October 16, 2014

The Watson debater

Tired of EFQM, ISO and MBNQA etc.? Want to talk about something else? I have something for you :-D

Yesterday I was at this WBS talk of a destinguished IBM engineer, who told us something about how Technology might affect us in the next couple of years.

At the moment they are doing research on a learning debate computer system, that can give you the most relevant pro and con arguments to different questions by searching the internet (at the moment only wikipedia) and filtering the most relevant data (using some algorithms and techi stuff no one of us would understand :-)) My point is, that they claim to try to improve the world with it spending millions of research budget on this system. All the other tech companies try the same think and also spend millions of money on their system. Why not work together if they really want to make the world a better place huh? For the sake of profit for sure :-) I asked this guy why and he seemed to be really astonished :-) I was actually thinking "MBE" and am still thinking, if this question was stupid or if IBM and the other tech companies could actually profit by sharing data and doing joint research. I know that IT is a really competitive place and this it why it keeps me thinking.

If someone wants to help me thinking here is the link:

October 11, 2014

The puzzle of motivation

I actually don't want to start every entry with "todays session kept me thinking"...but at the moment that's what describes my days here best. Everyday I learn something, not totally new, but it was somewhere in my head and I have stopped thinking about this. Here we have this great opportunity to start thinking about those topics that are important (but maybe not urgent ;-)) again.

I was really amazed by this Video Paul & Evangelos showed us about autonomy and how autonomy and critical thinking may lead to more creativity and innovative ideas. It's true and I actually experienced it several times that external motivators like money or grades etc. narrow your thinking. You are so focussed and put pressure on yourself to solve this specific task that you get lost in your thoughts and cannot look outside the box. Everytime I did something with passion and intrinsic motivation, really good ideas popped up. What I'll take from this session and put it into practice is not to think too much about the grades and marks here and rather focus on this great experience of learning so much about yourself and on finding a dissertation topic I would really love to work on - I am sure it's impossible to fail if you chose a topic that you love and if you are excited about your work.

Here the link to this amazing video:

October 08, 2014

The new harmony is freaking me out

Today was a really long but interesting day: lots of input, lots of new approaches and methodes to discover and loads to think about - the Coffee Breaks made my day ;-) No seriously it was tough but we learnt a lot about evaluating approaches towards business excellence. And as we all still have this in mind I won't go into detail and just want to blog about 15 minutes where I learnt the most.

After all the input, after class our team for group work came together and as we were all tired we did not actually work on our projects, but in this 15 minutes I got the feeling that we are not discussing anymore how to appraoch this and that, who is doing what and who not etc. and the content is starting to become the central point of the project work again.

For me everything has to work from the beginning, and I sometimes forget that those processes of trial and error, of experimenting are so much important and that afterward those processes results may even better.

Next time I won't worry instantly when someting is not working from the beginning and give it some time. We all have different expactations, experiences, ideas and mind-sets. How can someone excpect this all to collaborate peacefully in an instant? I did and I was proven wrong, my worries were the punishment ;-) Now as I understand this my worries decrease and there is lots of hope and positive feelings.

PS: Guys, the new harmony is freaking me out :-D

October 07, 2014

I was stupid

Today I'll keep it short and compliant with the protocol:

Key learning today: In busy times it is important to let go and do something for yourself!

Why is this important: It's so important for one's wellbeing, keeps your mind fresh and lets you disconnect

Why haven't I done this before: I was stupid! :-D (I usually tend to stay in during busy times not wanting to see anyone, today I broke the "rule" and loved it)

Will I do this again?: Definetly!

With this in mind focussing on my good night sleep I say goodnight and see u tomorrow (probably with a 30 min blog as I am going to feel guilty about this short one :-D)

Oh gosh my mum is going to read this :–)

By the way I really start to love blogging (does this count as a reflective entry? ;-P)

At first I was wondering how blogging could help us learning and why some people are so totally into blogging.

I think I start to understand, it's like writing a diary, getting rid of fears, thinking about what actually happened over the day and what you learnt. I thought I would mind more that people can read about my thoughts (I mean I do not share EVERYTHING - my mum is going to read this :-D), but I think it's just such a nice way to let others know maybe that they are not alone with their thoughts, ideas and fears or let them know that they do not have any problems and could feel worse ;-) This might actually really help us/me to overcome problems and to not feel alone with them.

