May 30, 2011

Organisational Memory

I found really interesting this particular concept, and more because it is not making reference just to the explicit form of knowledge, it is also related to the tacit knowledge even when for some managers this last is not properly managed and controlled by the organisation.

I was relating this concept to my previous experience and the avoidance of co workers, employees and managers to share the knowledge that they possess. I know that some time ago in other lectures we have discussed about the people that thinks that knowledge is their own competitive advantage over the other employees and that if they want to succed in their own careers they have to keep it and not share it.

So today when I was reading about the storage of knowledge and organisational knowledge they mentioned that the tacit knowledge in the head of one "important" or in better words experienced employee is part of the competitive advantage of the organisation... however it doesnt generate more knowledge? how can it be a competitive advantage if it doesnt generate more knowledge and if this is the case it means that in the short term it can become obsolete?

"What is not fully understood is not possessed."Johann Wolfgang von Goethe




May 29, 2011

Make or Buy Knowledge

Looking at the human side of the organisation this week during the OPP module, we discussed again on the business decision of buy or make.

Originally I thought that this decision was only making reference to the manufacturing process in which a business should decide taking into account the financial figures and comparing the benefits and costs of manufacturing a piece or buying from another supplier. However is not just in that area, this week we learned that the same concept is applicable to the human resources management. In this particular case we can speak about making (training or developing) our people to fulfil the organisational needs or to buy (hire) new employees that possess the required skills.

Later on this week I have a revelation while analysing the KM of Waveriders and is that in a way is also related with make or buy knowledge; not just in terms of the expertise, tacit and explicit knowledge of the possible candidates to hire… is also in terms of software, patents, copyrights, training, consultancy, and etc. that help to create better knowledge or doing by itself the organisation can try to create knowledge or to share the existent one.

That’s why for many organisations the people in the organisation is so important and the most valuable asset… not because we love the employee at our side, is because the knowledge and expertise that the company has invested in him/her is also an asset for the business.

Thinking is progress. Non-thinking is stagnation of the individual, organisation and the country. Thinking leads to action. Knowledge without action is useless and irrelevant. Knowledge with action, converts adversity into prosperity. Abdul Kalam


May 28, 2011

Knowledge Infection

During this last week of module for some of us (I cannot stop smiling when I say that), I was discussing with some of my classmates and in particular this was a topic that arose from a comment gave by the Prof. Guy Pearson during one of the lectures: “Get infected with the enthusiasm of the author, but then pick whatever it suits to you”.

I relate it in a way to our modules and learning process, but also to the knowledge management in some organisations. Something that we have been arguing since the first day in Warwick is that one source of knowledge is not enough to support your ideas, and I remember clearly that even when trying to avoid the common issues of awareness, leadership, robust decision, and etc. researching in just “one” source is by far not enough. In the working environment is just the same, not every experienced employee follows the same process, and providing different approaches can “teach” to the new employees new ways of doing things in the organisation.

So it came to my mind one question. Is not also part of the manager, supervisor, teacher and/or leader responsibilities to influence his/her followers to obtain all the knowledge available in a particular topic? In the particular case of classes, is not also a responsibility of the teacher to explore the topic from other authors’ point of view and also show the criticism to the theories presented?

I really believe that when a tutor (like in the particular case of Prof. Guy) provides his preferences, but at the same time shows that is not the only option and even displays the weaknesses is providing to his/her students the required tools to decide either agrees or disagrees with him, and in a particular way reinforcing and enhancing the learning process.

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it’s doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something. Richard Feynman


May 17, 2011

Knowledge power!!

Searching in my files inside my hard drive, for some software for solve some issues I realized about my poor resources utilization … even in the space and quality of the information stored in there; however I found a video that I watched in 2006 and that if I didn’t have it there will probably remain lost in my memory.

