June 03, 2015

KBAM personal journey

KBAM has been a different module for me this year. I was discussing this with other colleagues and they thought the same.

I think that maybe this is a more practical module, one of the most practical weve had all year in terms if how it doesn't teach just theories it actually gives a outline of how the hings we have learnt this year can be laced into our work life. in particular it reminds me of CBE, and im often thinking back to my Learning organisation work.

Its been so practical that all ive been thinking is how im gonna do and what im gonna do to apply these things, as if the reflective process has been skipped here. Its strange maybe ive become such a pro at reflections that i can go straight to the application! ;) But i doubt that, with KBAM its different, its difficult to put a pin on it and ive been mulling over my head fro days that how do i reflect. usually i have atleast 10 notes down for all my points of reflection but for some reason everything ive experienced this module has been things that have been building up in my mind throughout the year.

Now i think that this may be the huge learning point screaming in my face. the all encompassing one! that encapsulates a that i have learnt this year, and KBAM actually does this. not just the module but the whole idea of knowledge management and asset management within companies. that you build up on knowledge little by little and at one point it becomes inbuilt that its part of the processes. and its the way your brain works, little by little you work and then something that was once a new or difficult thing is now beyond comfort, now im finding my ideas sparking off from all the learning we have done throughout the year.

And theres another thing i realised these past few weeks, about burnout and disengagement. Its not something thats great topic to advertise in reflections but its really important that i reflect about this or else im not gonna learn to deal with these things in the future. I came to experience the effects of burnout and the effects personal stress and personal stretch out of your comfort zone for too long can have on you, your engagement and your work drive. I found that when an employee maybe going through this they need to be facilitated or coached well. because i have first hand seen how dramatically it effected my whole approach and it was shocking how something managaed to impact my work ethic. its a terrible feeling seeing your own ethics go out of the window. and i found that when employees behaviour or motivation is going down, criticising them or pressuring them may not be the right approach. As a manager its upto you to recognise these changes and to re engage these people. and in fact i realised in the past from our own business that my parents have always been so good with facilitating people that way and i always used to wonder why.


May 01, 2015

experience curve and seeing problems

I came across a really interesting concept while i was doing some research and i found it really thought provoking. Hope someone may find it interesting too.

Decision makers learn from their successes and failures with responses to perceived problems becoming more routinized for those subsequently confronted with similar problems. Unfortunately, as decision makers move higher on the experience curve, the organization continues to make its transition through the organizational life cycle. The question is, does this movement bring forth new problems/concerns and/or rearrange the relative importance of previously recognized problems.(Dodge, Fullerson and Robbins,1994)

We never really consider this aspect as we progress and develop ourselves within a role. Its strange to think of this concept as ive noticed in my own family business. There were some external issues that seemed so big at the initial stage of business, but i find that we dont even think about these now that were established 12 years on. However this doesnt mean its not a problem anymore, we have no idea how much of an impact these things still have on a business but since weve moved past this initial premature stage of the life cycles of the business we have just changed our priorities of problems.

It brought me back to biases in decision making, and how some problems that may seem big to someone at the lower end of the hierarchy, is no longer a priority to the higher-ups (but this means that it must still impact the business at the bottom and direct customer level, we just overlook it). It links to the concept of trying to solve the problems that those directly producing your product are having, instead of the problems you as a developed manager my perceive.

As leaders or managers, we should try and consider this prioritisation of problems issues. Its great that we will be moving up our experience curve, but we should try and resolve the problems that our employees have at their level so we can really enrich their own experience, and to tackle any external problems we used to know. Ultimately its only going to impact our business better.


March 31, 2015

RDM essay Critical evaluation

I was brainstorming how exactly to approach this assignment but i found something that helped me understand it a little better

So for all those doing their RDM assignment i found a usefull little paragraph online helping explain what critically evaluating entails.

In order to evaluate a thing you must first say what it is. So begin by setting out the principal points of the theory under investigation. For this part of the exercise you can assume that the theory is fully correct & has no holes in it.

After you have explained the theory, you must criticise it. At this point you must probe the theory for weaknesses by trying to find all the ways in which it might be false. Some of the questions you might ask are:
(1) Is it logically valid.
(2) Is it internally consistent.
(3) Does it cohere with what we know of the wider world.
(4) Has it ever been applied in practise.
(5) If "yes", what were the results. If "no", does it have any practical applications.


