All 4 entries tagged Culture

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April 12, 2009

Organizational Culture is everywhere….

Working on my KBAM PMA. Suggesting how WaiveRiders could use Knowledge Management in order to manage  its assets considering the whole life-cycle of the products. I ended realising that the best way to make it work, is to make those aspects, the care for knowledge and the consideration for the whole life-cycle part of the culture, of the blood of the organisation. That is funny because several PMA`s I worked on had to talk about culture, two of them (PIUSS and LE) were clearly about using specific systems (6S and the EFQM) for that change. It is, of course, a very important aspect. The problem is that changing culture is slow (and I found some interesting material saying that it is not possible to really change at the managers will). The main conclusion is, if you wanna build a good organisation (and thinking, as usual, on the long term!) think about setting up the proper culture on it!


February 18, 2009

Common sense strikes back…

Follow-up to Good sense, organizations and people from Francisco's blog

Working on PIUSS PMAI found a phrase rather interesting "Common Sense is the least common of the senses" (better reference it just in case....(Pande, Neuman & Cavanagh ; 2000) ). It relates to my old post saying that most scientific knowledge I saw in my life in economics, finance, engineering, quality, process and so forth are organised and well presented common sense.

6 Sigma is no different. Common sense all the way. Even though I must say that the way it is presented, the toools, the way priorities are defined do stimulate some thinking that we don`t usually do. I realisedsome colleagues are having trouble perceiving the whole logic of thinking on a process and variation related way, and that what 6 Sigma can help with, to show the importance of understanding that logic and presenting a way to relate it to everyday practises and results. So it is a clever way to stimulate and take results out of common sense.

So if I had to say what is the most important aspect of 6S, the one you should really understand it would be: "Pay attention to processes, look at them carefuly and sistematically and take as much variation out of it as possible".

But when the concepts are understoos, it is common sense ain`t it?

 


December 07, 2008

Good sense, organizations and people

Submitted my CBE PMA. Good feeling, glad I did and glad I worked on it. It is a good feeling to deliver something that took a lot of honest effort.

I few things that came to my mind while working on it.

My father is a very religious person, very catholic. But he has a very nice approach to it, he understands faith is an individual questions and that each on of us must deal with it in a personal way. So we all (me, my 2 brothers and my sister) had the option to go or not this way (and so far, none of us did). But there is something he always says. It does not matter if you follow or not an organised religion as long as you love each other the same way you love yourself. It`s a beautiful thing. But sometimes not so easy to apply. Once I had a doubt about how to apply it on a specific situation, I came to him and discussed the matter. I remember he saying he could not decide for me, he could not say what to do, but that I should not forget the rule of love and I should use common sense when using it.

This common sense thing became part of me. Years later I was in the university learning economy, and after a time I realized that except by the jargons and very specific thing economy, like pretty much any other science, is a matter of common sense. I had the opportunity to teach it and always said that to my students, when in doubt, common sense.

Now, finnaly CBE. When giving a closer look at change management, organisational culture, continuous improvement and above all EFQM we find out it is all above common sense. It`s something special to say that when changing something you should put all the involved people to participate? It`s something new to understand that when going in a specific direction all the processes involved on it should be aligned in that direction? But that`s all in the material we found. Human beings are funny, we know what we should do when we stop and think, we know what is common sense, we know that what is called "common sense" is called that way because lots of people in lots of situations have taken that direction and decision so that it became a COMMON decision and logic, a tested and proved choice. But we still behave wrongly quite frequently and need studies, frameworks, models, theories to do it. Human, very human.

One last think. Common sense is good, but is not all. Sometimes we have to try something different, to break common sense, to go further, to innovate. The problem is knowing when and how. That`s why we have geniuses with major successes, and dumb people with major failures. The difference between brilliantly going beyond common sense and sadly falling by not respecting it, is success.


November 28, 2008

Organizations culture

Working on CBE`s PMA. Reading about something I`ve always thought of that is how fascinating is a companies culture. So many different ways or working. Impressive how companies in the same country, city, industry, pretty similar staff have such different ways to decide and organize, such different values.


It`s obvious to say country, sector, seniority of staff, etc etc etc are strong influences on a company culture. But connecting CBE with LE, it`s amazing the effect leadership styles have on a company. It is amaze to think that, for example, a global industry, with hundreds of thousands of employees spread in the whole world can be influenced by the style of a CEO, one person that`s is as close to this people as Britney Spears or the Dalai Lama. The example that strikes me the most is Jack Welch. But there`s one that I find very interesting. There`s a Brazilian company that is the biggest heavy construction company in latin america. They also have huge positions in petrochemical and services industries, but they`re heart is civil engineering, big stuff (airports, bridges, dams, etc etc). They have sites in all continents. They have some 50.000 employees. Some of them are members of my family, including my brother (and a uncle who is  responsible for keeping the company culture going). The company follows a Management Manual kind of thing, a business model that was created by their founder (that is over 90 years old but still alive and working!) that is called Odebrecht Empresarial Technology (Odebrecht is the company`s name).   It is amazing how all employees knowing or not somehow act in that way. They all receive the book when they join the company, but I`m pretty sure very few read it. 2 examples:

- They are against showing off richness, wealth. The founder and his family have always been very simple, accessible, humble. Even though they are billionaires, but they lead a very simple life. I`ve been colleague with one of they`re grandchildren in university (public one, not-paid!) and her car was VERY VERY simple. They reproduce that into the company. Be simple, don`t show off,  no unnecessary luxury, not private jets or anything like that for anyone!

-Independence. The managers have a great deal of independence. They manage each one of the sites in a very free way, they have a lot of power to make decisions (but of course they respond for it as well).


Now imagine how to implement an excellence management model and having to deal with all the implications of companies specific cultural issues?




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