November 2007

Monthly Archive

The World Is Flat – Part 3

Posted by on 21 Nov 2007 | Tagged as: The World Is Flat

Here are my last thoughts on the book. I basically just reflected on ideas from the last third.

Developing Countries in the Flat World

I thought it was really interesting that China is doing better in this flat world than Mexico, considering how close Mexico is to the U.S. I hadn’t really thought about the fact that Mexico has an upper hand in the world economics and yet they are not doing as well as China. They need to look at their country and see what needs to be changed. They need strong political figures to guide their country into this millennium. According to Friedman, countries that have open and competitive markets are the ones who get out of poverty. When they have this market structure they can begin to do business with industrial nations and begin to receive work and grow their abilities. But, the leaders of the country must have that vision and those goals in order to accomplish this economic success.

Companies in the Flat World

There were some basic ideas that I drew from this chapter that I could really relate to. First of all, the idea of creating an environment where employees can stretch their imagination reminded me a lot of Google’s policy. Google states that each employee is guaranteed 20% of their time to work on whatever they want…relevant to Google’s goals of course. What a phenomenal idea to get new ideas. They don’t force their employees to only work on projects that they assign; they can work on other projects as well. In fact, Google Mail was one of these 20% projects. They foster an environment for imagination and innovation which helps make them so successful.

Another idea I found interesting was small companies acting “big” by using different collaboration tools. So many companies today can reach so many different people just because they have the ability to make themselves as available as those big corporations. Small business owners have so much more visibility in this flattening world and so many more opportunities to prove themselves and build their customer base. This puts big businesses up to a new kind of challenge that they must deal with. Their competition is more than just the other big businesses.

Creating a company that allows individuals to serve themselves is another idea that Friedman writes about in his book. Dell Computers is the first company I thought of when I read about this. I can go to their web site and create my own computer, with my own features. This idea can also be applied to training. We need to give our learners many different options to help them learn that content. Customize and tailor!!

Outsourcing can be used to grow a company’s economic success faster than if they don’t outsource. Outsourcing is not necessarily a “bad” thing. Outsourcing can actually help a company grow. This idea goes back to when Friedman talked about labor being outsourced and innovation staying inside the company.

Companies are more transparent now. Companies cannot hide behind their walls now. What they do is seen all over the world in a matter of hours or even minutes. They are now visible and their employees are visible. They have to be much more careful about their actions and how that will affect their customer’s perception.
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Rating Facial Expressions

Posted by on 01 Nov 2007 | Tagged as: Future of Technology

I found this neat article on Rating Facial Expressions. This technology rates a person’s facial expressions to see when they have the broadest smiles. It mentions in the article how this could be used for customer service training. What an amazing concept. It can capture the best practices used in different situations by reviewing the expression of the customer to find out when they are most pleased. In addition, it could be used within training seminars to capture the expression of those being trained. Instead of a “smile sheet”, we could actually find out when they were the most pleased with what they were hearing. I’m sure in the future, a technology will be created to detect all kinds of emotions. This could revolutionize ILT evaluations. Part of the evaluation could be measured based on how the trainees reacted to each aspect of the training. Of course I’m sure this is just one of many ways we could implement a technology such as this into a training program.