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What Organisation Design language are you speaking?

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One of the findings from Andrew Campbell’s research was that managers lack a language for describing organisation designs. For example, the words used for describing different kinds of units are often ambiguous. The term “business unit” is used universally, but means different things in different companies.

Sometimes it refers to a highly autonomous, largely self-contained profit centre. In other situations, it is used for units that are much less autonomous, drawing on resources that are shared with other units and accepting the authority of upper levels of management on many key decisions. There is similar ambiguity in terms such as “product gap”, “division”, and “national operating company”. This lack of clear language leads to confusion and cross purposes when managers talk about their organisation designs. The problem is particularly acute when managers talk about “matrix” structures, which can mean very different things in different companies.

What is more, a key challenge in organisation design is to find a means of defining units in a way that clearly conveys the intentions behind the design. Managers need clarity about what they are supposed to be achieving, in order to provide a context for decentralized, self-managed decisions about specific issues. But manuals that spell out responsibilities in great detail lead to bureaucracy, rigidity, and lack of initiative. Organisation designers have faced a difficult choice between too little clarity and too much detail.

Solution: Create a taxonomy of unit roles that provide a means of describing design intentions.

OD Conference image

Join Andrew Campbell at the Organisation Design Conference on Tuesday 17th September 2019 at the Lok Jack GSB, Mt. Hope Campus as he evaluates the organisation design challenges in real organisations, using global benchmarks.

Book your spot for to be part of this onetime offering! Seats are going fast. See you there…

Visit our website at https://lokjackgsb.edu.tt/organisation-design-conference-2019/ call 645-6700 ext. 223 or email consult@lokjackgsb.edu.tt

Good Bones

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Organisational Structure

What is “Good Organisation Design”?

What are “Good Organisation Design Principles and Tests”?

Are there specific OD rules and guidelines that your organisation should follow?

Most Organisation Design (OD) agents rely on a few homegrown rules of thumb, such as ‘a manager should have no more than six (6) direct reports’, or ‘staff shouldn’t have two (2) managers’. I myself have been guilty of same at one point in time or another.

Well according to Andrew Campbell, Organisation Design Expert, Author, Consultant and Trainer, in addition to the above there’s been a cacophony* (I like this word) of advice, much of it quite complicated, hard to apply and in some cases even self-contradictory in approach.

Case in point “How to Group Responsibilities into Units/ Departments”. The list below shows a sample of the advice procured from available literature on a singular OD issue:

  • Greater task diversity requires greater departmentalization (Aston Studies)
  • The greater the intensity of interaction between activities, the more closely they should be linked (Thompson)
  • Functional structures are best for Standardisation, scale and task specialization (Galbraith)
  • Product structures are best when product characteristics are diverse and rapid product development is important (Galbraith)

*an incongruous or chaotic mixture…

OD Conference image

Join us on September 17, 2019 at our Organisation Design Conference to explore best practices in Organisation Design principles and tests.

This is a relevant topic for all companies who are in the process of making themselves ‘fit for purpose’ given the region’s current economic landscape.

The time is now!!!  Book your spot for to be part of this onetime offering!

…Seats are going fast. See you there…

Visit our website at https://lokjackgsb.edu.tt/organisation-design-conference-2019/ call 645-6700 ext. 223 or email consult@lokjackgsb.edu.tt

From the desk of your OD Champion

Becoming a 21st Century Organisation

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As we enter the 21st century, a number of trends in organizational design are emerging. Attractive ideas such as knowledge sharing, freedom from hierarchy, and renewal are being explored. Leading companies are endeavouring to transform their organisations, leaving behind the baggage of the old economy and adopting a new paradigm more suited to the new century (M. Goold & A. Campbell).

At our Organisation Design Conference and Executive Certificate programme we will explore some of these trends and themes that drive current organisation thinking. In addition, we will discuss why some are popular and go a step further to determine if they’ve passed or failed our test! These include:

  • Multi-dimensionality
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Disaggregation
  • Freedom from hierarchy
  • Stretch for high performance
  • Renewal

What’s your Organsiation Design strategy? Ready to test it?

 

This is a relevant topic for all companies who are in the process of making themselves ‘fit for purpose’ given the region’s current economic landscape.