You can probably think of other tests you can apply, but this should give you some idea of what is required.

Finally, you must give your assessment of the topic under discussion. Here, you can think of your task by analogy with using a set of balance scales: put all the "pros" on one side, all the "cons" on the other & see where the balance lies


I hope the above helps, its only from a blog so please be careful about how you take this, it is not academically supported! but it helped me clarify so i hope it can help anyone else struggling too.


March 22, 2015

Leadership theories

So i guess we have all been looking at lots of theories and styles reading alot of papers too. there is a great deal of work out there, many editions and many years of work. i came across a couple of pieces of work where researchers have refined from their previous work and found new things or proved their previous assumptions wrong and this just made me think, these individuals must have been in this field for tens of years, we are just in the start of our leadership experiences. yes we are writing a pma but these individuals have written countless papers yet still find new ideas and things they havent found before.

Ofcourse this natural progression and development of human experiences but it made me think that concepts like leadership or decision making, or even excellence never really be understood fully, we will constantly change what we think according to what we perceive of the situations around us, we may manipulate decisions or the ideals of quality andexcellence according to what we have experienced and what the current situation requires.

So when looking at leadership styles, yes i may have a style now, which by no means can be put in a box and labelled, because it isn't situational, nor is it transformational or strategic infact what if a person doesn't have specific style, they just develop their perceptions over the years and its so much more than just a way you practise your management or leadership, your experiences have a huge impact on how you practice it. two different people can perceive transformational leadership in two completely different ways and adopt it in different ways and so it comes across very differently. not to mention how the individuals will react, everyone needs something different from their leaders according to many different factors such as personal connections with leader, expectations, situations or ambitions. So although i am writing this pma and putting things into boxes and labels i really do think that the system off putting styles of dealing with your followers into boxes is really inaccurate.


relevancy and adaptibility

I have been researching how to choose the most relevant leadership styles for an organisation and reading through several articles online. Its an interesting idea looking at relevancy, not just in leadership styles but in general, obviously in this context we have a company in the state of transformation and change so certain characteristics are needed. But i find myself wondering what type of leadership you would adapt in just a normal period where there isnt any type of change happening or transformation.

is there even a need to change your leadership style or adapt to anything, or do you just keep things the way they are? This idea lead me back to the concept of being aware of the temperature of the room, judging how others are feeling, do your followers need you t adapt a different style right now?? Its similar to a period of change, since the main reason you need to adapt your leadership style in that period is due to the followers and how they need a different support system at that point.

So for myself i was thinking about how i may be going into management position in my family business, and how everything else in the organization will remain the same, it would just be that the employees may see a new side of me. So how do you behave when your going into an existing community, that has its one values and views of you already. How do you lead people who have seen you grow up, do they even need a new style of leadership? and how do i make my style and techniques relevant to them. Its just interesting for me to start thinking about these things at the moment.

there are so many links i can see so many dots to connect in this whole course, for example how important is it for a leader to have sharper decision making abilities in a time of change or crises, and how important is it for this leader to have a well thought out, discussed and mutually agreed decision on an average project. We will have to think about connecting these dots when we get to the work place, i can already see that we may subconsciously already be doing this in life, and i am very excited to see all the other links we find.


March 20, 2015

RDM group presentation week

It has been interesting to see how many of the aspects we learnt in the taught classes come through within our group work. I guess when i do my PMA i will find so many more biases or decision making aspects.

This week however I particularly noticed the group dynamics and group think. When you are in a group its seen as a norm when you agree to compromise with your colleagues on decisions and approaches, we never really think into what may be a better outcome, more often than not even when you are certain an approach will have the best outcome, you just have to give it up to save time on useless arguments or causing negativity in the group. This was not the case in our group thankfully but it does happen in similar situations often.

This aspect about group think taught me a very valuable lesson for the present and for any future jobs. That I need to try and fully explore an individuals ideas and suggestions in a group where we may not agree, this is also a very good idea when you think about how you should be encouraging team members to be more independent and confident in what they do. you cant inspire your followers to be great leaders if you dont give their opinions and views value. So what i have learnt this week goes hand in hand with the previous leadership module in any ways such as fully considering the opinions of others and not forcing a view or decision on to them.


March 15, 2015

Decision making

I realised this week how subjective we are as people, that our decisions are actually not as sensitive and well thought out as we like to think.

