Well, there could be various reasons for people being resistant to share their tactic knowledge within the organisation. One of the reasons is the kind of environment, education, and experiences it has previously had. The kind of exposure an individual have had before joining any organisation have a great impact on how the individual carry out any activity. The kind of environment or the experience it has been to, lead to the development of fear, it could be fear to failure or surprisingly, even fear to succeed, fear to get known and being rewarded. The education it had shapes the character and the vision of the individual, whether he is being competitive or co-operative in sharing the knowledge it possess. The selection and recruitment of such individuals forms the culture of the organisation. It is positive for the organisation if an individual who has the need and the capability is appointed. Leadership plays a vital role in influencing the thoughts and activities of the individual but it requires the individual to have the willingness to change, to learn and to improve. Then there are various other reasons which obstruct the sharing of the tactic knowledge in the organisation. It could be the organisational structure, the way the system is designed for knowledge sharing. Many a times, the best way to share knowledge is the informal meeting at the coffee machine. It is not always the best idea to specify a particular time and place for the people to act. Informal social meetings can be a good option which under the company’s discipline can prove productive. Sometimes, people lack the confidence and feel inferior to talk about their ideas to senior level. Most of the time, people don’t feel the need to share the knowledge they hold, they just work to get the security to its job and satisfy their basic needs which the organisation fails to ensure. Reward system also plays a crucial role; it plays an important part in motivating the individuals. Some people want to share the knowledge but there isn’t any encouragement, it could be because of the competition prevailing, or the people are just too busy to carry out the day to day task that they don’t have enough time, or they don’t consider it important to take out time and learn from the experience the other people have had. This can be improved by coaching, increasing the level of communication between all the levels of the organisation. Most important element of it is leadership and encouraging people constantly, training them and keep inspiring them by giving them rewards which relates to the performance and not just the output or on numbers. Creating an organisational structure in a way, where the knowledge and information flows smoothly under a controlled manner and keeping in view the company’s rules and regulation. Removing barriers to share knowledge, one way could be allowing people to make mistakes, and inspire to learn from them.
January 25, 2010
Lean Manufacturing often called Lean Production is one and the same thing. Lean Manufacturing is often associated with streamlining the processes by eliminating the waste. This waste can be in any form in the organisation, it can be the complexity in designing the process, over production, under production which leads to machines sitting idle, and that result to poor utilisation of capital employed, unnecessary flow of the people and materials, uncleanness which leads to confusion. Lean is more focused to the more visible causes of variation. Lean Manufacturing utilises some statistical tools and techniques to identify the waste at different levels in the organisation and to remove it. However, understanding these tools requires involvement of the management team. Implementation of Lean largely encourages the involvement of the people in the organisation. It tries to incorporate changes into the culture of the organisation because it understands that when the lean champions are away or when the pressure of change is removed, it doesn’t dies a slow death. Lean is centered on creating more value with less work. Lean Manufacturing is a generic process management philosophy derived mostly from the Toyota Production System. It is renowned for its focus on reduction of the original Toyota seven wastes to improve overall customer value. Implementing lean manufacturing can sometimes be a challenge as it provides so many tools and techniques that often it gets difficult to identify the best mapping tool which is often prone to judgemental inconsistency. No single technique is able to simultaneously solve overall problems associated because each has its own advantages and drawbacks. It requires careful planning, adequate knowledge and strong leadership in order to apply lean manufacturing techniques.
