July 06, 2014

PMAs and KM.

Today when I have been submitting my last PMA I remmembered my first submission. Now I can smile when I think about that day. To say the truth, I was feeling so silly that day. I remmember my struggle when I was writing that PMA. PMA after PMA I started to feel more confident, and now when I compare the very first and last PMAs, I can definitely say: I have learned to write under the pressure.

I think this is something very similar to Knowledge Management. KM processes were implemented by me (and I am sure by everyone) during this year. For example, we acquired knowledge based on the feedback or personal expertise, then we analysed it (what was good, what was bad), applied and retrieved it when we were writing the next PMA. Obviously, PMA is just the simplest yet the most obvious example. We do these steps in our every day life as well but I have never really thought about it before. Anyway, I just realised how much I have learned during this year and how emotions can change when you learn and perceive things differently. Although I complain about workload and dissertation, I've liked this journey and I am 100% sure that this is only a good beginning :)


June 04, 2014

Learn to Learn.

Knowledge Management should become the important task for every organisation wishing to succeed in today's rapidly changing environment. Indeed, KM can help every company to acquire and interpret needed information and create its unique knowledge. We all do that in our everyday life, although unconsciously, but we always extract the knowledge from what we see, experience and our mistakes. A good example is our team projects where we all share and try to apply the knowledge we got from previous team works. The way we apply it (effectively or ineffectively) is another question though. The companies should also continuously learn from its operations, both success and failures, and facilitate the creation, share and effective application of knowledge. However, is that easy to do especially in big companies which are geographically dispersed? I think, the very important starting point for every organisation should be learning to learn. Without beng able to learn from your experience, other aspects of KM are useless. Because no matter how well you gathered a data or interpreted it, if you cannot learn from it, you will fail again and again.


June 03, 2014

Human errors.

Today we have discussed the incidents in organisations which lead to fatal outcomes. It was said that the major reason why such incidents occur is human errors. Although different human errors type were discussed. I think, that the major human error nowadays is negligence and lack of care. Because nowadays technologies can help enormously in terms of difficulties of information gathering. I may be wrong, but in my opinion the only reason why 'information is not available' and 'not observed' is first of all the lack of proper care and attention of leaders. Of course most of us would agree that lack of skills and experience may lead to incorrect interpretation or anticipation, but isn't it inattentiveness of a manager who didn't control the skills of personnel especially in such high risk companies as petrochemical ones.

On the other hand, it is so easy to think about human errors and analyse major accidents now, after they occurred. But is it that easy to control and minimise these errors when you work in the company and don't view from the outside?


March 30, 2014

Conclusions..

Overall, I have learned a lot about leadership, different people and myself during this module. I have never thought about leadership in-depth. But after having discussions in the beginning of classes, blogs and simulations I feel how all I learned is applicable in real life too. We meet different people everyday and very often we seek the ways to influence them. Recently I've been catching myself working on my negative sides when interacting with people. Moreover, I am aware of those areas of improvements, and I think it happened after leadership module where we needed to work with different people every day.

After writing PMA I also concluded for myself that the most imprtant characteristic in leader is his charisma and the ability to inspire others.


March 29, 2014

Self–awareness

During the leadership development process, big attention is driven to the self-awareness. It means that it is not enough to understand the best or worst leaders and their characteristics, and either try or avoid to imitate them. It is also required to seek for the feedback. Feebacks from other people (followers) play a great role in leadership development process. For example, after collected feedback a leader can establish that his followers need more support. However, such assessments doesn't aim to make you a leader you are not, instead it shows you what should be done and changed in leader's behaviour for achieving maximum efficiency. This is what is called 'self-awareness'. People who are not offensed by critisism and negative feedback and those who understand the importance of such feedbacks, can achieve the greatest results. I also think that a leader should be self-critical, questioning himself. In this case he can be aware of the areas of improvement himself first than his followers, and change it. Moreover, me myself, I value negative feedback from people more than positive. Positive doesn't give you much information, it can be needed for motivation and assurance that everything is fine. Some people stop at positive mistakenly thinking that if they have so much strengths, they do not need to improve anything.But negative feedback gives you a better understanding of the situation and possible threats in the future.

“If you feel that everything's too damn okay, then it is just a sign that something is wrong ” .

-T.Beta

 


March 27, 2014

Leader–Followers.

One of the leadersip approaches that I considered in my PMA is transformational leadership. It is main focus is on leader-followers relationships as success driver. It proposes behaviours and traits that lead to the improved relationships as charisma, support, motivation. It also says that leader should understand the differences between different followers and chose communication techniques accordingly.

