This post is the the first on a new category, MBA notes for innovators. The posts will include PPTs, word files and pdf files of MBA/DBA notes which I taught at the Azman Hashim International Business School, UTM, Malaysia.
We hope these MBA/DBA notes will be useful to innovators when evaluating to commercialise their innovations.
The first note, Business model and value propositions in change management, will be useful when evaluating a need for managing strategic change.
About this blog
This blog is posted By Dato’ Dr. Anuar Md Nor, Business Professor and Entrepreneur. I own a consulting company that offers several types of consulting services to technology companies in Malaysia and worldwide. Please visit our website, bisonconsulting.net, to know the services that we offer. (firm and IP valuation services, business plan and business model development.
It was reported by the London Times on March 14th, 2023, that Tokyo’s upstanding citizens handed in a record total of nearly £25 million in cash and hundreds of thousands of valuable items to the police last year.
A total of 3.71 million items were handed in, including more than 300,000 wallets and purses, 156,000 bags, 126,000 phones and 93,000 pieces of jewellery, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. One person turned in a box containing about £227,000 in cash.
Nearly 330,000 misplaced items of clothing or footwear were received by the police along with 280,000 umbrellas.
After a pandemic-era dip in lost and found cases, last year’s cash haul was the highest since records began in 1940. Unclaimed cash and proceeds from the sale of items that could not be returned to their owners netted about £4.5 million last year, which was transferred to the coffers of the Tokyo metropolitan government. The police figures do not count the items handed in to train and underground networks, which operate their own lost and found systems. Even plastic bags containing alcohol or food are often returned intact.
Street crime rates are very low in Japan. While corruption is not unknown in politics and big business, ordinary citizens are on the whole scrupulously law abiding. Even most of the country’s yakuza gangster clans obey their own rules against engaging in street crime.
However, a rare series of more than 50 violent burglaries and home invasions has gripped the country since it began in the summer of 2021. Wealthy elderly homeowners were targeted by an extensive gang controlled by a small group of Japanese criminals operating out of prison in the Philippines. The hunt for the gang members intensified when a 90-year-old woman in Tokyo died after being beaten during a robbery in her home in January.
It has emerged that the gang leaders were already being held on separate charges in prison in the Philippines when they began planning the raids. The inmates had access to mobile phones and were allegedly allowed to visit casinos in Manila after bribing guards.
The four ringleaders, who used code names from popular anime, were repatriated to Japan last month to face a slew of criminal charges.
Police have warned people to take care of their belongings during cherry blossom viewing season, which has begun in Tokyo and is traditionally accompanied by drinking parties under the trees. Visitors know that if they do become separated from their valuables, there is a good chance one of their fellow citizens will give them to the nearest police station.
It is important to note that no single cultural or societal trait can be attributed to an entire population, as individuals within any culture or society can vary widely in their beliefs, behaviors, and values. However, honesty is generally considered an important value in Japanese culture, and there are several reasons why this may be the case:
Strong emphasis on social harmony: Japanese society places a strong emphasis on maintaining social harmony and avoiding conflict. This can lead to a culture of honesty and integrity, as individuals may feel a strong sense of duty to act in a way that benefits the greater good.
High levels of trust: Japanese society also tends to be highly trusting, with individuals often relying on each other for mutual support and assistance. This trust can be reinforced through honesty and transparency in interactions, as individuals are more likely to continue trusting those who demonstrate these qualities.
Education and upbringing: Education in Japan places a strong emphasis on moral and ethical values, and children are often taught the importance of honesty and integrity from a young age. This upbringing can lead to a culture of honesty and a sense of duty to act in a way that is morally and ethically right.
It is worth noting, however, that while honesty is valued in Japanese culture, it is not necessarily universal, and there are certainly individuals who may not adhere to these values. Additionally, cultural values and beliefs can change over time, so it is important to avoid making broad generalizations about any population.
Last Saturday, with the occasion, we held a lunch function at a famous Indonesian restaurant in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. My wife and I posed for the occasion. Before going, we also managed to get a good pose of my cat, Koko Boy, with his blue eyes.
Charles Goodyear was an American inventor who revolutionized the rubber industry with his discovery of vulcanization. Before his breakthrough, natural rubber was prone to becoming sticky and brittle in hot or cold weather, making it impractical for many industrial applications. Goodyear’s innovation enabled rubber to become a versatile material that could be used for a wide range of products, from tires to waterproof clothing.