January 24, 2010
In this competitive era, where all businesses want to be among the best both in terms of cost and quality are struggling hard to identify ways to improve their processes. Constantly challenged with downward price pressure and increased quality Six Sigma is one of the methods to improve quality and reduce cost. Six Sigma intends to achieve 99.99% precision by attaining 3.4 defect parts per million. These days it has not just remained a tool to reduce variability but it helps to align the business processes by engaging management at all levels. Using DMAIC model it helps to identify the customer needs and perception first, and then measure how far the process is in control in respect of the customer requirement, followed by analysing the reason for non-compliance, then looking for improvement options available which is best suited and then try and maintain the process. It requires involvement of people at all levels. Six-Sigma takes into account the individual projects focused at improving one part of the organisation at one time. External master black belts and back belts come into the organisation to implement the various projects and for supervision. Six-Sigma has its origin in Motorola where it leads to huge business improvements. In order to implement Six-Sigma it is important that the company has taken some qualitative initiatives beforehand which make its implementation easier. Application of Six Sigma leads to huge benefits and leads to organisation with best in class products; however its implementation incurs huge costs, so companies whose main issue is quality should only implement it. For instance sectors like IT where main issue is speed, implementing Six Sigma is not worth. The workforce of the organisation are often ignored while its application which sometimes leads to its failure. People in the organisation get de-motivated while seeing other people taking over the processes. They feel they have lost the power and since they play an important part, so when they are ignored it leads to failure of Six-Sigma project. People generally resist change because it involves them to come out of their comfort zone, they often don’t understand the potential benefits of its implementation.
While studying leadership, I came across four types of leadership styles: Autocratic, Democratic, Laissez Faire and Charismatic leadership. Autocratic leadership is where people are told what they are supposed to do without taking into consideration their suggestions, opinions or views. Democratic Leadership is where it demands everyone in the organisation to be creative, perform as a team, solve complex problems, improve quality and provide outstanding customer service. The style presents a happy medium between over controlling and not being engaged and tends to be seen in organisations that must innovate to prosper. Laissez Faire Leadership is where the leader leaves everything to their subordinates; everything from planning to execution is done by the people. Leader has the least say in making the decisions. Here people should be highly qualified, skilled and trained in order to make decisions on their own. Charismatic Leadership is where the leader is highly appealing to the people and can influence them easily towards it. It is crucial to understand the different types of leadership styles and in what situation it is best suited. You cannot say which is better and which is not so good. Each style works in different situations. For Instance, If you are in a boat which is going to get drowned in one hour, in that case you need someone who is straight forward and can make decisions faster, i.e. someone who is autocratic. Here people want to be led by someone who is more trustable and who make quicker decisions.
It is important, when in an organisation a leader interacts with as many people as possible to understand how people perceives different things. There can be different types of people in the organisation which can be broadly categorised into four groups, walking dead, urban terrorists, fans and the stars. A leader must try and see who is good at what and accordingly should assign responsibilities to get an effective outcome. Motivation is the key that aspires people to convert from various groups to stars. Many a times it happens that leader is aware of all the problems and what exactly are going on in the organisation. It is important that the leader is able to deliver what the organisation wants from its people and that people don’t work without knowing what they are working for or what their ultimate goal is.
January 13, 2010
To get people to achieve a shared goal by means of team work is important. In a company if you appoint many great leaders but if they are not working co-operatively in a team it wouldn’t yield the desired outcome. Being a leader it is important that it can get everyone engaged towards working for the shared vision of the company. It can get people to contribute voluntarily and influence their thoughts and behaviours is such a way that coming to work is just isn’t something they do unwillingly. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a large amount of people come to work just to satisfy their psychological needs, their security towards job and their social needs. So getting them involved into the vision of the company does really get difficult. It is vital to make them understand, what is in it for them, how they will benefit. It is crucial to make them realise that they would not be laid off. Most of the time it happens, that people are working for decades, doing the same job repeatedly, but has never contributed when it comes to using their brain. So they get use to working like that, and asking them to change their way even after making them aware of the material benefits they would receive doesn’t really help. At that point, it is important that a leader must motivate and inspire them constantly. From the session today, Leadership is the art of influencing other people’s thoughts and behaviours towards achieving the shared goal or vision. An effective leader is one who can achieve the intended goal. If a leader is effective basically depends on three things, the leader itself, the quality it possess, the group members, and the situation prevailing at that particular time interval. In an organisation it is important to generate leaders at all levels, for instance you need someone to talk to the bottom level, get to their level and make them understand the benefits in it for them. One thing, I learnt that interests me, is not to assume that if the person is not qualified, and not educated is not intelligent. By giving the right training the same can yield result that even qualified may not. One thing that need to change is, the idea that management should do everything, design all the processes, and just get the people doing it, considering them as dirt. When you can get even better results by engaging them, why not creating a system by making the most of them, but some organisations are so profit oriented that they don’t realise how important it is and how it can save millions. A leader get change started which of course involves risk but anything innovative or anything better can happen only if there is trying and error, experimenting and analysing involved.
