August 07, 2012

What are rules for?

Rules are there for being broken or rules are there to be kept? My research area involves entrepreneurship in my dissertation. Some of the interesting elements in a individual entrepreneur is that he or she stresses the boundaries of the rules made for keeping order in the business world. Some succeed other fails and serve time in jail. You should think that if you served time in jail you would not do something illegal again but that is not true. Well we all know the habitual criminals who steel which is not those who I am referring to. I am referring to the habitual entrepreneur who doesn't seem to learn from serving time in jail. He or she do fail but they try again when being released and sometimes fail again which goes on in bad circle. However some also succeeds and become very successful with their business and creates huge benefits for the society in shape of jobs etc.

Criminals don't do anything good for the society, I think that is what is the general thinking in the society, including me. They do create jobs for people guards and other security areas so they could be seen as being beneficial in a far out there way. But what about the entrepreneur?

He too is sometimes a criminal, but when he succeed people seem to look beyond his past and more focus on his current situation due to the success. Not like other criminals where the past keep haunting them down by not being able to find a job. Why is crime so different?

So when is it okay to break the rules and when should they be kept? is it always a question which can only be answered based on the current situation or can it be made general?

July 15, 2012

What can I use this Blog for?

So we are done with MBE blogging now and have created many blogs during this year- some more than others.

I haven´t been blogging for quite a while now, mainly because I have been away but during that time I wundered what i could use all these blogs for in the future. Of course during the blogging and the year I have developed some skills but what about the written work?

The year is almost over now and that mean we have to find a work which means job applications. We have to sell our self to the market by writting a small letter. That letter should say so much about us which is almost impossilble to write short. If you write it too long they do not read it and too short will just create a poor picture of you. So how can you write an applications which is precisly enough?

What about using these blogs? Like adding a link to the blog on our applications. Then if they want, they could look at it and thereby get a better picture of who you are as a person.

What do you think? good or bad idea?

June 17, 2012

What did i gain from blogging

So my first blog was about being a reality star or a real star. I honestly did not see blogging as valid thing to do for your own learning. Instead I saw it as a place where people could to write things without really meaning it. Like writing that the world should become more eco friendly and then buy the non eco friendly products. In other words I was really skeptical for the whole blogging learning concept from the beginning. So have I gained anything from it?

In one way I still have the same opinion but not as general as it was before. Before I really focused on the output of blogs created. What do I get out of reading another ones blog or what do others get out of reading my blog? that was my questions towards blogging because I saw that as the learning element in the concept. We as a class should share knowledge between us through this blogging and thereby learn more. In that way I am not found of blogging.

Blogging is very individual. What angle do you have on the topic you are blogging about, why do you blog, what do you blog about etc. is all up to the individual to choose. This therefore creates a jungle of ideas, knowledge, creativity etc. But the negative side is also that it creates rumours, false truth etc. It has its positive and negative side like so many other things. For me some blogs was good others was bad in my mind. This made me filter some blogs away from the beginning. That means I have filtered away the potential of reading a great idea or some brilliant arguments. However I did save time doing it which was a win in my time management. Don't know if that was a good or bad trade off?

The thing I found good about blogging was the internal learning occurring during the blogging. I was a bit surprised how blogging changed my way of thinking and how it has helped me see things from different angles. In that way I really gained a lot from blogging. Its therefore not the blogging concept as a data base which was beneficial for me but more the process making a blog that was. Don't know if that was the whole meaning behind it.

Another really good experiences of blogging was the commenting element. Funny how such small things can have such a positive effect. Getting a comment just felt nice because it meant that someone else had an opinion about my topic.

Any way I think I will continue blogging maybe create my own blog somewhere on the internet. This has really helped me sometimes to clear my head which I think I will come in need of during my dissertation. This is therefore not my last blog, but only my last "forced" blog.

June 15, 2012

Hired because your fun!!

When I will get hired in the future for a job or if I start my own Business then I think it will because of my skills or knowledge. My knowledge around and ability to generate knowledge is my competitive advantage for getting a job in the future.

Just saw a clip yesterday from google which made me wonder about hiring people according to their skills. Logically I would think that people are hired because of a certain position in the organization needs to be filled. Those positions is functionally and will be considered as giving value to the company in a direct way. But what if you where hired because of your high energy and ability to make people laugh. You are one of those person who has a personality where people just get happy when they are around you. But you are not good a leading, making improvements or anything like that. If you will get hired you will be creating a fun culture who will generate value for the company. Your role is therefore adding value in a indirect way to the company. But what position will that be and for which salary?

