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November 23, 2012

Difficulties in keeping the momentum going

motivWhile writing the PMA I realized that the more I put effort to PMA, the less motivation I had to finish it. May be it happens because continuous improvement usually takes so much time and after spending week or month or even year there is still no guarantee that you will come to a solution in the end. So you may experience disappointment of putting so much effort and still not observing any results. To keep the momentum going without strong motivation is difficult and probably even not achievable, so what I need for my motivation? I need two things:

        • I need a feedback – if I am doing something I need to know what other people think about it. Is it really changes something or just adds a small/insignificant value? The feedback provides us visibility and communication of our work with recognition going straight after the latter.
        • I need a leader – Someone, who inspires me. In my case, this is my mum, nobody can inspire my as she does. I think everybody needs a muse that encourages us to dream and create. It can be our friend or sister,….or it can be your boss. Why not?

        November 17, 2012

        E–learning as a step in becoming Learning Organization

        It is so strange how things can go. Process Improvement Using Six Sigma module helps me to learn something new about my CBE-PMA. For example, while doing e-learning I realized that this type of learning can be the key to transformation to a learning organization.

        It is a tool to make the organization to study in a more flexible way and to satisfy different requirements, i.e. to learn something new and see how it can be implemented on practice. Moreover, e-learning doesn’t put a student (in our case - employee) to stressful conditions where he is continuously being assessed by others. The common propose of such learning to do it for yourself, so this is a reason of non-assessment approach.

        It seems much easier to do this type of learning when you are not assessed. I wish it always could be like that. And this non-assessment approach really works for me, because I finished my TMI module over one day - I just was so absorbed with six-sigma that I couldn’t stop myself and wanted to explore more.

        November 16, 2012

        Resistance can be useful

        Today we had PIUSS class and Gream mentioned that resistance can be actually useful, just because sometimes people can be wrong even using Six Sigma and others can resist to those changes and show the potential threat that this unnecessary change can bring into the process. And if we consider, one of the reasons why company try to become learning organization is to follow continuous improvement by engaging people into the process, encouraging to shear their knowledge, imply it in the company and, finally, creating a strong company culture. However, if everybody will follow the idea of continuous improvement and shear company’s vision, the resistance will be minimized and few people can be able to identify if something going wrong during new model implementation – just because they may truly believe that their company is the best one and that all things they are doing just can be incorrect.

        If we consider Seng’s model of learning organization, than this problem might appear in his “Shared vision” part. I am not saying that sharing vision is wrong, but to some extent this can cause potential threat to ideas generation and prevent people from being critical.

        November 14, 2012

        Excellence through Positive Mental Attitude (PMA)

        While writing my PMA I was thinking why each model, concept or theory states the importance of continuous improvement, but none of them (even genious Deming) mention the positive attitude, which is the main driver to any improvement.

        If we look closer on the nature of improvement, we can find that its motive apears when we have the right mental attitude, other words, when we hope and believe into positive outcomes of our actions (improvement), so after having strong belief we usualy take initiatives to make this our dreams/belief happen. So, why neither Deming's SoPK nor Organizational Learning mention the Positive Mental Attitude, because as I understud this is the starting point of any journey.

        If I were CEO of some big company, I would definitely started with the Positive Mental Attitude deployment which later could enable my employees to implement their ideas and folllow continuous improvement.


        November 12, 2012

        Excellence everywhere, even in ourselves

        I know that the propose of PMA in CBE is to learn more about business excellence whether it is application of EFQM to the company, understanding the Deming's System of Profound Knowledge or deployment of new learning strategy. However, I learned more about myself, about others - how effectiv we can be in using our sources, identifying our strengths and weaknesses, developing our skills and plan our tasks. Thus, the question can came - can we consider ourselves as an organization with its elements and processes and apply EFQM to ourselves to follow constant improvement?

        I gues we can, because if we look at EFQM Model we can see how the criteria can be aplied to us:

        • Leadership - this can be our motives to actions. What encourage us to find new chalanges;
        • People - our physiology (how strong we can be)
        • Strategy - this is how we usually act, communicate and behave with others;
        • Partnerships and resources - our friends, colleagues, familly, bosses also this can be the financial sources;
        • Processes, products and services - basicaly, this can be the work that we are doing;
        • People results - how healthy we are (how our actions influence our body)
        • Customer results - how our customers are happy (boss, friend, mother, father...)
        • Society results - what contribution our work brings to the society;
        • Business results - (I am not sure) for me this is the amount of joy and happiness that we bring to ourselves by working and doing specific tasks

        I am still not sure that I am wright in my assumption, but it is totally works for me!

