How Losers define Capabilities?


Corporate losers define their capabilities in terms of the physical and financial resources they own and control and the individuals whom they employ and can manage. Their markets are places. Their people are more comfortable with tangible assets that can be seen, smelt and touched, and easily counted, measured and valued.

Because their activities depend on the availability of physical resources some losers can operate only in certain geographical areas. It may be difficult for people living elsewhere to access them and work with them. Buildings become prisons and those excluded from participation become outsiders.

In general, losers prefer more rather than less. Some consider the accumulation of resources as an end in itself. Recruiting more staff and moving to a larger property is viewed as evidence of progress. Losers focus upon the individual items of capital rather than their relevance and use, and the flow of benefits that they provide. The more losers succeed in accumulating fixed overheads, the more vulnerable they become to economic forces, commercial constraints and financial pressures.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact Asif J. Mir.

Creative Product Design


An emerging area of importance is product/process design. In increasingly competitive, sophisticated markets, attractively designed products or processes sell well; shoddily designed products are left alone on the shelves.

Excellent product design requires high orders of essence creativity (novel ideas), elaborative creativity (contextually relevant elaborations of ideas that are unique because of the kinds of components utilized and the way they are fitted together), and expressive creativity (unique aesthetic features).

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact Asif J. Mir.

Benefits of Eco-efficiency


Many of the world’s largest corporations are realizing that business activities must no longer ignore environmental concerns. Every activity is linked to thousands of other transactions and their environmental impact; therefore, corporate environmental responsibility must be taken seriously and environmental policy must be implemented to ensure a comprehensive organizational strategy. Because of increases in government regulations and consumer environmental concerns, the implementation of environmental policy has become a point of competitive advantage. Therefore, the rational goal of business should be to limit its impact on the environment, thus ensuring long-run benefits to both the firm and society. To neglect this responsibility is to ensure the demise of both the firm and our ecosystem.

Setting priorities, developing corporate standards, controlling property acquisition and use to preserve habitats, implementing energy-conserving activities, and redesigning products (minimizing packaging, for instance) are a number of measures the firm can implement to enhance an eco-efficient strategy. One of the most important steps a firm can take in achieving a competitive position with regard to the eco-efficient strategy is to fully capitalize on technological developments as a method of gaining efficiency.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact Asif J. Mir.

Knowledge-oriented computing systems


Popular management literature focuses on the application of artificial intelligence technology to the solution of management problems. Most discussions have addressed either the technology of various programming techniques or success stories of large-scale corporate profitmaking through their application.

Several interacting factors contribute to corporate interest in this technology. First, what were once remote, artificial intelligence programming techniques have been significantly redesigned and presented to the business computing market in the form of applications development tools. Advances in computing hardware have provided a suitable foundation for the delivery of these tools on new generations of mainstream business computers. These hardware and software technologies promise the kinds of power and ease of use that have been so successful in other applications development environments like spreadsheet modeling and data base management systems. The potential of such tools to open broad new territories to computing applications is very exciting and has captured management’s attention.

Second, there’s a developing perception of both information and knowledge as corporate assets. New computing technologies promise to make knowledge that has been implicit in the behavior of decision makers explicit in machine-usable form. By codifying knowledge, managers make it a manageable asset, continuously available to their organization. The potential integration of machine-usable knowledge with machine-readable information promises to carry the information age into the era of knowledge management.

Finally, the role of information technology is being redefined as a competitive weapon. This is in sharp contrast to internal applications of technology to gain increased efficiencies. As business planning looks to technology to help differentiate product offerings, new technologies like expert systems take on added significance. An interesting series of transitions has taken place in the perception of the role of computing as it has moved from data processing to information systems to management information systems and to strategic information systems.

The cumulative effect of these forces has created an atmosphere responsive to the promise of knowledge-oriented computing systems. The promise appears to be quite real, and the challenge, of course, is to exploit it to advantage.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact Asif J. Mir.