January 11, 2010
Leadership can be direct or indirect. Direct leadership is when you are an autocratic leader, where you tend to ask people to do just as they are told to do. You do not entertain any opinions or suggestions from them. Here people are being treated just as the means to get the required work done. Hence, it doesn’t come with any motivation or inspiration driving them to work out of their comfort zone. People do work, but not with enthusiasm. They don’t have a vision of where the company might want to be in a longer term. They just work for their own survival. Another is Indirect Leadership. Here the leader is more democratic, takes into the account the viewpoint of individuals. This can be a great inspiration for the workers because they are the part of the solution. From the session today I learnt that when they are inspired, they tend to have a broader vision of the company, and then the work doesn’t remain just salary package they are working for. But they work to learn, to improve and get the company to the next level which of course will lead to their development as well. Working just to attain compliance is not the only aim of the workers. The most important characteristic that I see in a leader is, when it can get the most out of the people. It is very important to have the right approach to keep them motivated and getting the work done at the same time. The second most important characteristic of a leader is to keep up the team work. It can be influenced in different ways, as how the people are being recognised, rewarded, praised, empowered and punished in an organisation. Leadership by definition involves change whereas management’s work is getting the current system going by minimising the risk. It is important that both work well to get the organisation where it wants it to be.
Well, if I will be working in an organisation later this year, my expectation of a leader would be to create a working environment where there is team work, and all striving to achieve a common aim, that is the aim of the company. No individual interest involved and guides in a way that creates learning and development at all the stages and keep us motivated. Suggestions and opinions are taken and everyone is treated fairly.
November 16, 2009
While researching about my post module assignment I learnt something new.
Change is crucial! But what is more essential in this competitive era is how fast you adapt to change!! Learning Organization is one thing which organizations are trying to become, to continuously improve themselves by collective learning of its individuals. Learning Organization is basically creating, acquiring, and transferring of knowledge and skills within the organization to be able to generate new knowledge and skills which can generate economic value while making decisions, exploring opportunities and problem solving. Management is constantly trying to enhance its individual and organizational learning to be able to survive in the market.
What I have learnt in the article by author Vaughan Waller is, learning can be best achieved through social interaction. It is attained best when learning is not the intention of the participant. Attempts of management to control learning or organize social events are doomed to failure. It is important to learn that people should be given appropriate freedom to pick or ignore tools that they feel is likely the best for them enrich their knowledge. This social interaction within the organization comes with a lot of irrelevant data and information exchanged among the people, but management should not always think about profit gained or return on investment when trying to enhance learning.
Well, this kind of learning is not easy to manage, and management should provide tools which are cost effective, and that the people stay within the control limits specified by the organization. In order to apply learning in an organization, it is important to see what kind of learning culture is prevailing within. Do people share their knowledge and experience through different departments? do they except their faults and failures and are able to learn and let others learn from it? In order for learning to be effective, management should drive out fear from the people, and encourage learning through experiments and analysis. In this way, the barrier between the management and the people is broken and there is a smooth communication channel maintained which is important.
Well, Learning Organization is essential as it provides competitive advantage over others, because it is difficult to imitate and is unique in itself.
October 25, 2009
One should constantly learn and improve no matter how expert you are at a particular area. Expanding your learning not only helps you as an individual but also helps the organization you are working in. Some organizations are resisting changing and following the same path. These are the organizations who do not survive in the long run, because in this competitive era, the thing is not whether you change but it is, how fast you change.
I have learnt that in an organization what is important is, the divergent thinking of its people, organization should encourage people share their experience in the working context and through experimentation determine how the process is managed, by recording the responses of the system and the individuals in it. Interpretation takes place and the required action to test if the analysis is successful. Therefore it is not always necessary to achieve the desired result by applying the given theories.
