June 12, 2016

Organisational Learning and knowledge management. Same or different?

Organizational learning and knowledge management are often considered to be similar and are used as per convenience in business context but there is a small difference between the two term concepts. Organizational learning focuses on individuals, teams, and organizations becoming smarter, that is, the goal is to make individuals in the organization smarter. Knowledge management, on the other hand, stresses on the knowledge that resides in the brains of employees, how to manage it and do something with it so as to enable them in performing their job better so as to achieve organizational objectives better. The basic difference between organizational learning and knowledge management is where one starts and how one gets the results. Successful KM and organizational learning programs probably will end up at the same place in the end - making individuals in the organization smarter and better learners who then use the available knowledge in the best possible way.

The major difference may exist in acedmaic world where researchers trying to study and undersand the relationship of both topics. OL focuses on the process, and KM focuses on the content, of the knowledge that an organization acquires, creates, processes and eventually uses. Another way to conceptualize the relationship between the two areas is to view OL as the goal of KM. By motivating the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge, KM initiatives pay off by helping the knowledge into organizational processes so that it can continuously improve its practices and behaviors and pursue the achievement of its goals. From this perspective, organizational learning is one of the important ways in which the organization can sustainably improve its utilization of knowledge.

For me, knowledge management is, not one of the only way but one of the vital paths, to create a learning organization, which is more than great significance in today's changing world.

June 10, 2016

How about physical asset management

A well-considered Asset Management framework enables asset-intensive companies or local and regional governments, which have a large and/or complex physical asset base, to strengthen the management of these assets and to increase their Return on Assets employed. Good Asset Management provides the information needed in improving decision and registration processes with regard to physical assets, IT infrastructure concepts, internal controls and gaining a better understanding of financing needs. These insights may, ultimately, allow asset owners to better quantify and anticipate the impact of future decisions.

there are at least five such risks that primarily contribute to an organization’s failure to optimally manage their assets:

1)not knowing what they have;

While it might seem intuitively obvious, many organizations either don’t appreciate the need to know with a high level of confidence, the assets that they have or they choose not to take the time to do so.

2)over or under maintenance;

During the operational phase of the asset life cycle, there can be a problem of over maintaining as well as under maintaining. The key issue regarding over maintaining typically involves two issues that will make the asset management system ineffective. Firstly, there is generally a significant cost associated with the execution of non-value-added maintenance. Secondly, the typical organization that can be accused of over-maintaining its assets will most likely be performing intrusive maintenance tasks more frequently.

3)improper operation;

Many organizations suffer first of all from a lack of understanding of the inherent design capabilities of their assets and secondly, how best to operate within their ranges to optimize the asset life cycle. For some assets, either operating below or above the design range adversely affects the life of the asset.

4)improper risk management;

Risk management takes place on two major fronts: 1) assessment or identification; and 2) management and controls. Each area, when not done well, is a continued contributor to ineffective asset management. One doesn’t have to stretch the imagination too far to understand this concept.

Asset management is an integrated approach to optimizing the life cycle of your assets beginning at conceptual design, through to usage, decommissioning and disposal. The true excellence in asset management performance does not lie only in avoiding the pitfalls, but in turning each and every one of these opportunities to fail into an opportunity to excel.

all about managing knowledge

Knowledge management is essentially about getting the right knowledge to the right person at the right time. This in itself may not seem so complex, but it implies a strong tie to corporate strategy, understanding of where and in what forms knowledge exists, creating processes that span organizational functions, and ensuring that initiatives are accepted and supported by organizational members. Knowledge management may also include new knowledge creation, or it may solely focus on knowledge sharing, storage, and refinement.

It is important to remember that knowledge management is not about managing knowledge for knowledge's sake. The overall objective is to create value and to leverage, improve, and refine the firm's competences and knowledge assets to meet organizational goals and targets. Implementing knowledge management thus has several dimensions including Knowlege managenebt strategy, Organizational culture, Organizational process, management and leadership and technology:

The long-term support to implement and sustain initiatives that involve virtually all organizational functions, which may be costly to implement (both from the perspective of time and money), and which often do not have a directly visible return on investment in short-term. Nowadays, organizations constantly lookidng for instant solutions to boost revenues and figures, but knowledge management area is looking into long term benefit and applicable for companies have a vision, which if a company, in today's competitive environment, does not have, I will be suprised and worries,

March 20, 2016

Should leader be risk taker?

We always think that leaders must be risk-takers, embracing changes and dare to challenge the old practices. However, the best leaders in any field tend to be conscientious.They aren't impulsive and are remarkably capable of self-control, even when temptations are high. However, risk-taking and conscientious do not necessarily contradict. Embracing changes doesnt mean to proceed without considering consequences.

