Thursday, March 3, 2011

How to perform a SWOT analysis

Reference: Berry, T (2009, Oct. 23). How to perform a SWOT analysis. Retrieved on March 2, 2011 from "”.

This article discusses how to perform SWOT analysis. It is a valuable tool to assess the firm’s strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is very simple tool and can offer better real picture of your company’s performance. The main goal of SWOT analysis is to identify the important factors, whether they are positive or negative, and also either internal or external. This helps the decision’s maker to see real situation of the company. We can divide SWOT into two groups, first, internal factors “strengths, and weaknesses”; second group is external factors “opportunities, and threats”. Internal factors are the factors that are managed inside the company and the company has control over them while external factors are the factors that the company has no control over them. Strengths are the good points about the company, when listing good points about the company, the company has to be proud of them and has to get the most benefit of them and strengthen them. For example, experienced employees, and new technology used and so on. It is natural that each company is trying to increase its strengths by any means. Weaknesses are the bad points that lower the company’s competitive advantage. Usually companies are trying to minimize their weaknesses to be more successful in the market. As an example of weaknesses, lack of expertise and limited resources and so on. Opportunities are the factor that the company can invest in, or getting benefits from them. For example, market growth, positive market perception about the company. Threats are the factors that may have negative influence to your company. As an example of threats is new strong competition. In sum, SWOT analysis will give to company good measure about important four factors that are mainly affect its performance. Then the author gave example of computer store in united states and he applied the analysis on it.

The author discussed very good points that help companies to understand their current situation and how to improve the overall performance of the company. In fact, there are so many ways used to improve company’s performance, not only SWOT analysis, but also there are P.E.S.T analysis, and target segment analysis. All of them can be used to study current situation of the company and do positive impact. I believe that companies who are not doing continuous improvements, they will go out of business when time passes. The first step in development is understanding the current position. Most of the companies do not know their current position, so they will never start developing their business process when they think they are doing fine. Actually using such a tool will be very important not for companies only also it is very important for individuals and any organization as well.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How to Successfully Motivate Employees

Reference: Jones, L (2010, Jun.03). How to Successfully Motivate Employees Retrieved on Feb 20,2011 from "".

This article discusses how to motivate company’s employees. The author of this article emphasizes on management’s role to spread motivation, and he focus in six main points to motivate employees. Instead of motivating employees every day it would be better for the managers to induce self-motivation in their employees. So, how this is happening; there are six main points that had been discussed in the article; first, employees are individuals, which means that they are normal people, they have feeling, different interests, different ways of thinking. So, they should be respected as people who have the right to think and act independently or as part of a team which in return bring special talent to the company. Second, company should open the door for open communication and feedback because each input from any employee is important and it may produce great ideas that are helping the company to achieve their goal. Third, company should award its employees when ever possible. Forth, training employees is always beneficial because when they are well trained they will do better job. Fifth, company should publish its vision, this helps all employees to focus in on their company’s goals and vision and they will be motivated to achieve this goal. Sixth, companies should take care about the motivation and feed all part of it to get the result even if it is not right away, sometimes it takes time to see the good results.

The author discussed very good points to motivate employees. In fact, employees motivation is not only benefit employees only, it is actually benefits the company itself. I agree with the author in all six points, and I would like to add some important points that will help not in only motivate employees but also to retain the best talents. First, clear career plan for every employee. Actually most of the employees are looking for advancement in their career; it is not only job to live. Many of employees are depressed when they know that they will not get higher position in the same field, if not they will start looking for other opportunities in another companies that gives them better career plan. In this case the company will lose one of its talents who have the experience and training to run the operations of the company. I read other articles discussing the same thing, if the employee does not change his position or get promotion after five years they will feel depressed, this is called “Employee burn”. So, employees should get advancement not later than 3-5 years which motivate them to do better and learn more about their career. Second, if the employee share the management the responsibility, goals, and decision making, the employee will feel that this decision is his decision and he will exert all effort to accomplish when ever needed to reach his goal, this goal is also one of the company long-term or short-term goals. In sum, the best employee is not only the highest educated employee, but the employee who feel that he is the owner of this company and do whatever he can to support the company and its goals.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Teen Smoking

Reference: Shereevedic (2010, Dec.31). Teen Smoking Retrieved on Feb 12,2011 from "".

