All entries for Wednesday 12 October 2005
October 12, 2005
I thought that discussing ISO900:2000 vs EFQM would be much more difficult for me that others in the group because I had little practical experience with it. How could I comment as I clearly knew so much less than the rest? I hate feeling like that so I decided that something had to be done!
I wanted to get up-to-speed quickley so I decided to try to use my network a little more. I'm sure my friends and colleagues are sick of me asking questions by now, especially my boss who I interviewed about EFQM and ISO9000. She gave me some really useful insights which I thought about and discussed in the seminar. We spent a while evaluating EFQM in the SME context which is a topic which seems quite elusive in the literature I think. I learned that having industrial experience not really a big deal after all – there are ways to bridge that knowldge gap. It takes a little confidence and effort but it can be done.
So some learning points i'd like to share with others who feel in the same situation as me:
Just because a person doesn't have industrial experience doesn't mean that they are at a disadvantage. Feeling at a disadvantage is mostly in the mind (or at least for me it is).
Everyone knows someone who knows someone else, unless you're a hermit, and people like talking about themselves and their own experiences, so just ask. In this way, a person may even be able to contribute more as they have a broader base of knowledge.
Every one of us interacts with many different organisations every day and I don't think that many people really look at what's going on inside them. It interests me why organisations do the things they do and I seem to find out new things every day. I think that keeping your eyes open and asking questions is essential. It's good to have a feel for when you're irritating someone though…:-)
I suppose this ties in nicely with the idea about how we absorb knowledge from others. It helps to have a use for it, such as interviewing a contact about a subject in which you are going to have a seminar. Don't search for somethng unless you have a question that you want to answer!!!
When working in a team under time pressure it is inappropriate to expect that all team members complete all the tasks. Indeed, the whole idea of teams is that tasks can be delegated to members to reduce the burden of work throughout the team.
I find that I learn best when preparing a complete answer. My challenge to myself is to find ways to improve my ability to learn from the learning of others. Is it possible to gain as much about a subject from the learning of another team member than from personal research into a subject?
At the moment, all of the understanding that I gain from others is through dialogue. Perhaps with a space to share files etc, I might be able to understand more by looking at their work. We are using mind maps and I can't access them as mind maps at the moment but this is a technical issue that can be easily solved.
The absence of much discussion within a team situation only serves to limit the learning of others as knowledge is not shared effectively. Perhaps a system in which each team member in turn shares the knowledge that they have gained when completing set tasks at the beginning of a meeting, is appropriate?
I think that I focus on 'sharing the knowledge that I have gained' rather than 'telling others what I have done'. I believe that there is a big difference.