Archive for August 2011


Why Toyota is That Successful?

August 28th, 2011 — 5:42am

A few years ago I went to Toyota factory for training. The environment looked me very organized. Lately, I had been in another automotive factory and necessarily compared them. After comparison, Toyota seemed to be very powerful in my eyes. They told me that Toyota have a production philosophy. (Kaizen!)

A recent book I have read reminded me Kaizen again. Toyota is a company that set out with the principle of producing economic automobiles to the utmost efficient ways. To the utmost efficient means a production way that minimizes producer surplus, stock overage and employee mistakes. The system aims at producing needed thing when needed it. (Production at the appropriate time). The other interesting application in the system is even an employee has a right to stop production if he/she notices a problematic situation.

The person who notices problem stops the huge production line and the others examine the problem till they find the source of the problem. So they solve the problem from its source.

Even if there is no mistake, people in the process always question “How we can make it better”. If something ends in 10 minutes todays, it should end in 9 minutes tomorrow. In the production process there is no little thing! That is the “Kaizen”
Toyota is the best example for how Kaizen works. I have never been in a team that apply Kaizen so I haven’t seen it on the process. But I don’t want to die before I see.

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Continuing Progress After Akın Öngör

August 10th, 2011 — 12:50am

After reading Akın Öngör’s book named “Continuing Progress after Me” (Benden Sonra Devam), I have learned Garanti Bank’s story in detail and placed Akın Öngör in my favorite leaders. He has a special place in my heart as Steve Job’s?

In Turkey it is very hard to change processes. Unfortunately many lazy persons become together in here and there is a very lazy aura everywhere. Probably, creating a brand in Turkey like Garanti is harder than creating Apple

Akın Öngör dedicates his success to good employees, good systems and harmony under pressure. A leader’s mission is to make people work harmonic. But the first step is to compose a right team. In his book, about composing an efficient team, Öngör writes that:

Invest on people, train, improve, and feed with high technology. Trust your employee. Encourage them. Authorize them. Give a chance to express their opinions. Encourage them to come up with suggestions. Award them for applied suggestions and efficient works. As a natural result, motivation and creativity will increase.

With this creative environment which Akın Öngör constituted, he brought in Garanti Technology to Turkish IT sector.
The other thing that drew my attention on the book is “Personal Care Education” which Öngör implemented. First impression and appearance are really important. Actually we all know it but in practice we are little inadequate. I think that starting from primary school; we should give this education to our children.

After I read the book, I found myself angry with Akın Öngör in a few issues. The first is his early retirement and the second is his refusal of Ziraat, Emlak and Halk Bank’s co-chairman offer. In my opinion, with this refusal Turkey lost many important things. Even though, he made some useful thing like founding WWF-Turkey but I am not convinced.

In brief, it is a must reading book…

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This Is So Urgent (Is It?)

August 6th, 2011 — 1:35pm

It is obvious that almost all the organizations in the world need a strong change. Do you think it is normal that everybody who has a job is very busy? Is it normal making overtime work all the time to finish important and urgent tasks, and feeling stress while working. We need to re-engineer the corporations!

Now, a lot of people from different sectors work stress-fully to bring up their trivial works as if they were important. But even they are aware of this unimportance; they do nothing to change it.

Let me say something, we have to change it. If there are people who think that change is unnecessary, they should not think their misapprehend achievements are under guarantee.

We have to improve our processes. Constant change should be our permanent feature not a harbor that we rarely visit. Unfortunately, our ways will always change; there will be operations that we cannot easily figure out. It seems hard but there are naturally adapted Y and Z generations for these possible changes. It is unacceptable to make plans for organizations without considering Y and Z generations.

People should notice that as soon as possible. But it is not that easy. I notice that my actions generally do not create awareness in my family and my colleagues.

A book named “A Sense of Urgency” which is published by Harvard Business Press is very inspiring about what I told above. It can increase the awareness of readers.

One of the things that the book indicates that people are satisfied with their situations. As I see and very surprised that people really are. This satisfaction can be explained as being not aware of the danger. In a very fast changing world, sloth and this satisfaction are the enemies of productivity and quality.

The interesting thing is, even a manager who agrees with what I wrote above, sometimes cannot notice that a team which he/she directs is full of employees who are satisfied with their situations And this will never let that manager to accomplish his/her future dreams.

The pressure that he/she puts on the team knowingly or unknowingly creates a false sense of urgency. So people show themselves urgently working so much… But I guess you can imagine how hard working it is! A manager can wake up when he/she notices the inefficiency despite of her/his team’s long working hours. Maybe he/she will never wake up!

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