All entries for June 2014
June 15, 2014
Ensuring knowledge sharing
How can we be sure that the individual will share the knowledge?
Can't it be that the individual does not intend to share the knowledge and instead consdier that knoweldge as their asset and try to sell it elsewhere? If that's the case, some innovations cannot happen (potentially) in a company.
My guess would be that companies do have ways of coping with such issues, such as signing legal documents that bind the individuals to the company and that the creation the individual comes up with is considered the asset of the company. Yet, if the individual does not share it with the previous company, and instead brings it to another company (such as a competitor)?
A possible method that might be in use already is that the knowledge creation process is designed in a way that no one person will only be involved in the creation process, but it is actually part of a series of steps until the that creatoin/innovation can be reached. This might mean that the process is very fragmented that to reach a breakthrough or invention, the necessary steps have to be taken.
But also, if we look at this from another perspective, why should the company even have to worry about this, if they can make the employees loyal and attached to the company? Wouldn't that allow knowledge to be shared openly and accessibly? Surely if an employee feels like they're being trusted and empowered, there's a higher possiblity that they will reciprocrate with the same manner towards the company, right?
This is just based on simple logic, which i think is true of human nature.
June 14, 2014
Quality of Tacit Knowledge
Nonaka said that Tacit knowledge can be shared into another person's tacit knowledge through observation, socializing, praciticng, imitation, etc.
However, I do have doubts about this - althogh it can be developed into our know Explicit knowledge - is it at the sacrifice of the quality of that knowledge. This quality can be the effectiveness of what the original tacit knowledge was, for the initial purpose of the tacit knowledge. For instance, if I observe someone doing something which is very effective, then I use that same technqiue but for a different purpose but maybe it is not an important purpose or it is not done correctly - is this then useful knowledge?
I do understand that Nonaka might argue this as a method of knowledge creation - adapting it to one's own use - but what's the point of sharing knowledge if the initial purpose is not shared as well?
I feel that some knowledge is practiced based on a certain purpose, but how would someone else who tries to observe and learn the same tacit knowledge that was not articulated really understand what is going on?
So new knowledge is created - but what happens to the origin of that knowledge? does it end there? Yes the tacit knowledge can turn to explicit and can be more visible to everyone - but if you only rely on sharing tacit to tacit, loss of knowledge and originality or sense of purpose is also a real threat.
June 13, 2014
KBAM isystems in SMEs
The initial thought we had on how to present KBAM was truly dreadful, and I think it is, because of the time we had and the large scope of the 2 similar (yet quite different) concepts: Knowledge and Asset management.
Observing from what every group presented, surely there were some similarities (in terms of what was covered) - but we had very different approaches for WaveRiders. So it hit me that, is there a generic model that most organizations follow, such as off-the-shelf models of KBAM? Surely it's not so hard to find off-the-shelf products for knowledge management or asset management individually, but to have a total package - it must be very expensive and considering it's for SMEs, it's worth looking in to.
Especially for those of you concentrating on SMEs for your dissertation and maybe working/owning and SME sometime in the future, it's interesting to see how these very large concepts can be adapted on a small scale, first in terms of learning them, then how to actually acquire and adopt them to the SME you are involved in. Is there a best-practice that companies use to apply the total package?
For instance, there are plenty of Safety Mangemnet Systems that are availabel today, adapting the govering bodies' requirements and tailoring the details to meet their market. But sometimes, these management systems can be adopted to an SME level, but it seems that there is always a compromise - limited capabiliteis becuase you're paying less (consideing what's worthwhile for the size of your company). This trade-off is something I totally disagree with, becuse trying to buy something that's not 100% doing what its supposed to is simply defeating the purpose of having it in the first place.
So I think it is best to hire someone from who is an expert in that field into the small-sized company - then creating a project team to implement it (many of you have done this in your presentations). I feel that this will allow a system to be built based on the organziation, while adapting the important requirements of the governing bodies that are mandated by law or to be part of a group that supports this type of certification. Surely, this will allow the company to optimize their asset and knowledge on a system built specifically for them and surely less expensvie than what's available in the market.
June 12, 2014
KBAM's Strategy & other strategies
Preparing for our presentation, we realized that we were concentrating on the KBAM strategy, while in real life, companies have plenty of othe rstrategies to follow.
So there's a real challenge here to align the multiple strategies of a company to the overall strategy. It will be very interesting to see how each companies really combine their strategies, and how they prioritize one or the other.
In the end, how important will KBAM be for an organization to prioritize? Sure that the strategy is convincing and can be used, but how well will it be implemented, or how soon will it be used once the strategy is introduced will be interesnted. How often do they see the importance of the strategy?
I would be very interested to see in the end how the strategies are prioritized adn applied.
June 11, 2014
Effective Knowledge repository
From the dicussions on how WaveRiders can effectively move forward over the next 5 years, it made me think that with all the asset improvements and knowledge improvements a company can have, it all is not possible if there is no systmem supporting it.
The same idea is applied to when there are a lot of good ideas that can improve an organization, but without a proper knowledge-pool that is interactable, knowledge is simply wasted. However, with a system that not only pushes but also pulls information and systemically stores it within an organization, the knowledge can be effectively reached and used.
So the idea that to manage all assets, a system is needed, and likewise to store knowledge effecitvely, a system is needed as well. So is it possible that one is independent from the other? Quite straightlyforwardly I feel this isn't possible, because in every instance of asset management, there is knowledge involved in its system to gather, analayze, and execute knowledge or data to attempt an action. That means no matter what, knowledge cannot be escaped, it's available to everyone but just in a free form.
