"...For twenty-five years, competition has been at the heart of corporate strategy. Today, one can hardly speak of strategy without involving the language of competition: competitive strategy, competitive benchmarking, building competitive advantages, and beating the competition. Such focus on the competition traces back to corporate strategy’s roots in military strategy.
The very language of corporate strategy is deeply imbued with military references—chief executive “officers” in “headquarters,” “troops” on the “front lines,” and fighting over a defined battlefield....continue reading
Source:California Manaement Review Vol 47.No.3 Spring 2005
Whitson, Malenchenko and Shukor are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station in a Soyuz spacecraft in October.
Photo credit: Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center
The above are typical sample framework developed (together with clients) to chart their PREFERRED fUTURE, using the Balanced Scorecard /Strategy-focused Organization methodology... 10, 20, 30 years business plan.
Interested? Please get in touch: mail to [firstname.lastname@example.org]. Thank you.
1. BOS is the result of a decade-long study of 150 strategic moves spanning more than 30 industries over 100 years (1880-2000).
2. BOS is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost.
3.The aim of BOS is not to out-perform the competition in the existing industry, but to create new market space or a blue ocean, thereby making the competition irrelevant.
4. BOS offers a set of methodologies and tools to create new market space.
5. While innovation has been seen as a random/experimental process where entrepreneurs and spin-offs are the primary drivers – as argued by Schumpeter and his followers – BOS offers systematic and reproducible methodologies and processes in pursuit of innovation by both new and existing firms.
6. BOS frameworks and tools include: strategy canvas, value curve, four actions framework, six paths, buyer experience cycle, buyer utility map, and blue ocean idea index.
7. These frameworks and tools are designed to be visual in order to not only effectively build the collective wisdom of the company but also to effectively execute through easy communication.
8. BOS covers both strategy formulation and strategy execution.
9. The three key conceptual building blocks of BOS are: value innovation, tipping point leadership, and fair process.
How does blue ocean strategy fundamentally differ from red ocean strategy?
In simple terms, red ocean strategy is about how to out-pace rivals in existing market space; it is a market-competing strategy. In contrast, blue ocean strategy is about how to get out of established market boundaries to leave the competition behind; it is a market-creating strategy.
Red ocean strategy assumes that an industry’s structural conditions are given and that firms are forced to compete within a finite market space. Taking market structure as given, companies are driven to try to carve out a defensible position against the competition in the existing industry terrain.
To sustain themselves in the marketplace, practitioners of red ocean strategy focus on building advantages over the competition, usually by assessing what competitors do and striving to do it better.
Here, grabbing a bigger share of the market is seen as a zero-sum game in which one company’s gain is achieved at another company’s loss.
Hence, competition, the supply side of the equation, becomes the defining variable of strategy.
However, to get the other side of the coin... please look at this REDocean, BLUEocean and the DEAD SEA - in enhancing your understanding on rObOs..!
Much of what we don't understand about being human is simply in our heads. The brain is a befuddling organ, as are the very questions of life and death, consciousness, sleep, and much more. Here's a heads-up on what's known and what's not understood about your noggin.
If you were to ask 10 people what dreams are made of, you’d probably get 10 different answers. That’s because scientists are still unraveling this mystery. One possibility: Dreaming exercises brain by stimulating the trafficking of synapses between brain cells. Another theory is that people dream about tasks and emotions that they didn’t take care of during the day, and that the process can help solidify thoughts and memories. In general, scientists agree that dreaming happens during your deepest sleep, called Rapid Eye Movement (REM).
Fruit flies do it. Tigers do it. And humans can't seem to get enough of it. No, not that. We're talking about shut-eye, so crucial we spend more than a quarter of our lives at it. Yet the underlying reasons for sleep remain as puzzling as a rambling dream. One thing scientists do know: Sleep is crucial for survival in mammals. Extended sleeplessness can lead to mood swings, hallucination, and in extreme cases, death. There are two states of sleep—non-rapid eye movement (NREM), during which the brain exhibits low metabolic activity, and rapid eye movement (REM), during which the brain is very active. Some scientists think NREM sleep gives your body a break, and in turn conserves energy, similar to hibernation. REM sleep could help to organize memories. However, this idea isn’t proven, and dreams during REM sleep don’t always correlate with memories.
