No Wait in Kuwait – But Some Weight (Part 2)

March 22, 2011
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In March 2010 I visited Kuwait and wrote my blog No Wait in Kuwait – But Some Weight.

In March 2010 I visited Kuwait and wrote my blog No Wait in Kuwait – But Some Weight. I visited Kuwait City last week, and this blog is an update. In my blog two years ago, I stated this:

“I am in Kuwait today …. What have I observed? It never ceases to astound me how middle managers seem to quickly comprehend the principles and benefits of the various enterprise performance management methodologies – but their executive teams above them often don’t!

What’s going on? This has been a mystery to me that I have some theories that may explain this paradox. I refer to it as a paradox because aren’t executives supposed to be smarter than middle managers? Why are executive teams an element of the “weight” that is slowing the adoption rate of applying managerial methodologies such as strategy maps, balanced scorecards, customer profitability analysis, and business analytics?”

This blog about Kuwait will be much more optimistic than that one. That blog further discussed social obstacles like resistance to change and fears in managers of being measured or held accountable. This blog is about advances in applying analytics.

Kuwait University’s First international conference on “Challenges in Statistics and Operations Research

Kuwait University’s Department of Statistics and Operations Research was celebrating its 25th anniversary of its establishment by holding this conference. I was honored to be invited by Kuwait University as one of its keynote speakers. My topic was “Business Analytics for Decision Making: Making It Work”. About 130 attended from 30 countries.

What impressed me about both the keynote and track speakers was how sophisticated and robust are today’s OR and analytical solutions to very complex problems. In my talk I mentioned receiving my degree in industrial engineering and operations research forty years ago (Cornell University, 1971). Back then applying these techniques were not widely used, older managers (then) did not adequately appreciate them, and the computer power was not there. I said I wished I was 24 years old and graduating today. All the issues have reversed. To learn more, I explain the relatively new emergence of business analytics in my article Geeks are Chic.

In this e-mail I would like to thank Dr. Fahimah Al-Awadhi, who is the Department head, as well as her staff. Their hospitality was great, and the speaker topics were fascinating. Kuwait University, a beautiful campus, is bursting with increasing student demand for learning. Kuwait City is a marvelous metropolitan area. For Westerners who have not traveled to Gulf and Middle East nations, I strongly put doing so on your “to do” list.