But it does implie a mismatch of what people actually value in leaders and what they shouldvalue. The psychologist Tim Judge found out that disagreeable people—those who are more likely to be self-centered and confrontational —have a higher probability of becoming leaders. More agreeable people—who are empathetic, altruistic, and sociable—tend to make better leaders, but are less frequently chosen to lead. This interesting result shows that the qualities of effective leadership are not in line with leaders choicen. Why do we tend to choose the wrong people to lead? The main reason might lead to the rule and criteria of selection and promotion. If we want to choose the real effective leaders, we need to change the rules of the game first.

It reminds of me the previous blog about talkers and listeners. In one of in-module exercise, Paul said each group was identified a strong leader by an independant person but none of us have realized that we had a leader. I kept asking myself how was the leader identified and where the perception came from. By identifying the ones talk the most while others listen? or the ones always try to persuade others with their own ideas? or the ones facilitate the conversation? There might be possibility that leaders do not talk much but are able to make the most sensible decision considering inputs from all the team members. So why and from where he identified the leaders?

Talkers or listeners?

Leaders are talkers or listeners? yes you are right, it should be both and depands on situations. But in reality, how many managers even try to listen and how many of them just pretend to listen? I am sure the result wont be surprising.

When CEO Alan Mulally arrived at Ford, he used a technique he had refined at Boeing. He found a way to instantly shift the senior executives from talkers to listeners by changing the way he evaluated his team’s performance. He said"when you give a speech you will be assess by audience" and those executives who were smart enough to leave lots of time for Q & A got better grades than those who lectured. And those managers who encouraged a dialogue with the team came out on top.

Great leaders with excellent management skills encourage input and change, and the best way to measure them is based on feedback they get from their best people. People usually give the best scores to leaders you trust and to leaders who listen. If it come down to motivation again, what does employee want? recoganition, time or money? The answer should be VISIBILITY - something to remind them that they are valued and the most basic one is that they are listened.

March 19, 2016

Lead like Steve Jobs

The impression that Steve Jobs gave us is that he is autocratic and very demanding. That might be part of him as a person but Apple, which he put heart and sweat on for his whole life, is an extraordinarily collabrative company with no comittees at all. He was proud of it whenever he talks about it: they organize like a start-up, a very big start-up on the planet. There is a tremendous teamwork at tht top of the company which filters down to tremendous teamwork throughout the company. Teamwork is carried out through trusting other colleagues to perform their job without watching them all the time and Apple do it really well. Steve Jobs said his role everyday is to talk to different teams, brainstorm new product ideas and new marketing campaigns; facilitate and create arguements he didnt always win and foster innovations. He understands deeply that if you want brilliant peole work for you, you have to give them space to speak out; you have to be won by ideas not hiarachy.

Innovation is a collaborative result and can never stand alone, it often comes from discussion and arguement. Leadership is to provide the space for discussion and voice to be heard and valued. Leadership is a verb, not a noun. It is sets of actions that always on process. Leading innovation is another key element for sustainable organization growth.

March 18, 2016

What kind of leader you want to become?

Being a leader or not, it is a question. To start with, we shall question ourself, why do we want to be a leader and what kind of leader we want to become. Bill George, the former Chairman and CEO of Medtronic proposed three questions to be considered which I found very powerful:

1Where do you find the passion to lead in the first place? Some people want to be leader to enjoy the feeling of in position and bully others but how far can they go down that way? Leadership is not about demonstrating power over people, it is an very old-fashion way of understanding. Leadership is about empowering other people to step up and lead. that's the only way to have great organizations. Leadership is about service, not only serving shareholder but stakeholders all around. organizaitions who dont get this point will eventually go out of business. It tool General Motors 50 years to go out of business because it doesnt know who they are serving. GM learned every detail of Toyota's operation but still can't get it right. Why? Toyota cares for their customers but GM cares for cutting cost. The core value determines business sustainability and who establish the core value? The leaders.

2 How are you going to develop yourself to be a leader? Leadership is a gift and also requires skills that need to be practiced everyday. It is not the thing you can master by learning from other people. you need to learn by actually doing it and learning from your own mistakes. Therefore, if you want to be a leader, you have to be prepared from now. Just like dissertation starting point is always the sooner the better and yesterday is the best. Expeirence is not enough if you are moving so fast without time to think and reflect and correct.

3 How are you gonna make a difference in the world? It is the most important, also the most challenging one. Think about what do you want to do to impact the world. To start with, you need to raise selfawareness and know yourself and let the management know who are you as a humanbeing but do not so eager to please or impress them. It is so much easier than done. We always talked about shared value, but what is your value that you want to share with the world and want others to work together with you to deliver the value. To make a difference requires continous set of actions and it may take decade, but never doubt that only small group of people could change the world.

