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Source:     2007-12-22  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

Managing in the Present
Present Tenses
Focus: time management and current problems facing a service company
1. Management themes
Read the following text and then discuss the questions below.
Time management has become one of the key issues of the second half of the twentieth century. Managers, grappling with work pressures and deadlines, have come to recognise that time is a precious commodity to be 'saved', 'gained', and not 'wasted' or 'lost'. But if time is a commodity, how then can we best describe, measure and manage it?
To describe and manage it, imagine a line that goes back to the beginnings of creation and continues into the mists of the future. And on that line are a number of significant marks-these separate the past from the present from the future. And within each time zone-past, present and future-we can differentiate periods of time from points of time. For example, the 1980s gave us a period of rapid economic growth; black Monday was a point of sudden financial catastrophe.
How can this brief analysis help the international manager? Firstly, there is the link between past, present and future. In other words, historical performance should be a guide to the future, and the present ought to represent last year's forecast. So change-that which normally differentiates any two periods on our continuum-can be seen as a gradual evolution rather than a dramatic revolution.
Secondly, the use of a time-planning system, on which key points and periods are plotted, enables managers to organise their activities so that bottlenecks can be avoided and deadlines can be met. So stress, where the jobs to be done exceed the available time, can be reduced to an acceptable and productive level.

1.1  Discussion
Does your organisation live in the present? Does it change with the times?
Do you work in a stressful environment? Do you think that time management can reduce stress?

2. Listening
You are going to hear an extract from a meeting between Anna. Brian and Pete, the three partners of Softsys, a small company supplying business software. The company was established two years ago and after a period of rapid growth is trying to consolidate its market position.
As you listen, make notes of the tasks that are agreed and note the partner who is going to do the task.

Listening task
(A=Anna; P=Pete; B=Brian)
P: I think we all feel that things are getting a little out of control. We're pushing ourselves almost to breaking point and I'm worried that something's going to snap unless we take control of the situation.
B: Exactly. We have to start managing the business-rather than letting it manage us. So what can we do about it?
A: Well, the first thing we can do is to start planning. I mean up to now we have done everything by intuition, but I'd like to know where we plan to be five years from now.
B: That's good-a long-term plan. OK, Pete, are you prepared to start working on it?
P: I can make some notes and circulate them. Then we can discuss them.
A: Good.
P: Fine.
A: Now what about roles? I mean I know that we each have got our own specialist functions within the organisation and that we also function pretty well as a team, but perhaps we need a leader.
P: You mean like a managing director?
B: Yes, but I thought our philosophy was to keep a flat management structure.
A: Yes, I accept that we don't want to create a hierarchy, but I still think that it can help us if we choose a managing partner who has overall control.
P: Yes, I really don't think that will harm the relationship between us and I agree that it can help us to run the company more efficiently.
B: Well, I am not totally convinced, but I'm willing to be persuaded. As you two are keen on the idea, why don't you prepare a paper about what the management structure would be and the functions of the managing partner?
A: Well, I'd like to have a go at that. I'll prepare some notes and circulate them. Then we can discuss them at our next meeting. If that's OK with you, Brian?
P: Yeah, fine by me.
B: Well, we've talked about planning and managing. Now, what about improving the organisation? I think we need to look at how we can organise ourselves better.
A: Well, having a managing partner should help.
B: Of course, but we need to look at our own roles, too.
P: To identify areas of responsibility?
B: Yes, first the areas where each of us has the main responsibility and then the areas where we are involved, but not primarily responsible. Take purchasing, for example. We need to buy in goods-everything from machines down to plugs. We buy in machines when a customer has placed an order and then we check cashflow and consult the others. But we buy the smaller items without any consultation.
A: Oh, come on, we always discuss major purchases and the minor ones are made when we need to. We can't consult with each other for every bit of cable we buy.
B: I know we can't. But that's exactly why we need one person with responsibility for authorising purchases. Then we can consistently check where we can get the best value for money by putting one person in charge. And that person can reconcile the purchases made against the invoices that come in. It's simply a matter of streamlining the system-which must be in everyone's interest.
A: So, what do you suggest?
B: Well, I think we should each make a list of the major functions within the organisation. We've talked about purchasing. Then there's sales and after-sales service...
P: ... and finance.
B: Yes, and installation. Well, I'd like to see one person with primary responsibility for each area, just as we said for purchasing. And the others may have secondary responsibility for that area. So, I propose that I draw up a list of the primary areas or activities that we need to carry out, and then at the next meeting we decide who will have the primary responsibility for each. I'm sure it'll streamline our business.
A: So, where does that leave us?
P: With some homework to do and some key issues to discuss at our next meeting. By the way, when are we meeting?
A: Well, let's say that...