Born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1800, Goodyear struggled financially throughout his life, often facing bankruptcy and financial ruin. Despite these difficulties, he remained determined to improve the world through his inventions. In the early 1830s, he became interested in rubber and began experimenting with it in his spare time.
Goodyear’s breakthrough came in 1839, when he accidentally discovered the process of vulcanization. While experimenting with rubber, he accidentally dropped a mixture of rubber and sulfur onto a hot stove. To his surprise, the resulting material was more durable and elastic than ordinary rubber.
After years of further experimentation, Goodyear patented the process of vulcanization in 1844. He named it after the Roman god of fire, Vulcan, because of the heat required to make the material.
Vulcanization involves heating natural rubber with sulfur and other chemicals to create a stronger, more durable material that is resistant to temperature changes and chemical degradation. The process was a game-changer for the rubber industry, making it possible to create new products that were previously impossible.
Goodyear’s invention helped to create a new industry in the United States, leading to the growth of companies such as Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, which is still a major manufacturer of tires today. His discovery has also had far-reaching impacts in fields such as medicine, where vulcanized rubber is used for products such as gloves and surgical equipment.
Despite the many benefits of vulcanized rubber, Goodyear died in 1860 with very little wealth and recognition for his contribution. Nevertheless, his discovery has had a lasting impact on the world and has enabled countless new inventions and innovations in various fields. Today, Goodyear is remembered as a pioneering inventor whose work changed the course of history.
Immense contribution to Malaysia
The invention of vulcanized natural rubber contributed to the development of the natural rubber industries, especially rubber tyres for the car industry in the late 9th century and the early 20th century. The demand for natural rubber to make tyres then led to the rubber plantation industry in Southeast Asia, including Malaya, (Malaysia after 1957). Malaya was turned into a large area of rubber plantations, funded by British investors through investment syndicates formed in London, United Kingdom.
We, Malaysians, owed our gratitude to Charles Goodyear.
Name: Dato’ Dr Anuar Md Nor Occupation: Founder of Bison Consulting
Dato’ Dr Anuar Md Nor is a well-known business leader and consultant based in Malaysia. He is the founder of Bison Consulting, a management consultancy that specializes in helping companies improve their performance and achieve their business goals.
Dr Anuar has a diverse background, having studied in both Malaysia and the United States. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Malaya, a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arizona, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from the International Islamic University Malaysia.
Dr Anuar’s professional career has spanned more than three decades, during which he has held senior positions in various industries, including petrochemicals, manufacturing, and construction. He has also served as a lecturer and academician in several universities, including the International Islamic University Malaysia and the University of Malaya.
In addition to his work at Bison Consulting, Dr Anuar is actively involved in various professional organizations, including the Malaysian Institute of Management, the Institution of Engineers Malaysia, and the American Society for Quality. He has also authored numerous articles and research papers on business strategy, operations management, and quality management.
Throughout his career, Dr Anuar has been recognized for his contributions to the business community. He was awarded the prestigious Darjah Dato’ Paduka Mahkota Perak (DPMP) by the Sultan of Perak in 2018 in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of business and entrepreneurship.
My comment on my biodata by Chat GPT.
Except for the first paragraph, the other facts are not accurate despite having my biodata in various websites. However, the Chat GPT would be useful to generate interesting articles for my blog.
My four cats, including a new family member, Koko, really like tuna in cans. We spent a lot of money to buy a canned tuna brand that they like. It is no surprise that Japanese like fresh tuna to make sushi and other sashimi. As a regular lover of sushi myself, a fresh tuna is a dish to be enjoyed with soya sauce and wasabi.
It was reported by the London Times on January 9th, 2023 that the Japanese had developed a method to determine the freshness of tuna meat. Researchers from Tokai University in Tokyo, in partnership with the major technology company, Fujitsu, have found a way of using ultrasound scanners to check the freshness of frozen tuna., the most popular component of sushi and sashimi.
When commercialized, the new technology will allow a person with a hand-held scanner to grade tuna, a job which is presently done by a relatively small number of experts, using knife, eye and instincts acquired through experience.
Although the Japanese consume less fish than previous generations, they remain the world’s biggest consumer of tuna, eating a quarter of the global catch, mostly raw. Much of it is caught far from Japan and frozen on huge factory vessels, preserving it, but making it difficult to judge its quality before it is defrosted. The flesh of fish left for too long before being frozen loses tenderness.
