April 20, 2010

Leadership impact on KM

Below graph is what we summarised about our discussion today. It's quite intriguing that everything we have learned during the course is still closely connected with each other. All the knowledge is consistant and integratable, and this is the way knowledge should be -- absorbed and transformed into real case application. Just like Paul reminded us today that we should review ourselves if we're practicing what we've been talking about in the real life. Are we the real practitioner, or we're just another group of people whose words speak louder than actions?

In our group, we categorised Leadership into 3 different impacts/results under 3 different leadership styles: Deming, Jack Welch, and Hitler. On the one hand, Deming's obviously is the soft democratic way that inspires individual to share knowledge. It helps the organisation to improve its performance by leading effectively, such as coaching individuals or creating systematic thinking, breaking down the communication barriers within the company and also helping the company to transform into a learning organisation. On the other hand, Hitler's constraints people's thinking and free will. Therefore, it limits the company or individual to perform or improve. Yet, Jack's talks about something more realistic -- profit, promotion, and bonus, which is very debatable.

* who do you decide who to promote if people share ideas but not necessary be the ones who're practicing them?

* as a leader, how to you set the rules or measure of knowledge sharing?

* how do you avoid, as a leader, that people start to compete with each other over personal benefit?

Overall, I personally think promotion and bonuses might be useful sometimes, but I don't agree with them most of the time. It's because it manipulates people and brings out the evil and selfish side of a human being. The impact could become negative. Just like what I experienced before when I was working that being a sales, our base salary was low but bonus system is very active. People would kill each other, back-stabbing, setting-up, lie, sleep with clients to get what they want. Once they succeed, they become greedy, and started wanting everything and getting more serious after time, and finally was manipulated by money itself. After all, hoping people to share knowledge even under conflicting of interests is a very naive idea to me.

Personally I love sharing, and I want to work in an environment that people are all working like a big happy family. But it is difficult to recognise who to promote when people share great ideas. For example, Lisa shares an idea last week about a product design, it was good, but not good enough. Because of her idea, I brainstorm and come up with another design, which turns out to be better and accepted by the company to start producing it. If there wasn't Lisa, my idea might not come out for a while or never will. Thanks to her, that my idea was approved and recognised. In this case, should the leader promote me or promote Lisa? Lisa might be upset coz my idea was just an advanced version of hers. Also she might spend a lot more time constructing the original thought than I do. Am I just letting her hard work die in vain?

Therefore, as a leader, it is crucial how to manage the knowledge. Leaders have great impacts on knowledge management as well as employee behaviors. Leadership on the other hand could also have possitive or negative impact on people. Effectively leadership could ultimately enhance the capability on creating innovative ideas that can help improve business performance as well.


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  1. micro sd

    You done fantastic job Your R&D on leadership is fabulous It is rally a great one for us.I am very excited about this thing.I am also believe that leadership is effect the result.
    micro sd

    20 Apr 2010, 11:06

  2. I think the most important part is knowledge sharing, you said that the leader should set the rules, can you talk about what kinds of rules the leader can set and how to make them work in the real world?

    20 Apr 2010, 23:04

  3. Gordan, to answer your question (ps. sorry for late reply), I think the easiest way is to create the environment and try to train the mental model of the employees about knowledge sharing. I don’t like to attract people with bonus or promotion normallly. But afterall, to me it depends on each person’s personality and quality. If somebody’s money driven, then I might use money to attract their attention. In the real world, most people are working for living, not for their interests, nor for fun; that’s why the best way to trigger their interest on knowledge sharing is to show them the benefits they can then obtain by sharing knowledge to their colleagues.
    I’d like to strategically create a sharing model that is based on exchanging useful information from each other which applies to their own benefits. For example, in sales department people don’t wanna share customer details in order to prevent that other sales might steal the customers. If I create the mental model as well as the policy that each sales rep. should exchange their information on their clients’ data, incl. products, price, regional market, etc. this can help sales people to be able to expand their business opportunities by understanding the current situation of the whole product market. I mean, showing people that sharing knowledge is for their own good—>create this mental model would be an approach that I’d like to apply.

    As for the detail rules can be differed. It depends on the industry, market, product, and people you’re hiring. So I can’t think of a detailed proposal now. But please feel free to debate and brainstorm with me :-)

    23 Apr 2010, 23:17

  4. Hey Lavinia;

    I experienced the same type of sales salary system as you and I totally agree with you. Paying an initial salary and bonus for extra sales truly change people. They may start to see you (a colleague) as a competitor. Tbh at the end of the day; we are both trying to fill our company’s stash.
    Is a specified and enough salary able to stop that competiton between sales reps.?


