! Book Review ( The Dip )

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit by Seth Godin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I happened to read this book in the right time when i need to have a kind of encouragement in my down time. The book is short and the content is for me contain familiar motivations and not so many novel ideas. However, sometimes even ordinary things that come in the right moment became so attractive and inspiring.

Besides of the right reading timing that I have experienced. I really like how the ordinary motivational wisdoms being described with an extraordinary way using analogies like The Dip, The Cul De Sac, and the Cliff.

It makes the concept more understandable, easy to absorb and fit just right to be put into my long term memory.

The book is also short and I finished it in less than 4 hours.

The take point of the book is aim for the best, know when to quit, and think thoroughly before entering.

Its strength that makes everyone should read this book is the pages which are few, well described content using analogies, and took less time to read. Hence, this book is really good to read almost anywhere to keep us motivated.

View all my reviews

Advertisements

Finding Your Job and Your Passion, Finding your trueself.

Passion is a very interesting topic to talk. It is interesting because of its nature that is dynamic. Recently, I saw a video from TEDx Talk that really point out a unique point of view as well as delivering inspirational statement about passion.

DON’T JUST FOLLOW YOUR PASSION.

It is the title of the video. It is so controversial that urge me to start clicking at the play button. I watched it, and what is most  intriguing for me is that of her explanation that following passion is a new phenomena that people in the old days were never really anxious about not finding their own passion. Unlike recent generation which are often asked to follow their passion without actually knowing the way “how”. I don’t say that following passion is bad, it is the reverse. But it is interested to know what went wrong in our process of finding our passion.

It is so compelling for me that the concept of finding passion being put in a different context as what currently perceived by the mass. It explained that passion is something that you are looking for that makes you “move” yourself intrinsically and that with passion you find yourself in a meaningful state. Interestingly, the well known phrase of your job is your passion is not totally right.

First of all, if you are lucky, your job “IS” your passion. It is because for some people, they will find their passion LATER in their life. She even mentioned in the video that one woman find her passion in the age of 40s. So, in this case you couldn’t really say that the woman was not looking for her passion during his 40 years of life. She might looked for it intensely without ever bumped into what she considered as her passion. But what she did meanwhile she tried to find her passion? She works for a living. That’s just the way it is.

But don’t ever stop to find your passion. Because you will indeed find it, and find the right one. Because in other case, some people  will find their passion in life, but by one or many things they are led to leave that passion.

What happen to those people? It turns out, the presented give an unbelievable explanation of why people could forced to leave their passion as well as how one could at the end find a new one.

image

So, there in the diagram you will find that those people that forced to leave their passion will be those who have passion that unfortunately did not meet community needs. It is disappointing indeed that in reality you are unconsciously force to leave the things that you are passionate about. But beware of this, it will not stop there. You could still find a passion that will meet community needs shown as “potential” field in the diagram.

Hence, the old lady that finally find her passion might have previously found another 1000 passions that were simply not met with community needs and forced to abandoned it. But in her 40s, she finally finds the right one. Thus, I thoroughly believe, if all of us keep searching for one passion that meeting with community needs and are not thinking about if you don’t have your job the same as your passion and you are not happy and doomed, we will at the end find it.

So, the key take point is this:

KEEP SEARCHING FOR THE ONE THING THAT YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT THAT ALSO MEET COMMUNITY NEEDS AND YOU WILL BE SURE THAT YOU HAVE IT YOUR WHOLE LIFE.

Deceiving Industry with Quality: How Customers could Give the right signal of Quality?

People in the business are busy defining the definition of Quality for them to be better at producing, delivering and satisfying for the benefits of customers. However, sadly, many customers still deceived by these terms of quality that people or customer of often said that if they want a high quality then there will have to incur high cost. “Good products means high cost”

image

As a customers, we see much too often that buying a quality product is about getting information from another people such as our friends, colleagues, or review of great product and then determined which one is quality product according to them and go to store and buy it.