It’s estimated that about 80 percent of amputees experience sensations, including warmth, itching, pressure and pain, coming from the missing limb. People who experience this phenomenon, known as "phantom limb," feel sensations as if the missing limb were part of their bodies. One explanation says that the nerves area where the limb severed create new connections to the spinal cord and continue to send signals to the brain as if the missing limb was still there. Another possibility is that the brain is "hard-wired" to operate as if the body were fully intact—meaning the brain holds a blueprint of the body with all parts attached.
Residing in the hypothalamus of the brain, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or biological clock, programs the body to follow a 24-hour rhythm. The most evident effect of circadian rhythm is the sleep-wake cycle, but the biological clock also impacts digestion, body temperature, blood pressure, and hormone production. Researchers have found that light intensity can adjust the clock forward or backward by regulating the hormone melatonin. The latest debate is whether or not melatonin supplements could help prevent jet lag—the drowsy, achy feeling you get when "jetting" across time zones.
Some experiences are hard to forget, like perhaps your first kiss. But how does a person hold onto these personal movies? Using brain-imaging techniques, scientists are unraveling the mechanism responsible for creating and storing memories. They are finding that the hippocampus, within the brain’s gray matter, could act as a memory box. But this storage area isn’t so discriminatory. It turns out that both true and false memories activate similar brain regions. To pull out the real memory, some researchers ask a subject to recall the memory in context, something that’s much more difficult when the event didn’t actually occur.
Laughter is one of the least understood of human behaviors. Scientists have found that during a good laugh three parts of the brain light up: a thinking part that helps you get the joke, a movement area that tells your muscles to move, and an emotional region that elicits the "giddy" feeling. But it remains unknown why one person laughs at your brother’s foolish jokes while another chuckles while watching a horror movie. John Morreall, who is a pioneer of humor research at the College of William and Mary, has found that laughter is a playful response to incongruities—stories that disobey conventional expectations. Others in the humor field point to laughter as a way of signaling to another person that this action is meant "in fun." One thing is clear: Laughter makes us feel better.
Nature vs Nurture
In the long-running battle of whether our thoughts and personalities are controlled by genes or environment, scientists are building a convincing body of evidence that it could be either or both! The ability to study individual genes points to many human traits that we have little control over, yet in many realms, peer pressure or upbringing has been shown heavily influence who we are and what we do.
Living forever is just for Hollywood. But why do humans age? You are born with a robust toolbox full of mechanisms to fight disease and injury, which you might think should arm you against stiff joints and other ailments. But as we age, the body’s repair mechanisms get out of shape. In effect, your resilience to physical injury and stress declines. Theories for why people age can be divided into two categories: 1) Like other human characteristics, aging could just be a part of human genetics and is somehow beneficial. 2) In the less optimistic view, aging has no purpose and results from cellular damage that occurs over a person's lifetime. A handful of researchers, however, think science will ultimately delay aging at least long enough to double life spans.
Living forever may not be a reality. But a pioneering field called cryonics could give some people two lives. Cryonics centers like Alcor Life Extension Foundation, in Arizona, store posthumous bodies in vats filled with liquid nitrogen at bone-chilling temperatures of minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit (78 Kelvin). The idea is that a person who dies from a presently incurable disease could be thawed and revived in the future when a cure has been found. The body of the late baseball legend Ted Williams is stored in one of Alcor’s freezers. Like the other human popsicles, Williams is positioned head down. That way, if there were ever a leak in the tank, the brain would stay submerged in the cold liquid. Not one of the cryopreserved bodies has been revived, because that technology doesn’t exist. For one, if the body isn’t thawed at exactly the right temperature, the person’s cells could turn to ice and blast into pieces.
When you wake up in the morning, you might perceive that the Sun is just rising, hear a few birds chirping, and maybe even feel a flash of happiness as the fresh morning air hits your face. In other words, you are conscious. This complex topic has plagued the scientific community since antiquity. Only recently have neuroscientists considered consciousness a realistic research topic. The greatest brainteaser in this field has been to explain how processes in the brain give rise to subjective experiences. So far, scientists have managed to develop a great list of questions.
Why Science Cannot Unlock the Secret of the Human Mind
By Dennis Leap
As technology gives us more sophisticated means to acquire knowledge, much attention is being focused on studying the human brain. Science ponders, why is the human brain far superior to the animal brain? This article shows why science cannot find the answer.
