All entries for May 2011
May 22, 2011
Well today I came across a very interesting term called safety capital. The concept basically suggest a new dimension in the organisational health and safety field. It says that unlike traditional methods where only tangible resources were used to implement safety measures, firm should increasingly invest in the intellectual capital i.e. knowledge and capabilities. Moroever, most of the measures used by the companies today are reactive as in they are applied once the accident or injury has already occured. The integration of knowledge management in the health and safety field suggests that if we create a KM system it will not only act as preventive measure but also infuse the safety culture within the very roots of the company. I found the concept of the safety capital very important and applicable to modern day businesses. The intellectual resources i.e. knwoledge and capabilities can help a company achieve its managerial objectives in the fiels of health and safety and can moreover be a source for gaining competitive advantage. It is also a way of gaining trust of your employees.
Implementation of such system to an extent focuses too much on tactical knowledge as most of the research conducted in the safety field comes from the personal experience of an individual who can immediately apply his finding to solve the problem. But for knwoledge to really add value, it must be shared. Comapnies should take knwoledge sharing and knwoledge trasferring endeavours to exchange knwoledge within individuals, teams and social group and facilitate the process of organisation learning. If you read more about this concept, you'd also find that safety captial has three main elements: human, structual and social. These three components can help facilitate and manage knwoledge.
Well, there are a number of best practices relating to health and safety that you can find. But without the supprotive knwoledge management system these practices can be of little use. Knowledge can also help organise and structure all the resources that the company invests in health and safety. Overall, health and safety should be seen as a cruicial part of any company. Companies should invest in this area as it can produce a number of benefits.
May 21, 2011
Well I've been reading quite a bit on health and safety now.. (its something that I find of personal interest and thats why I've been blogging more in this area)..
Further to my previous blog, I find that safety culture in any organisation has three key aspects to it - behavioral, person and situational (the Cooper's safety culture model, 2009). Its interesting to note the interactive and reciprocal relationship shares betwen the three elements. Infact, these elements can be further divided to enable multi level analysis. If you're really interested in the aspect of health and safety you must read the work of Bandura, 1986; Cooper, 1999, 2000 and Choudhary et al. 2007 in the areas of safety culture. These authors also suggest that safety culture is actually the sub culture within organisation culture. Safety culture is a product of organisational values, beliefs and attitudes. Tomorrow, when we go on to become leaders, it is a must that we learn about the safety culture as its successful implementation can do wonders for any organisation.
Now the interesting it...A statement that I read and would like to share with you while reading about safety culture is that people are both a product and a producer of the environment.To me that simply means that we are the product of our actions and doings. We are what we create (For example, I believe that we all are to an extent responsible for creating terrorism.. we are now fighting a war that we had created.. not you or me in specific, but the world in general.. this may raise some eyebrows but then again its my view..) ..so coming back to the point..if we are a product of our own actions...it would in turn mean that if we want to be a better product, we must seek to improve our actions so that we are able to impact the environment and the situations around us.
Noqw basically in deep spiritual terms, we are the creaters of our own destiny, but then there is karma which comes and bites us later on.... So in essence (if you believe in karma/destin or scientifically Newton's law , etc. etc.) we are responsible for our actions because every action has an opposite and equal reaction.... Be good else your karma will bite you hard later on..
Well, in organsiational terms and in safety culture dimension nurturing good behaviours, right attidue, caring for your people, supportive environment is like good action/deeds which lead to good results/karma else organisations (we) pay the consequences.
May 20, 2011
Reading about the Health and safety over the last few days I've realised that a good organisation will create effective policies and strategies that exhibit best health and safety practices. But to be an excellence organsiation, every organsiation must cultivate the safety culture. Safety culture is the sub unit of the organsiation culture that is applicable to every aspect of businesses. Unlike previous thinking where safety departments had to be created and safety was the responsibility of the few people existing in the organsiations, safety culture has to be embedded in the very roots of the organisation. It impact all people, their behvaiour, situations and actions. Everything that can directly or indirectly affect the health and safety must be addressed. By doing this, it will be able to become an integral part of the organsiation just like the continuous improvement culutre. Also,by doing so a company will not only be able to reduce accidents and damanges but also intiate a culture where all organsiational people hold themselves accountable for health and safety. I think rather than having polcies or strategies that reduce accidents one must create an environment where people are not able to commit mistakes. Prevention is always better than cure.