What happen is sometimes people forget that quality products means that this product fulfilled customer’s satisfaction and that customer that is satisfied is actually is  “us” or “we” or in your case is “you”. At the beginning, quality is defined as those products that could best match and fulfilled customer’s needs. With this definition, I therefore sometimes feels awkward when I heard inside a store when a person tries to buy a high quality product merely for the sake that it is deemed good by the product label or a review from a reviewer body such as review in YouTube or any articles or professional reference magazines.

I am not trying to point out that these sources of information that tries to provide customers with the best possible references of current best high quality product is useless. It is indeed, the other way around. These references will be so much helpful for customers to know the average high quality product as perceived by the so called representation of customers such as YouTube, or some other reviewers online in internet or offline. However, the real customer is a single one of us that go into the store and buy a product. Therefore, when a customer go into a store, they have to realize that buying a high quality product means buying a product that best fit with their needs because high quality products as perceived by company that many company tries to capture is to make a product that best fit your needs.

when a customer go into a store, they have to realize that buying a high quality product means buying a product that best fit with their needs because high quality products as perceived by company that many company tries to capture is to make a product that best fit your needs.

Buying a product only because you think that the product have a high quality as labeled by reviewers or manufacturers is deceiving for a long term. It is because in the long run, if customers buying high quality products that actually they don’t really need, they unfortunately send a sign to the manufacturers that the product that they produced is indeed have a high quality as it sold good in the market. Thus, at the end, Industry will have a false impression of a good quality product.

As we can see in the picture above, we as a customer sometimes easy to see that the product is not conform with the level of quality that we should have, but not with the case with detecting and acknowledging that there are also some products that actually we don’t need and do not conform with our needs because they are just over-qualified.

chinese female shopping

Over-qualified products get noticed from the effects after we buy this kind of products. We will likely never use many features that it have because it seems so advance and cool in the advertisement but actually we never actually need it or inappropriate at time of use. Therefore, we will just usually store it in our house because it seems have a value and function that will benefited us at the time of buying, but when it comes to using the product there are simply no place and proper time to use it.

Think about a very nice high tech Hand phone you bought or a very nice dressed that you bought. How many feature in our Hand phone that we don’t actually need and how many nice dressed that we thought it will be nice to buy it and wear it to a huge event in which this event will never yet come.

Buying high quality product is to buy a product that best fit your need.

Because every company in the world will do anything to create product that best fit your need, then why you are buying a product that is under-qualified or over-qualified to fit your need. Sometimes illusion of advertisement will make us buy this over-qualified product and the sense of security of spending money will make us buy all the under qualified product that will not fulfill our needs.But the best to gift signal for companies all around the world to be better at reading customers’ real needs or quality level is to show them by buying only the products that we really need.

Supermarket Stocktaking, Happiness in Working and a Lesson of Variation

I am considered myself as a kind of person who is so interested on listening more than speaking. For me, being able to listen to ideas, a glimpse of someone else’s life experiences or a feeling of someone about something is so inspiring. I can learn from the story and get an idea of things that I had not realize before because I just never thought it would be possible, never experienced it myself, or simply didn’t know that such a thing could exist. By listening more, I can open myself to the presumption world that I previously held  to a new perception of the world as I listen to the story of people around me.

This post is referring to my comment on my dialogue with one of my friends. He has an interesting experience in which I had not any experience on  being employed in the type of industry he was in. It was all begin in a totally normal day. After lunch, we had a normal afternoon chat that suddenly led to a story of his previous employment in Supermarket Industry. Due to my curiosity, I started to ask probing questions that led him to tell his own experience working in a supermarket with a role as an assistant store manager with most activities that deal with audits.