This article discusses teen smoking. And the role of parents in educating their children about smoking and smoking effects. Smoking is one of the main causes of death. In fact, smoking kills around 1,000 people every day. Recent study showed that if people do not start smoking in early age, it is more likely that they will never smoke later. Moreover, other study showed that around 90% of people who died because of smoking related diseases started smoking when they were young. Most of teenagers know that smoking could kill them if they become addicted to it. Normally teenagers start smoking because of several reasons like, stress, peer pressure, smoking friends.  It is clear that smoking has a lot of dangerous effects for our health. There are two categories of these effects, which are long-term effects, and short-term effects. Lung cancer and heart disease are the most obvious long-term causes of death. There are several short-term effects of smoking; for example, bad skin, bad breath, bad smelling cloths, increasing chances of health problems, and reduced athletic performance. According to the author, Nicotine is a very powerful and addictive drug. In fact, a study shows that teenagers who smoke are 3 times more likely to use alcohols, 8 times more likely to smoke marijuana, and 22 times more likely to use cocaine. According to American Cancer Association, teenagers who smoke are more likely to get in fights, carry weapons, attempt suicide, depressed, and get poor academic performance. Parents can play a major role to educating their children. They should live up to their children’s expectations to be a good model because a study shows that only 2% of the smokers have non-smoking parents. Parents are responsible to educate their children that they do not have to smoke to be mature. However, they should know that there are strict rules in home rejecting smoking. Parents are responsible to enhance their children self-esteem, felling of independency. They have to encourage their children to do physical exercise in school, and educate them how to cope with stress, worries, and social pressure. Also parents are responsible to teach their children how to make friends and how to solve their problems independently.

I agree with the author in almost all points specially when he said “good parenting is the best way to prevent teenage smoking” that teenagers need good parents who teach them, guide them, and help them to overcome their issues especially during their teenage period. In this article it shows that only two percent of smokers have parents who don’t smoke. This shows how is the relationship between good smoking parents and their effect on their children’s smoking habits. For example, I counted my friends who are smokers, and I found that all of them they have smoking father. On the other hand, there are some of my friends who are non-smokers they have non-smokers parents. It becomes a fact that smoking parents produce smoking children. On the other hand, I disagree with him in two points, first, when he says, “Nicotine is a very powerful and addictive drug”. In my opinion, nicotine is not very powerful drug. In fact, it is not classified as a drug otherwise you will not find it in the supermarkets, and all smokers can buy it easily. Second point is when he says “teen smokers are more likely than their non-smoking peers to get in fights, carry weapons, attempt suicide, and suffer from mental health problems such as depression and to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors. Other risks include poor academic and athletic performance, school drop-out rates, pregnancy, stealing and other delinquent behaviors”. I think this is not true because it seems that he is talking about drugs not smoking. Smoking does not produce these types of mental problem as far as I know because I am a smoker and nothing applies to me nor applies to my friends who smoke.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Causes of Stress

            Stress is becoming increasingly common in our daily life. There are a lot of significant reasons that support my insights into the matter at hand, but I will focus in on the most common reasons that are affecting our life; they are lack of money, family issues, and work stress. I will discuss each one in details.

            Lack of money has been known to be one of the major causes of stress. Why is this? Actually, almost few people haven’t been stressed over money in any time. It came up that people would be under huge stress when they are not having enough money to buy their basic needs. For example, think about any low paid employee who is responsible to feed his family while in the same time he is responsible for number of expenses like, apartment rent, electricity bill, telephone bills, and a lot more, so he will not be able to pay everything on time, which put this person in huge pressure or sometimes it reaches depression or hopelessness. Lack of money is a serious problem in some countries, and governments should come up with new ways to solve this important issue.
            Family is common cause of everyday stress. So how is this possible? One of the family issues that can cause stress is misunderstanding between family members. For instance, sometimes the husband has no time to discuss some important matters with his wife, but actually he is focusing in on something more important. Normally she would not understand why he is talking to her, sometimes she would feel that he is not interested in what she is saying, or she would think that he is ignoring her, but actually he was supposed to brush up on his monthly plan before discussing it with his boss tomorrow. Normally both of them were under stress. The husband feel stressful because he does not have enough time to complete the plan, and also would feel stress because he is not giving his family enough time. His wife would feel stressed because she thought that her husband is ignoring her. Other example, when they are expecting new baby, both of the parents would live stressfully at the beginning until they understand and used to the situation. Sometimes they feel that they are not ready for it, and sometimes the husband does not understand the changes of his wife’s hormones, which makes her moody and demanding too much. Actually some of the family problems are under control and some are not.