Moreover, safety culture was an aspect I was completely unaware of. Its interesting to find so many models and definitions that exists in literature. Infact Im extremely happy to see that some concepts have emerged. Infact, this topic specifically came under limelight after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Growing number industries are now looking at cultivating and strengthening a culture. I think health and safety in an organisation is of prime importance. Poeple need to feel taken care of, respected and loved. Such culture will create an excellence organsiation where there is mutual respect for co workers and respect for every life. Rather than seing it as a seperate part of the organsiation, it must be reflected across all departments and at all levels. We are all responsible for creating a safe working environement.
Moreover, safety is not only an issue in the organisation but everywhere. Infact, universities, school, colleges..all should intitiate such culture. Many people tend to overlook this concept and take safety for granted. For example, when the fire alarm rings in our building, we take our own sweet time. This is wrong. Clearly, we all are casual about our own lives. We cross roads without paying attention, eat medecines without checking expiry, touch electrical equipement without having the knowledge about it, drink irresponsibly, etc. etc. Life is a precious thing gifted by god, in any form. Everyone should be thankful for their lives and we should consider it an invaluable gift. We are responsible for our own life!! We need to become more responsible human beings. We need to care, love and respect not only ourselves but each other. Do not take anything for granted. Just take a look at the beautiful world that exists outside and lets make it a better and a safer place to live in.
May 16, 2011
Well, just reading about knowledge management is leading to me to different ends. At first the PMA did not seem as complex as it does now. I've been thinking really hard on the subject, but im finding it extremely hard to figure out the best way to answer it. Every journal or book suggest several ways of creating a knowledge management culture.. they talk about lessons learned, organsisation culture, knowledge management system, explicit-implicit knowledge, strategies, best practices, etc. etc... I've read quite a few books. They talk about KM in similar contexts but yet give so many different insights. It has left me so confused but I guess as you read more and more, more ideas come into mind and while processing these ideas its perfectly okay to be confused. Confusion is atleast way better than being oblivious to things. Well Im in the process of reading more and more. But apart from that, I guess this PMA really takes into account a lot of creativity. For example, its quite hard to link Health and safety with knowledge management...Its turning quite complicated to apply KM with AM. Not so easy..Its that basic structure that I need to create. But I cant help it cause theres never one answer. .. well lets see how it goes...
May 03, 2011
I'd like to end this PMA with a thought that tools are never bias, bias are the decison makers. We tend to criticise and call these tools subjective when the real problem is within the decision maker himself. Rather than trying to create more and more effective tools of decision making and thinking that the best decision making tool will produce the best result, it is actually the decision maker who should try to imporove himself. He must be free of all bias, mental models, heurisitics, etc. It is his job to not fall in this trap and be objective at all times.
While doing the presentation work, I am sure many of us fell in this trap. There were so many times when our mental models and pre conceived notion took a stand against all objectivity. Sometimes we believe in things so strongly that our minds get closed and we are no longer rational beings. I personally, am so convinced with my own thinking that I cannot accept a contradictory notion.
Sometimes mental models are also a form of arrogance or ego as we are so sure about our pre conceive notions. I'd like to test if in general egoistic and arrogant people create more mental models than the others or are more driven by heurisitcs in comparison to others. This may be true because egoistic and arrogant people don't easily open up to new ideas. This makes me also wonder if arrogant and egoistic people aare ctually bad decision makers? Not generalising, but would love to test this theorem..
Anyways... Not just in in decision making but to be successful in any front, we have to do things wisely. We can't become wise in one days time... its again a cycle of continuous improvement...
While investigating about heuristics, i came across several articles that speak of heurisitcs in a positive manner. I was under the imporession that heurisitc are an inferior way of making decisions, its is a completely irrational technique that can never produce optimal solutions. Its more like an easy escape to the problem or shutting your eyes towards a problem. However, in general heuristics produce correct results, ofcourse they can neveral guarantee an optimal solution.