The time is now!!! Book your spot for to be part of this onetime offering!

…Seats are going fast. See you there…

From the desk of your OD Champion

Women’s Convention 2019

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The Women’s Convention 2019 carded for October 17th and 18th promises to be Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business’ most exciting and progressive event yet and is catered specifically for women seeking to #LevelUp! We have an all-star line up of 8 speakers, 2 International Keynote speakers including Janice Sutherland, author of This Woman Can 4 rigorous workshops over the 2-day experience and the opportunity to network with other like-minded women.

Breakdown:

  • 8 Speakers
  • 2 International Keynotes
  • 4 Dynamic Workshops
  • 2 Day Experience
  • Connect with 100+ likeminded women
  • 1 Location

Key Learning Takeaways for Participants:

  • Confidence V.S Arrogance – Women who portray confidence are often labeled and wrongly so, of being arrogant. This Convention will give an understanding of these two traits and teach how we could eliminate this stigma for women.
  • Overcome societal labels – Societal labels can make or break you; learn how to overcome these labels and carve your own path to success.
  • Identify and leverage your personal strengths – We all have personal strengths. Let us help you to identify, nurture, and growth these strengths.
  • Packaging and valuing your professional expertise and experience – Never sell yourself short. Your professional expertise and experiences honed from your years of practice are highly valued and should be packaged as such.
  • Own your career on your terms – Your career path is your choice. Develop the blueprint for owning your career on your own terms and create a roadmap to achieving success from start to finish.

 

Why should you attend this Convention?

1. This Convention prepares you to become a leader by providing you with the tools and skills you need. Be mentored on aspects of Female Leadership, Empowerment and Career Advancement.

2. Enjoy the authentic Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business experience with a mixture of traditional and modern mentoring techniques.

3. Unlock your hidden strengths and learn how to make these strengths work for you.

4. Learn how to break the barriers in your personal and professional life.

5. Make a personal investment in yourself and your future that starts paying off immediately.


“This Woman Can is akin to an MBA in leadership. The practical stories of real people plus the personal experience of the author make for an interesting and fun read. I literally could not put it down when I started reading. I finished it in one day which is not usually the case for me when I am reading a book. It is done in such a way that it can be read in one go or simply as reference material when the need arises. I recommend it without reservations.”
– Review of Janice Sutherland’s This Woman Can.

 

Interested? Partner with the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business and become part of this exciting Convention! See the behind-the-scenes workings and get special benefits that are reserved just for you!

For further information click here http://info.lokjackgsb.edu.tt/uwi-aljgsb-womens-convention-2019 or contact Reannah Corbie at 645-6700 ext 363 or via email r.corbie@lokjackgsb.edu.tt.

Ms. Renee Thomas, Programme Director of Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business

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Ms. Renee Thomas is the Programme Director of the Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business at UWI-ALJGSB, she has over 15 years’ marketing and sales experience in the banking, distribution, media and education industries. As Programme Director for the Bachelor of International & Sustainable Business, she works closely with faculty and other key stakeholders to create a positive learning environment for students while maintaining the Business School’s quality standards through the design, delivery, and evaluation of the programme. Ms Thomas outlines below the value the undergraduate programme provides to students and some advice to persons that are uncertain on their next step!

The BISB programme aims to prepare students with the foundation required for launching and leading successful businesses as well as the development and running of businesses or business units with directions towards innovation, international expansion, sustainability and growth.

Students will:

  • Focus on the problems and challenges of business and society, while seeking to address unmet needs
  • Understand the evolving world of business
  • Develop the skillsets to operate with self-confidence as entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs
  • Launch and grow new businesses or ensure the sustainability of existing corporations through the creation of innovative add-on products and services

Why should someone do this programme?