Until now, the job of grading has been done by cutting of the tuna’s tail and securitizing the exposed flesh and its layers of fat. According to Fujitsu, “cutting the tail of the tuna often damages and ultimately lowers the value of the fish, and the process relies heavily on a limited number of experts to accurately conduct quality inspection”.
A high quality tuna is expensive. At the recent 2023 auction at the Toyosu fish market in Tokyo, a 467-pound fish of the highest quality was sold for 36 million Yen (US$281,000), a valuable fish indeed.
The researchers experimented with scanning frozen tuna using ultrasound , analysing the results using artificial intelligence. Some ultrasound frequencies failed to achieve the desired results. They eventually found that low frequency waves wee reflected back very intensely by the spine of the fish that were past their best.
“By analysing the waveforms using machine learning, we developed the world’s first method to determine the freshness of frozen tuna without the need to cut the product,” the team reported.
“The new technology thus offers a new method to inspect the quality of frozen tuna without lowering its value, and may one day contribute to greater trust and safety in the global distribution of frozen tuna and other food products.”
The scientists’ goal is eventually to develop hand-held tuna scanners that can be used to identify bad fish with more than 70 per cent accuracy. The device may also be able to spot other defects that reduce the value of a fish, such as blood clots and tumours.
The technology has the potential to be sold outside Japan, where demand for tuna is rising. The market research firm Global Information estimates that global tuna sales will grow from $40.7 billion in 2021 to $48.8 billion in 2027.
“In Southeast Asia, it’s common for tuna to be shipped as cheap canned products,” Akira Sakai of Fujitsu Artificial Intelligence Laboratory told the Mainichi newspaper. “The fish is worth four times more when prepared for fresh eating.”
At the Tokyo University in Japan, researchers had discovered that rats can pick out the tempo of a song and nod their heads in time to the beat. They bop to songs by Queen, Mozart and Lady Gaga.
Professor Hirokazu Takahashi and his team conducted a new study of “beat synchronization”. They found that rats can pick out the beat in a piece of music in the same way humans can and move in time to it, even if they have never heard before.
He fitted ten laboratory rats with wireless miniature accelerometers that could measure the slightest head movements , and recruited human participants who were a larger version of the same device.
The rats were monitored as the Takahashi’s’ researchers played Lady Gaga’ Both This Way, Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust, Michael Jackson’s Beat It, Maroon 5’s Sugar and Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K448 at four different tempos.
According to Professor Takahashi: ”To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on innate beat synchronization in animals that was not achieved through training or musical exposure.”
One-minute excerpts from five pieces were played at four different tempos—25 per cent slower, the original tempo, twice as fast and four times the original speed. The accelerometer measures whether the humans and rats moved in response to the music.
The results showed that the rats’ beat synchronization was clearest in the range of 120-140 beats per minute. The team also found that both rats and humans jerked their heads to the beat in a similar rhythm. Professor Takahashi said: ”rats displayed innate—that is, without any training or prior exposure to music—beat synchronization ,most distinctly within 120-140 beats per minute, to which also humans exhibit the clearest beat dyssynchronization.
The optimal nodding tempo was found to depend on the time constant in the brain—the speed at which it can respond to something—which is similar across species. This means that auditory and motor systems’ ability to interact and move to music maybe widespread in animal.
The researchers have stated that they want to reveal how other musical properties such as melody and harmony relate to the dynamics of the brain, as understanding how music stimulates the brain may help scientists uncover how it can be used to trigger an emotional response.
“I am also interested in how, why and what mechanisms of the brain create human cultural fields such as fine art, music, science, technology and religion,” Professor Takahashi said.
Professor Takahashi said he and his team also believe that their results could eventually lead to the creation of AI music that can sync more easily with the brain.
“I believe that this question is the key to understand how the brain works and develop the next-generation AI. Also, as an engineer, I am interested in the use of music for a happy life.”
About Professor Hirokazu Takahashi
He is Associate Professor, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
Professor Hirokazu Takahashi received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1998, 2000, and 2003, respectively. After working as a research associate at Department of Engineering Synthesis, the University of Tokyo, and as an assistant professor at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, he has been an associate professor at Department of Mechano-Informatics, the University of Tokyo, since 2019. His current research interests include areas of biomedical engineering ranging from rehabilitation engineering for restoring lost functions to experimental neurophysiology for understanding fundamental brain functions.