May 2015: Are you diamond or coal? It's believed scientifically that coal may turn into diamond if subjected to high pressures from surrounding rocks, stimulating chemical operations that turns coal's carbon into diamond particles. Same thing can happen for you through your life experiences, when shocks, failures, struggles, and depressions leave their high impact on your inner strengths and grow you more mature, more resilient, and stronger in facing what lies ahead to achieve bigger successes. Nobody grows without challenges and failures on the way. So, we need to appreciate the obstacles we face on our way and extract the lessons to be acquired from these experiences, find how to capitalize best on them, and move on.
April 2015: Are you a good decision maker? When making decisions, you need to gather as much information and many inputs as you can so that your decision be a well informed decision. Building on the collected inputs and information, you use decision making techniques to reach your final resolution. Evaluation and selection techniques, to choose from among alternatives or possible paths, include techniques that use weighted scoring, probability and scenario analysis, and risk estimations. Such evaluations can be in quantitative (e.g. numerical or financial) or qualitative terms, based on the aspects being measured and selection criteria. You finally get a prioritized list of possible alternative with their merit/risk value for your final judgment.
March 2015: What is the difference between a customer and a user? The customer and the user are sometimes the same person, but not always. The customer is basically who is contractually and financially accountable in relationship with the provider of a service or product, while the end user is who eventually interacts with the provided service or product. For example, if an employer contracts for internet service or mobile service for its employees, then the employer is the customer for the contracted services, and employees are users of the services. But if you contract for a service for yourself, then you are both a customer and a user. Both customers and users are included when we refer to customer support.
February 2015: Are you adept at applying conflict resolution techniques? Conflicts arise in all possible kinds of situations and in various contexts at different levels. Being in the conflict situation, either as one of the conflicting parties or in another capacity of involvement, means that you can contribute to resolving the conflicts in hand. While it is some sort of personal soft skills, conflict resolution can be learnt and facilitated by common recommended techniques. Win-win resolutions are the most desired outcomes, and sometimes each party needs to compromise in order to reach this end. Facilitators for conflict resolution need to avoid taking sides, unless in case of absolute truth, so that they don't end to win-lose abrupt evacuation of the conflict.
January 2015: Should we avoid a spaghetti-on-the-wall strategy? Mostly attached with technology companies, the spaghetti-on-the-wall strategy mainly refers to a trial and error marketing approach. Cook spaghetti, throw it on the wall, if it sticks then it's well cooked (a successful strategy), otherwise, it's a failed strategy, try cooking again. Since changes in technology products are fast and with short spans, facing a difficult to predict customer appetite, they apply this strategy by developing new models every now and then, and watch customer reactions to them. A spaghetti-on-the-wall strategy can be viewed as an agile way of planning, but needless to say it's very risky and vulnerable to losses. Aside from marketing and R&D activities, such strategy is an evident indication to deficit in vision and planning capabilities. It is one of such things that are toughed to be avoided.
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