Work is one of the common reasons for stress; there are so many reasons explaining why workplace can cause stress. Culture change is one of the main causes of stress in the workplace; it is logically follows from this that differences in backgrounds can cause stress. Let us take for example new employee joined a company. Normally new employees are coming from different companies, which have different cultures or even different countries. I remember, once our company had recruited new American employee to work as production manager, his name was David. Mr. David came from different country and has different cultural background. He was discussing with me the difficulties that he is facing. He was telling me about the differences between the work at us and here in Saudi Arabia. Actually, he was stressful because of, different reasons. One of the reasons was working in non-English speaking workplace, So the communication between him and his employees normally not enough to deliver his ideas. Addition to this he was not able to get English reports explaining their daily work, which in return delay his reports to the top management. Actually it is really difficult situation to have language barriers and I think if people would come up with a common language that can be spoken and understood by the majority of workers in the workplace, this may solve the problem.
            In conclusion, lack of money, family issues, and work issues are some of the main stressors affecting our life. The reaction to those stressors may differ from person to person, but in general all types of stress can harm our bodies, and may cause serious diseases. I think we have to admit that stress is playing major role in our lives, and we have to accept being stressed but we should learn how to control this stress, and how to learn from it. If we can convert the stress to a positive stress this would help us to do something better in our lives.


Exercise has positive effect on student’s academic performance

Students who are reasonably active can do better in college. Physical exercises are essential for good academic performance. Given the aforesaid argument, I have three reasons that will, without doubt, support this claim. The first reason is to increase the concentration in class, then I will discuss how student can minimize their absences, and finally, what make students learn faster. The following paragraphs will show this in detail.

Exercise will increase concentration in class. The main reason for this is that, doing exercises during morning hours would increase alertness of students and reduce drowsiness feeling, which is normally reflected in more concentration in class. For example, think about two students. The first student woke up early, and prepared well for his classes. Then he was doing some light exercises before going to his class. The second student woke up early, and then he went directly to his class without exercise. Which one do you think would be more concentrated in class?. Actually, it is clear that students would be more aware and focused when they do little exercise before going to class. On the next paragraph we will see another reason supporting my idea.

Doing exercises will help students to attend all classes and they will never miss any class. You think this is not possible? No it is possible because, Students who do regular exercises are having healthier bodies. When the immune system is functioning well the body is less susceptible to diseases, those students normally will not come down with any sicknesses, and as a result they will not miss out on any classes. As an example of this, when a student is not healthy, normally he is missing a lot of classes not because he is not interested, but he was not able to attend the class because of his illness. Academic institutes are really cracked down on attendance. Students can cut down on absences by doing little exercises every day. The following paragraph shows additional indication of physical exercises’ benefits on student academic performance. 

Physical exercises are helping students to learn faster. Perhaps the most compelling argument that one could make is that, students normally live in stressful conditions. When students are under pressure of exams, homework, quizzes, and other related things they feel stressful, and their ability to understand or think would go to its lowest performance. Scientific studies showed a lot of evidences that linked physical exercises as one of the best reliever of stress. So reducing stress and anxiety would help students learn faster, which, in return improve their grades. For example, there are some students who cannot handle being under stress of exams. They feel terrible before exams, this actually affecting them negatively, but when they are doing exercise before studying for exams, this make them feel better because exercises reduce their tension and stress. Actually, it boiled down to this, Students would learn and understand the lectures better if they are not under stress, they should do exercises to cut down on stress. When their mind is clear they would learn faster, and understand better.

