My
Name is Emma Doyle.

I am a
recent graduate from Dublin Institute of Technology where I studied an Ordinary
Batchelors degree in Medicinal Chemistry & Pharmaceutical Science and
graduated with a distinction in 2015. Following completion of this course, I
carried on my studies in DIT and studied Chemical Science and graduated in 2016
with a first class honours degree.

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During
my final year, I carried out a research project in St. James hospital. The
project was based on investigating the chemistry behind the synthesis of new
psychoactive substances appearing on the Irish market. The project was
accompanied by a thesis which received the ‘Best Final Year Thesis’ award from
Dublin Institute of Technology.

I am currently
employed as a Diagnostic Technologist at Abbott Diagnostic Division, Longford.
I am with the company fifteen months and was lucky enough to begin my work here
in the same week I graduated from DIT.

The
work I do in Abbott is very far from chemistry related. I am in a role that is
geared towards supply chain, quality and the day-to-day operating of the
business. Developing a knowledge of these areas was my motivation for taking
part in this course.

My role
in Abbott involves leading a team of three in the technical operations
department. The team is dedicated to setting
up incoming raw materials that are new to the Longford site on SAP; a globally
recognised inventory management system.

My responsibilities include, scheduling
and completing the setup of new raw materials by the cMAT process on SAP,
delegating work to other members of the team, tracking raw materials from
initial set up to production, liaising
with supply chain and operations to meet manufacturing deadlines and scheduling
cross functional team meetings with senior managers and project management to
address any concerns.

This
role has allowed me to step away from my chemistry background and work closely
with several different departments, including Planning, Purchasing, Operations,
Supply Chain and Finance. The most changeling aspect of this role is aligning
with Supply Chain deadlines to meet the manufacturing schedule, as this is
constantly changing to meet customer demand.

During
my time in this role, I have developed an interest in how the business is run
on a day to day basis. As the course continues, I hope to further develop my
knowledge on this topic.

 

One
element covered in this course that will have a direct impact on my day to day interaction
at work is the Strategic Management and Planning module. Strategic planning is
the process of determining an organisations long term goals and identifying the
best approach for achieving these goals.

Coming
from a strictly science based background into an environment that is almost
exclusively business and operations based has been a difficult adjustment to
make. Learning more on this topic has allowed me to develop an understanding of
the different levels of management and how they work together to make decisions
and plan for future goals.

Strategic
planning focuses energy and resources, strengthens operations and ensures
that employees are working toward common goals. It is also used to set priorities and to meet deadlines. This comes into
play in my role as planning what raw materials need to be available onsite and
when, within cross functional teams, is critical to meeting manufacturing
deadlines. It is important to understand the high-level planning aspect
of the job. The bigger picture is, that raw materials will be used in
manufacture of bulk and fill materials, that are then used to produce kits, the
kits are then sold, resulting in profit to the business.

The
illustration below is a simple overview of Abbotts strategic vision in terms of
having raw materials on site for use in manufacturing product for sale.

 

 

The
image illustrated above is a strategic plan that can be very simply described
as ‘where are we now?’ and ‘where do we want to be?’.  Ultimately, the
purpose of this strategy is to enhance the long-term profitability of the
business.

There is no set method to strategic planning, but most theories
are based on the same basic principles:

–       Analysis:
An understanding of the current situation

–       Strategy formulation:
A high level strategy is developed and a basic strategic plan is documented

–       Strategy
execution: A high-level plan is translated into planning and action items

–       Sustainment
phase: Ongoing improvement and evaluation of performance

 

For
strategic planning to be successful, managers must be driving the process. Strategic
planning and strategic management must be viewed as part of the management
responsibility within the organisation. There must be clear delegation of tasks
to allow for successful strategy implementation. Management needs to take
responsibility for evaluating the strategies, putting them into action, and
monitoring them.

The
monitoring phase, is not the final step in the strategic planning process, but
Is the first step to strategic management. Senior management must keep in mind the long-term
future direction for the organisation.

In
terms of my day-to-day interaction at work, better understanding of the
approaches to strategic management and planning will allow me to better
understand the approaches taken by my superiors in terms of decision making and
planning. Smaller decisions made daily are part
of a much bigger vision for the organisation.

 

Leadership
skills are essential for a successful strategy as well as being a key aspect in
the success of an organisation. This course has examined several characteristics
relating to good leadership.

The trait theory of leadership examines the idea that successful
leaders possess a set of traits or characteristics that differentiates them
from unsuccessful leaders and subordinates.

Style theory, views leadership as interpersonal processes.
And Contingency theory explores the idea that there is no one best way to lead,
but that the leader should vary depending on the task, the team and the
organisation.

Leadership
development is greatly important to an organisation as organisations tend to
take on the personality of their leaders. A successful leader should have the
ability to maximize productivity, develop a positive culture and promote good
values. To achieve this, key leaders must be identified and must lead teams and
individuals using an appropriate management style.

It is the responsibility of a
leader to create an environment in which subordinates are involved, responsible
and aware of how they fit into the organisation. This can be accomplished with
a leader who leads by example.

It is important to understand
the differences between management and leadership. Summarised in the table
below are a few key differentiating factors that stood out to me when studying
this module. 

 

Managers

Leaders

Maintain

Develop

Focus systems and structure

Focus on people

Rely on control

Delegate and trust subordinates

Ask how and when

Ask what and why

Imitates

Originates

Short range view

Long range view

Accepts status quo

Change agents

Does things right

Does the right thing

Create goals

Create vision

Control risk

Take risks

Identifying the characteristics of a good leader is a
difficult task. There are a variety of different traits and personality
characteristics involved. Characteristics of a good leader cannot be
definitively identified and the situation and type of organisation must also be
considered when determining the effectiveness of a leader. From studying
this topic, I am better able to identify who in my organisation is a leader and
who is a manager.

In my day-to-day interactions with my superiors, I can
identify individuals who initiate action, motivate, provide guidance, create
confidence, build morale and build a strong, involved work environment for all
subordinates. These people are the leaders.

Developing my knowledge of the different types leadership
will allow me to identify the different leadership styles present within my
organisation and will allow me to better understand the approaches made to
activities and decision making by my superiors.

Leadership is hugely important in my role as I am responsible
for completing the first step in a complex and long term process. As a result,
it can sometimes be difficult to see the benefit of the work we are completing.
A good leader sets a long-term vision for the process and makes it clear what
role I have and how the process benefits form having people such as myself
involved.

Leaders
make a difference to their organisation and should be considered an asset to
the company. It is hugely important that businesses are capable of recognising
a strong leader and allow them to enhance and develop the working environment.

In
recent years, companies have been working towards creating a culture in which
employees are passionate about their work on a personal level, rather than
being viewed as ‘obeying’ work practises. This is something that a leader needs
to drive and take responsibility for within the organisation.

It was
found that many of the traditional strategies used to operate a business, i.e.,
financial incentives, training and sharing of best practises, have had little
effect on establishing morale and aligning management strategic vision with the
view of the organisation that subordinates have.

Good
leadership has the ability to change people’s attitude and behaviour toward
work practises, but this can be a difficult task. Leaders require considerable
influence and motivation to facilitate and manage a culture of change.  

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