Culture is a critical element for a company so the position is important. The salary might therefore be as much as a leader because of the critical aspect. But you will never be able to measure or have targets towards his or hers performance. Except if you can measure how good the culture is?

So if you could hire a person purely because if his way of making people happy how would that work?

June 13, 2012

Best practice or just talk?

I just read an article in a Danish news paper about a big wind turbine company who are close to become a insolvent. This company has in some eyes been seen as a company you could benchmark for best practice. Dont know why this was the case, but I think it's because of the company size. Just because they were big, had a big revenue, employed a lot of people, attracted all the best leaders etc. Well know the company performs really poor. They have had some technical problems with their products. The crisis have made changed the conditions towards payment of products. Before they received money when they got an order which changed to getting money when shipping the order. This means that the company needs more capital to run their business.

Lean, Six Sigma, Ballance scorecard you name it. All these theories would have helped in this situation but I think they actually used all these tools. But looking at their current performance one could argue for their efficient use of the different approaches. In fact you might be able to argue that it's because of the company culture, or lack of management support, lack of communication etc. All general causes to failure which in my mind is so easy to simply state. Sometimes I think these types of failures is used more as an excuse than actual facts for the root cause.

Similar to that they are used as excuses for failures they also seems to be used as general solutions for problems. It almost like problems cannot be solved without taking these aspect into account. Companies that want to become excellence has to work with the company culture through people etc. It all seems really logical and simple. Knowing that it is also difficult and something which should be seen as a journey.

But sometimes I think that theories have been invented based on a positive economy. Like Learn was "developed" by looking at Toyota and how they managed them self out of their crisis. Six Sigma was "developed " due to a high failure percentage. Both came because of a crisis but observed when it has become positive. So does this mean that what is observed is a solution to problems or is it more a description of a process taken by the company?

What examples has been found where implementing tools and techniques actually helped a company get out of a crisis? Isn't always the company own passion and creativity which generate the best suitable solutions? Why is it that we try to copy what other companies have done in the past for improving their business? Is that not going backwards?

Some companies can be seen as best practice one day because of a positive situation but when they start to perform poorly they suddenly become an example on how not to do it. This is logical that you should not copy a poor performance, but what about misinterpreting a best practice just because of the moment?

This company I talked about might have been interpreted as being a "good" company in the moment. They a good culture, good employees etc. But when their performance changes all these "best" practice suddenly becomes "don't do" instead. Like being wise after an event. Theories might seem to work in a healthy economy but do they actually work in a stressed situation?

June 12, 2012

How far should a company go for safety excellence?

Health and safety who is actually responsible for that?

I know it would be logical to say the company but what about the individual as well. Are we not responsible for our own actions and thereby also our own safety. Of course if an employer demands an employee to do something against safety regulations it will be the employers responsibility if something happens. Clear situations like that is pretty simple to argue for who is responsible and not. But what about the lovely gray areas?

Some work routines might not be dangerous short term but instead have long term affects. Telling an employee or arguing for that an employee should change their way of working because of healthy issues long term will be difficult. Imagine to tell a person that in 20 years your shoulder might be ruined and you therefore has to work different from what you have been doing the last 10 years. The change might not make your work easier, in fact it might mean that it would take longer time for you to produce which in some incidence would mean lower salary being paid. Would he change his work rhythm? If he doesn't then he will be unable to work in 20 years and who would he then blame? the company or himself? he was warned about it?

An example would be an insurance company. A person helps another person who is stuck under a heavy item. He safe that's person life by lifting the item and thereby hurts his back. His back gets so hurt that he is unable to work anymore and therefore wants insurance to pay him for lost salary. The insurance company declines his wishes because it was his own free will that chose to help that other person and therefore not anything to do with his job. He was therefore not covered. Is that fair?

The society does not think it's fair, but that's because of his heroic action and he saved another person's life. But why should the insurance pay for heroes? why could he just be saved by the rescue people?

Where is the different in when it is the organizations problem and when it is the individual?

Is it excellence if it just always the company who is responsible? or is there a limit connected to how far a company should go?

June 11, 2012

The Invisible learning

Suddenly you just cannot write anything. You just sit there without any words being typed or read. Instead you think a lot about what to write and how to write it. Is this something that feels similar for anyone else than me?

