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At the time of this article going to publication, we are starring at around 338,000 deaths, and 5.2 Million confirmed cases, and 188 countries were affected (source: Johns Hopkins University). The fellow-citizens are perishing at a rapid rate.  All of us are mere spectators watching the sad drama unfolding in the biggest possible screen called the globe.

The Economic Shock:

With the above in the background, no economist is daring to put out a model that predicts the impact of COVID -19 on the global economy. According to “Erin Duffin,” it is predicted that most major impacted economies will lose at least 2.4 per of their GDP in 2020.  A 0.4% drop in economic growth is estimated to be around 3.5 trillion U.S. dollars in lost economic output.

If we reflect our thoughts on how it could impact the global supply chain, it is good and bad news, and we are entering into a period of uncertainty and chaos. Maturity is all about discovering that everything to do with the acceptance of “not knowing.” We are gaging at unknown unknowns.  By accepting what we don’t know, we would demonstrate matured reactions to this global pandemic in managing supply chains globally.  Generally, supply chains work in proactive mode; we are in a reactive way to navigate new challenges; the supply chain professionals across the globe are looking to build resilience into their supply chains.

Resilient supply chains are skilled at preparing and responding to and recovering from unexpected disruptions by maintaining the continuity of operations. Generally, such a concept of resilience incorporates a variety of agile traits such as robustness and flexibility.  Business risk management and continuity, along with reactive planning, become priorities of the management team.

The Bull Whip Effect

As the pandemic crisis deepened and nations have begun instituting lockdowns, supply chains have been experiencing something completely new and unknown phenomena of systemic demand shocks. People are stocking up least expected products, and the most talked-about example, toilet paper, is ironically usually the go-to example of a perfectly forecastable product, since the end consumption is usually rather stable. There seemed to be a fear that food supply chains would be unable to respond to this unprecedented, massive spike in demand. In the case of toilet paper, it is not a product shortage; it all about the ability to replenish and meet the demand requirements.

Living with COVID

As the supply of vaccines’ availability for the virus is unknown, we are calling this period as the new normal. The economic impacts are posing challenges to the global supply chains, as mentioned above, and many economists are predicting a deep recession of unknown length. A good example is the automotive industry is contracting as the sales are dropping exponentially. The coronavirus outbreak has heavily impacted the manufacturing industry. OEMs and parts suppliers have yet to return to full production capacity. Consequent delays in delivery might affect the market at multiple levels from postponed new car model launches, shattered supply chains, financially drained SMEs, and dampened vehicle sales in Q1, 2020. The effects will spill over into Q2 as well, with unfulfilled order deliveries due to ongoing production slowdowns.

Figures recently released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that 31 percent of Australian citizens have experienced a decrease in income due to the pandemic.  Besides, 72 percent of Australian businesses reported that reduced cash flow.  These two negative economic factors will have a deep impact on business over the next two months.  In Australia alone, the new car sales/demand have seen almost a 50 percent drop due to COVID 19 (source: Darren Gray, Sydney morning herald). The extent of this plunge in sales is pretty unprecedented in modern times, and it’s going to have significant repercussions. According to James Voortman, chief executive of the Australian Automotive Dealer Association

The global automotive sector employs more than 9 million people alone in the manufacturing of automobiles globally, which includes over 5% of the worldwide manufacturing workforce. Many other industries, including steel, iron, glass, plastics, textile, rubber, software, among others, are dependent on the demand from the automotive sector.

Estimation reveals that global automobile sales will decline by about 23% in 2020. Initially, the disruption in supply and manufacturing hampered the industry significantly. And now with the multifold decline in demand has led to the uncertainty regarding the recovery (the unknown).

Good out of Bad

Something good is coming out of a bad situation.  The new-age manufacturing companies are innovating in challenging times. One company resolved a shortage of parts for life-saving ventilators in Italy by using 3D printing and making them available within a day source: (Independent, U.K.)  Perhaps this triggers the creation of a role for additive manufacturing in the spare parts supply chain.

LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, L’Oréal S.A, and Coty Inc. and others have stepped up and repurposed production facilities intended for fragrances and hair gels to produce hand sanitizer. In addition to providing a valuable resource that may help save lives, this move helps keep workers on and facilities operating despite challenging economic conditions for luxury items.

Conclusion

The supply chains are in unfamiliar territory and unlearning to learn new methods of delivering outcomes.  We are yet to see the pinnacle or top of the learning curve.  There is a possibility of a change in shopping methods, and stores may disappear, and virtual shopping on online shopping could take a front seat.  Similarly working from home could be a new and big popular initiative, Twitter announced that their staff could work from home for life.  The possible good thing coming out of this initiative is commuting gets reduced and good for the environment.  It will hurt the automotive industry and the Petroleum products industry.  It has a negative impact also, according to Medical News Today, “Many people are required to stay at home in a bid to stop the novel coronavirus from spreading. Some people may feel isolated, which can lead to a range of feelings and emotions. Quarantine, self-isolation, and physical distancing (also called social distancing) can cause anxiety, depression, and loneliness, all of which are common ED triggers.

See the below changes to the lifestyle according to “Statista.com.”

 

The Truth:

The world of “normality” no longer exists. Lives have altered in ways that no one could not have possibly imagined in their wildest dreams. Many considered 2019 was an irrational, unkind, and dysfunctional place. Now, we refer to the previous year – a mere six months ago, as a time of “normality.”  We have no clue when we return to normality from “BAU COVID 19.”

Fauci, (the famous American physician and immunologist who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984)  repeated his call for a vaccine as essential to stopping the pandemic. He said he is optimistic they would find a workable candidate, but warned of potential pitfalls in developing any vaccine.

Source: IATA

My Belief

“The only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it flow with it . . . and join the

dance.” – Alan Watts

The rude e-mails


There’s no doubt about it, we couldn’t survive without email. But while it’s an efficient tool it can also become a minefield of miscommunication. When you take away the added cues of facial expressions, body language and tone of voice, your words can sometimes end up being interpreted differently to what you had intended. And it’s when this happens you risk the possibility of offending people or damaging relationships.

So how can you harness your email to ensure you’re delivering your message effectively? With the help of career coach Nicole Grainger-Marsh, you can sidestep some common pitfalls and become a master communicator.

  1. Skipping the pleasantries

Do you always start an email with a nice greeting and end with a pleasant sign-off? You may think people won’t notice if you don’t say ‘hello’ or end with ‘kind regards’ but leaving out the niceties can be taken as abrupt and rude. “You wouldn’t walk up to someone in a meeting room and speak to them like that so why would you send it in an email?” says Grainger-Marsh.

Taking the time to address someone and thank them is about building rapport and establishing a good professional relationship says Grainger-Marsh. “You don’t have to be flowery or over the top but it’s about demonstrating courtesy and respect.”

  1. Marking emails as urgent

If there’s a genuinely pressing matter hitting send on an email with ‘urgent’ in the subject line might not always be the best way to elicit help from people. This could be viewed as making a flat out demand rather than a request and is one way to get co-workers offside.

Instead of emailing, consider whether a face-to-face catch up would be more appropriate. “If something is really urgent and you’re trying to get someone to drop everything and prioritise what you want, you need to be able to influence them and persuade…[this] is difficult over email because people find it easy to say no to an email. It’s much harder to say no to someone’s face or over the phone,” says Grainger-Marsh.

  1. Saying ‘thanks in advance’

You may think you’re being polite but sending your thanks ahead of time can actually come across as the opposite. “[It can be viewed by the person as] well hang on, I haven’t said I’m going to do it yet and you’ve just assumed that I’m going to comply and deliver,” says Grainger-Marsh. If you want someone to help you out be sure to ask first and give them the chance to agree to do so.