    24 Apr 2010, 21:52

  5. well…to be honest the experience I had wasn’t bonus until the latter stage of my career. My salary was always fixed yet still have the same problem of knowledge sharing. But this is another issue of the competition between sales—> recognition.

    I was a very lucky girl when I come to professional field. All my 3 bosses I had are paying me (as a freshman, new graduate, young lady) double the salary compare to the standard price in the job market. This is an issue if your colleagues know how much you’re paid becoz you might have just created the enemies before you notice it. People would question your ability easily. However, I was always laying low and trying to learn everything by myself by kindly asking people. I didn’t expect and I know I shouldn’t expect people would share with you what they know because sometimes in the real world, they don’t have the obligation. They have their own works, and what the hell they have to spend time on teaching you? So during the process, I realised it is so much more important for you to understand how to deal and interact with people in the real world. Once you take care of the people, you take care of the business as well.

    So in order to stop negative(unnecessary) competition in the company, the best way I believe is that the company should create the healthy and safe environment by setting up the regulations and also the mental model and behaviour the company wants their employees to have. It’s always better to inform people the news in advance before you want them to give you any feedback. and you shouldn’t expect or complain that people are not delivering what they should or what is the best for the company when you didn’t request at the beginning. Right?

    25 Apr 2010, 20:40

  6. jessie

    Do you want to make money blogging? If you do – you’re not alone. More and more bloggers are finding that blogging is a profitable medium. Whether it be to earn a few extra dollars a week to feed their coffee habit, or making enough money to stop them having to get a part time job to get through college, or whether they’ve got it to a point where they are able to make a full time living from their blogging – there are tens of thousands of bloggers making money from blogging


    07 May 2010, 10:49

  7. annawoods04

    Leadership quality is noticed in very few people because very few people are actually confident themselves and ready to take initiatives on their own. Working as a continuous process, it provides a form of organizational development that takes a proactive approach to preparing individuals to take the leadership reins of the organization in the future.


    17 May 2010, 11:47

  8. Great lavinia,

    I quite agree with you that leadership is very important which impact whether bad or good to the people’s performance and thought. However, we can see the significant of knowledge management in the real life or businesses. As your example, who’s the best one which a company should promote. Your colleage who create the initial great idea or you who came up which better idea of product designs. In my point of view, i think that it’s not the matter who will be promoted but the more important thing is working as a team. Creating, Sharing, Transfering knowledge within a team or organizaton is very very neccessary. From the above case, we can see that when someone in a team created the initial great idea about product design, sharing and trasferring knowledge occured. It then impacted and influenced other’s came up with better idea. As a result, it benefit to the business’s performance and encourage people to explore their knowledge.

    04 Jun 2010, 09:18

  9. Lavinia

    You’re certainly right Srisuda (Keng). It would be the ideal way to be able to achieve that. I was just thinking that in real life, people do care about their own benefit. And some of them are willing to sacrafice others to step onto the next level. I hope we could, in the near future, create this kinda environment for our organisation or teams that we’re working with. It’s definitely positive and very encouraging.

    As for Rhinoplasty, I agree with you as well. Leadership qualities can not be found on every person – instead, very few of the peole. It’s a lifetime+hardwork to develop these qualities if you don’t have any. And personally I’m still convinced that leadership qualities are most of the time born with the person, or being developed since the person is at a very young age. The qualities cannot be learned, developed or copied in 2 days. However, I think sometimes people can still learn and develop the qualities if they’re aggressive enough to make a saying in their lives. We should remain open-minded, optimistic, humble and eager to learn what people are doing better than us. We should observe and understand how other people manage to succeed, what qualities they have and that I can learn from to improve myself.

    Maybe it sounds like hee-ha talk and too naive in real life, but I do think sometimes when you want to be somebody different, you have to be simple and naive so that you can absorb new things like a baby - that’s how babies learn tremendously fast before they were 3. Anyways…it’s my pleasure to have this discussion with you and receive your comment. :)


    05 Jun 2010, 15:44

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  • You're certainly right Srisuda (Keng). It would be the ideal way to be able to achieve that. I was j… by Lavinia on this entry
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