As kids I suppose almost everyone of us was writing their diaries - it way all about stupid boys (or girls), stupid teachers, maybe the only nice boy (or girl) and this stupid best friend who did something terribly wrong - If you look at those diaries now you might laugh about it, but as soon as we had been writing it down we felt better didn't we? It feels a little bit like this again - of course without addressing everyone as stupid ;-)

October 06, 2014

The way it always worked

Today actually kept me thinking. In class we were talking about the value that could be added if organisations focused more on their employees, leadership in terms of creating a save working environment and all the HR topics I used to think a lot about back in Germany. I always felt a little bit frustrated that everyone knows what impact it may have to increase employee satisfaction as the one and only resource that can not be replaced and that actually creates the value, but no company I got in contact with actually DID anything about it's employee satisfaction.

I again start considering this as a really interesting topic: how to actually make the change. I did not really came up with a solution and knowing that companies think they perform well and do not have to change anything (focussing only on the target, not on the process - another leanring from todays research ;-)) kept me thinking that maybe we, as the "next generation" (it may sound a little bit cocky) can do something about it within the next years. I am sure that what we will be learning here at this course (might not look like WBS on our CV but who cares^^) to questioning well known approaches and make up our minds, working collaboratively together might actually have an impact (impact seems to be my new favourite word - sorry for tha :-)).

Like I commented earlier, getting out of our comfort zones will be a really big topic for us the next weeks, but it will make life much easier.

October 03, 2014

Make a Giraffe

During induction week there was this time, this obligatory time ;), for team building. I remember the words of a seminar leader back in Germany who said: First thing to do when there is a new group of totally strangers: throw a "bone" and let the dogs find out who has what role :-) I always find myself rather observing, smiling and thinking than actually participating as you can learn so much about people during those taks.

What I've learned this time and I haven't before as assessment centers and stuff like this is always about competing and being the leader: I do not need to have a leading role in a group - there are other ways to participate -, however for me it's essential that everyone understands what the plan is (if there is one :-D), everyone knows what the strengths of the others are in order to allocate different responsibilities and to let everyone keeping up (group work also works the other way and a result can be achieved, but probably not as successful as it could have been).

Whereas others are the alphas I would rather like to learn how to deal with them, so that my/and other ideas are heard and considered (if its only for a minute) and be the alpha myself rather when it applies and is needed.

What helped me so far is to question approaches, ask what I need to do and supporting where I find support is needed (or give me a responsibilty myself ;-)). However, I guess I still need to learn how to not be frustrated about such a situation and how to still be motivated to work on the topic for the group. What actually helped here was to talk to others about their feelings and make clear at the end of the day how I felt and what I would like to be improved next time (doenst mean that it gets better, but at least everyone knows ;-))

So overall, group work of totally strangers is a really facinating event for me, sometimes holding oneself back, listen and understanding is a good or even a better way to participate - that's at least what I figured out is important to me :-) PS: It was all about building a giraffe (you knew that right?)

October 01, 2014

"It's not about studying hard it's about studying even smarter

This was one of the sentences or advices I really kept in mind. And I am going to tell you a little bit why that is.

During the whole week, we have induction lectures and learn a bit more about our programme, the structure, the grades, how to pass and also "how" to fail. Many of us have no work experience and are afraid of not being able to catching up with the ones who do have work experience. Others have work experience and are actually afraid of the same vice versa. We were told that it's all about managing time, finding the right work-life balance, having fun and being successful with your final dissertation.

I guess what stuck in our minds was just "managing time" and "being successful with our final dissertation", having to work hard rather than creating a great work-life balance, having fun, making the most out of the year. Many of us - and I talked to quiet a lot - as well as I personally totally focussed their thoughts on future work, demanding courses and finding the right dissertation project and got a little bit anxious.

Today however, remembering that you can make the best out of your year, if you "just" work smart and learn to manage yourself, having tutors and other students around to help you out, I really got excited about the next 47 weeks. And I realised that it was this excitement that made me overcome any fear and that let me think positively. The more I was worrying the more closed-minded I became towards all the new (people, topics, impressions) in my environment.

So to everyone who shares the same fears, try to think positive as it should help you to be successful in the end, be excited, look forward to the next weeks and keep this feeling inside to recall it whenever you start feeling anxious again - as I was before writing this entry ;-)

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