  1. Copying in the world

Keeping people in the loop is one thing but constantly cc-ing everyone in the office is another. Grainger-Marsh says, “people can see it as [you saying] ‘well if I have a lot of witnesses it reduces my ownership of the issue’.”

As a general rule only copy people in if there’s an action point for them, someone on their team or they’re the owner of a project and need to be kept abreast of a situation. “I’ve worked with CEOs who say if you copy me in and it’s information only, I’m going to press delete,” says Grainger-Marsh. “People’s inboxes get clogged so much as it is…make sure there is some value in the information you’re copying them into.”

  1. Information overload

Writing huge slabs of text is a no-no. “It gives you a negative reputation in terms of your ability to communicate with people effectively,” says Grainger-Marsh. Before dropping everything into an email ask yourself what am I trying to say and what does this person really need to know?

  1. Poor grammar

Is a rogue apostrophe here or a misspelt word there really doing much harm? Absolutely. “It shows a lack of interest and a lack of professionalism,” says Grainger-Marsh. Hitting send on an email with grammatical errors indicates to someone that you don’t value them or your communication with them highly. To avoid this, get into the habit of proofreading your emails to ensure they’re polished.

How to write good emails

When it comes to writing emails Grainger-Marsh says it’s crucial to always put yourself in the recipient’s shoes. Read over a message from their perspective and ask yourself what would they take from what you’ve written? Look over everything from the tone, to your choice of words, to how you’ve signed off and tailor it to suit the person you’re speaking to. A message to a colleague you’re friends with would look very different from one for your boss. Keep these points in mind and you’ll be able to confidently hit send every single time.

Source: seek.com.au

 


“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” ― Rita Mae Brown

Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines professional (adj.) as, “relating to a job that requires special education, training, or skill; done or given by a person who works in a particular profession;  characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession; exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace.”

Business Optimisation:

Business culture and organisational philosophy are the ultimate keys to organisational productivity and success. It will either enable or disable everything else you do. If the culture of an organisation was wrong, the impact of even the best business growth techniques would be severely crippled. Several organisations only pay lip service to these factors and as a result, they constantly struggle to make real progress. Developing the best organisational culture is the key to the success of any organisation and culture of the organisation and service orientation is critical too.

 

Business Optimisation and Professional Judgement

In business, judgement plays a very critical role.  Judgement is, “an opinion or decision that is based on careful thought; the act or process of forming an opinion or making a decision after careful thought; the act of judging something or someone; the ability to make good decisions about what should be done.” (source: Webster’s Dictionary).

In all business processes and decisions, professionals are repeatedly using their judgment based on a careful thought process based evidence, experience, knowledge and skills in order to form opinions and make effective and ethical decisions about what should be done to deliver a product or service to the customers in order to differentiate from the competition and add value to the produce or service.

From the above definition, we can identify four building blocks for professional judgement.  The first one is knowledge, the second one professional obligation (ethical behaviour) and the third one is stakeholders input (internal and external) and finally and undisputedly the expertise of the business handled.

In summary …… Exercising professional judgment means being accountable for good or adverse business outcomes. Be prepared to provide an evidence-based rationale to support professional decision-making in your workplace. Professional judgment means being diligent in maintaining appropriate professional boundaries: be adept at avoiding conflicts of interest and boundary crossings. Always make decisions that put the customer first.

“Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or trying to figure something out?”Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s


“An employee who feels appreciated will always deliver more than what is expected” Dr Vijay Sangam

What is employee engagement?

Employee Engagement is a measurable degree of an employee’s positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organization which profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform at work – Scarlett Surveys.

Employee Engagement is the extent to which employee commitment, both emotional and intellectual, exists relative to accomplishing the work, mission, and vision of the organization. Engagement can be seen as a heightened level of ownership where each employee wants to do whatever they can for the benefit of their internal and external customers, and for the success of the organization as a whole.