        November 11, 2012

        Closed circle

        Isn't it a closed circle? To use self-assessment approach (EFQM) effectively you already have to be a learning organization, but transformation to learning organization involes self-assessment. So what does come first? Self-assessment or learning organization?

        circleTo prove the first statement (that the effectivness of self-assessment depends on whether it is used in learning organization or not) lets consider this quotation "To be used correctly, self-assessment needs the existance of an organizational culture that fosters continuous improvement and learning, a suitable training of all members at all levels and, above all, an absolute and real commitment of top management to leading the process" (Binney, Making Quality Work: Lessons from Europ's Leading Companies) So, "the existance of an organizational culture that fosters continuous improvement and learning" can be considerded as a princapel of learning organization. In this case, he claims that first goes leaning organization - then self-assessment.

        On the contrast, in the Balbastre's article "Self-assessment application and learning in organizations: a special reference to the ontological dimansion" it is claimed that self-assessment approach is the key in becomming a learning organization. So what is the true?

        I think the true is somewhere in the middle. Maybe self-assessment involve the process of learning and some ideas of learning organization, but it cannot use the whole philosophy of learning organization.

        November 08, 2012

        Information sources for transformation

        Lets imagine that you are CEO in a big multinational company and you have just realised that for recent time your company has been experiencing poor performance. Lets put down how you found out it....this is just a fact. So what your following actions? Where you can find information about how to deal with it?

        1. Management bestsellers. While I was searching material for my PMA, I realised that if you need manual to a model, first identify which specific model can suit to your company. To do so don't read books (lots of theory and few practical advices), don't read articles (lots of critical analisys). READ management bestsellers, which usually are written by others CEOs and where the transformation is described with all its cos and pros + they can give you receips of success.

        2. Specific methods and tools. Well, the Internet can provide you lots of references and books on that subject, but it will not give you the answer which method or tool to choose.

        3. Consultants. It totaly makes sense to use their help, but not in the process of making decigne. I guess it is better to involve them into definding the problem, but not in finding the right answer to the problem, beacouse you might know you company better than any other consultant.

        P.S. If, personaly, I were CEO, I would start with bestseller and then involve other sources.


        November 07, 2012

        Can I have both?

        I found two separet approaches of how learning model can be developed. But, why these models were developed separetly??To my mind, if we combine them, the new final model can become more complited and holistic.

        First is presented by Kim (1993), and consider the learning process in terms of sing or double-loop (Single-loop is, basicaly, observetion of results and comparing them with organizational standards. And double-loop is the same + reviewing standards and creating new results). In this case, this approach baised on HOWlearning process is formed. Second approach described by Crossa (1999) and consider learning process in terms of organizational levels - individual, group and organizational. So this approach basid on WHERElearning process can be formed.

        So, these HOW and WHERE can be easely combined. Because, these two approaches to learning don't excluse each other....on the contrust, they DO actually support each other. And by saying that learning in company goes through different organizational level, I would add that it also goes in two different ways!


        November 05, 2012

        EFQM and Learning in organization

        So many things in common! I mean these two different studies have a similar nature. Just look at RADAR and learning cycle - they have similar components. RADAR: Determing Results, Plan and develop Aproaches, Deploy these approaches, Asses and Refine. Now lets see what learning cycle consistes of: observe, assess, design and implement. Almost the same components. The diference is that RADAR is applicable to every business process and learning is about learning.

        However, what I found more interesting, is that the implementation of EFQM to the company, automaticaly bring the learning into the company. Is it mean that to become a Learning Organization company doesn't have to concentrate on developing learning strategy but try to deploy continuious improvement to each business component? Because learning can go as a co-product of continuious improvement.

        November 04, 2012

        To be a Learning Organization or not to be?

        As was mentioned before in my privious blog, my PMA topic is "How to transform your company to a learning organization...?". There is a question HOW, but for me, it is more reasonable to ask WHY? Do modern companies actually need this transformation?

        I am not sure. What is the learning organization without Deming's System of Profound Knowlege? It is just the bag fulled with labels and brands, which doen't garantee the quality. It might be more apropriate to follow Deming's SPK as it automatically brings company to the deep understanding of learning's importance. Take our CBE learning environment, for example! - to learn smth we "play" all the time and while our playing we gain new knowlege. So why than companies want to study HOW TO LEARN, instad of study HOW TO CONTINIUOUS IMPROVE their business? While being searching for the answer they will realize that they ARE arcualy learning.

        Other words, may be instad of PLANNING how to LEARN, it is better START to learn? I am not against planning but sometimes people spend too much time on developing the process rather than on taking actions.

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        • I would say knowledge "lean" folks understand the and the need to respect people (share success and … by John Hunter on this entry
        • Come on Cheryl, these all are just my observations based on lectures materials!))) by Arina Borodina on this entry
        • i think u get a lot material to write ur PMA!! good for u by Tzu-i Yang on this entry
        • Your welcome and I couldn't agree more with your post. Indeed many companies have heads and not lead… by Lorraine Karuku on this entry
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