1. 本课主题
阅读下面这篇由一位“商业医生”撰写的文章并就列出的问题进行讨论。
成功的起因
精神分析家们通过深入病人的过去——通常是病人的童年时代——来给他们治病,试图以此帮助他们了解现在的感觉和行为。公司顾问们试图通过了解他们客户的历史和跟踪记录来找出失败的根源或成功的起因。
从某些方面讲,公司顾问们的工作有时很简单,他们可以察看资产负债表和损益表来分析该公司的资产管理、盈利状况和费用控制情况。他们可以跟踪公司的历史,从开始盈利的头一件产品到现在的生产和服务规模。他们可以研究公司的组织结构、市场营销和人事制度,甚至工厂和办公室的布局等等。
然而,要正确指出一个公司失败而另一个公司的原因常常并非易事。公司向外界寻求建议是因为从内部找不到答案。公司期冀咨询人员能运用其丰富的经验——或许就是他(她)以前所诊断过的类似病例来为公司找出症结所在,开出使公司复苏的良方,进而为公司推荐一种新的自下而上方式以保证他们未来的健康发展和繁荣。

1.1 讨论问题
你们的公司是现代企业吗?它随着时代变化而变化吗?你的工作环境压力大吗?你认为很好地管理时间能减轻这种压力吗?

—生词与短语—
1.grapple with 与……搏斗,尽力解决
e.g. Some one tried to poach our market manager; she grappled with her moral dilemma.
有人企图挖走我们的市场主管,面对这种道德难题,她进行了激烈的思想斗争。
2.differentiate  加以区分
3.black Monday 黑色星期一,指1987年10月国际股票市场崩溃的日子。
4.catastrophe   大灾难,大祸
e.g. The financial catastrophe initiated by the collapse of the stack market hit the country a deadly blow.
由股市崩溃引发的金融灾难,使这个国家遭受了致命的打击。
5.continuum  连续时间
6.dramatic 戏剧性的
7.exceed 超过
e.g. Supply exceeds demand. 供过于求

2. 听力练习
—生词与短语—
intuition 直觉
circulate 传阅
philosophy 哲学,见解,观点,信条
hierarchy 等级制度,统治集团,领导层  hierarchical
convince 使确信,说服 convince sb. of sth.
purchase 购置
plug 插头
cashflow 现金流量,收入现款额
authorize 批准,准许,授权
reconcile 调解,使一致  reconciliation
invoice 发票
streamline 使合理化,使效率更高

你将听到安娜、布赖恩和皮特之间一次会议的摘要,他们 是Softsys公司的三个合伙人。该公司是一家提供商业应用软件的小公司,两年前成立,经过一度快速增长后,打算巩固其市场位置。