In short, Brain functions and body health are all scientifically having positive relationship with physical exercises. So, Students who are looking forward to getting high scores, they should focus in on exercising every day. Also they can come up with new ways to do exercise which help them to be healthier and more active. Personally, I think that, we can come up with a lot of ideas to do exercises inside campus. Also the university itself should come out with advertisements to increase the student’s awareness to the reality of doing exercise and encourage them to do best and get higher grades.

Can cigarette ads really lure kids to smoke?

Reference: Peeples, L. (2011, Jan.18). Can cigarette ads really lure kids to smoke? Thomson Reuters. Retrieved on Jan 27,2011 from "".


Marlboro is a brand of cigarettes.
Prepared leaves, as used in cigarettes, cigars, and pipes.
Paid announcement, as of goods for sale, in newspapers or magazines, on Radio or television, etc.
Able or quick to receive knowledge, ideas, pertaining.
A flat surface or boards, usually outdoors, on which large advertisements or notices are posted.
An act or instance of revealing or unmasking.
Capable of being affected.
The process or state of growing to maturity.
Characterized by mental acuteness or penetration

This article discusses the relationship between cigarette advertisements and smoking kids. There are several points mentioned in this article supporting this argument. One of the points is that teenagers who had seen the tobacco advertisements can recognize that it is a cigarette advertisement and they would guess the brand name. Also number of those teenagers would start smoking after sometime. So there is positive relationship between being exposed to cigarette advertisements in past and getting the habit. Also other reasons can increase the probability of smoking for teenagers like: friends, family, age, school. Normally if a teenager is finding signs to encourage smoking he will start the habit soon. There is an important factor, which engorges teenagers to smoke; most of them are trying to do what others are doing. Tobacco companies are facing problem because countries start banning their advertisements in all means. Actually this made those companies to become smarter and to come up with new ways to get business. They are targeting young people because they knew that if they did not start smoking when they are young, they will never smoke later, this is simply because young people normally they don’t have a choice, or they can not think like adults. Finally, teenagers are more likely to smoke if they are exposed more to the cigarette’s advertisements.

I think the article was clear and the author gave solid scientific studies to support his thoughts. Actually I agree with the author in most of the points, but there are some points that may influence those teenagers more. Cigarette companies knew that their target is mostly young people because they do not have good judgment on those types of things. Thy knew that in this age they are trying to be older, like 18 so they are touching their mental thoughts and they are giving them signs that when you smoke you would be a man. So it appears to me that when teenagers think about smoking actually they do not care about smoking, they care about being grown man and this is what those companies are doing, playing with their mind. Regarding the arrangement of the article, I think the writer can do it better, because just giving facts does not mean that we have to accept them. But he should write what he feels about it and then he can use studies information when it is appropriate. Personally I see that it is clear that advertisements is affecting almost all people regardless of buying the product but you would recognize it when you see it in the store and this is one goal all companies are looking for.

Use Stress to Your Advantage

Reference: Anderson,(2011, Jan.27). Use Stress to Your Advantage, Retrieved on Jan 27,2011 from "".


This article discusses how to convert the stress to positive effect. We are facing stress everyday and dialing with it in deferent ways. Thinking positively and learning form our mistakes will help us to get more control over our stress. There are some instances that we gain more from being on stress like stress if we would like to do something, the stress is pushing us to set deadlines and finish earlier. Also there are a lot of examples of stress that can be used in positive way like traffic jams, family issues and much more. It is shown that not all stress is bad but we can think about it positively, which in return reflected in our health.


I think the article is giving us hope in dealing with stress and how to manage it, but there are some points that are shown in the article seems to be not generally right. For example the people are differ in their responses to the stress and we can not generalize the positive way of reaction all the time. There are some information she used in the article based on study but she never said when this study was and where we can find it. Finally she is discussing only for women and trying to say that women is able to control their stress more than men based on no study or a research. But in general I agree that we have to train our self to manage the stress, to think positively, and learn from our mistakes.