Why is the human mind so vastly superior to the animal brain? The heated debate about the human mind rages on. Some scientists firmly say the debate is over, yet it appears that each new decade brings on another theory. The human effort spent to know the secret of the human mind is nearly immeasurable.
The question is as old as human history. Western philosophers have been writing and talking about the human mind since the 18th century. Modern psychology and its separate branches were brought to birth by the quest to know the human mind. Beginning in the mid-20th century and still today, millions of dollars are spent on scientific research to answer this seemingly unanswerable question. Biologists, geneticists and even astronomers and mathematicians have entered the dispute. And for all of this, still there is not an answer that satisfies.
The question remains unanswered. Why can’t science unlock the secret of the human mind?
We are not saying that the struggle to understand the human mind has not borne fruits. Scientific research has added to our fund of knowledge about the human brain. Science knows that it is of an incredible design.
Technology’s challenge to build human-like robots has taught software and computer engineers that the taken-for-granted functions of the human brain are nearly impossible to duplicate. It is a relatively simple technology to build a robot that works well on an assembly line. It has been proven that robots can successfully paint cars and do other such routine tasks.
Some very sophisticated robots can even perform surgery on the human body. However, it is an overwhelming task to build a robot with a humanlike brain. There are incredibly huge hurdles to overcome in order to give a robot the ability to see as a human sees, to hear as a human hears or to have the common sense human beings use every day.
While science fiction would like us to believe that it is possible to recreate ourselves into robots like Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, experts know that it is highly unlikely we’ll meet a Data in this 21st century.
Steven Pinker, professor of psychology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has written several extremely popular books discussing recent research on the human brain. In his national bestseller How the Mind Works, he writes, “The reason there are no humanlike robots is not that the very idea of a mechanical mind is misguided. It is that the engineering problems we humans solve as we see and walk and plan and make it through the day are far more challenging than landing on the moon or sequencing the human genome.”
Humans navigate through living spaces and around furniture without even thinking about it. It is automatic. Our brains give us that ability. But it is a major mechanical and computer software feat to build a robot to make such maneuvers.
Pinker continues, “No database could list all the facts we tacitly know, and no one ever taught them to us.” Brain scientists know that there are trillions of bits of information that we draw upon unconsciously every day to live and survive. Yet, no one taught them to us—we just seem to know them. Why? It is human to know so. For example, if our cat is in the yard, we know that it is not in the house. If we go to the grocery store and buy a gallon of milk and then carry it home in the car, we can instruct a helper to get the gallon of milk out of the car.
Generally speaking, our helper wouldn’t even question our request. Going to the car and retrieving the gallon of milk would be a simple task. It is not simple to program a robot to know about cats, yards, houses or how to retrieve a gallon of milk out of a car.
Of course, if our brains become damaged by accident or through stroke, then we often lose these abilities so generously bestowed upon us. In fact, much of our knowledge about the human brain has come about through the study of such calamities. Stroke often impairs our ability to walk, see, hear or speak. Brain injury often destroys our memories.
To gain a better knowledge of the human brain, researchers have studied animal brains as well. But instead of actually learning more about the human brain, science has hit a quagmire of uncertainty. Neuroscientists have discovered that there is no vastly significant difference when the human brain is compared to the animal brain.
Mr. Pinker admits this fact.
“Neuroscientists like to point out that all parts of the cerebral cortex look pretty much alike—not only the different parts of the human brain, but the brains of different animals.” In other words, when we crack open the skull of a human or an animal we see pretty much the same material. Of course there are some differences.
The human brain is only slightly larger than a chimpanzee’s. But it is much smaller than an elephant’s brain. However, the output of the human brain is immensely superior to both a chimp’s and an elephant’s. The output of the human brain can simply not be accounted for because of size, or more cells, or improved design. That is the unexplained riddle with which science wrestles.
There are certain brain functions that are solely human—no animal can do them. Language is a prime example. Although animals communicate with sounds and movements, only human beings can talk and write. Only humans can build a fund of knowledge and teach it to future generations. Animals cannot grasp abstract concepts such as the highly developed system of mathematics or physics. Animals cannot appreciate art, music or architecture.
