Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Smart storyteller’s role in this digital age

They are hired to build a credible company culture and a corporate conscience

Multitasking? Time to apply the brakes.

The Side effects of doing multiple tasks at one time have life coaches worried

Curtain Raiser

Blue Ocean organizes Second International Conference on Global Supply Chain & Procurement

The region’s leading knowledge empowerment enterprise is set organize its second international conference titled “Staying Ahead with Procurement Trends for Expo 20-20” on September 20, 2014 at the iconic Atlantis Hotel in Dubai, UAE.

The one-day conference will get together heads of Supply Chain and Procurement and important policy-makers from this region (who have played a crucial role in transforming UAE into the leading supply Chain hub that it is today) to analyse contemporary trends and pave the foundation for future innovation in the procurement industry.

Marketplaces worldwide are witnessing an unprecedented pace of change. As a result, businesses are rapidly re-evaluating their operating models and market strategies not just to withstand these market forces, but also to capitalize on them. The conference will focus on challenges and the missing links in the international supply chain as the world shrinks into a global marketplace.

Competent procurement professionals have stepped-up their game, fundamentally changing the way they work with the business and – as a result – are increasingly taking a leadership role in helping drive growth and reduce costs across the organizations.

The upcoming conference, a sequel to the First Blue Ocean International Conference on Procurement held in Qatar earlier this year, will feature eminent speakers drawn from different areas of specializations in global supply chain. There will also be an active participation from Blue Ocean Procurement and Supply Chain Forums.

The conference will help to create a “think tank” composed of industry specialists from all sectors, who will provide smart solutions to existing issues while determining the way forward.

“We are at a crossroads – it is important for us to look back at the country’s successes and not lose track of the concepts that made Dubai and the UAE into an international trading and logistic hub,” explained Mr. Abdul Azeez, Regional Director, Blue Ocean Academy.

Panel discussions will shed light on “Why benchmarking is important to Supply Chain” with speakers like Sara Lee from Weatherford Drilling International, Engineer Moustafa Ahmad Helmy, Head of Systems Support, Business Support Department, Procurement Directorate, Qatar Foundation, Ali Mohammed Saleh Al-Hussaini, Section Head – Procurement and Supply, Ma’aden Phosphate Company, Benu Chatterjee, General Manager – Purchase (International Operations), Sterling & Wilson, Rajesh M. Bhandari, Director, Arihant Education Foundation and Percy Jal Engineer, Regional Head, Corporate Relations, Blue Ocean Academy.

The speakers will focus on how companies need to make use of the latest technologies and the skills of empowered professionals to push profits in a resurgent Middle East economy. To improve their supply chain performance, companies are adopting new best practices. This session will highlight the ones that are making the greatest impact.

The second panel discussion will showcase international best practices in supply chain. The supply chain is everything between Supply and Demand and is effectively all of the “Buy-Make-Move-Sell-Stock” processes. Here we look at varied definitions and explain how the supply chain is involved (but is often not recognized) in the business practices of every organization.

Companies report that their top concern is the continued lack of supply chain visibility due to manually-driven processes. The second-highest concern is the uncoordinated nature of global supply chain processes across all the parties involved. Challenges with aligning multi-party actions and poor supply chain visibility result in an imbalance of supply and demand across tiers, leading to stock-outs, significant “just in case” inventory carrying costs, high transportation costs, and extended cycle times.

The panelists include Dr. Sathya Menon, Executive Director, Academics, Blue Ocean Academy, AmrTawfik, Region Logistics Manager, Weatherford Oil Tool Middle East, Ismail Hussain Al-Askar, Sr-Procurement Materials Specialist, Saudi Aramco, R. V. SrinivasRao, Manager Procurement & Logistics, Qatar Airways, VP Menon, General Manager, Career Institute, Dubai.

As Dubai readies itself to greet 25 million visitors for Dubai Expo 2020, the spotlight is on the new trends in international procurement and supply chain that will define its future. The Dubai World Central Logistics Park and the Maktoum International Airport has truly turned Dubai into an international trading hub. New jobs are being created every year in the UAE and in other Middle East countries. Challenging opportunities await those who can captain the industry in the future.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Multi-tasking is High-Risk

By Debasree Banerjee

All working professionals, winning awards for versatility, beware! All that multi-tasking might be doing you more harm than good.

In today’s world of spiraling competition, lay-offs and mergers, serious side-effects of multi-tasking have had life coach experts more than worried.

Emerging studies are pointing to some well-observed truths: multi-taskers are prone to making mistakes, more likely to miss important information and cues and less capable of retaining information in their working memory. In a nutshell, attention deficit disorders are spreading like fire at the workplace. It’s time to apply the breaks.

Over the past decade, advances in neuroimaging have been revealing how the brain focuses, what impairs focus — and how easily the brain is distracted. It has also been discovered that the brain can be trained to ignore distractions.

The most important step to develop high-quality focus is to curb emotional frenzy. It is a feeling of being a little out of control, often underpinned by anxiety, sadness, anger, and related emotions. Emotions are processed by the amygdala, a small, almond-shaped brain structure. It responds powerfully to negative emotions, which are regarded as signals of threat.

Negative emotions interfere with the brain’s ability to solve problems or do other cognitive work. Positive emotions and thoughts do the opposite — they improve the brain’s executive function, and so help open the door to creative and strategic thinking.

The challenge is to improve the balance of positive and negative emotions by taming negative emotional frenzy by exercising, meditating and sleeping well.

It is also important to learn to apply the brakes. Distractions are always lurking: wayward thoughts, emotions, sounds, or interruptions. Fortunately, the brain is designed to instantly stop a random thought or an unnecessary action. Become aware of your options, you can stop what you are doing and address the distraction, or you can let it go. At the workplace ensure that meetings are distraction free and employees are giving undivided attention.

When you turn your attention to a new task, shift your focus from your mind to your body. Go for a walk, climb stairs, do some deep breathing or stretches. Even if you aren’t aware of it, when you are doing this your brain continues working on your past tasks. Sometimes new ideas emerge during such physical breaks.

Handy Hints

  • Over achievers tend to multi-task
  • Multi-tasking leads to attention deficit disorder
  • Train your brain to avoid distractions

 Debasree Banerjee is Corporate Communications Manager of Blue Ocean Academy, Dubai.