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Some have all the luck!

China 1

2

China 3

China 4

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Source: net

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and the sticks too.

From Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by  Daniel H. Pink via Delancey.com (lightly edited)

 “…

“Behavioral scientists often divide what we do on the job or learn in school into two categories: ‘algorithmic’ and ‘heuristic.’ An algorithmic task is one in which you follow a set of established instructions down a single pathway to one conclusion. That is, there’s an algorithm for solving it. A heuristic task is the opposite. Precisely because no algorithm exists for it, you have to experiment with possibilities and devise a novel solution. Working as a grocery checkout clerk is mostly algorithmic. You do pretty much the same thing over and over in a certain way. Creating an ad campaign is mostly heuristic. So are designing new software, inventing new products…

“During the twentieth century, most work was algorithmic — and not just jobs where you turned the same screw the same way all day long. Even when we traded blue collars for white, the tasks we carried out were often routine. That is, we could reduce much of what we did — in accounting, law, computer programming, and other fields — to a script, a spec sheet, a formula, or a series of steps that produced a right answer. … The consulting firm McKinsey & Co. estimates that in the United States, only 30 percent of job growth now comes from algorithmic work, while 70 percent comes from heuristic work. A key reason: Routine work can be outsourced or automated; artistic, empathetic, non-routine work generally cannot.

“The implications for motivation are vast. Researchers such as Harvard Business School’s Teresa Amabile have found that external rewards and punishments — both carrots and sticks — can work nicely for algorithmic tasks. But they can be devastating for heuristic ones…

Rewards, by their very nature, narrow our focus. That’s helpful when there’s a clear path to a solution. They help us stare ahead and race faster. But ‘if-then’ motivators are terrible for [complex conceptual problems]. As experiments show, the rewards narrowed people’s focus and blinkered the wide view that might have allowed them to see new uses for old objects.”

…”

 

End

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Whenever there’s a line of cars backing up on the road, my guess is usually right – it’s a cop managing a traffic junction ahead instead of the traffic lights or the timers of the traffic lights set badly to treat light traffic gets just the same as heavy. The cop’s no-thanks contribution comes from his long persistence with a flow before he turns on the next.

Here’s a lightly edited excerpt from an article by Simon Jenkins appearing in The Guardian of 4th Feb 16. A case for dismantling authority! Well, that was stretching the point a little too far, admittedly. An interesting experiment in social behavior that runs counter-intuitive for many of us, nevertheless reportedly successful in outcomes. Here we go:

 

The removal of road markings is to be celebrated.

We are safer without them

White line in the middle

Sensational news. The government is starting to remove white lines from the middle of roads in parts of the UK. It is doing so to reduce accidents and save lives…

Research has shown that removing white lines induces uncertainty and thus cuts vehicle speeds by 13%. This has been the case on London’s A22, A23 and A100. Pilot schemes are also in place in Wiltshire, Derby, and round the Queen’s house at Sandringham.

Behind this demarking lies the concept of “shared space” and “naked streets”, developed in the 1990s by the late Dutch engineer, Hans Monderman. He held that traffic was safest when road users were “self-policing” and streets were cleared of controlling clutter. His innovations, now adopted in some 400 towns across Europe, have led to dramatic falls in accidents.

Monderman’s principle is that freedom to assess risk for ourselves is what makes us safer. Rules, controls, signs, traffic lights all reduce our awareness of our surroundings and thus our sense of danger. On roads, he said: “When you don’t exactly know who has right of way, you tend to seek eye contact with other road users. You automatically reduce your speed … and take greater care.”

Monderman’s British apostle, John Adams of University College, London…has figures to prove that countries… that do not require motorbike helmets have fewer biking accidents than those that do.

The most dangerous place on a road is at traffic lights. Almost half the accidents in most cities occur at lights. This is due not just to war between “amber gamblers” and reckless cyclists. A crossing is where everyone should be watching everyone else, but everyone is watching the lights. They are awaiting orders. When given them, they assume all is safe and crash on.

Traffic engineers, who maim and kill us with regulations, lights and paint pots, merely go on dreaming up ever more.

Last October the Yorkshire town of Beverley suffered a failure of 42 traffic lights and was amazed when traffic moved more smoothly. In Somerset the traffic campaigner Martin Cassini secured a 50% improvement in traffic flow by persuading Portishead to turn off its traffic lights. They stayed off.

The same goes for…the one-way street and the cycle lane. A recent US study found that making streets two-way halved accidents, shortened journeys and reduced pollution…a 2014 study suggested that painting roads made cycling more dangerous.

Monderman…saw a symptom of a deeper ailment. “We’re losing our capacity for socially responsible behaviour. The greater the number of prescriptions, the more people’s sense of personal responsibility dwindles,” he said. It was this loss of responsibility that yielded the paradox that ever more intrusive safety and security actually make us less safe. Traffic is the most visible manifestation of that.

