GAIA Program’s Blog
Master in Decision Making & Innovation
We would like to congratulate all the teams that delivered the documents for the three projects they had to work on. Overall, it has been a brilliant work!
Ok, let’s focus on more details…
We intended that students enrolled in this compulsory unit were motivated as long as team-membership was set up on the condition of three students belonging to the same companies. It was possible almost in all cases.
On top of it, we announced that you were going to be part of a project with the potential of curing many human diseases editing the DNA using CRISPR technology.
We’re going to review the 7 deliverables we asked for. The assessment of these documents is based on specific Evaluation Criteria, described in the Activity Section.
An important skill for a Project Manager is to be able to focus on the important thing; those things that add value to the organization, and the value is to focus on the objectives. In doing so, you have to keep in mind that your goals were to upload the deliverables described in the workout. Nothing more, nothing less.
Let’s see each of the deliverables:
1) Detailed Organization System setup.
When you start a project working in a virtual environment, it’s important to ensure a communication and document management system. It is because one of the most important skills in Project Management is communication, which does mean something more than talking much.
The main idea in this first point was that the groups stopped to think about the organization of the different tasks: who was going to do what and when? This first step was essential in order to have a clear idea about the timeline of the project and the organization in that timeline of the different tasks the group needed to develop to complete the 7 deliverables.
2) DO the risk matrix for the real project.
Risks means those issues that you can identify and define as potential issues that can have negatively influence in getting success, in trial tests for instance. There are positive issues that are called opportunities. The client understands that it is an innovative project and there isn’t any experience in managing this project… that’s why they have hired your team!!!
The main objective was that the group could identify those factors that could affect in a positive or negative way the real project: apply CRISPR technology in humans.
3) The survey exhibit for the FDA.
We know that many of you feel you have fallen into a trap because Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) disease means you have to deal with blind people. Sorry, we did not tell you! Though a quick search on the Internet reveals it. Please bear in mind that, in Project Management, it is important to have the requirements clear; it’s the only way to align the company and client’s goals.
An old proverb says “None so blind as those who will not see”. And reminding this proverb I refer to you… Gaians. There were some groups that haven´t take into account that people with LCA can´t see so, in consequence, they cannot read, so they won´t be able to complete your survey. A Braille adapted version of your survey is the best way to solve this requirement
4) DO the Kanban for China´s Health Authorities.
We noticed that most of your Kanban are quite elaborated. Remember that the main objective was to elaborate a Kanban for the Chinese authorities. In our personal opinion, we would have posted almost all the tasks in “to do” category. For those struggling with this part of the activity, please use a virtual Kanban tool. Here, you can find one for free and working offline: Kanban
5) A clear identification of the stakeholders for NHS’s project.
Apparently, it was one of the easiest deliverables. We demanded you the “identification” of the stakeholders. Some people provided a list, others add supporting reasons. An important stakeholder to take into account is the animal rights activists. Monkeys are primates. Our family! In addition, the tip provided by Marlon Molina in the Webinar could have helped you a lot: “Whoever can stop your project is a stakeholder”.
6) The REAL objectives and a REAL WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) detailed at least in 3 levels required by NHS.
WBS is a breakdown structure where you list all of the activities you need to develop the project, but in the last level for the WBS are the minimum efforts to deliver one activity o basic task. This structure is oriented to a hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team, because of that, there are levels to define and describe all of the work packages. Once you have the WBS, you will have to schedule these activities and maybe to develop a Gantt diagram; all of that is for a traditional Project Management. Remember that it was important to take into account the information about the breaking news of the NHS.
7) The Quality Assurance Plan and the Quality Control Plan required by NHS.
We are conscious this deliverable was quite challenging if teams had not elaborated a complete and articulate WBS. Let’s say the workouts’ reviews shed light on which teams did a formulation of the plans and which ones only reproduced the previous knowledge that team members had.
The Quality Assurance Plan establishes the independent reviews and checks that you need to ensure that the quality control is done. On the other hand the Control Quality Plan, is based on the internal reviews that you need to meet the quality goals and requirements.
All in all, bearing in mind that the challenge is one that most of recent graduates are not used to, I think most of the teams did a “decent” job.
I would consider hiring any of those teams. That’s a glimmer of hope for our society, which needless to say is in acute shortage of people able to understand and being interested in scientific progress and its application to our future.
Remember that, according to PMI, to be a good Project Manager, you don’t need to be an expert in the field or knowledge area of the project; you just need to be a good project manager and, according to Marlon Molina, control is the key.
Master in Decision Making & Innovation
After you have submitted all the stages related with the unit Skills that Matter, we want to give you some feedback about this activity. But before we start with that, we would like to tell you that our main goal was that you learnt something worthy and that these contents meant something to you, have we got it?