  1. The programme prepares you to become an entrepreneur (someone that starts a business at taking on financial risks in hope of making a profit) or an intrapreneur (employee who develops innovative ideas, products or projects within a company)
  2. Practical learning environment. Classrooms are a mix of traditional learning (students listen while lecturers teach) and authentic learning (guest speakers, games, case study discussions, debates, group projects and presentations and simulations)
  3. Learning approach was designed to help students:
    1. Develop a global, entrepreneurial and sustainable mindset.
    2. Become critical thinkers, social activist, leaders, problem solvers
  1. Lecturers are a mix of academic and industry specialists
  2. Business Spanish is delivered every semester to prepare students for international business opportunities in non-English territories
  3. The specialisations (Technology & Operations Management, Strategy & Project Execution and Disruptive Innovation & Entrepreneurship) are designed to help students develop the capacity to innovate along the value chain in their own business or an existing organisation
  4.  Socially responsive projects that are executed as part of the core curriculum (for e.g. for your Self Awareness & Leadership course you will be identified/develop a community-based project and work on it for the duration of the course)
  5. The Capstone project integrates all the learnings of the programme. Students are required to solve a challenge or undertake an intervention in a sustainable manner for an existing organisation
  6. Access to the University of the West Indies facilities (library, gym, swimming pool, tennis court, clubs, social activities centre)

 

My advice to persons who are unsure about your next step upon completion of CSEC or CAPE

“If you find yourself uncertain about the area of business you want to study or the type of career you want to pursue, then the BISB programme is definitely for you! This programme was designed to allow students to dream big, find their passion, purpose and voice. You practice as you learn, giving you the ability to prepare yourself for the world of work. You gain basic business management knowledge while focusing on how to lead, launch, innovate and sustain your own business or a multinational company.”

Sign up now, and let us help you make your University experience one you will never forget!

 

For further information, speak with the academic advisor Ms. Kersha Garner at 645-6700 ext. 200 or email: admissions@lokjackgsb.edu.tt

 

What’s the difference between the Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business and a Business Management Degree?

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A lot of persons asks this question: “How does the Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business differ from a Management degree?” Let’s clarify this for you.

The Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business degree:

  • Prepares students with the foundation required to launch and lead a successful business as well as provides them with skillsets needed to develop and run a business or business unit with direction towards innovation, international expansion, sustainability, and growth.
  • Through a practical learning environment, the programme teaches students to be visionaries, intuitive, creative, innovative, risk-takers and approach tasks informally
  • Prepares students to develop a global, entrepreneurial and sustainable mindset (a way of thinking that allows leaders to make strategic decisions based on the context of their environment in mind with their intended impact)

 

A Business Management degree:

  • Provides students with a broad understanding of business organisations with subject-specific knowledge in areas such as markets, customers, finance, operations, communication, information technology, and business policy and strategy.
  • A theoretical approach to the understanding of business, leadership, and teamwork
  • Focuses on developing students to function and operate an existing business
  • Teaches students to be calculative, risk-averse and approach tasks formally

 

For more information, contact the Academic Advisor Ms. Kersha Garner at 645-6700 ext. 200 or email: admissions@lokjackgsb.edu.tt

Nicholas Jagdeo, current student in Master of International Business

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Why did you choose to do the MIB programme?

My experiences in life have taken me out of Trinidad for extended periods of time, which opened my eyes to the possibility of starting my own business in a more international way. But, nothing I had learned was really geared towards understanding how businesses and multinational corporations operate on a global scale. When I saw Lok Jack GSB was offering a master’s program that’s specifically tailored to address the scope of international business, I felt like it came at exactly the right time. The program offered an option to complete the degree in one year or one year and three months. I knew it would be intense, but this was an overwhelming attraction for me.

 

What is your experience thus far within the programme?

I’ve truly seen the intelligence behind the design of the program and its structure, especially as I continue to progress along the pathway. The core courses build upon each other, and as we advance, in finding the material challenging, but easy to ingest because of what was laid before. The workshops have been quite good, and I’m enjoying that program facilitators have seen the need to introduce some practical workshops (eg. consulting and learning how to write a business plan). Life is about curveballs, and the curveballs we’ve gotten – being the first MIB cohort – have been nothing short of exciting!

 

Who should do this program?

This program seems geared towards those who want to branch out – whether regionally or internationally, but really branch out of Trinidad. Prospective candidates need to be well-read and have a strong grasp of current events, international relations and have a thirst for international business.

 

How has this programme impacted you professionally?

Extremely! The course has helped me in understanding my own entrepreneurial goals and is guiding me into achieving them. Every course has taught me something that I’m trying to implement, also in my personal life.