Human beings can think, reason and make choices. Animals can only do such things in a limited way based on either instinct or repetitive training. For example, animals cannot decide to go and visit a sick friend. But humans can choose to serve, share or cooperate. In a similar vein, humans can choose to be jealous or hateful. Animals have no such choice. These are functions exclusively bestowed upon humans and are attitudes of mind.
To date, no scientist has been able to explain why the human brain gives us the functions of mind that we so obviously possess. Of course, scientists want to convince us that they know—but the truth is, they simply do not know.
Pinker states early in his book, “I will try to explain what the mind is, where it came from, and how it lets us see, think, feel, interact and pursue higher callings like art, religion and philosophy. On the way I will try to throw light on distinctively human quirks.”
The most important word in these two sentences is the word try! The author uses it twice and spends nearly 600 pages doing so. But all of his arguments never explain why the human mind is so vastly different. He explains how the human mind is different, but never why! Here is why he cannot.
Evolution vs. God
Scientists, with few exceptions, will not even consider the likelihood of a nonphysical part of the human brain. Scientists cannot explain the human mind because they will not admit that anything other than the physical exists. All the latest research on the human brain is based on what can be seen, observed, or subjected to experimentation.
Current human brain research, known as cognitive science, has limited itself to evolutionary biology and genetics. Man is reduced to matter—alone.
Mr. Pinker is one of the leaders of cognitive science. He admits to his readers, “I want to convince you that our minds are not animated by some godly vapor …." He also states that previous to this time of advanced scientific research, we have been “victims of an illusion: that our psychology comes from some divine force or mysterious essence or almighty principle.”
His answer to why the human mind is the way it is may astound you: “The mind is a system of organs of computation, designed by natural selection to solve the kinds of problems our ancestors faced in their foraging way of life, in particular, understanding and outmaneuvering objects, animals, plants and other people. … The mind is organized into modules or mental organs, each with a specialized design …. The modules’ basic logic is specified by our genetic program.”
In other words, man is only physical, and his thinking—even his emotions, such as love, anger, joy and frustration—can only be explained by biology or genetics.
Isn’t it truly incredible that on one hand he can recognize that the human mind is utterly fantastic, an instrument of incredible design—yet, on the other hand, he states that a mindless process called natural selection brought it into being?
Why cannot such a brilliant thinker admit that God could have had something to do with the design of the human mind?
The brightest minds in science are the victims of the illusion known as evolution. The theory of evolution, which is the explanation of a creation without a Creator, severely limits science. Belief in evolution is a faith that blinds human minds to truth that only God can reveal.
No matter how detailed the investigation, science will never come to understand the human mind, because it will not recognize God as Creator…
“Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one Unit of Creation), before We clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?” [Al-Qur’aan 21:30]
Only after advances have been made in science, do we now know that cytoplasm, the basic substance of the cell is made up of 80% water. Modern research has also revealed that most organisms consist of 50% to 90% water and that every living entity requires water for its existence. Was it possible 14 centuries ago for any human-being to guess that every living being was made of water? Moreover would such a guess be conceivable by a human being in the deserts of Arabia where there has always been scarcity of water?
The following verse refers to the creation of animals from water:
“And Allah has created Every animal from water.” [Al-Qur’aan 24:45]
The following verse refers to the creation of human beings from water:
“It is He Who has Created man from water: Then has He established Relationships of lineage And marriage: for thy Lord Has power (over all things).” [Al-Qur’aan 25:54]
[Credit goes to: NZmuslim.net]
Water quality is the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water, characterized through the methods of hydrometry.
The primary bases for such characterization are parameters which relate to drinking water, safety of human contact and for health of ecosystems. The vast majority of surface water on the planet is neither potable nor toxic. This remains true even if sea water in the oceans (which is too salty to drink) isn't counted.
Another general perception of water quality is that of a simple property that tells whether water is water pollution or not. In fact, water quality is a very complex subject, in part because water is a complex medium intrinsically tied to the ecology of the Earth. Industrial pollution is a major cause of water pollution, as well as runoff from agricultural areas, urban stormwater runoff and discharge of untreated sewage (especially in developing countries)...[Source: wikiPedia]
My interest in water... What is WATER?
Water covers 71% the Earth's surface; the oceans contain 97.2% of Earth's water. The Antarctic ice sheet, which contains 90% of all fresh water on Earth, is visible at the bottom. Condensed atmospheric water can be seen as clouds, contributing to the earth's albedo.
