK. Ask ourselves why we can paste poster, spread leaflets and manifestos if we can ensure that students have cheap healthy foods, unquestionable supply of water and electricity, comfortable living conditions and a proper learning environment. Students don’t care about Pro-M, Pro-U, PMI, and MPP or not. We just want the stuff I mentioned earlier are met. And I’m DEAD SURE all UPMers are facing those issues to a certain extent. If we cannot guarantee theses necessities, do we need to think about ideologies and political standing?

MPP and MTP must change its view point from being the student “government” to a “corporation”. A corporation that supplies what students need. If students want to acquire soft skills and experience, they must plan how to do it like a corporation, implement it like a corporation, and evaluate their “products” like a corporation, and improve their “products”. Not waste time and manifesto and propaganda that give way to fancy projects (attended by VIPs I’m sure) after the election. We as students are your priority. We always were and always will.


To end, I will give a warning. If any of your readers think this is a political motive message influence the outcome of the coming university election, then UPM and Malaysia has no hope. I just want my food cheap and healthy, my college’s water keep running and my exam result wont fail. Is that too hard to understand?

Some Interesing Article

Here are some articles that I think you guys should read. It does make you wonder about how we interact to the things around us. Don't focus on the global financial crisis but focus on what the articles are trying to say about on the antagonist of the articles. Why? Because we too can become such people if we do not hold on to some form of ethics and integrity. Check it out, ok?

I know i shuld be making a real post of my own...sorry la..gt no time aldy...exams



http://thestar.com.my/columnists/story.asp?col=straythoughts&file=/2008/10/19/columnists/straythoughts/2286551&sec=Stray%20Thoughts



http://test.chedet.com/che_det/2008/10/the-financial-turmoil-and-mala.html#more

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friend to Girlfriend

I havent made any posts to this blog for ages, i hv a lot to say, and missed a lot of hot topic, but still dun hv time to put a good article, so instead i give someone else's article...lol


Dating 101: Advance From Friend to Boyfriend

Four ways to make her see you in a different light
By Dating coach David Wygant Special to Yahoo! Personals Updated: Oct 13, 2008
Dating coach David Wygant

An interesting dating topic that always seems to come across my desk involves guys who have female friends they want to date. I get all versions of this dating question: "How do I get out of the friend zone and into the boyfriend zone?"
This topic is especially interesting to me right now because I am currently dating a woman with whom I started out being just friends. When I first met her, she was actually dating somebody else.
So how did I go from the friend zone to the boyfriend zone? Did I subliminally do some mind tricks to convince her that dating me would be a far better experience than the one she was having with her boyfriend? Absolutely not. What I did was I got to know her to get into the boyfriend zone.
Here are four tips to help you get a woman to look at you in a different way:


1.Don't sell yourself.
If you meet and become friends with a woman who has a boyfriend, don't sell yourself to her at all. Get to know her over a period of time. If a woman is attracted to you as a person, she could become attracted to you as a significant other. It all depends on where she is in her life.
We all know that many relationships tend to "go south" and end. The problem is that a lot of single men will meet a woman who is in a relationship and decide not to befriend her at all. I'm not suggesting that you become the shoulder she comes to cry on when things are going wrong with her boyfriend. But you can get to know her as a person, because you never know where life may lead you down the road. So don't be a salesman, and don't berate her boyfriend. Be yourself. Have a good time with her, and see if natural chemistry develops between you. When you are genuine and take the time to get to know her as a person, she might start to look at you in a different light and end her relationship.

2. Don't be afraid to express yourself.
“If you've already been friends for a long time and she's never thought about you in a romantic way, there's a good chance she'll never think of you romantically.”
If you've already been friends for a long time and she's never thought about you in a romantic way, there's a good chance she'll never think of you romantically. The way so many guys get themselves into the eternal friend zone is that they play it too safe when they first meet a woman. They act in a very passive-aggressive way toward her. They are so afraid of expressing any indication of their romantic interest that they go out of their way not to express any feelings toward her at all. For example, instead of really asking the woman out on a date, they ask her to hang out in a group. You will always end up in the friend zone in this situation, because you have never asked her out on a real date. If you're interested in a woman, you need to ask her out so it's clear to her that you are interested.

3. Be patient. Stop thinking about immediate gratification all the time. Not every woman you meet today is going to want to go out with you tonight. Think of befriending women as building a portfolio of interesting people with whom you can get together in the future. You need to treat the single women you meet as long-term investments. Just enjoy getting to know her as a person right now, because you never know what may happen. Chemistry just might spark between the two of you.

4. Be direct.
Don't ever ask a woman's friends to tell you about what she is thinking, and in particular do not ask them what she thinks about you. If you've got a crush on a female friend of yours, you need to call her and say, "You know what? I want to go out with you. You and I need to hang out alone." Make it clear to her that you want to go out on a date with her. It doesn't matter if she says yes or if she says no. It just matters that you take the chance.
“You will define the relationship one way or another, and then you can move forward.”
You will define the relationship one way or another, and then you can move forward.


Dating takes a lot of patience and perseverance. The best things in life, in fact, tend to pay off when you have patience and perseverance. No one is ever completely successful the first time they do something.
So start being willing to take your time. Take time to look at all the single women you've met in your life, and think about whether any of them stick out as being someone you'd like to get to know again. Perhaps she's someone you became friends with when you first met. Send her a text or call her on the phone. Who knows? She might be more receptive to you the second time around.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Life is about choices

My friend made this really cool post in his blog, check it out. Really inspirational...

http://kopitea.blogspot.com/2008/10/life-is-about-choices.html


Life is about choices. Concious decisions.



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You can chose to walk an aimless road;


Or
match a purposeful journey.



You can chose to fall and give up;


Or
stand up and fight again.


You can chose to remain seated because you think you can't;



Or
stop thinking and just do it.



You can chose to spend time giving excuses;


Or
Just go out and do it. Sometimes it's better that way.



You can chose to give up on Hope;




Or
Try harder to create Miracle.


You can chose to give up because you are the only one;


Or
Use the last bit of energy and actually do something?



You can chose to be defeated by sunset;



Or
Embrace it.

You can chose sit down and worry;


Or
Jump and fight.


You can chose a monochromic world;



Or

live a colourful life.

You can chose to be like everyone else;


Or

You can chose to make a difference.

What is your choice?






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