Therefore, having a system to manage knowledge, which will therefore make the company become smarter at making decisions, as well as for asset management should be the best solution.
June 10, 2014
Consciously vs Unconsciously being aware
I'm going to discuss this in terms of actively and passively doing something.
Learning from the past is undoubedtly very valuable and can be vouched for by any wise expereinced person, and is a fundamental to knowledge management (learning from existing knowledge).
However, many fail to understand an importnat point, learning from the past and doing what others or you did in the past, should not be the solution to everything. For instance, if i learn from what others did last year in MBE and apply the informaiton I recieved to this year, I MIGHT do well. However, there is no certainty in this, so if something changes this year (that is different to how things were last year), I cannot rely soley on that information. But it seems that in many job roles, people tend to act based on how their predecessors did it, hoping that since the previous person performed well, following that person's informaiton should lead me to the same result.
However, the world doesn't operate on a constant line, so people cannot think passively only, but should be active and receptive to what goes on around them; thus, conciously being aware. I believe that it is a double-edged sword when new workers are taught to understand previous data/knowledge/informaiton properly, so they know what to do, but in fact, the high-paced market has caught up within a year already and there are some things that need to be changed, but you were just told to learn from what the preivous person did.
So when something unexpected comes up, do you perform based on what you learned about the past, or do you actively engage in possiblities that can be different?
I strongly suggest the latter.
June 08, 2014
Knowledge Management & IT
Reading on how the concepts of Knowledge management, specifically knowledge framework, it's always intrigued me to find ways around making knowledge a more unified, tangible, and accessible thing in an organization.
And after thinking about it a lot, it seems that the most simple and easy way to start...is by blogging!
To have some sort of repository centre for knowledge, it should obviously be digital in a company, but limited to any single method might not be the best idea because knowledge might come in many forms, such as some random tips from an experienced person, or a well rehearsed practice in solving a problem that can be adopted by others to use as well.
So having a dynamic system, where people can post up their learnings, insights, knowledge, reflection, etc - and making it interactive (such as this blog system is to a certain extent) so that people can share their views on the idea as well to spir creativity and innovation.
But no matter how fancy this framework may be, in the end, I truly believe it's down to culture. No matter how nice a car you have, if you are too lazy to drive, you'll always use public transport, or vice versa. Same applies to having a proper framework - so i think this requires a lot of thought and I hope one of us at least can really make this happen, effectively in the respective organizations you guys go into.
June 07, 2014
Management setting an example
Why should any employer do something their boss didn't do?
Why should I try harder when I can see you who is higher in position than me does not?
These questions are often echoed in the health & safety conversation, where the relucatance to accept a new practice, that requires more work & effort sometimes, strictly needs the guidance and leadership of superiors. But the only way the leadership can be convincing is if they walk their talk, so they have to act on what they say as well, and not just expect people to follow new rules and regulations when the leaders themselves don't follow it.
It would be simply useless to enforce a no smoking area in a company when the leader of the company smokes wherever they want right?
Likewise to instilling a safety culture, that if the leader doesn't show the importance by doing it themselves, then no one will see its importance.
June 06, 2014
Safety Management Systems
Health & Safety is no doubt an important aspect of an organization, although the degree of that may vary in different industries, such as a financial company or an aviation company.
I've had some exposure to the safety management system manuals, and its very technical, although some things can be practical.
But I want to point out, after talking to a safety aviation expert, is the importance of transparency. This is not appropriately covered so far in our readings, but it is something that has a very high impact on the business as well. Creating a culture of transparency and honesty, where mistakes are reported, is so crucial to the health and safety of employees and its customers as well, such as if I accidentally dropped a screw into a commercial airplane's jet engine. If I had a boss who is just ruthless and creates a cutlure of fear, I might try to avoid getting scolded or kicked out, and try to resolve the matter myself, not following strict procedures or even avoiding the problem entirely, what happens is hundreds of people can die, and this is actually a true case on a commercial flight, where a simple screw killed everyone on board.
So surely this might sound extreme, but when the health & safety mechanisms fail, extreme isn't a rarity.
Therefore, I encourage everyone to explore this area of health & safety as well, the transparency culture and a workforce ridded of fear, where if a mistake is made, the employee will report it, and go even further by suggesting ways of ensuring it doesn't happen again, thus making the place an even safer place in the end.
June 05, 2014
Asset Management – Don't take it for granted
After having a chance to go through all of Asset Management's aspects in the moodle, I'd like to share that although these contents may seem tedious or overly techincal for some, the importance of these points to the success of an organization is as vital as making as closing a lucrative deal.
Without getting into detail, the proper understanding of how to efficiently manage the organizations facilities (both in the planning and operational stages) are very importnat because any breakdown or mistake in these systems may stop the company for working properly.
For instance, the clearest example is emergency planning, the contigency plans are planned out to the smallest details in the organization, because it is supposed to help save the company in times of crisis, although it may not be staring at the company in the face at the time of planning, but proper leadership will not oversee these matters definitely.
Also, when conducting business plans, or feasability studies for starting a business, or expanding the company, assets management is extremely importnat and needs to be considered in detail, as I can explain in another occassion when I had to do it for my previous employer.
What's importnat is when these aspects are looked at from a real-life perspective, they are key to a company's success, as much as any other aspect of running a business.