Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Simplest Parenting Style

I have read many parenting books, all in search of the right parenting style. First I started off with the noble thought that i want to provide a great life to my son. We got him into this world and it is our duty to make him a great person, to teach him what is right and what is wrong etc etc.  By the time my son started to walk and more importantly talk, all these noble thoughts gave way to a only one thing : how to manage this guy whom we brought into this world? I went back to these books and saw a big disclaimer one page 1, which I had completely missed in my first read. The forward said - every child is different. Wow! That means I have to figure out my own way of dealing with this situation.

When I stopped hiding behind the parenting book, I realized there are so many things I need to teach him and none of which he wanted to learn. Parenting soon turned into hourly confrontation drill. I checked with my friends and fellow parents who were going through the same thing. I realized that there were 2 types of parents around. First type was Non interfering types : these parents adjusted themselves to child's demands, wishes and nature pretty quickly. They soon announced everything was hunky dory between them and the child even when the child was on a completely wrong path. I could not appreciate this. So I turned to the other type who were very strict. They would punish the child, scold him badly even beat up. This was definitely not my cup of tea.

I had to teach good habits to my son and was lost for the right way to do it. Thats when I saw an innocuous looking sentence from some great thinker. (Apologies, Mr. Great thinker, i remember your thought but not your name.) It meant "Don't worry about your child not listening to you. Worry about the fact that he is imitating you" What a scary insightful sentence! This was like the flash of lightening in dark woods where everything became clear and visible in a flash!

A simple style of parenting. Do what you expect your child to do. If you want him to brush his teeth before going to bed, please demonstrate that you are doing the same. If you want him to be friendly and nice to people, you do the same. If you want him to study at a particular time, you switch off the TV, turn off the music system and facebook updates and study with him.

Till a child become 5 years old, parents are their heroes. They want all the attention they, love, affection they can get from parents. Anything that parents are doing, saying is very important for them. It is we parents who don't realize this and make mess of things.

Like all parenting books, even this parenting style comes with a big disclaimer. This parenting style is very simple but not at not at all easy.

I am trying. You try too. Let me know if it works!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Long term impact of thailand floods on automotive supply chain

Thailand is flooded with unprecedented amount of water. Bangkok is somehow holding up. But thats not the news. What I am most curious about is what Japanese automotive companies are going learn from this double disaster, first Tsunami at Tohoku and now the floods in Thailand

Scale of both events is quite different. Japan is almost 8 times bigger production base than Thailand. Tsunami was probably more devastating than the floods. But the impact of both events is idetical. Local production has stopped, component production has stopped which has a ripple effect on production facilities all over the world.

What are the learnings?

1. Propser assessment of climatic risk has to be done before opening new plants. Going one step forward stress test of current production facilities in the wake of changing climatic conditions must be done. One must de-risk the supply chain from climatic conditions.

2. Multiple Sources in different climatic conditions must be the foundation of new supply chain. Current Thailand floods have resulted in production stoppages in Malayasia and US. The reason : Thailand was a single source for the components and CKD kits. This needs to change.

3. Finally, JIT has to be put under scanner. No doubt its the most efficient system to manage supply chain. It also the lowest cost to automakers who are already struggling to stay in black. But these frequent climate related production stoppages are not good either. JIT needs to evolve to overcome short term disruptions. The automotive companies need to figure out how to ensure the supply chains carry at least 2-4 weeks inventory to keep plants running in case of such unforeseen circumstances.

Japanese companies had paved the way to lead the world in innovsting the supply chain a few decades ago...may be its time they need to do it again.

Spoke on CNBC about the Thai floods

Spoke to Bloomberg about Impact of Thailand Floods