This activity had many surprises and it required your attention if you wanted to be completely absorbed into it, let’s get started:
The first thing you received was a video of Chris Green, a CEO of Family Care Canada, this video was accompanied by a survey where you had to assess some items related with leadership skills (whether the CEO was competent, knowledgeable, likeable or strong). We will analyze your answers later on.
After you were done with the survey you had to read a whole case about Chris Green and then answer some questions related with leadership, decision making processes, leadership evaluation, leader characteristics and leadership effectiveness.
The goal of these questions was that you analyzed the decision Chris Green had to take about balancing short term need to execute a specific marketing campaign in a tight timeline versus respecting the values and beliefs of the member chapters. If you answered this question perfectly you will have talked about the risks, benefits and possible consequences of this decision. For example, extensive consultation with the chapters and board might take considerable time, extending the length of the decision-making process, thereby reducing the amount of time available for execution. Too much time spent in consultation could result in the campaign being of inferior quality, or not being delivered on time.
The question about the most important characteristics of a leader was interesting and totally subjective. It was curious how many of you used male role models when talking of a “good leader” and how many of you listed male leaders as good examples of leadership. It’s amazing how gender role stereotyping unconsciously influenced your answers.
Regarding the question about how effective the approach of Chris Green’s leadership was you had to take into account the context and think that in a non-profit organization, mission, values and collaboration have a much more significant role. It was perfect if you realised that Chris’ leadership approach works particularly well when there is time for extensive time for consultation and decision-making. More urgent decisions may require a more directive approach that Chris does not appear to feel comfortable with. Apart from that, you had to identify aspects like authenticity, moral reasoning, moral action, sense of mission and interconnectedness, vision, trust, and empowerment.
After you were done with this extensive analysis of Chris Green, the mystery was finally resolved. There were actually 4 different videos and each person got to see only one of them. You didn’t know that the rest of the videos even existed. The 4 videos had the exact same audio but the character was different and only one of them was the actual Chris Green, an African-Canadian woman. The rest of the videos were played by actors and there were: an African-Canadian man, a Caucasian woman and a Caucasian man.
Although the results were better than what we had in mind, this led to an interesting analysis,…
Let’s start with the issues you had to cover when you found out there were 4 videos and Chris Green was actually an African-Canadian woman.
You had to talk about the implicit leadership theories that we unconsciously hold and relate that with both cultural and personal experiences.
Some of you realised that these videos lowered your evaluations of the leaders when comparing to what you read the case at the beginning and others said that there were differences between the videos and that now you would answer these previous questions differently.
It was perfect if you talked about stereotypes, women’s leadership, cognitive biases and cultural influences as well.
Some of you talked about the differences among the videos and that may have affected your assessments (tone of voice, body language, appearance). All these details influence how we evaluate people, most of the times unconsciously.
We recommend that you take a look to the following “best” practices before evaluating anything. Biases exist and we have to learn to live with them:
- Educate yourself and decision makers on bias. Raising awareness can reduce reliance on stereotypes.
- Establish clear criteria in advance of making decisions.
- Ask yourself about the criteria being used. Are these the right criteria for the decision? Or, do they unintentionally screen out certain candidates or outcomes?
- Explain your decisions about people to others.
Before we reach the end we want to bring up the “privilege” topic. If you are both a Caucasian and a man, think about the following: one of the aspects of privilege is that we are often unaware of our privilege because it is normal to us. Since we aren’t aware that others are treated differently, because we do not have their experiences, we assume that our experience is the same as that of other groups. Do you agree?
Finally, we would like to challenge you to complete one of the following tests, do you dare? https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html
Master in Decision Making & Innovation
Hello, Gaians! To start with the Negotiation Models activity feedback, the most important step was to plan a good strategy and to think about all the questions you needed to ask the other side. Apart from that, you needed to be prepared for the toughest questions they may have asked you.
On the one hand, you were able to identify lots of interests from the other party and that’s a good point. Uncovering as many of the parties’ interests as possible and working together as partners rather than adversaries enables negotiators to identify mutual gains and discover and create more value overall.
Some of the possibilities you had to consider when identifying Larry’s interests were:
- Work for an internet and social media company.
- Feel happy, seen, attended to and cared for at work.
- Get best position available in line with qualifications.
- Avoid damaging future reputation.
- Have growth opportunities.
Some of the possibilities you had to consider when identifying May’s interests were:
- Hire a strong team player with drive.
- Look good to her boss.
- Enhance personal credibility.
- Establish a good working rapport.
Talking about the different outcomes of the negotiation process, you did a good job on the whole. The negotiation processes were well organized and it was clear that you had researched and learnt your role at heart, good job!
