Alpha Khaki - RivieraToday I wanted to purchase these pants on your website, but alas you don’t have my size. It is true you probably created some algorithm that told you that this style might not appeal to certain waist/length combination, and I get that.  My problem is that there is no way to let you know that there is one customer that wants it, mas the motivation to buy it, and the ability to do so.  Your algorithm has no feedback, and unless you fix that it will never do.

So please, if you read this, adjust your algorithm so that on your next round you save one W40 x L30 Alpha Khaki Riviera pants for me.



Love What You Do

I can’t say that I enjoy working on engines, just go and see my car and you will know.  I have never changed the oil in my car.  I did change the breaks in my car once in college, and later found out I put them wrong.  I like the tough of mechanics, but I have so little knowledge that I just never do it.

Now I work for Cummins, a company that makes engines.  Most of the people that I interact are mechanical engineers.  The other day I asked someone if they had a mechanic that could help me with something in my car, he looked at me funny, thought for a bit then said: “I’ve never taken my car to a mechanic.”

But despite my limited knowledge on the line of work that the company engages in, I love what I do.  I enjoy making plans and developing strategies to complete the work.  I love learning about engines and how they operate.  I can’t imagine the work that goes into creating some of the machines that Cummins produces, some are so big and complex.

My hope is that as time progresses I will be able to learn more about the products Cummins produces.  I want to take some classes that will teach me about engines and get my hands dirty.  Recently I traveled to Houston where we have a plant that focuses in the Oil and Gas Market.  It was fascinating the engineering work that goes into some of the products that are manufactured in that plant.

I guess in the end what matters is loving the sphere in which you operate.  Those engineers working on those engines, need people that create the business plans that will allow them to continue the work they do.  I love what I do, and I’m trying to do my best.

Multinational teams – Are they doomed from the start?

Jeane Brett in her book, Negotiating Globally,  writes the following:

Teams bring essential resources to big, complex tasks. Teams can produce creative ideas, meet deadlines with quality products, and negotiate decisions that generate corporate growth and prosperity. Research shows that when team minorities dissent, majorities are more likely to generate original and novel solutions to problems. Organizations grow faster when top-management teams engage in constructive debate. Companies with top-management teams that engage in debate have a higher return on investment. Cross-functional, new-product teams are more innovative when they have a lot of disagreement about task design if they have a norm for open expression of doubts or if they engage in collaborative problem solving. Constructive controversy, the open-minded discussion of opposing views for mutual benefit, appears to be the key to creating value during multicultural team decision making.”

As I’ve spent last year and this year working with groups that come from different backgrounds and different countries I can see the value in multicultural, multinational teams.  Continue reading “Multinational teams – Are they doomed from the start?”