Why does recognizing cross-references make us so happy? The team that was presenting the case this time mentioned both our Econ professor and one of the prior cases - casting familiar references into a new context - causing laughter and general appreciation. What is it about understanding an obscure reference or an overt one that causes us such pleasure? Is it the fleeting feeling of being party to someone else's thought process, the feeling of personal superiority/education/culture (when getting the obscure references), or the feeling of "togetherness" due to the same or overlapping framework of references? This framework of common references is what's missing or at least impaired in non-native speakers, unfortunately, and which is why I can never be fully comfortable writing or speaking English...
Compliance (changing your view publicly but not privately, based on fear of consequences) versus Conformance (changing your view, public and private, to gain benefits of group approval)
"The Mushroom School of Management" - cover them with shit and let them grow in the dark
"How to boil a frog?" - apparently, you should do it slowly, if you are vegetarian. Frogs cannot feel the small incremental changes in temperature and so will stay in the cooking pot until boiled, whereas if you turn it up fast they will simply jump out. Nasty imagery, but applies to management - increase pressure and workload slowly but steadily.
Learning Japanese: eliminate Muda using Kazan!
"Muda" (no, no K at the end) - waste
"Kazan" - continuous improvement
You have to make yourself (team, organization) vulnerable first to make yourself better. How very true, both on a personal and organizational level.
Measuring team performance - one of the criteria of successful team management is whether they can and want to work together again.
Talked about accounting practices for the treatment research & development, purchased intangible property (patents, copyrights, R&D), and goodwill. It's interesting how firms can adopt the same guidelines to their benefit even when the needs are exactly opposite. For example, software firms have successfully lobbied to have software R&D treated as an asset, rather than an expense, which leads to increase net income. Microsoft, on the other hand, wanted to report a lower net income both due to all the lawsuits it's in (the higher the income, the higher the penalties in our wonderful and fair system) and to be able to better withstand the shareholders' pressure to start issuing dividends. So Microsoft expenses all R&D, pretending that it's just being conservative in its accounting practices. Somehow, it hasn't helped its stock - it's been treading between 20 and 30 for the last 3 years, never recovering to it's 2000 high of 60.
Review session for accounting. The TA was going over the prior year's midterm, but she was not prepared for the tough crowd of Exec MBAs. By the end of the review, when most of the people left in frustration, she felt so vulnerable (can she make herself better now?) that she couldn't come up with straight-forward answers, even though she had the solutions right in front of her. The prof told us that the TA pretested the upcoming midterm and it only took her 1.5 hours (we have 2), which gave us all hope. If she can do it, we most certainly can.
Gym - Dinner - 3 hours of studying for the Saturday midterm with teammates - Sleep.