It was interesting to see that some of you actually did not share all the interests with the other party while some of you did. We want you to reflect on the following questions:
- For those who played Larry, did you tell May that you had another offer? Did you reveal that it wasn’t one that you were very interested in? Did you tell her about your debt or financial concerns? Why? Why not?
- For those who played May, did you disclose to Larry that you put your reputation on the line to get approval to make him an offer or that you knew the offer was below the market and your company standard? Why? Why not?
Many negotiators fear that by disclosing information about their interests, they could weaken their position and enable the other side to take advantage of them. As a result, they tend to under-share information that could lead to higher value agreements. But, it is much easier for parties to construct proposals that satisfy the other side’s interests if they know what those interests are.
On the the other hand, you were too centered on the deal at hand and this could be a risky attitude at the end and can result in poor decision-making (getting more money today may mean getting less money next time).
Regarding the REVIEW questions, most of you (the parties who actually got better result in the negotiation) stated that your outcome was good because you got everything you wanted but you did not take into account the risk of attempting to get more money without legitimacy and thus risking losing the whole deal. If you were only focused on money, you probably lost the possibilities of creating more value, don’t you think so?
Taking into account the seven elements framework used to define the strategy we can say that a good outcome is one that:
- Is better than our Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.
- Satisfies our interests well and theirs at least acceptably.
- Is among the best of many options.
- Is based on legitimacy so everyone feels it is fair.
- Is built on good communication.
- Contains well-planned commitments that are sufficient, realistic and operational.
- Improves the working relationship.
Finally, we want to take advantage of this opportunity and say that some of you had problems when recording their videos. In the future, we highly recommend that you test the platform you are going to use before the actual role-playing takes place, thus, you will avoid any unexpected event that may occur during the recording.
I would now congratulate all of you for this activity, I am sure you have learnt a lot, we have, for sure!
Master in Decision Making & Innovation
First of all, it is important to congratulate all the students that decided to take part of this activity! It has been a pleasure to read all of your contributions and ideas!
The main objective of this activity was for the student to be able to put themselves on the candidate and the company roles talking about Recruitment & Hiring. The idea was to reflect on two types of recruitment processes (internal and external) from the company point of view and to reflect, at the same time, as candidates about factors that students consider more or less important. At the same time, you were provided with a case study to analyze different jobs offers and, according to a particular situation and taking into account all the information provided, students should advise our friend Goyal which offer he should choose.
Let’s start with the first question proposed. The idea in this first part was the students, taking the information of the ebook, could enumerate the advantages and disadvantages of the internal and the external recruitment. The idea was to read the whole ebook concentrating on Chapter 2, pages 15 and 16 of the ebook of Recruitment and Hiring and read the information provided. This way, you could develop the activity in a successful way.
A majority of students completed the 4 lines in the internal and external tables, some others added more rows but the number of advantages and disadvantages was completely the same in both recruitment processes. Only some students made clear that, for them, there was a clear interest for just one of the processes by adding more advantages. The idea was that you could compare both and establish some distinctions.
Almost all of you were able to enumerate good advantages and disadvantages according to the recruitment process and assuming the role of the company. Well done! There were some other students that surprised us considering technology or Internet a clear disadvantage of the external recruitment. As we saw in the ebook, there are some interesting external recruitment sources to take into account; e-recruitment is very present nowadays and Recruitment 2.0 is a very interesting concept to review.
The second question was about you and how you grade some factors we have provided you related to a job offer. It was really interesting to read your explanations and see how, depending on the person, there are some factors that are more important than others. Almost all of you have been able to assume in this question the candidate role and have justified the way you have graded them. Here, the important aspect was that you could reflect about you and to establish preferences.
The last question was the most important one and, probably, the most difficult for you. You were proposed to read in deep and very carefully the case study proposed about our friend Manish Goyal. The synopsis was:
“In August 2016, Manish Goyal, a student in this second year of the two-year MBA program at XLRI Jamshedpur, India, had to make career-related choices about which industry, company, function and role to pursue after his MBA. He had limited previous work experience to rely on, but rather than choosing the first job that came his way or trying to join one of the more popular firms among MBS students, Goyal sought a job offer that best aligned with his own career objectives. He sought advice from his classmates on career options in the investment banking, management consulting and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industries. He realized that while these were valuable inputs, ultimately he had to make his own decisions.”
The main idea was that taking into account Goyal’s situation, skills, preferences and background, the pieces of advice of his friends, the information of the companies and the different recruitment processes, the students could make a decisions if they were Goyal.