Water is a common chemical substance that is essential to all known forms of life. In typical usage, water refers only to its liquid form or state, but the substance also has a solid state, ice, and a gaseous state, water vapor. About 1,460 teratonnes (Tt) of water cover 71% of Earth's surface, mostly in oceans and other large water bodies, with 1.6% of water below ground in aquifers and 0.001% in the air as vapor, clouds (formed of solid and liquid water particles suspended in air), and precipitation.
Some of the Earth's water is a part of man-made and natural objects near the earth's surface such as water towers, and animal and plant bodies, manufactured products, and food stores.
Saltwater oceans hold 97.0% of surface water, glaciers and polar ice caps 2.4%, and other land surface water such as rivers and lakes 0.6%. Water in these forms moves perpetually through the water cycle of evaporation and transpiration, precipitation, and runoff usually reaching the sea. Winds carry water vapor over land at the same rate as runoff into the sea, about 36 Tt per year.
Over land, evaporation and transpiration contribute another 71 Tt per year to the precipitation of 107 Tt per year over land. Some water is trapped for periods in ice caps, glaciers, aquifers, or in lakes, for varying periods, sometimes providing fresh water for life on land. Clean, fresh water is essential to human and other life.
In many parts of the world, it is in short supply. Many very important chemical substances, such as salts, sugars, acids, alkalis, some gases (especially oxygen), and many organic molecules dissolve in water.
Outside of our planet, a significant quantity is thought to exist underground on the planet Mars, on the moons Europa and Enceladus, and on the exoplanets known as HD 189733 and HD 209458. [source: Wikipedia]
Mr. Sabtu carries with him almost 30 years of working experience, both in the public as well as the private sector. He was previously the General Manager (Organization Development), Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) – the premier power utility company. He has had the opportunity in initiating and operationalizing number of strategic assignments, over the past 15 years – especially in the area of change management and enterprise performance measures at the Group and Subsidiary levels - developing and translating strategy into actions.
In 1979 he received his BSc (Hons) in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from Portsmouth Polytechnic, England and in 1996 obtained his MBA from Ohio University, Athens. USA. He has attended 2-week formal training in Balanced Scorecard with the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative conducted by Prof Dr Kaplan and Dr Norton; the 'BSC guru' in Boston, USA in September 2000. Currently he is pursuing his PhD research on Strategic Thinking Culture.
He is Certified Professional Executive Coach (Cambridge Association of Managers, United Kingdom) , Member of International Coaching Federation (ICF), Member of Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM), Member of Malaysian Institute of Human Resource Management (MIHRM). as well as Certified Trainer (PSMB, Ministry of Human Resource, Malaysia).
Mr. Sabtu started his career with Lembaga Letrik Negara (LLN) as Consumer Engineer in 1979 and seconded to the Ministry of Energy, Telecommunication & Post as Director of Electrical Inspectorate in 1985. He actively involved in Malaysian Standards (MS) formulation with SIRIM and as the Government’s Subject Matter Expert in the electrical safety and related trades. On January 8, 2007 he left TNB, after serving for more than 27 years.
Currently he serves as resource expert to Malaysia Productivity Corporation focusing on SMEs’ transformation (strategic planning) and used to serve in the Balanced Scorecard for APO (Asian Productivity Organization, Tokyo) Best Practice Network. In May 2002, he has been appointed as the International Program Committee member of the 12th IASSE - 2003 International Conference (Intelligent & Adaptive System and Software Engineering), San Francisco, USA.
He was the Deputy President of National Quality Network (NPC) and used to be on the Board of Management, AIM (Asian Institute of Management), Alumni Club Malaysia Chapter; and an active Member of Transparency International Malaysia.
He is a regular contributor to local and regional conferences, seminars and workshops; and help organizations in developing their strategic directions using Balanced Scorecard (BSC) /and Strategy-focus Organization (SfO) methodologies. He used to serve as Associate Consultant to Consultancy Bureau, Universiti Tenaga Nasional; and currently serves as Technical Advisor (on retainer basis for Performance Management System implementation program) to Malaysia Energy Centre (PTM) – the energy research-based organization under the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications.
©Sab2009_Brief Resume Last update: 4 Muharam 1430 / 010109