The first day of RDM showed me that we cant rely on our own thought process or perception, that our brain tricks us sometimes or that it is very prone to be affected by preconceived ideals or stereotypes. Any decision can be said to be subjective or an opinion, as much as we try we cant truly be objective with everything because all decisions we make come from our own opinions and experiences.

So for the future when i get into positions where i will be having to make quick decisions or tough decisions I am going to need to remember to take things in completely first. to understand or actively reflect on a situation as its happening and not just leave it to intuition or what feels safer. Our decision making processes are too prone to find eh easiest decision or the one that seems less messy like the video with the four dots.


March 03, 2015

Can leadership be taught?

So while researching for this PMA i have been mulling over the whole "can leadership be taught"concept. maybe it depends on what you classify leadership as- a skill, a quality, a personality trait?

So i was thinking That ye of course we can experience being put in a leadership position many times, but does that mean were doing it effectively?

alternatively if we consider it as a skill, skills may not be taught but they do begin from learning something at some point. lets take archery for example, there are skilled archers out there. But to begin you are just taught how to hold and shoot an arrow. Then as the days go on you learn how you should be aiming, how you should b letting go of the arrow, what arrow suits you best etc. THis process continues till you develop some skill at it. You are not born with it, you were taught it or shown it, then you pushed yourself to get better and better and learn more. So maybe leadership can be considered as a skill, yes you can learn it wrong and practice incorrectly, but for you to become skilled or effective you've gotta refine yourself, see how your performing and what the results are and reflect and refine.

So yes i think some seeds of leadership can be taught to people or even learned, but achieving effectiveness is upto the individuals effort towards it. If they work harder to understand their employees and provide better leadership for their employees, then they can become more effective leaders. And liek any sportsmen, you never stop learning or working towards a better you!


February 22, 2015

fairness is subjective

What we may perceive to be fair is not always something that others perceive to be fair.

As a leader there ma be many occasions that we feel we did the right thing or the best thing. however there is no reason for others to feel the same about our decision. Actually in many decisions others may no share our same view at it. its a given that we should aim to listen to everyone and get to decisions together.

People always have a little bit of bias whether its through their experience, culture, background or just mood.

In the same way we ma feel we are a good leader and coming across committed and motivated, others may not see it that way. So i was wondering what the best way to make sure everyone is happy is? or is this even something a person in the position of leading should be worrying about. Ofcourse you cant satisfy everyone, but you still want them to be on board and motivated.

Maybe its down to the rapport you have and how you can sense as a leader the temperature of the room. Theres been so many times this year that i have wished a person could see that the mood of the room is not where they think it is. people are not ready or open to hearing what they are saying. Similarly I must have misjudged the room many times too.

Its just something interesting to think about, how do we develop the skill of measuring moods and the feel of the people in the group or room.


You don't have to like someone to follow them!

So recently i have been toying with a new bit of learning. We have been discussing whether a leader should demand respect and have respect. How important building rapport it, and having that balance of being approachable/friendly yet still having some sort of authority. Also about positional power.

And at the same time personal experiences have made me come to a piece of learning that other may or may not agree with. Maybe you dont have to like someone to follow them. Now this on the level of having leaders that yes maybe you may not be huge fans of but you still follow them because you see that they are great leaders or very good a what they do.

its similar to the concept of not liking someone very much personally but respecting them alot for their drive or their ethos to work. Maybe its not all about great rapport building, yes i have found personally that rapport building can really benefit the way a team works there is no doubt about it. But on numerous occasions i have also seen brilliant leaders who people dont like very much but still follow.

this may be because thats te type of leadership that worked for that specific team, maybe it is actually the rapport the leader was aiming for or maybe its more about the leader passion outweighing their shortcomings.

It just made me realise that for myself, that maybe i dont have to like someone very much to still be inspired and influenced by them positively. We cant expect anyone to be perfect and if we can humble ourselves enough to see the common vision and goal we can flip that view around to be good followers of leaders like this, or even be good leaders to followers who we may not be very fond of.

There has got to be some way to influence those followers that dont see your leadership or your position with positivity. we just have to find out the way to get them to also look past what they may not be happy with, or to resolve it whenever we can. then we can try and tap into their hierarchy of change and inspire them

AND yes i know its not always possible but you mus always try your best, you cant be lazy with this aspect. these are the challenges of any human, not just leaders. We should always try to help before we give up


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