Don't know if it's the process which starts to be too routine based for me. Reading some journals and books and then answer some questions based on what you have read. That seems to be a perfect description of my day. The stuff I read is different so in that way every day is a new day, but it does not feel as being new.

Instead I feel that I don't learn any more. How this affect my work ´is for the future to show me, but it might not have been affected at all. It might be the feeling around not knowing that you have learned and how much you have developed since we started. I could in fact learn as much as I did in the beginning but know I am just used to that learning and therefore not recognize it as being learning any more but just daily routines. In fact my work quality might have improved without be noticing it. The opposite could also be the case where the quality of my work have dropped. So instead of taking actions towards a negative trend I make excuses for not knowing and seeing the trend as being negative. How is that continuous improvement?

It is kind of a weird feeling if you ask me. Not knowing or feeling that you learn. Not getting the "ahhh" or gestalt experience but instead just letting it be a part of a routine.

So what am I saying here. Sometimes I think learning is invisible and you thereby don't realize that you have just learned something. But at the same time I think this invisible learning can be used as an excuse for not learning at all. My own feeling about this is that I really can't determine if my progress is positive or negative at the moment. Which is also why I now see the tricky part of self assessment but also the importance about being able to self asses your own work.

June 05, 2012

Manage football in an excellence way is it possible?

Building up an sound an healthy culture is one of the main elements in all parts of excellence. To create this element areas like communication, teamwork, leadership, empowerment etc. comes in. None of these elements are easy to apply and it is mostly seen as a journey for an organization to go on. But all of them are seen as being the thing for creating success. In other words that is the stuff we will be working with to create excellence in future jobs.

European football teams are huge business in the world today. It is really a billion pound market where players are transferred, jersey are sold with players name on it, TV license are made for us to see it etc. All in all it is an organization where business excellence can be applied.

Football is based on team work. One player cannot win a game by himself he has to have a good team behind him. But team do have a strategy to develop good players for future transfers. You can almost call it a modern slave factory. Players are the company's asset and they have the right to sell and buy players. If one players plays some good matches and scores some brilliant goals his price will most likely increase. Other teams therefore want to buy him for their team and for the right price he will be sold.

How can you build an sound culture here?

If we assume that players development is equal to company improvements. When employees make improvements they shall not be fired because it hurts the culture of the company. Instead they could be promoted or in other way rewarded or recognized for the development made. On a football team this is different. When a good team culture is created good players will shine, but then they will be sold and thereby hurt the culture.

Is excellence really able to be applied in this kind of environment or is a special case?

Take the 30 challenge NOW!!

Every time you take a decision you are trading between something. In fact all decisions are trade off in my mind. If there doesn't exist a trade off you cannot call it a decision. No trade off means no decision is needed. Name one decision that is not a trade off please?

Even the decision around buying a ice cream or not is a tradeoff between wanting sugar and don't want to get fat. It could also be the money you have to buy the ice cream or the taste of the ice cream that creates the trade off.

The same for our literature review in our projects. You could go deep in all areas but you're not because it's a trade off with time.

Imagine how many trade off we are making during the day? and it happens without our notice. There must be some kind of filter doing that for us and I think it's our mental models. What if that mental model is adjusted in a way which makes us say no to a lot of fun stuff but we never know it because it just happens in the trade offs. That is what 30 challenge are for. It's for breaking this trade off pattern and make you see the world in a different way. In other words take a 30 day challenge NOW!!

May 28, 2012

Who is a fish judge by its ability to climb a tree?

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree. It will live its whole life believing that it is stupid(Einstein). This made me think what is best experience or academic? probably some kind of balance. But in my mind the society believes different by saying academic is the way to go.

When we take an education we are being marked according to a scale. Some gets high marks others get low mark that is the nature of marking. That result in a believe that a high mark means you are smart and low mark stupid. I have been told that high marks create great opportunities for future jobs, which is why I always go for the high mark and get stressed because of it. Looking at the way we are being marked it has something to do with the ability to do a prober analysis and other criteria's. We can only analyze the written academic literature which is based on real life observation. So I am being judge on my ability to analyze written literature and being marked according to it. When I hopefully get a job I will have to analyze real situation with real living people involved in it. Really a different thing in my mind.

So my future job opportunities depends on my ability to analyze written literature, but my future carrier will depend on my ability to analyze real situation with real people. What does this mean?

Well in my mind it means that you might get high marks here and might get low "marks" in the "real" world. So what does a mark then say. Those who get low mark might in fact be better than those who get high marks when it comes to work. They might have been the fish judge to climb a tree.

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