10 C‘s of Employee Engagement:

Engagement strategy includes four critical elements and they are Recognition, Motivation, Relationship building and finally Valued input. The last step is very critical, the input should be productive and positive. Negative inputs should be moderated into something positive and add value.

Recognise the performance:

1. Employees who are fully engaged in their work are often enthusiastic about the      jobs they perform
2. Employees realize how much their work impacts the organization overall, and they are excited about seeing the fruits
of their labour
3. A key strategy involves here is to add another element to employees’ job functions is through recognition
4. The way to create enthusiasm about even the most mundane tasks is through challenging employees to improve new processes for performing their      job functions and rewarding employees whose suggestions for improvement save the company money and resources

Motivate the employee

 Workplace motivation comes from nonmonetary recognition, such as promotion, advancement or assigning more complex duties to employees who demonstrate expertise.
 Employees who receive recognition for their expertise are often motivated to perform at even higher levels.
 Employer strategy for improving engagement includes creating opportunities for leadership roles for deserving employees whose performance exceeds the company expectations.

 

Build Relationships

o Workplace relationships are too often complicated by lack of confidence and trust in leadership
o Rebuilding employee trust and confidence in the company’s leadership team is an infallible strategy for improving employee engagement
o Encouraging the leadership team to establish a connection with all of the company’s employees can have measurable effects on employee engagement
o Building an employer-employee relationship on trust and confidence involves creating an interest in the daily
challenges employees face.

Valuable Input

 Employee engagement is directly tied to employees’ sense of value and the ability to give feedback about working
conditions and their workplace relationships, particularly those involving employee-supervisor interaction
 Therefore, an effective strategy includes developing an employee opinion survey or enabling another method for
employees to voice their opinions and concerns
 The most important component of an employee opinion survey is an action plan, which can be another factor in the
employee engagement strategy

Research Reveals:

1. The most striking finding is the gaps in operating incomes between companies with highly engaged employees and
companies whose employees have low-engagement scores
2. High-engagement companies improved while low-engagement companies declined in operating income during the study period
3. Furthermore, those not engaged generated less revenue than their engaged counterparts
4. Engaged employees also outperformed the not engaged and actively disengaged employees in other divisions

“You can’t lead without influence, and you can’t have influence if you’re not a leader.”


Decision-making


“If you care about what people think about you, you will end up being their slave. Reject and pull your own rope.” – Auliq Ice


Source: https://mcgrawhillprofessionalbusinessblog.com

What is Decision Making?
1. Decision making involves the selection of a course of action from among two or more possible alternatives in order to
arrive at a solution for a given problem.
2. The English word ‘Decision’ originated from the Latin word ‘decisio’ which means “to cut from.”
3. ‘To decide’ means “to come to a conclusion“ for a given problem.

Steps in Decision Making:

Everyday Decision-Making Techniques:

1. Pros & Cons – Listing advantages & disadvantages of each option. Also known as a rational decision.
2. Prioritization – Choosing the alternative with the highest probability-weighted utility for each alternative.
3. Satisficing – Examining alternatives only until an acceptable one is found.
4. Elimination by Aspects – Uses Mathematical Psychology. Compares all available alternatives by aspects. Any
alternative without an aspect is eliminated.
5. Preference Trees – Compares alternatives by presenting the aspects in a decided & sequential order. Aspects are
ordered from general to specific.
6. Flipism – Flipping a coin, cutting a deck of playing cards, and other random or coincidence methods.
7. Opportunity Cost – Calculates the opportunity cost of each option to make a decision.
8. Divination – Prayer, tarot cards, astrology, augurs, revelation, or other forms of divination.

In Summary:

 Decision making involves the selection of a course of action from among two or more possible alternatives in order to
arrive at a solution for a given problem.
 Decision making generates more alternatives to the group and diversity of information than an individual.
 The quality of the decision will be higher because of the combined wisdom of group members.
 Group members evaluate each other’s thinking, so major errors are likely to be avoided.
 Group decision making is helpful in gaining acceptance and commitment. Participation increases acceptance and
satisfaction.
 People who participate in making a decision will often be more committed to the implementation.


