All entries for June 2012
June 10, 2012
I have been studying about environmental management from the past few days. This topic has really become very important in the business world from sometime now. There has been a lot of emphasis given now on environmental sustainability and how if any organization wants to grow or make profit, they should keep n mind the environmental implications of their products and processes before going into production.
People treat the 'green' companies or the environmentally inclined companies to be good and makes their reputation good in the market. Environemnt is some thing that people relate with society, so if any company decides to put their minds and resources to lessen the pollution it creates, people think it as a social service, a thing that is generaly not necessary, so it improves the image of the company in the minds of people.
However, I think environmental management or paying attention to environmental implications of your product is just a win-win situation for the company. Generally, companies dont like to go 'green' because they think there are a lot of unnecessary costs attached to it. But what they dont understand is that the costs that the company think are there are just short-term and up-front. If we look at the case studies of any 'green' company or even in the literature, we can see that going for environmental sustainability actually saves money for the organization and proves to be quite profitable in the future. It is because if company thinks about preventing the pollution in the production process, it wuld save them a whole lot of costs that is associated with storing and then disposing off the wastes and pollutants. Thus, if pollution and wastes is not created during the production process, there would be no costs attached to this. Thus, making profits for the company. But this generally happens in the long-run and managers generally ignore this long-run profit in front of short-term costs. So, if managers think wisely and realize the profitably of environemntal management, they would see that going 'green' is actually win-win. First they are actually making a profit by going to a environmental management. Secondly, there reputation is really improved in the eyes of the people, thus, helping them in marketing. So, only if the managers can see this profitable side and handle the early stages of this change (change management), they would realize how good it is for them to turn 'green'.
I had been studying about how to implement knowledge management. There are more than 20 models that I had come across for implementing knowledge.But I felt the best one was from Nonaka..the Socialization-Externalization-Combination and Internalization model as i concnetrates on how to convert the two kings of knowledge- tacit and explicit together. Moreover, it builds on the fact that Knowledge management can never be cyclic, it has to be spiral, as once a cycle finishes, an organizaion would have more knowledge than the previous year and thus, an organization wuld always build from that and move into highe knowledge. Thats why I felt Nonaka's model made the most sense. Moreover, it is known as the knowledge creating model, however I felt that both storing and utilization of knowledge, that are theother components of knowledge management, does happen during its stages. Thus, I felt it was a very complete model. However, I do feel that in order to implement this model, an organization would certainly have to create a culture, an environment that would support knowledge management. Without that, applying any model would not really help. An organization would have to have a culture where every member trusts each other and each employee is has a mentality of team spirit. Only if employees trust each other and are ready to coordinate with each other, then they would really share knowledge amongst themselves and would try to enrich the organization. Shared vision and mental models are necessary for any creation or management of knowledge. It is necessary so that each employee have the same target in mind, that is, the vision of the company. Only when this can happen, any organization can even think about knowledge management.
Generally, knowldge management is seen as that of technology-driven. However, as much as I have read and interpreted, it is quite clear that any knowledge management system can only survive if the employees of the company are willing. Thus, it becomes imperative for the leaders of that organization to make a cultue and environment as such so that no one is jealous of each other, and everybody thinks that they are treated fairly by the management. Only then would employees be willing to give their 100% for the organization. Also, the management needs to show and make it clear to the employees, the importance of knowledge management and the high regard it gives to it, to make them contribute to it and become a part of the system. Moreover, the management needs to be open and free, so that the employees are allowed to experiment and innovate without the fear in their hearts hat if an experiment goes wrong they will be thrown out of the company. It is then only that more knowledge could be created as the main knowledge is generated through on-the-job learning.
Thus, we can see that leadership and culture of the organization are of utmost importance before any organization can even think about putting in a system or model of knowledge management.