All entries for November 2009
November 27, 2009
Learning organization is not a stage, which organization could achieve, they can not achieve it, they can not say: today we became a learning organization, because learning how to be a learning organization is never ending. Today we have a defined (arguable?) shape what is learning organization, but it is ok for today, but not for tomorrow. Tomorrow’s learning organization could be different, because new capabilities should be required from organizations, therefore new characteristics of learning organization will emerge. Therefore the important question of organization should be not how we will know that we are learning organization, but how we can ensure that we will continuously and consistently learn. It also can be applied to people. People want to be successful and they are graduated from universities and acquire necessary professional and interpersonal skills to be successful, however despite the fact that these skills could ensure success for some period of time, they can not ensure that people will be successful for the rest of their lives. The meaning of success changes over time. Therefore people need to learn continuously how to be and in order to be successful people, as well as organization need to learn how and in order to be successful.
The concept of learning organization is fairly old, because scholars began to research this issue since the second part of the 20th century. However, for practice it is new theory. Today many organizations in developed countries try to be a learning organization and it is not just their desire, but life necessity. The environment of today’s business force organizations to find new ways to satisfy their customers and to be competitive and those organizations, which do not want to adapt, more likely will not survive. It is interesting how theory outstrip practice. Is it because what is done in theory does not work in practice, or because companies are not yet ready for ideas which theory suggest? There are so many ideas of scholars what is and how to be a learning organization, however business could hardly develop their ideas in practice. What is missing?
November 12, 2009
System of profound knowledge is the philosophy suggested by E. Deming to transform Western style of management. Traditional style of management still used in many organization today and known as result and goal-oriented approach (often without understanding how process works), more focused on short term profits, quick fixing of problems, setting targets, rewarding or punishing their employees, regarding them as a resource rather than potential for learning and improvement and finally it is based on internal competition. There are many contradictory things can be find in this approach. The most obvious one is struggling to achieve goals of organization simultaneously with sharp internal competition.
The main problem of this approach is that management has no understanding how their organization actually works. Deming philosophy offers approach based on understanding of the process and improving it. Four components of the philosophy are about transformation of the organizational thinking. Jan Jillet in his work “Working with the grain” notices that all what Deming suggest is natural thing, how it is really supposed to be. And we always try to act against the nature instead of understanding it. For example, the Psychology element of the philosophy, people are naturally is intrinsically motivated, they are sociable, they always want to interact, to be a member of some group, to try new things, to take risks, to learn, its a nature of the people. But traditional management ignores it, and motivates people extrinsically (this kind of motivation is needed, however it is not the most important thing) artificially sets targets, rewards, punishing people making mistakes (mistakes can be a good source of learning), blaming people, still regarding them as “commodity”. Or system thinking, it’s all about the nature. I usually think than Power, created our universe build it so that all the parts dependent from each other, no one can win without other part winning and how we can talk about development of world economy, for example, in condition where developed countries take an advantage and make developing and poor countries more poor, where they think about their own goals and indifferent what was happening out there, outside their boundaries. How can we talk about development of mankind, in the world of war, terrorism? Financial crisis, natural disasters, illnesses are the signals that something wrong in the system and that people act against their nature. Without understanding that we always a part of larger system we cannot make a contribution to development of any organization or country.
November 08, 2009
Two weeks passed. At first time I didn’t understand why modules were so short, just one week? Now I begin to understand that modules gives just an overview of the subject and PMA allows go deeply and find answers to questions during the module.
There are no really right answers to PMA, it just the matter of how you understand the question, but the challenging thing is to not go away from the question.
The second thing is time management. If we are given only 60 hours or less on PMA, how to allocate time so that it really is 60 hours, should we count the hours we spend every day? It is important because we also need time for our project and other modules.
Doing PMA is not an easy task it’s a mini-project, you need really to think about planning (outline, my outline have changed several times during 2 weeks), organization of work (time spent, process itself – selection of material to read (takes a lot of time for me), reading, note taking, understanding, analyzing, writing), control (whether I am answering this particular question or not, progress – what I have done already, how it can contribute to overall paper and what I have learned). However, despite its difficulties it teaches a lot of thing, like tacit knowledge for yourself, because you really start understand yourself, how it is better for you to organize work, what time in day to allocate for it (people have different time when they are productive- my time is, for example – from 5 to 8 in the evening).
Thus, during the model I have pieces of knowledge and I hardly could link it with each other, but doing PMA helps me to organize it and find links.