Creativity



Source: https://businessesgrow.com/2018/01/30/increase-creativity/

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
― Albert Einstein

What is Creativity?

Process:

Creative people work hard to improve ideas and solutions by refining their work, making alterations to their creations. The creative person thinks that there is always room for improvement. Contrary to the mythology surrounding creativity, very few works of creative excellence are produced with a single stroke of brilliance or in a frenzy of rapid activity.

Attitude:

Creativity is also interlinked with attitude.
1. The mindset to accept new things and changes.
2. The willingness to play with new ideas, the habit of enjoying the good.
3. A creative person always views things from different angles and identifies other possible ways of doing things.

Ability:

‘Creativity’ in simple words means, the ability to imagine or do something new. It is the ability to generate ideas by combining, changing and reapplying existing ideas. Some creative ideas are brilliant and amazing while some creative ideas are simple and good. Everyone has good creative ability. Children are very creative and the creativity of the adults are suppressed due to education but can be still reawakened.

Three Types of Creativity:
1. Expertise, in other words, is Knowledge, technical skills, procedural and intellectual
2. An inner passion to solve the problem at hand leads to solutions which are creative
3. How flexible and imaginative one is to approach problems is defined as Creative Thinking.

Four Stages of Creativity:

1.Copying: Our first skills will start by copying those around us. Copying itself allows us to reverse engineer the creative process. Though we know the solution we are copying, the approach with which we arrive at a solution is definitely described our personal style.
2.Mixing: Once we have copied from the sources, we begin to put the key elements together. Mixing is done in a raw state and elements that are copied are easily identified.
3.Amalgamation: The difference between mixing and amalgamation is the easy recognition of the underlying parts. Mixed copied styles are easy to sort out, but amalgamated styles are subtle. It is likely that only experts could tease out the components beneath and this is not a true creation and original work is faded.
4.Creation: The concrete argument and true creation develop when an artist develops something new and novel. It is not just mixing and rearranging things but developing a new form that has not seen before. Previous 3 stages trigger an individual to be creative on his own in this stage.

Ten tips to Creative thinking:

1. Challenge current approaches to your work. Think new unimaginable possibilities
2. Challenge existing beliefs and assumptions. Ask yourself, your friends and your direct reports whether your current views about how things are done in your company are correct.
3. Be educated. Take a course on a subject like creative thinking, creative writing or update your current skills
4. Use Mind-Maps. On a paper sketch out your ideas and the way in which they can be connected. You can have more connections just by listing on a piece of paper.
5. Be positive. See problems as challenges and opportunities. Open your mind to new ideas, even if they look as difficult task at the beginning
6. Look for creative ideas: Identify the creative people in your field. Call on them to get involved in brainstorming sessions and evaluate all ideas for a creative solution
7. Change your routine. Make small changes in your daily routines and physical environment to help you see that things can be done in different ways.
8. Listen for change resistance. Look out how people have done in the past and what people have not done . . . Improve and be creative at this point and try to do new things which are not done before
9. Book time to be creative. Block some time for ideas to wander over. Have an informal meeting with your colleagues and you can able to solve even old problems
10.Role model. By being yourself a creative model in an organization, it inspires others and creativity is spread across the team and gives the energy to develop creative thinking

Summary:
a. Creative Thinking lets you explore new avenues of thought.
b. Creative Thinking draws on the diversity of a team.
c. It investigates a wider range of solutions to the problem.
d. Creative Thinking makes everybody in your team contribute ideas.
e. It can lead to ground-breaking achievements or rewards.
f. Creative Thinking makes the team focused with good results.
f. Creative Thinking sees problems as opportunities.

“Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources”
― C.E.M. Joad


Source: https://vb1a.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/creativity-corporation/

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