Indeed, first of all that we as leaders should do, is working on our relationships with followers. Without it there will never be a flow of information, trust in leader and job satisfaction by followers. Many managers confuse the word 'fear' with 'respect'. What I really think is that the initial mission of every 'manager' having new team should be building good relationships with followers. Surely, he should continuously work on them in order to keep it for the long-term. Also earning people respect and trust is essential for being effective leader. If people respect you they will follow you no matter how challenging the task is, yet suggest other ways if they do not competely agree with the leader.


March 25, 2014

Coaching for coaching.

Coaching in real life is not easy task at all. Mainly because it requires a coach- who is completely unfamiliar with company's processes- to help the company to become more effective. Successful coaching process starts with identification of needs and interests of a leader, his followers and the values of the company. Then the most suitable solutions and suggestions are developed.

However, in my opinion, every successful coaching should guarantee that after the coach leaves, CEO and top managers will be able to provide mentoring and support to their subordinates themselves on continuous basis. Here I don't mean that managers should bring radical changes without contacting consultants. Adversely, consultancy group can help them in choosing the right decisions. But leaders should be able to train and support their followers regularly by performing the steps of coaching mentioned before. By doing so they will guarantee the sustainability of success achieved with the help of external coach. Especially this is true when followers at some point lose their focus or feel confused or some of the elements of existing strategy are modified.


March 21, 2014

RDM: reflections on team work.

We had very interesting week full of group meetings. It was very good idea to mix MBE-1 and MBE-2 as, I believe, we all learned something new from each other. It was interesting to observe how students from MBE-2 show different approach to work which is effective too.

During these 10 days we were seeking a solution for mainly two issues for WaveRiders: site location and marketing. Honestly, I've learned much more about the tools discussed at the lectures and now I have a deeper understanding. Sometimes (but very rarely) we had arguements about the appropriateness of some tools, but overall I think we did well.

From the very beginning we decided that we need tools that will help us to view the decision from different perspectives. We started with decision-making tree, and, in our opinion, this tool is very important as draw a line between all of the decisions that need to be taken. It also shows every possible outcome of every decision, therefore we could better understand the issues.

PMI, Trade-off represent more qualitative approach. However, when using these tools it is risky to shift to the biased judgements. The most difficult tool is Scenario Planning. It really requires the whole group members to work on it. We spend three days discussing, writing and editting the whole planning. Different sources say different methods of constructing this tool. And it is very difficult especially when you use it for the first time.

Overall, what I really learned, is that there are many tools and techniques which can make your System 2 work and make your decisions more robust. What made me think is that at the beginning of the module our team agreed on Exmouth, based on System 1. Obviously, we should avoid such quick decisions, at both daily and business level. You should first of all evaluate the option from different perspectives, assess the risk, and based on your values, make a decision.


Servant leader: do we need to focus too much on followers' needs only?

During my research I was reading about servant leadership. This approach implies that leader's ultimate goal is his followers and he should put their needs and interests beyond his own. Literally this theory requires a leader to completely give up his own preferences and serve his subordinates. We have talked so much about the followers and the importance of satisfying their needs. But we should not forget that the primary goal of every leader is to touch the shared vision, yet with collaborating, motivating and influencing the followes. Surely, leader cannot be effective without his followers, but ,I think, everyone would agree that followers (no matter how skilful and professional) can fail without strong leader. And to be strong, leader never should deny his own ideas. I don't say he should only act based on own interests, surely leader should collaborate and come to a joint decisions. But very often followers need direction, and personally for me, if a leader doesn't have his own strong beliefs and opinion, I hardly will recognize him as a strong and effective leader. He should listen carefully to all, should communicate, but retain his own perceptions. It is just like parents-children relationships, the more parents "serve" their kids the more they get "spoiled". Indeed, they can become even more disengaged by this relation.

Therefore,in my opinion, being servant leader all way long and focusing too much on followers and their needs may cause adverse results.


March 17, 2014

Leadership theories. PMA reflections.

There are many leadership styles, theories, approaches. Each of them emphasizes one or more of the leadership variables (L, F, S). However, I personally think, when piking the most important and effective elements of one theory and integrating it with the others, leader can be more effective. There is not good or bad leadership theory that I found during the research. The thing is that their appropriateness is dependent on the circumstances the company faces and the variables that are in the priority at the specific phase.

I again thought that first of moral beliefs and values of leader, followers and the company (culture) dictate the choice of the leadership theory, so as a leader you should be aware of the needs and objectives of all of them. For some companies authoritarian style can be effective, whereas for others laissez-faire will lead to great results, but make the third company fail.


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