 

For more information on this programme contact Ms. Kerry-Ann Jordan at 868-645-6700 ext. 351 or email: admissions@lokjackgsb.edu.tt

Okera Duncan, National Open Scholarship awardee chooses to stay in Trinidad and pursue the undergraduate degree at Lok Jack GSB

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Okera Duncan graduated from Queens Royal College at CAPE level in 2017 with a national open scholarship in the field of Modern Languages, he did languages at CSEC and at CAPE level pure Mathematics, French, Spanish, Communications Studies and Caribbean Studies. He resides with his family at Mt. Hope, has one sibling and a firm supporter of advancement in technology. Okera is also the Founder of ‘Sapienza Educational Services’ which is an online platform to learn various languages, he’s also the President of the student society CGMT initiative (Caribbean Global Multicultural Task Force Initiative) which promotes cultures and languages by their practice.

Everyone was astonished by his decision to stay in Trinidad to pursue his undergraduate degree as they knew he always wanted to study abroad to enhance his global space in addition to gaining the benefits and opportunities that follow. However, he knew that he can get that also right here in Trinidad and Tobago based on the vast amount of technological advancement currently occurring such as social media amongst others.

This is when Okera went on an adventure to look for the right institution that will give him the advantage, tools, and resources needed in order for him to succeed in what he wants to do. Okera then saw an ad in the press for the Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business at Lok Jack GSB which piqued his interest, so he decided to attend an information session at the school and heard more on the programme and in his words “the rest was history.”

Okera experience within Lok Jack GSB thus far has been an eye-opener as he’s been exposed to different workshops and seminars where he got the opportunity to network with influential business professionals and advance his knowledge within different fields of study. His advice to persons looking to do a bachelor degree is, “do your research.”

 

Learn more on the Bachelor of International and Sustainable Business here: http://bit.ly/2YUOnOj

 

 

Anjaana Downes – current student in Master of International Business

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Why did you choose to do the MIB programme?

I chose the MIB, after two years of searching for a suitable programme that would catapult my marketability within the international market. Since I’ve started the programme I’ve not only been considered for opportunities not open to me before but I’ve also been able to apply real-life experiences as well as practical knowledge within several key learning areas. It doesn’t hurt that I now also have a better grasp of the Spanish language which I’ve wanted to learn for quite some time.

 

What is your experience thus far within the programme?

After six months I’ve not only gained extensive knowledge but also experienced personal growth through learning how to apply myself as well as working with others. A Master’s programme definitely also teaches patience and discipline that may or may not have existed previously. This to me is one of the most important benefits of the programme. Professional growth is great but personal growth can potentially affect all areas of your life positively. Arthur Lok Jack has also been extremely in providing additional workshops and extra-curricular activities that are not mandatory parts of the degree programme, but are open to all students. This has also been a great experience and I’ve ensured to take advantage of many of them.

 

Who should do this programme?

Anyone who is interested in learning about different areas of business can benefit from this programme. Even if the focus is not necessarily on an international arena. The skills and educational benefits can also be applied within a local setting. The international aspect is a bonus.

 

How has this programme impacted you professionally?

My path has been expanded to include a range of new opportunities since including this programme on my resume. I’ve been considered for several scholarships and am now eligible for additional roles that I had initially been interested in prior. I am also a lot more secure in applying for these roles, since I know I have more of the criteria required to fulfil them.

 

For more information on this programme contact the academic advisor Ms. Kerry-Ann Jordan at 868-645-700 ext. 351 or email: k.jordan@lokjackgsb.edu.tt

Is Your Money Safe?

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Introduction

Do you evaluate the riskiness of your financial institution or do you simply invest based on the power of the brand? I strongly suspect that it is not based on risk assessment but on some other factors. How does the financial institution now treat with such blind faith? It is beyond the scope of this article to cover every aspect of this topic but rather to give the reader an insight into what they may be exposed to by the financial system.

Risk Management

All financial institutions are well aware of the term risk management. They have it all carefully worked out. The Asset Liability Management Committee meets regularly to ensure that everything is maintained within parameters and all should be well.  There is actually more to it than meets the eye. All financial institutions are exposed to a number of risks which they should carefully consider and evaluate on a regular basis.