Well, it is very important because then the employees feel participative which in turn motivates them. Since employees are considered an important resource to a company, it is important that their welfare is one thing which has to be taken into consideration. Participation also encourages them to be committed towards the company's policy and objective. It adds creativity, acquiring and transferring of knowledge which leads to learning organization.
Well, through organizational learning, an organization becomes a learning organization. Now the employees have adequate knowledge, are skillful but the thing which is still most vital for organizations is the outcome, and this learning can generate an economic value only when it is applied in the organizational planning to explore opportunities, make decisions and solve problems. Well, management plays a vital role to develop, maintain and improve the mechanisms to support and sustain learning in all its forms.
To adapt to change is a challenge!!
Competition is one thing we see everywhere, may it be sports, business, governmental or non-governmental organizations. What we see is what we learn, and what we learn is what we try to implement. So often you can see there is competition not only among the organizations but within the organization as well. Different departmental heads compete with each other to get the next higher position. There is a win-lose culture generally seen in most of the places. Well, I have been taught the same in my secondary and higher level of education. But when i studied that Co-operation is better and has many advantages over Competition, I found it challenging to accept and implement.
What I have learnt is Co-operation within the organization leads to shared building vision. Employees are no longer focused only on their departmental goals. Through cooperation there builds an understanding that, lack in one area may be necessary to achieve the company's goals. In an organization it is very important that management team views where the company will be in 10 , 20 , 30 years time, and if this thought is shared by every employee, then it leads to betterment. Co-operation establishes a win-win culture which is very important inside the organization. It helps people to share the knowledge they achieve through their experiences which will enable to do their job effectively.
Well, the important question is how you can attain Co-operation within your organization; it can be done by making the different parts of the company interdependent on each other, so that there is a greater need of co-operation in order to achieve optimization in the performance. Another thing can be, training to employees and making them understand the company's objectives and how co-operation play an important role.
Well, another thing that impressed me is if there is Co-operation among different organizations, then instead of aiming to make the other loose, you strive to create a new market and an opportunity to win for everyone.
Well, it is not easy to adopt a completely different idea, but since I have known the advantages of it, I can see how important it is to have co-operation instead of competition.
Monitoring and check is important but there is a way to carrying out!!
Deming in one of his 14 principles say, Cease dependence on mass inspection. He says the use of inspection to improve quality is costly, ineffective and unreliable. You cannot inspect quality into the product and therefore it is too late. Companies believe if you have inspectors to judge the final product, it can basically improve the quality of it. Sometimes they tend to employ two inspectors which makes it even worse, because then both the inspectors tend to rely on each other and the output achieved is unreliable.
Well, companies have scarce resources and it is crucial that it makes the most out of it. Time is a resource and if its use is ineffective then company pay its debt. I have learnt that focus of a company should be to improve the processes and if at all the inspection is carried out then it should be directed towards the improvement of processes. There are reasons associated with it. Inspection of the final product de- motivate the employees, they are no more willing to take responsibility of the products which are scrap. They leave it for the inspectors to judge. Targets are set to monitor the efficiency of the employees, which can be misleading. If targets are set too high, employees tend to either give up in the beginning or start playing games, they tend to adjust the figures and make it look as if they have achieved the required task.
Hence, it is very important that company be focused on upgrading the process and continuously improving on it. One way of doing it is understanding the variation in the processes. Make a chart; identify the deviation, and the reason for its occurrence. If it is avoidable then corrective actions should be taken to eliminate it.
But then the question arises, Should inspection be eliminated completely? Well, there should be check up going on in the company from time to time but not to assess the quality or the performance of the product and its employees but to keep track if there is any deviation from the given task and so continuous improvement can be made where ever required.
Well, It is not easy for the management to instantly shift from mass inspection which it is been carrying out for ages, towards improvement in the processes. But if it is explained in detail the weaknesses of the former then the company will definitely understand the advantage of it and how important it is. I have mentioned some points above which has helped me enrich my knowledge.