—注解及样例—
1. out of control失去控制
e.g. Measures must be taken to have the overheated economy cooled down. Otherwise, it would be out of control.
如果再不采取果断措施给过热的经济降温,经济局面会失控。
2. to snap断裂,垮掉
e.g. The twigs snapped under the snow.雪把树枝压断了。
Our manager works too hard. I'm afraid she will snap suddenly.
我们经理工作太认真,我真担心哪天她的身体会垮掉。
3. intuition 直觉
e.g. My intuition told me to keep this company as our supplier.
直觉告诉我应当仍然以该公司为供货商。
I've got an intuition that something has gone wrong.
凭直觉我感到出了问题。
4. to circulate 传阅
e.g. The report will be circulated to all members.
该报告将在全体成员中传阅。
5. to have a go at 跃跃欲试
e.g. The sales manager recently in power itched to have a go at the East Asian market.
新上任的销售经理跃跃欲试,要进军东亚市场。
6. to convince 说服
e.g. It took me a few weeks to convince my boss of the importance of training.
我花了几个星期才说服老板培训的重要性。
At last I felt convinced that I was again on the wrong track.
我最后确信自己考虑问题的思路又错了。
to persuade 说服,是指劝诱(induce)他人相信或去做某事
e.g. he persuaded me to buy that huge 30-inch TV set.
他劝我买了那台30寸的大电视。
&大致说来,persuade与人的意志(will)或感情(feeling)相关,convince是与人的理智(reason)或理解力(understanding)相关。
7. to authorise授权
e.g. She has been authorized to sign the contract.
她被授权签订合同。
8. to reconcile 使……相吻合,核对,调和
e.g. He failed to reconcile statement with the fact.
他难以作出符合事实的陈述。
to reconcile a checkbook with a bank statement
按银行结帐单核对支票薄。
I can't reconcile the two extreme views.
我无法调和这两种极端的观点。
9. to streamline 精简,使……更有效率
e.g. The leadership had streamlined the plant organization. As a result, the output doubled and the overheads fell drastically as well.
由于领导精简了工厂机构,不仅产量翻了一番,而且大大缩减了企业经营费用。
10. to invoice 给……开发票
e.g. The seller may invoice the goods at $70 per ton.
卖方可以每吨70美元开具该货的发票。
Invoice us after the shipment.
请在装船后给我公司开具发票。
名词——发票
e.g. Enclosed is our invoice in triplicate for Art. No.1204.
随函附上1204号货物的发票一式三份。
11. in everybody's interest 符合大家的利益
12. fine by me 我觉得没问题
e.g. Is the newly bought cream OK with you?
新买的雪花膏用着行吗?
Yes, fine by me. 我觉得还不错。
13. mailshot 邮寄广告

听力译文:
P:我想我们都感到有些控制不了局面了。我们都在尽力,快要坚持不住了。我担心,如果我们控制不住局面是会出事的。
B:说的对。我们应当开始控制工作而不是让工作控制我们。我们该怎么做呢?
A:嗯,首先,我们可以开始制定计划。我是指到目前为止我们一直凭直觉做事,但我想知道我们今后5年的发展目标。
B:很好,一个长期计划。皮特,你准备做这件事吗?
P:我可以准备一份草稿,咱们传阅一下,然后再讨论。
A:好。
P:行。
A:怎么角色?我指的是,虽然在公司里我们每个人各尽所能,配合也很好,但我们需要一个领导者。
P:你指执行董事?
B:对,不过我原以为我们的原则是保持一种平等管理结构。
A:我也认为我们不应制造等级,但我仍认为如果我们选出一个合伙人,由他控制全局会对工作有好处。
P:对,我想这不会影响我们之间的关系,反而能使我们更有效地开展业务。
B:嗯,你们还没说服我,但我愿意再听听你们的意见。既然你们俩对此很热心,何不准备一份文件来讲一下今后的管理结构和主管的任务?
A:嗯,我试一下。我会准备一份草稿,传阅一下,然后在下次会上讨论。布赖恩,你觉得怎么样?
P:我没意见。
B:好,我们已谈了计划和管理问题。现在讨论一下如何改进机构吧。我想我们应该考虑一下如何更好地组织。
A:嗯,先出招待董事肯定会有帮助。
B:当然,但我们应该也想一下自己的位置。
P:划分责任?
B:对。行划出我们每个人员的主要职责,再划出相关的次要责任范围。拿进货作例子,我们需要其他负责人商量。但买进小东西时,就不必磋商。
A:好啦,凡大件物品的进货我们总是讨论,有必要时小物品的进货也讲座但我们总不能买每一寸电缆都先进行讨论吧。
B:我知道这不可能。正因为这样,我们才需要一个人总体负责购货。通过安排这样一个负责人,我们就可不断研究如何把钱用在刀刃上。由这个人来进行核查,以确保货与发票相吻合。简化体制对每个人都有好处。
A:你有何建议?
B:我建议每个人都列出公司的主要任务。我们已谈了购货,再谈一下销售和售后服务……
P:……还有财务。
B:对,还有安装。我想看到在每个领域有一个负主要职责,就像我们刚才所说的采购那样。其他人可以对那一领域负次要职责。我提议由我来起草一份主要领域或我们需开展的工作的清单,然后在下次会议上决定在每一领域由谁负主要职责。我相信这肯定会使咱们做起生意来简化一些。
A:那还剩下什么要我们来做?
P:得做些准备工作,还要列出我们下次会议上要讨论的问题。顺便说一下,咱们下次什么时候开会?
A:嗯,就定在……

 


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