The authors that speak in favor of heurisitcs descirbe it as an extremely rational way of makind decisions. They suggests that we as human beings tend to think logically and our judgement is a perfectly logical methods. They further suggest that these are straightforward, simple and time saving techniques. Also, in the case of uncertainity and availability of objective data heuristics can play an important role.
All these points leave me confused. I cannot make up my minds as to whether an individual should be drive his judgement based on heuristics or not!?!
May 02, 2011
I don't like the fact that i have a mental model for everything. There are these pre existing thoughts that tend to guide my decisions and me in general. Its like im a person who is always driven by intutions and pre conceived ideas rather than facts.
For example, when I meet someone who I've heard about from people. I form my judgement about that person based on what I know of him/her from other people rather than actually forming an unbiased judgement on him/her. Ofcourse, you shouln't judge people, but its always happening consciously or unconsciously. We all are always being judgemental and I know for a fact that its not only me but many people tend to judge other based on their own mental models.
And the worst part is that this happens subconsciously. And sometimes you feel so helpless especially because so many times you've gone wrong. I think of people in a particular manner and instantly judge them, in a good or bad and over time I'm prooved wrong. They turn out to be completely different people. And then you sit and regret about how wrong you have been all this while, simply cause you refused to be objectiveand were driven by a mental model.
Somtimes you its good to bea little clueless about things rather tha being a Miss. Know-it-all
I think one of the aspects that I like about decision trees are the fact that they are flexible in nature. Decision tees can always be modifies from their orginial structure as and when we get more information and understanding of the problem and as the future scenarios unfold. To me, decision trees are also simple to use. Sometimes, problems can be too wordy and this is when decision tree helps us break the problem down into smaller prices and give it a structure. Moreover, they bring to light many of the hidden elements of a problem that we take for granted or will not take into consideration otherwise.
Also, the pictorial view of a the decision trees make a problem look more appealing than otheriwse. I think decision trees really help in unravelling problems, I see them like simple problem solving code breakers for a very complex problem. More scenarios you unravel, more you are preapared for the future. All you have to do in future as the scenarios unfold is to go back to the decision tree and measure the result (ofcourse, provided you previously taken the scenario into consideration).
While studying AHP, I came across conflicting idea about the nature of this particular decision tool.
Whereas some authors suggest that it is a combination of subjectivity and rationality, others suggest that is is entirely based on scientific judgement.
In my view even though the approach may be scientifc in nature, it is largely affected by the subjectivity of the decision maker. Most importantly, the factors that a decision maker chooses for the model can largely determine the validity of the results. However, that suggests that subjectivity is never the problem of the tool itself but the decision maker. This makes me think that the decision maker himself has a huge role to play. No matter which decision tool you pick, in the absence of an effective and objective decision maker, the tool by itself will be dysfunctional.
May 01, 2011
Have you ever thought about the fact that no two people will tend to make the same decision or act in a similar manner even if they are given exactly the same information. Interesting, right?
We all are different and that's what makes everything so interesting. No matter how much we talk about being unbiased and robust, we all tend to add a certain element of our own nature and characterisitcs to the decisions we make. We can never be fully unbiased. We are not GOD. Ever since we are born, we are born with a bias. Everything that we have watched, observed and understood from the time we are born, slowly and powerfully becomes a part of us and moulds us into who we are today. Infact biasness is a very crucial part of our individuality. We are biased towards different colors, people, clothes, food, etc. This is what we are and this is what makes us different from the others. Imagine a world where no one is biased. Wouldn't it be so boring? Everyone would be okay with everything, what a perfect world? We all talk about being perfect but a world that is too perfect can be deathly scary actually.
Our biasness greatly influence our lives and the decisions we make. Bias is what makes us or destroys us. We are actually a product of our own bias. And there is nothing wrong with that. Make your mistakes and learn from them. Faliure actually brings us even closer to our success.
Since no one can be totally unbiased, can we actually try and be biased towards the right decision. Deep, right? But its possible I think. Easy and straightforward..Be well informed, always and your biasness will lead you to the right decision automaitically. Simple. Infact, eat right, be in good company, make right friends, watch informative things, read interesting things and then you'll be an intelligent person who'll be able to make the right decisions. All you would need to do is go a step further, research and gather information!! So in conclusion, be biased but towards the right decision ;)