In this video Wafa Sultan born in Baniyas, Syria; which is a medical doctor who trained as a psychiatrist in Syria, and an American author and critic of Muslim society and Islam make some criticism about the way of behaving of the Muslim. I don’t want to create in here a religious discussion about it and in some way I want to emphasise something that the Dr Wafa says in her speech; everyone is free to believe in whoever he/she wants but part of it is to respect other people’s beliefs.

Please take 5 minutes and 29 seconds of your valuable time and watch the video, and also hear about the power of knowledge developed by the Jews… it is really something interesting and can be source of discussion. How do our countries and people use their power? It is the intention of this power use to oppress or to create and help other people to evolve?

Here the link: Al-Jazeera Wafa Sultan discussion on Muslim belief and clash of civilizations.

As always I finish with one quote:

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”Buddha



April 25, 2011

Hasty decisions – Responsible decisions

Sometimes our decisions cannot be made in a flexible and timeless environment. In this situation the use of a structured decision methodology is not viable, and some lack of knowledge and even bad decisions can came of it.

Something that we have been experiencing in the team work, leadership – follower relationship, etc. is that the responsibility of any decision should be or could be spread on the team members. But in these situations even being a part of a team who has the responsibility? When is a personal decision is easy… you have to face the consequences of your own poor decisions. Even if you don’t like the outcome and your life gets more complicated (probably you will learn a lesson from it) you are the only one that can be called to answer for that bad decision.

In that case and in the team “bad” decisions, we just can wait that we will learn from the experience (even when for some of us, it seems that we never learn).

“Learn to pursue others advice to make decisions, but never blame others for your bad decisions.” Juan Carlos Otálora Rey


April 22, 2011

Entrepreneurship

Today during a chat with my best friend here in London (everything to point out that I’m having a deserved weekend of rest), he commented to me that they were facing a difficult and risky decision that can and in some way would change his family life. This decision is related with the acquirement of a house, which they will like to call home. However they decided to postpone it; why? “Because it was too risky” he answers me.

So I got into these doubt, I have now the tools to help them to analyse this difficult decision. Maybe I will proportionate them a different point of view and/or alternative. But it also makes me aware of the hard that is to make decisions, when a high level of risk exists.

Researching about this topic I found an article that talk about the next Richard Branson, Steve Jobs or Henry Ford; for some people the biggest leaders of our days, and they concluded in one study of the University of Cambridge that is because they make risky decisions. Moreover, they state that entrepreneurs are riskier decision-makers.

When I was reading these lines I just asked to myself, do I want to become into an enterpreneur? Do you want to be one?

Also in this investigation they pointed out two interesting founding’s that I will like to discuss:

-         Risk decisions makers can be associated with an abnormal way to act of people; even related with bipolar disorder and substance abuse. But in other cases is referred as the ability to make quick decisions even under pressure.

-         But also they founded that this particular characteristic, or cognitive process that are essential in any risky decision maker; are related to dopamine (brain neurochemistry). And being possible to manipulate the levels of dopamine in the human body, it is possible to manipulate the risky decision maker with drugs?

So many questions and a broad topic… I believe that this pma is going to be really tough.

The world lies in the hands of those who have the courage to dream and who take the risk of living out their dreams - each according to his or her own talent.

Paulo Coelho


April 16, 2011

Success – 成功 – επιτυχίας


Our presentation yesterday, was one of the most satisfactory ones in my experience in MBE. Our team used the tool “prezi” for making this final presentation, to the board of directors of the role organisation “WaveRiders”. It was a successful in many senses… it was probably the most impacting presentation, totally balanced between practice and theory, and with an environment full of affinity of the team members and hard teamwork.

On the other hand, getting some feedback about the others teams and knowing the different situations that everyone had to face; I was really pleased of our consensus. I believe that our understanding of every other point of view, openness to discussion and arguments and the shared goal was the key factor. Additionally our leader far away from imposing himself, provided us all the direction required and influenced us towards the achievement of this success. Finally I have to agree that it wasn’t perfect, we forgot to integrate in one condensed plan (time, resources and priorities) all the recommendations; perhaps because it is difficult, as in business is difficult to integrate the decisions in different departments. But in our case due to the fact that we run of time, before getting as a group the summarized conclusions of the task… so everything is again about poor time management, "my personal curse".

"Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success."

- Thomas J. Watson



April 08, 2011

In the Pursuit of Charisma

Traits or not traits, there is the dilemma :D. In my literature review for the leadership PMA I found a conflict zone; and of course is nothing like Libia (my sympathy to them), but is a constant fight against and supporting the concept of charisma as trait or as attribution.

What is charisma? apart from the perception, that followers have when they are seeing these high moral and ethics, source of inspiration and visionary leaders in action… this super leaders?

Charismatic people have been discovered (sorry but I couldn’t find a more appropiateted word for it =) ) Barak Obama, Adolph Hitler, Winston Churchill, Bill Clinton, Mother Teresa and others… and as you see in the list is not related just with “good” leaders in the sense of its motives.

I really like to believe that for being a charismatic leader you may have a mix between inborn characteristics and behaviours. Inborn characteristics like Charm and grace more temperament and personality related. But also one big part of behaviours like Self-belief, Vision and articulation, Sensitivity to the environment, Sensitivity to member needs, Personal risk taking, Performing unconventional behaviour… and in that way became that person that everyone admires.

"I would follow him to hell since he is the only man I know who could get me back." ~ One of Oliver’s North men said about him.


April 05, 2011

Managing through Knowledge – do it SMART but do it SIMPLE

At first sight the assignment for Leadership & Excellence, seemed to be so simple. I founded myself after the module doing some optimistic plans, that included some approach (realistic) of what was needed to do, but excluding the whole complex process that is required to select and apply the selected theory. In this moment was so easy to state that 60 hours was more than enough.

But on the other hand, the quantity and quality of the information available for this particular topic is so wide; that even having twice the time for this task, it will be just a prolongation of the torture. This was a complete “Torture”; on the sense of running over several reports, books, journals and comments, and after analysing them… I found myself in the same starting point???… Without anything clear but with too much data in my mind, collapsing chaotically and keeping me apart of the solution.

I agree with the concept that KBAM is the compilation module, where everything we have learned in the previous seven months is falling in his specific and planned place. For me the module is more about how to manage the resources that you have in a smart and intelligent way, so trying to solve my dilemma I tried to apply this… unsuccessfully but at least I tried. Perhaps I have missing some pieces and I don’t have the complete puzzle in my box; this is the next step of managing the resources acquire them, when you realize that you don’t have the necessary. I’m going to start another day of the journey and having cleared my goal, I just can hope that at the end of the day the results are going to be more satisfactory.

“I know some people say "Keep your eyes on the prize," but I disagree. When your eyes are stuck on the prize, you're going to keep stumbling and crashing into things. If you really want to get ahead, you've got to keep your eyes focused on the path.”

Russell Simmons


March 30, 2011

Everything is Knowledge Based :–S

Another module which according to my first experiences and the information analysed through the day it is one of these modules of putting together everything that we have learned. But what does it mean Knowledge based asset management, why this word arrangement that make it sound so complicated but in some way interesting (that’s why we have elective students as well, don’t you think so?).

Then searching and reading through some stuff for the team project something come in to my understanding; what are the common problems about asset management?

Lack of updates in the evaluation, some parts of the assets are not covered thoroughly, problems with the communication, incompetence to Manage Assets (Technical), lack of Technology, lack of support, no balance in asset elements, etc. (Hughes, 2005)

So I have this crazy idea of asset management is for many companies common sense, and in a way a situation of instinct (System 0 or 1 talking)… the solution is clear for me transforming this tasks into knowledge based towards a learning organization will optimize the resources, people, environment, policies, facilities and of course the same knowledge managed by the company. If you base your decisions and management in knowledge the risk is minimal and the results are the “best” ones for your organization.

“Knowledge is an asset: Having it could mean the difference between being rich and being poor. “

Davida Yemi-Akanle

Hughes, D. (2005). Asset Management Theory and Practice. New Delhi: New Age International.


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