Efficiency and Values


Efficiency is a concept that has meaning only in the context of an agreed set of objectives. Such objectives can include inter-personnel distribution, typically reflecting one or other interpretation of equity. The dominant interpretation of efficiency has typically included only the objective of measured economic production/consumption. We should at most call this interpretation economic efficiency, and not honor it with the label of efficiency in general. But the efficiency label has enormous legitimizing power and functions as a trump card in the modern vocabulary.

No one can declare themselves against it. If a policy option is deemed inefficient that usually sinks it. So contenders try to capture the label, to serve their particular set of objectives. This is what business interests and mainstream economists have successfully done for a long time. We need to ask: Efficient by which values?

Mainstream economists have focused on growth of aggregate production and national income. Business and other sectional interests may focus on sectional gains but advocate these behind the language of efficiency.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact Asif J. Mir.

The Drive for Speed


The time culture can impose unrealistic deadlines upon those who are charged with the responsibility for delivering improvements. When a supply chain is involved, the single company may be no more able to achieve a tangible impact upon the external environment than it can deliver all the value that is sought by a final customer. When others are involved, there is likely to be bargaining and negotiation.

Environmental initiatives should not result in the pressure for speed or response driving out the lonh-term thinking that is required. Assuming results are required, these might best be achieved as a result of flexibility within the framework of a longer-term relationship.

Today’s craze can be tomorrow’s memory. Too many managers assume that trends will continue longer than subsequently turns out to be the case. With many environmental and social policies taking taking many years to have a significant impact, companies face a dilemma similar to that encountered by those seeking to change attitudes and behavior. By the time the outcomes initially sought have been achieved, the requirement may have changed. Will there be a backlash when people count the costs? Will they become bored? Will certain lobbies go the way of the skateboard as possible become more aware of the lack of achievement in relation to fundamental problems?

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact Asif J. Mir.

Setting off for a franchise


The largest fortune in the franchise industry have been made not by those who bought franchises, the franchisees, but by those who sold them, the franchisors.

Some aspects of know-how that must be brought to the franchising task include the following:

1. A pat formulation of the system to be franchised, which includes:

  • Standard procedures for running the unit;
  • Bookkeeping and other paperwork systems, forms, and procedures;
  • Any special equipment, tools, signs, or parts.
  • Supplier contracts for any special deals or buying, or custom ingredients such as labels, boxes, displays, etc;
  • Sample pro forma operating figures backed by the track record of a flagship unit;
  • A written loose-leaf manual covering all phases of the operation for franchisees to use. Included would be such things as operating instructions, policies for monitoring performance, ordering supplies, hiring and firing, canned pitches for dealing with prospects and customers, pricing rules, etc.

2. Legal coverage, which should include:

  • Protection of the system . . . . . .

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact Asif J. Mir.

New Products and Corporate Strategy


Except in small organizations new products work is done by people scattered all over the organization chart. There are exceptions, of course, when strong minded executives interested in new products personally lead projects.

But, new product processes usually begin as corporate or strategic business unit strategies. Almost every organization has some overall guiding strategy, spelling out its sphere of activity, its long-term goals or purposes, and guidelines as to how they will achieve those goals. The guidelines may be general, or very specific. These strategy statements are sometimes called mission statements. As such, they set the framework for almost all product activity.

Today it’s very complicated, but evidence shows corporate strategy is necessary, and should do three specific things for new products operations. First, it should offer product strategies for segments of the operation. Second, corporate strategy should accept a risk/gain project portfolio view. Third, corporate strategy should require a technology base on every product.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact Asif J. Mir.

Getting the Organization right


Getting the organization right is a concern held by many in this era of global restructuring. This is a very difficult time to work in, or to manage a corporation. Downsizings and restructurings have become widespread, but their purpose has usually been short-term chipping away at old structures and practices. Too few have been guided by a clear vision of what kind of new corporation needs to emerge from this turmoil and chaos.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact Asif J. Mir.

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