The international banking sector has adopted sophisticated risk management systems to manage the relationship between risk, return and capital with a view towards maximizing returns within the established risk management framework.

Despite these risk management frameworks ranging from the Basel Accords, local laws and regulations and individual bank requirements, there has been no standard risk-taking behavior adopted by all financial institutions. All other factors being equal in terms of economic conditions and environmental conditions, there have been significant influences on the risk-taking behavior of financial institutions leading to differences in their performances.

 Unintended Risk Exposure

During the 2008 financial crisis, there were more than 400 bank failures in the United States.  This had a major effect on the economy of the United States as well as a damaging ripple effect around the world due to the interconnectedness of the global financial system.

According to Ben Bernake, The failure to appreciate risk exposures at the firm-wide level can be costly. Example during the 2008 financial crisis, firms did not fully comprehend the extent of their exposure to US subprime mortgages. They did not recognize that in addition to the subprime mortgages on their books they were also exposed to these mortgages via off balance sheet vehicles.

In Trinidad and Tobago, investors in Clico Investment Bank faced a similar situation of being exposed to the risk of which they may not have been aware at the time of investment.

Due to the interconnectivity of the financial system financial institutions are being encouraged to consider not just their direct customers and shareholders but to adopt the bigger view of the stakeholders. A stakeholder in this instance is the wider society. Why is this so important?

The “too big to fail” theory adopted by financial institutions means that they have effectively transferred their risk to the stakeholder. This means as in the case of the US subprime fiasco and locally Clico and Hindu Credit Union, the taxpayers were forced to bail out the institutions to avoid economic collapse. Stakeholders (taxpayers) were exposed to risk without any agreement on their part.  This risk transference is indeed very worrying as the extent of the risk only becomes apparent after a crisis.

How Much Risk is Enough?

But what does risk management mean? The technocrat will probably answer that risk should be kept within defined standards and this could be verified by audits (internal and external). But more importantly, it will also be verified by external credit rating agencies.  Your financial institution is probably rated AAA. What does that really mean? Does that rating mean anything to you? Well first of all who exactly are you? Are you a depositor, shareholder or stakeholder? How does your financial institution measure up?

In terms of risk-taking behavior, the banking sector in Trinidad and Tobago has been very conservative in their lending as evidenced by an average delinquency rate of 4% which is 1 % lower than the industry benchmark.  This can be interpreted as the banking sector in Trinidad and Tobago is not taking enough risk as their profit margins are largely dependent on the spread and service fees.

This may be viewed as the banks not lending to projects with positive NPVs. The high profitability of the banking sector without them taking enough risk may be enough to appease shareholders but stakeholders remain dissatisfied by the overly conservative nature. What is the purpose of the bank? Banks may intentionally not take the risk even with projects with a positive NPV to maintain their credit ratings. Apart from profits, banks are supposed to play a developmental role in society.

But good governance is not about not taking a risk, but rather taking the right amount of risk according to the stakeholder’s risk appetite. This implies that stakeholders should be aware of the potential risk and rewards and make an informed decision. This, of course, is where the Board should be concerned in providing the right oversight and make decisions based on correct and current information.

The Role of the Regulator

The important lesson learned from previous financial crises is that you cannot place full trust in regulators. After every crisis, new rules and regulations are instituted with an aim of plugging the previous loopholes, but these deal with specificities rather than the entire system as a whole, which is not an easy task by the way.  The truth is that the rate of innovation in business and banking is beyond the capacity of the regulators to be proactive. There must be some type of governance mechanism to deal with this issue.

Conclusion

The fact of the matter is that financial Institutions and indeed any business cannot succeed without taking a risk. The classic financial theory also highlights the theory of risk and reward going hand in hand. But there is information asymmetry, so stakeholders are at a disadvantage and hence decision making is skewed. It is therefore that stakeholders carefully monitor the health not just of their financial institution, but the financial system as a whole because they may be faced with the risk that they had no idea was transferred to them. What do you think? Are you comfortable now?

Bhushan Singh is Lecturer and Consultant at the UWI Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business

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