May 04, 2012

KNowledge management at work

Today we had the presentations in the KBAM module where we were to sell to M/S Wave riders our idea on Knowledge management and asset management. That was the easy part, I want to go back to work and see how can I sell the idea of Knowledge management to my team. It is an important aspect and I certainly want to implement it in my company. How should I start----------ideas are wanted.


KNowledge management in my company

Knowledge management is important as it can be used as a sustained competitive advantage which would not only be difficult by competitors to copy, but give the company a source to always rely upon for information.

Basically knowledge could be classified into three categories:

Impersonal knowledge which consists of ideas and information made explicit in documents and files (explicit knowledge). Personal knowledge which is tacit and stored in the brains (tacit knowledge). Inter personal knowledge which is communicated implicitly in the conversations and connections of people (implicit knowledge). (Boughzala et. al.)

I have found it real difficult to getthe tacit and implicit knowledge. In my company we are trying to capture the tacit knowledge through training, by making the holder of the knowledge responsible for training others. This approach has helped but people still continue to hold back some vital information ( i keep using knowledge and information - got to clear the difference between the two). Got lot of work to do to really make our company a company that knows how to manage knowledge !


May 03, 2012

How to implement Knowledge management in an organisation

Knowledge management is important and useful, but the main question is how do you get it implemented in the company?

Two major hurdles i faced when trying to do the same:

1. There are certain people who do not change easily. They always try to find drawbacks and ways to not implement the system.

2. There are people who understand the benefits of the system but think it is just another management fad that is going to waste there time and they give up even before they try.

3. The third category of people who are excited and start to implement the various methods of knowledge sharing. But after some time it is lost somewhere amongst the various tasks (routines). Remind them and the restart, and the story is repeated.

What I find from the obstacles that i faced in implementing knowledge management and as a matter of fact any other system is that the main obstacle is PEOPLE !

Any person in any post in an organisation has to be good at human resource management.


May 02, 2012

Does knowledge have an expiry date?

Is there an expiry date to knowledge? I dont think so, because what is knowledge today will always be relevent and helpful. Unless proved otherwise. Even when old knowledge is replaced with new information, the old is useful. By studying the old, one comes to know how you got to where you are today.

But it also depends on how important the knowledge is. It makes no sense in keeping all the acounts statements or all the purchase orders that a company made since it was started ( it may have to maintain these records for a certain time frame as per government rules - excise department). IT depends then on what kind of knowledge are we talking about.


Why is time not considered an Asset

This week we have been reading and talking about asset management. Buildings, people, knowledge, finances....etc. etc. we talked about them all.

But is time not an asset too, one that is depleting every second. All other form off assets could be replaced in one form or the other; not time. Time management should also be considerd under asset management. It is the most difficult to manage.


April 25, 2012

Assests management

5S and TPM are two good tools that we (at my company) we have been using for the last about 10 years to keep our machines and equipements maintained.

But what I would like to share here with you is the tremendous job the maintenance team has been doing at our plant in the city of Hoshiarpur. The plant was established way back in 1973. The plant machinary has been maintained so well that it continues to run even today. As a matter of fact the production levels are comparable with the latest modern high tech machines and so is the quality being generated (crucial worn out parts are changed as and when required).

The plant has been running for nearly 40 years, the machines have over run their depriciation period and are virtually free. It is not that the team is spending heavy money on spares and maintenance, but they have been following a very strict maintenance schedule. In addition to this the team has the habit of preventing a problem from repeating.

What I am trying to drive here is that if taken care of the assets of a plant can last for a very long time, but then there has to be dedication and sincerity.


Assets – People the biggest assets a company can have

Should people be treated as assets? A big question !

But the reality out in the world is that if you want to survive you have to have some sustainable strategic advantage. Some advantage that can not be bought or easily copied.

Any technology or system that you can buy can be bought by your competitor, but the people and culture that you have can not be copied or bought - that is why we have only one Toyota or one G.E. I am not saying that there are not other top companies, but what i am trying to say is what they have can not be replicated.

Today it is very crucial that you align your human resources along with your business strategies. Human resource is the sustainable strategic edge that you can hav over others.

Companies today are looking towards Human resource as a means to get sustained competitive advantage as this is an area which cannot be easily imitated by competitors (Brain Becker, 1996) .

Achieving competitive advantage through human resources requires that these activities be managed from a strategic perspective (Cynthia A. Lengnick-Hall, 1988)

Human resource management can help a firm obtain competitive advantage by lowering costs, by increasing sources of product and service differentiation, or by both (Cynthia A. Lengnick-Hall, 1988)

The people are very valuabel assets of a company. How they are retained is another question.


March 13, 2012

Leadership is not easy

With leadership comes great responsibilities.

One has to change in many ways in order to be a good leader ( I mean at the personnel level). The personnel qualities of a person have to improve inorder for him to be a good leader. Good lisetening skills, controlled temperamnet, people hadeling, control over what you say etc., are just a few areas that a person has to improve if he wants to be a good leader.

Unfortunately I have learned this the hard way, that is by making big mistakes. It did hurt (badly) when I realized what had gone wrong, but the positive was I learned and am now in the right track.

What is important to remember is that a true leader is one that sticks to the correct way and does not go back to his old ways at times of crises or pressure.


February 18, 2012

Properties of a good leader

According to me some of the important properties of a Leader are as follows:

1.Empathy

2. Power to listen

3. Communiation skills

4. Control over personnel emotions / anger

5. Not afraid to admit a mistake

6. Ready to take responsibility of any mistake or failure by the team

7. Gives credit to the team for the team acheivements.

8. Leads from the front - walks the talk

9. Trains and helps team members to overcome their weakness

10. Motivator

11. Has a Plan

Well its time to board the plane ( I am at the airport). All are requested to add to the above list and make sure that all properties required to be a good leader are captured.


Me as a follower in the last exercise

IT was the last day of the LE module and we had another learning game. I held my self back from being the leader as I wanted to play the role of the follwer and see how I would perform.

Things were at a stage were the team had almost hit a dead end. Everybody was giving suggestion (including me) and the leader was feeling the strees. I found myself doing nothing and thought of helping the team by going to the co-ordinator and getting some doubts clarified. During the breifing (after the exercise), the team informed me that I should have asked the leader before I went to the co-ordinator. BUt I was acting (in my mind) in the benifit of the team. While the team was aprissing me, I was thinking how do I feel when one of my subordinates goes direct to my senior and does not inform me about it - I feel bad. May be that subordinate is acting for the benifit of the team.

I think by not being the leader I did the right thing as I learnt what I wanted to.

Leasons learnt:

1. Always take care that your actions do not hurt (unknowingly) anyone's feelings - even if you think you are acting in the benifit of that person or team.

2. I should not feel bad if any of my subordinates goes direct to my senior - he may be acting in the intrests of the team.

3. For a team to be successful there should be free communication and Synergy between the leader and team members.


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