Follow-up: What I learned at MBA Master Class with Kenneth Sturdivant, on Operations management & change, Marriott Hotel, 2009.09.16?

I spent the evening of September 16, starting at 6.30 p.m., at the Marriott Hotel. What did I do in there? I took part in an MBA Master Class on Operations Management & change held by Kenneth STURDIVANT. Oliver OLSON also gave a CEU Business School presentation.

Short bio: Kenneth STURDIVANT is a US citizen with over twenty years of hands-on international business experience. He spent most of his carrier with Coca-Cola where he started in 1982 as Group Operations Services Manager for Coca-Cola Europe, Africa & Asia, gradually advancing to the position of Deputy General Manager, Vice President – Sales & Operations for the Coca-Cola Korea Bottling Company. His managed multiple franchises, acquisitions and mergers, day-to-day sales operations for a $500 million annual operating budget, $100 million annual capital budget, approximately 6,500 employees and industrial relations. After retiring in 2002, he now spends his time consulting on management operations, lecturing on business operations, and playing golf.

Some pictures at the event:
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And this is a video I made at the event:

Some notes I took:– you should be impatient with normality;
– a learning environment is an environment where you share knowledge;
– computers changed a lot of things in the industry;
– everybody wants to advertise their ideas as innovation;
– three paradigms:
a. Change is good;
b. Business needs change;
c. People don’t like change;
– if one gives away responsibility, this doesn’t imply also giving away authority; you have to take authority on your own; how? You build this over time; small successes lead to this;
– „control” (a word applicable during the 1970s and 1980s) is a bad word; „mentoring,” „coaching,” and „motivation” are good, more modern words;
– rules don’t mean „control;”
– a thing about the future: you will never be safe; from now on we will live in a form of continuous change;
– one will give you as much responsibility as you can take, but you have to take authority on your own;
– logistics imply flow of information; information is power and money;
– procurement is difficult to outsource, since it’s too much related to cash flow;
– „customer service” (old school) => „customer care” (new school);
– acronym: „SC Focus” = „Supply Chain Focus”;
– squeezing the SC means compressing time; when doing so, one expects the same or better quality;
– a justifiable technology is the one worth investing the money into;
– change is going to impact your job;
– every day, when reading the paper, you know something new is going to happen;
– if a thing doesn’t add value to your business and it’s difficult to handle, then you should outsource it;
– you cannot predict the stability of the country;
– Chinese and Spanish are good languages to learn; Indian? Maybe;

I particularly liked this idea: if one gives away responsibility, this doesn’t imply also giving away authority. You have to take authority on your own. How? You build this over time. Small successes lead to this. Very smart thought, made me think a lot. Extrapolating things, I conclude that in order to lead, you have to be a bit pushy. If you want to change something, you will disturb things a little. One will give you as much responsibility as you can take, but you have to take authority on your own. Great words!

Bottom line: this was my first MBA Master Class with the CEU Business School. It was engaging, lots of things to learn, good insights, the audience was fine and a great place for networking. Thanks

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