What caught my attention was when he talked about his experience in stock taking procedure and penalty that he did in his time (and I believe still many also have the same principles even until this time). He told me that in his company, stock deviation from the ideal value of difference between beginning of month and end of the month in comparison with actual reality value of difference between beginning of month and end of the month difference will be assigned to store employees. It means that, if beginning of month stock minus sold product in that month ( which this become ideal end of month stock) is not the same as actual counting at the end of month stock, then the difference between ideal and actual counting in the form of amount of money will be paid together by employees from their salary to substitute lost products .

When he told this, I quickly recalled a wise words from Dr.Deming. Then, I found the exact same story that happen in Deming’s book titled “Out of The Crisis” in 1982. Deming has already elaborated what is wrong with this kind of system setup and why management not only in manufacturing industry but in all industry, even government, education, and any systems that has management on top of it has to learn the knowledge of variation.

Stock counting at the end of the month, if deviated from the ideal amount, can cause from many factors. the accuracy of inventory system, security of store from thieves, logistics in store, and still many other factors. It is indeed easy to directly attributing lost of stocks to employees for replacing the money that lost with the assumption that all lost rooted in the negligence of employees to prevent it from lost without looking into details about the root cause. However, by doing this, it is also easy to get trap into a bad system where everyone is dissatisfied, work is stressful, and at the end surviving will be impossible if not very difficult without sacrificing employees.

Actor businesswoman express sadness isolated in white

Imagine a staff that start to work in a company with a good pride. He and the company both have an expectation on both sides. The employee starts with a willingness to contribute to the company maybe even thinking that this company that he will start to work will be even better, fun and fulfilling. It is also the same good expectation that come from the company that hired this employee, because after all resources available in company’s labor pool has been filtered, this man has the best fit with the company to help reaching for the company’s goal. The new employee is ready to grow with the company and contributing the best effort possible. Isn’t that exactly what we feel when we want to start working in a new company? Excited! Happy! Want to prove ourselves! and having better a time? Sadly, this man so shocked to find the fact that even though he begin his job by working as hard as he can with the will of contributing his maximum effort and with their own heart and soul trying to be nice to every customers coming to the shop, he finds himself at the end of the month getting paid with less salary than promised and that they ought to receive it due to stocks lost that they don’t have any ideas at all of  how it could be lost, why they have to be the one who take the risk of something they just don’t have any idea about, and the fact that he cannot improve or doing anything about it.

Drawing from the world of manufacturing, this could be seen as assigning defect of products to the workers that works in assembly line. Whenever there are defects, put the blame on workers with the reason that workers are the one who actually works assembling all parts into a product. This obsolete philosophy have proven to be a downfall of manufacturing industries before Japan could set the pace again and followed by a reparation to systems of managing manufacturing in other countries and companies.

People in management should as Deming urge long time ago and yet still valid, realize that there are two types of variation (natural/normal variation and assignable/special variation) Classifying defects in case of lost product in supermarket into these two kinds of variation classification will give us more insights. If a defect/lost product happen, manager should be able to determine if this will attributable to workers/store employees or to system that managed by management. The action directly blaming workers for a system problem then is not a wise act of management because normal variation and special variation should be handled in different ways. .To learn more about differentiating this, I would suggest reading “Out of The Crisis” or “The New Economics” by Deming.

Young business woman presenting colorful charts and diagrams

As we came to know that those defects or lost of products are caused by system, then improvement to a system could reduce the lost of product. In relation with supermarket system, let’s take one defect example of lost product. Previous assumption is that employees should watch closely everyone on the store so that no product is lost, but employees indeed can be forget or not paying attention to someone stealing because fatigue which so normal. What is not normal is to assign tasks that obviously normal people with normal capability cannot do and give them penalty for it.  In fact, lost product happen also because the environment provided thieves to steal some products despite of the hardworking that employees have done in preventing it. This environment setup is management job. A system should be setup by management to prevent lost from happening by creating a better environment for employees to work and a better system to prevent lost of products. Usual flow is that mistakes that management makes is attributed that should be management responsibilities (system design and improvement) are all assigned to employees.