Goyal hails from New Delhi, and he may wish to return to his hometown in the long run. So, he may choose a company that is headquartered (or has significant operations in or around) New Delhi. In addition, he had specialized in HR management, so choosing an organization that offers him an HR role may be perfect to him. Moreover, he had previously worked in a software role for clients in the banking domain. He may wish to take advantage of this work experience to get recruited at a higher level than his classmates who had no work experience.
In addition, as you could read in the case study provided, Goyal was looking for a challenging role. All the three offers (Accenture, HUL and Goldman Sachs) were likely to be challenging, if only in different ways. This factor was important and Goyal needed to make a finer distinction between the kind of challenges he would enjoy and the ones he wanted to avoid.
Moreover, the case explains that Goyal was comfortable working with other people and he didn’t want to work in front of a computer all day, and therefore he might prefer consulting or FMCG over investment banking role. So, at this point, we could discard Goldman Sachs’ offer. The fact that he saw himself as a problem solver and wished to be involved in high-impact decisions also indicates us the possibility of having success in management consulting project situations.
Furthermore, it was important to take into account his excellent communication skills that would be very useful independent of the job he select; however, he would be valuable in management consulting where he would be expected to make presentations and interact with clients every day. However, remuneration would not become a really important factor for Goyal because his expectations of receiving a good compensation would be met by any of the three jobs offers. In addition, the recruitment process and the company’s requirements were also a help for the students to advice Goyal with the best decision possible.
In short, taking into account all the previous aspects, the best option to fit with Goyal’s objectives and expectations is to select Accenture, the consulting company. This company completely fits with Goyal’s career objectives but Goyal should consider, at the same time, to have a fallback option: preparing for a job in an FMCG company, in this case, HUL.
Almost all of the students selected Accenture, as the best option to Goyal but there were some others that selected HUL and, as you could read, this company could be the fallback option of Goyal. Goldman Sach’s offer could be completely discarded!
Finally, almost all of you were able to make a decision but only few students were able to go further on their answers by justifying why HUL and Goldman Sachs were not a good option including some important aspects of the recruitment processes. These aspects were part of the expected answer!
Remember that in the Community you have your personalized feedback available! Take a look!
Master in Decision and Innovation
First at alI I would like to congratulate all of you for your participation in the activity and hope you have enjoyed as much as we did. As you know, all of us are immersed in a reality progressively taken over by AI.
In this activity related to the Human Resource Role in companies we wanted you to reflect on how AI can help HR to predict your personality and skills. We know this possibility raises unsettling scenarios akin to “black mirrror” plots.
So our first concern was to assuage any alarm AI’s potential could bias your performance of the experiment we wanted you to take part. Hence we asked you to submit, -without saying what was it for- at least, 2000 words in which, you would explain who you are, your hobbies, what aspects define you, how do you approach life, etc…
As you already know after doing the experiment you have been able to compare what IBM Watson Personality Insights program thinks about your “real profile” taking into account the analysis of your writing description within the Big Five model.
Beforehand, we provided you with extensive information on how the algorithm works on the Human Resource Role activity’s page 3 on www.gaianext.com
As IBM Watson recommends in order to obtain more precise results we advised you to write the 2000 words text in Spanish or in your mother tongue. Sorry if we misled some people into writing in Catalan, Basque or Galician because currently the program only analyses in English and Spanish.
Our intention was to introduce you through a scientific approach to the basis of IBM Watson’s fundamentals backing the AI´s IBM software. To support the experiment we invited Luis Eduardo Imbernon to lecture on AI’s potential for recruiting based on his PhD research on AI and education.
Before Imbernon’s webinar, students were asked two questions:
- Do you think that AI could really predict people’s behaviour and preferences?
71,1% thought that it’s possible
- Do you think that HR departments could take advantage of those predictions to face a recruitment process?
83% thought that it’s possible
After the webinar and the students experiment themselves with the IBM Watson Personality Insights, we asked two similar questions:
- Do you think that IBM Watson has provided you correct results about your personality using your 2000 words text?
76% thought IBM’s program was correct in its prediction.
- Do you think that this service performs better the work of guessing a candidate’s personality than a professional recruiter?
19% thought that IBM Watson perform better than a recruiter.
It’s clear that students’ opinions about AI’s power prediction on personality didn’t suffer significant variation after trying the software. On the other hand, regarding the second topic (AI’s ability to improve human recruitment) has suffered a significant decrease (64%) in the support students gave it in first instance.
It is true that the second question wording had probably pushed many students to reconsider their former sympathetic opinions towards AI potential. However, in light of this decrease of support for AI’ use in recruitment we wonder if students’ opinion were also strongly influenced by theirs visualizing a not-so-distant scenario where machines may effectively assess humans without taking into account human interaction, feelings and the ever present aspiration that chance and fortuitous meetings matter.
Welcome to the near future! Enjoy it!