While it is difficult to argue against data, it seems to fly in the face of the premise: systems, processes and technology take the hassles and risks out of our lives.  Don’t we need all the protection possible from that one nut who screws it up inadvertently, irresponsibly or irrationally?

 

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Source: theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/04/removal-road-markings-safer-fewer-accidents-drivers

 

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It happened some years ago but I can recall the evening like it happened just last week.

I was in an audience listening to a motivational guru.

At this point, the speaker whipped out his wallet and pulled out a five-hundred rupee note.

Holding it up, he asked, “Who wants this five hundred rupee note? No strings attached, I assure you.”

An amount not to be scoffed at in those days.

For a moment the audience was taken by surprise at this unusual offer. Quickly recovering, a few hands went up quite hesitatingly. Picking up courage thereafter, lot of hands went up. Including mine.

As the excitement built up, people stood up and shouted to get his attention.

I began to wonder who the lucky one would be that the speaker would choose and what would be the basis.

And I also secretly wondered — and I am sure others did too — why he would simply give away five hundred rupees. There must be a catch somewhere I’m not seeing.

Even as the shouts of grew louder with arms pumping into the air, I noticed a young woman running down the aisle.

Running girl clipartist.net

She ran up onto the dias, went up to the speaker, and grabbed the five hundred-rupee note from his hand.

The audience did not know what to make of this unexpected display of unabashed ‘impetuosity’.  .

“Well done, young lady, it’s all yours,” said the speaker into the microphone. Winking slyly at us he said: ‘I told you there were no conditions to claim.’

Making his point, he said, ‘We wanted the five-hundred rupees on offer. And we waited for the good thing to happen to us.  Not content with wanting, this lady here acted and made it happen for herself.’

…”

End

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Source: Adapted from a Fwd from Prof R. D. Kumar (ex-I I T, Mumbai) and image from clipartist.net

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On a certain December day, on platform 22 in Tokyo Central Station, a work unit clad in the red uniforms of Tessei Co (formerly known as Tetsudo Seibi Co Ltd) line up with military precision. A bullet train on the Tohoku shinkansen pulls in, and the workers, at the given signal, step aboard and hastily go about their work. The time is 16:56, and in just 12 minutes, the same train, designated Yamabiko-Tsubasa No. 147, will depart. Since five minutes of the 12 must be allowed for passengers to disembark and board, the cleanup crew has just seven minutes to perform their tasks.

Normally, notes Shukan Post (Dec 21-28), two to three workers are assigned to a first-class car, as opposed to one to clean up a regular car. In addition to checking for items left behind on the overhead racks and seats, they must flip the 100 seat backs in each car to make them face the front of the train, and while doing this, they scan the aisles and floor for any refuse, a task generally performed in roughly one minute, 30 seconds.

They then proceed to wipe off the table tops in front of each seat and adjust the window blinds. If any of the white covers on seat backs appear begrimed, these are exchanged for clean ones.

At the two-minute warning, they turn their attention to emptying the waste receptacles between cars. They also team up with other staff, whose task is to tend to the lavatories and washrooms. After a final check of all assigned jobs on their list, they assemble outside on the platform and bow in unison toward the passengers awaiting boarding.

“Ideally we get seven minutes, but when the train’s crowded, it takes passengers longer to disembark, and it’s rare for us to be able to get in the entire alloted time,” says Akio Yabe, Tessei’s senior vice president. “So we try to get the job done as quickly as possible.”

…But as Yabe puts it, “There’s more to it than just cleaning the trains. If the cleanup takes too long, the shinkansen trains will be delayed. So part of our job is to keep the trains running on time.

And a big job it is. Each day from Tokyo station’s four platforms, a total of 210 trains pull in and depart, with average intervals of four minutes. Each team of 22 Tessei workers cleans an average of 120 trains per day, and at times of peak demand, it might handle as many as 168.

Currently, Tessei’s work force numbers about 800, of whom 481 are full-timers. The average age of the work force is 51; about 40% are female.

…”

An amazing orchestra-like performance day after day from a work-force not pampered in any ways! Honest, visible and verifiable in public.

Well, this has drawn world-wide attention just like our own dabbawaala’s in Mumbai.

Should be part of the induction program at least in the airlines sector.

It brings into sharp focus once again the avowed Japanese culture and ethics  and inimitable process efficiencies at work-place. Reminds me of an old film wherein a factory-shift begins at 8-00 and the work-men are in their overall’s at their station with jobs mounted and tools in position all set to go by 8-00! Of course signing the muster included.

Besides, the story is an outstanding example of brand building. Note how even a non-core process could be made the subject of a story.

Leaves you thirsting for stories such as this from nearer home.

Going to be a long wait?

End

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Source: japantoday.com

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