March 17, 2016

Being a TRUSTWORTHY leader is vital than ever

In these days business breached trust with people with dictates that only thing matter is the shareholder benefit. More precisely people in leadership roles lost their trust to their customers and their employees, It is showed that only 18% american people trust the values and ethics of business leaders, only a little bit more than politicians.

Why? Because business leaders are not behaving in authentic way. Currently leaders are promoted, selected in one way or the other and it is all based on our preference which results in selection system. We measure their performance in terms of sales, we favour charisma rather than character-based, we like people with great image and favored style and proven records of practice. If this is what we care about, it is not surprising that we dont get what is deep inside the core, the authenticity. When people are not trusting their leaders, they will never do the work to best level and listen to their leaders' guidance with full heart.

Therefore, authenticity is key because it gives your peole sense that why you are leading and where you are leading and count on you and work with you to delivery commitment. Imaging I am the one that chasing very hard on the ego idea of being a CEO or moving to the highest rank, I will be soon tired of myself before everybody else run against me. Maybe that's why most of leaders in today's business, no matter how high they climbed up, they are not happy and never satisfied. In our career path, we will probably go through a dark period when all the people around you doesnt seem to agree or accept your values, but keep going and believing in yourself that one day you will go into the light out of dark, be the real and authentic person leading and influencing people. You will appreciate the light more since you have experienced the dark.

March 15, 2016

"what makes you think you can teach us to lead?

"What makes you think you can teach us to lead?" must be the question that leaders sitting in a leadership course wondered or when leaders with high authorities dealing an external consultancy, however once the unspoken question being asked it might seem to be a thunder on a sunny day for people teaching leadership program to leaders. The situation is rather common in real world that most people teaching leadership program have basically never started, owned or managed a business, the experience rather focused more on acedamic side. It is rather sad when teachers estabilish their credentails by stressing on corporate experience or dropping out some famous CEOs they have met. Buy why they tend to behave in this way? I guess most students, in this case people occupying senior position, are not here to learn to lead, rather they are here to find a shortcut to climb up the corporate hiarachy.

It is a pity because such program is not intended to teach anything, it is about providing students with opportunities to learn it for themselve. But first thing, of course, is that they should recognized themselves as students and eager to learn to lead, not how to climb up. We are inclined to believe that leading ability can be learned from personal examples or advices, which is untrue. The correct way to learn to lead should be through the experice of leading and following. Even though our job title doesnt implicate a leader role, it doesnt affact us being an observative follower and learn from leading roles. When we move towards the managerial position, we might spend more time leading than learning with high pressure and little time and space to think and reflect, then selective leadership program or independent consultants can help to examine us from a distance way, improving how we lead by how we learn. Therefore, the qualifications and personal expereience of a coach do not matter that much, as it doesnt affect their ability to help you maximize your return on experience.

Now I regained my confidence and i shall continue to educate leaders from WaveRider.

March 13, 2016

Decision making reflection 2

For the group exercise on WaveRiders, we started with team member profilling in the enlightment of Luca's idea, through which we knew more about ourselves and group members in the way I have never thought before. Carl Jung’s and Isabel Briggs Myers’ typological approach to personality helped us to understand communication and learning styles of our types so that we could benefit and compensate from each other. The test result showed that we are all extrovert over introvert in different level and intuitive over sensing in a moderate degree, which told us we are likely to follow intuition and make decision based on internal and imaginative world rather than external sources. The cognative bias test also showed we have similar tendancy of falling into outcome bias and choice-selective bias. After the test, we reminds ourself to make decision based on rational and solid source rather than gambling on our feelings, and everytime after deciding on which tools to use, we reviewed our decision again in case fall into choice-selective bias.

Throughout the decision making process, every step forward was a decision to be made and we could only answer the final question step by step. The challenge is not about the final decision on location or specific marketing strategies, it is about the tools we used, because different tools will probably lead to the different decisions. Especially for marketing strategy decision, our biased feeling about the final decision would probably alter the tools we try to use. For example, if we believe our target audinece is more of internet-driven, we tend to look for the evidence of internet preference that proving our feeling is right; if we believe the people who can afford yacht are richer and older and like to read books, we are inclined to look for magazine preference to prove our thoughts. Therefore, starting an unbias date collection process is fairly important even before deciding on the tools.

With all the decision-making tools, I felt we struggled a little bit on which tools to use depending on the questions because several tools are quite similar such as SMART and AHP. In the end we decided to use AHP, but i m writing the blog now, I am wondering why didnt we ever think about using both tools to analyze the marketing strategy decision and see whether it yields the same result. We basically made decisions based on clockwise process -define objectives and generate decision-relecent information and then revisit choices and objectives, but probably in the real world, we are expected to add on to this general approach and run the analyse backward to test our decision- that is, beginning with a proosed deciaion and test plans again different plaustic future.

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