Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication…                                                                                                                                          



Short Notes for August 6

I had a personal discussion with the boss. Had to explain my side of the story on why I was evaluated in a certain way last year. Phew. Work is just a rubber ball. Just a rubber ball.

Uncle Loh spent a night here to start early tomorrow for his son’s UKM commencement.


Rubbing Salt on the Wound

Maybe it’s just me but that paragraph is way over the line. Whoever came up with that has not gone through some real thinking.

Employees: “Heck, I didn’t know we were going to produce in order to buy seven 60-inch Sony screens for everybody… otherwise I would’ve worked a little harder… to get me some.”

Talk about sensitivity training.


P/S: Remember one of the Chief Ministers who gave away brooms to not-so-clean schools? Yeap, he got the boot out.

No Confidential Rubber Stamp

At the office, none of the admin staff got the “Private & Confidential” rubber stamp. There’s plenty of “Draft“, “Certified True Copy” and whatnot, but not “P&C“.

But there are plenty of focus on keychain.

And sea shells.

So, even focus needs to be constantly looked at and prioritized, not just work items.

Called up MKL (an old friend from the vendor office) to ask him about his well-beings. I heard he was hospitalized for a while… back disc issue.

Short Notes for July 9

Somewhat a sleepy day! Had discussion and lunch with the Honeywell service manager. CB returned.

Short Notes for June 16

Spare parts discussion. The work was about 70% done and then only you seek controllers & management concurrence? Not the right process. Farewell tea for one of the supervisors who was promoted to a Superintendent. He emphasized the importance of explaining the “why” in order to be more convincing.

Short Notes on June 15

Domain setup discussion. I got the usual “siding with the OEM” allegation again.

Steve Jobs on Salesperson

Here is Steve Jobs’ take on turning around a company and not letting the Sales guy run the show:

Burrows: What can we learn from Apple’s struggle to innovate during the decade before you returned in 1997?

Jobs: You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together. Otherwise, you can get great pieces of technology all floating around the universe. But it doesn’t add up to much. That’s what was missing at Apple for a while. There were bits and pieces of interesting things floating around, but not that gravitational pull.

People always ask me why did Apple really fail for those years, and it’s easy to blame it on certain people or personalities. Certainly, there was some of that. But there’s a far more insightful way to think about it. Apple had a monopoly on the graphical user interface (GUI) for almost 10 years. That’s a long time. And how are monopolies lost? Think about it. Some very good product people invent some very good products, and the company achieves a monopoly.

But after that, the product people aren’t the ones that drive the company forward anymore. It’s the marketing guys or the ones who expand the business into Latin America or whatever. Because what’s the point of focusing on making the product even better when the only company you can take business from is yourself?

So a different group of people start to move up. And who usually ends up running the show? The sales guy. John Akers at IBM is the consummate example. Then one day, the monopoly expires for whatever reason. But by then the best product people have left, or they’re no longer listened to. And so the company goes through this tumultuous time, and it either survives or it doesn’t.

Burrows: Is this common in the industry?

Jobs: Look at Microsoft — who’s running Microsoft?

Burrows: Steve Ballmer.

Jobs: Right, the sales guy. Case closed. And that’s what happened at Apple, as well.

Full interview here.

The persistent coordinators versus smart leaders

Science explores the possibility and creates the availability.
Engineering improves the practicality, economically.
All for business who knows how to coordinate things together
. hahahaha

Don’t get me wrong, I’m interested in business and there’s nothing wrong with business by itself. But there is something funny with the people who carry the business flag… thinking they actually outsmart the technicians, the engineers, the scientists, the doctors… etc.

Even within management, there is a small few who are the real smart leaders. You’re lucky if you happen to meet this small few in your life.

My point is, the real management and the real leader of a division must have quite a background of something in that discipline. You can’t grab a master in botany to suddenly lead the textile division. Unless the particular textile division deals a lot with the origin, like how a cotton was processed and so on, there is absolutely no logical step in putting someone else just to broaden the experience or diversify the skills of a certain manager.


Kenneth Brill, a senior engineer and founder of Uptime Institute recently wrote a commentary entitled “BP’s Real Cause of Accident on Forbes about 5 reliability principles. His second states: “Junior management error is the most frequent root cause. Why protect against something that probably won’t happen?” while referring to going from “mostly working” to “never fails”.

“Never-fails” equipment is very expensive to build and run. Does it take high level engineering to go from 90% to 99.9% reliable… or high level management? Or both?

Monthly safety meeting

I couldn’t work very much on Sunday. My brain is telling me to stop. That’s because I’m used to not working on Sunday.

I endured another fire drill and I attended the operation’s monthly safety meeting.

It was a good reminder. Because sometimes you take SAFETY for granted.

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