All entries for April 2008
April 25, 2008
Just find some interesting cartoon:
Santa's Bank Manager
Asset management over development.
"My 35 years of experience tell me your tolerance for risk is low..."
April 11, 2008
¡°Knowledge management is about asking yourself: Who has done this before? Who can I collaborate with? Who needs to know this? Where can I post this so that someone can use it when they need it?¡± (David Wennergren DOD Dep CIO) Wikipedia defines Knowledge Management as: comprises a range of practices used by organizations to identify, create, represent, and distribute knowledge for reuse, awareness and learning.
Seems to me there is some value to ensuring we have a good knowledge management system in place. Where else can a better example be thought of where knowledge is key to success than right here in the IT world? We use internal and external knowledge to solve complex problems on a daily basis¡that knowledge is typically organized and presented in a way that it can be found and utilized. Why should our entire Organization think of it any differently? Knowledge exists in every single corner of this organization and just imagine how valuable some of that information is¡..
There have been lifetimes spent within this organization finding answers/solutions to resource management issues¡..shouldn¡¯t this information be available for the new kid fresh out of College beginning his work for us? Imagine how much further ahead of the game he will be armed with the knowledge that took someone else 20 years to figure out. That, my friends, is of value!
Playing off of a current playing commercial ¡..Information is critical¡..having ready access to it in a format easily understood is¡.Priceless! Information drives our world and some current, but certainly most future, employees will expect the tools to be in place to help them retrieve that information. Well, this is where I see IT fitting in once again¡.we should be providing the tools for that information retrieval¡or at least putting the requests in for those tools.
I believe we are making inroads into that arena. We currently have some of the tools in place to assist with a reasonable Knowledge Management system¡.we have Sharepoint, we have the Intranet, and other tools. I believe there is a growing interest amongst current employees to use those tools to store some of the knowledge. We must continue to grow the technology to facilitate that maturing process. Some keys to that success include: IDF; a document management system (complete lifecycle management); I believe improved collaboration software will help (Exchange, Office `07, Sharepoint `07, IM, etc); and certainly an educated technical staff on the tools will only help improve the odds of success.
While we may still be in the infancy in fully understanding and implementing this concept, we are heading in the right direction. Keep thinking about ways we can present information that is of value to those we work with and those we serve (Conservation Supporters). We owe that to those who put in the effort to create the information as well as to those that will follow that will benefit from having it readily available.
April 07, 2008
Yes, I wrote the article just as a spontanous reaction against all what was told and that was apparently not the truth. I have two eyes to see with and I think I know how to use them. I have visited very many countries and worked in I think thirteen for longer and shorter times. I have seen many things in my life. I am fluent in surprisingly many languages. I can make my own picture about things. Other people does not need to tell me what is right or wrong. I can see it myself.
I did just not get the full article published but I express my gratitude to the only one that at least took in a very shortened version. A chinese friend asked for the article in a translated version. I translated it to english, a language that I never studied but happen somewhat to use. The friend sent it somewhere and now it is published everywhere! And this in its full version! I hope it will contribute to tell the truth to the world. I gave a speach on behalf of the foreign experts in Shanghai at the New Years celebration and I finished it with the words of my dream and the dream of millions of human beings. The Olympic Games mantra: ONE WORLD, ONE DREAM!
Thank you all so much for your support that has suprised me very much!
The Riots in Lhasa
by Eirik Granqvist, a foreign expert in Shanghai who visited Tibet in 2006
"The western medias announced that China had cut all information and that articles about the riots could not be sent out! I got mad about all the apparently incorrect information and wrote this article and two other similar ones although I am not a journalist but just because I could not stand all the bad things about China that was told. I sent them by e-mail without problems and they arrived well but two newspapers did neither respond neither publish what I had written. The third answered and wanted a shorter version that was published many days later as a normal 'readers voice'. What Dalai Lama had said was largely published every day together with a real anti-China propaganda. What I had written was apparently too China friendly for the 'free press'."
¡¡¡¡I was very shocked by what I had seen in the television and been reading in China daily about the riots in Lhasa. The most that shocked me was anyhow may be not the cruel events by themselves but how the medias in my country of origin, Finland, reported the events. A friend has scanned and sent me articles and I have checked also myself what can be found at Internet.
¡¡¡¡Very few Finnish people have ever visited Tibet, but I was there together with my wife in 2006. This was private persons and not as a part of a group-travel. I have seen Lhasa with my own eyes. I have been talking and chatting with people there. This was without any restrictions. Okay, we had a lovely and very competent guide that helped us much and took us where we wanted to go in the mornings but in the afternoons we were alone. Therefore I think that I have something to tell.
¡¡¡¡I am also interested in history and know more than people in general. When writing this, I do not have any reference books so I write out of my memory. If I do a small mistake somewhere, I beg your pardon. Anyhow, I think that this gives my writing an objectivity. I am well aware of that I will be accused for this and that for writing what I think is the truth. I will be accused by those who think that they know but do not know and by those that haven't seen by their own eyes.
¡¡¡¡Tibet was for centuries an autonomous concordat between Nepal and China. Sometimes China ruled Nepal as well. The king of Tibet used therefore to have one Chinese wife and one Nepalese and then a number of Tibetan ones.
¡¡¡¡With the fifth Dalai Lama, the religious and the political power were unified under the rule of one person, The Dalai Lama. Tibet became a theocratic dictatorship and closed itself for the rest of the world. No foreigners were anymore allowed in.
¡¡¡¡At the end of the nineteenth century, the famous Swedish traveller Sven Hedin made an attempt to reach Lhasa but was sent politely back, out of Tibet by Dalai Lama.
¡¡¡¡A French woman, Alexandra David-N¡¡¡¡ì¬¦el was more successful. She visited Lhasa dressed as a Tibetan pilgrim and she was fluent in the Tibetan language. She told how she was afraid many times that she should be discovered and then she knew that she like other suspects or opponents should "happen to fall down" from the walls of the Potala palace.
¡¡¡¡Tibet was not a paradise. Tibet was an inhuman dictatorship!
¡¡¡¡The weakened Chinese Qing Dynasty had more and more lost its influence in Tibet. Tibet became more and more interesting for the Russian empire in the north and the British in the south.
¡¡¡¡In 1903 a British army expedition directed by the colonel Younghusband reached Lhasa. The British lost 4 soldiers but slaughtered more the 700 Tibetans that tryed to stop them, mainly by magic. The British installed "a commercial representation" in Lhasa. The Chinese evacuated Dalai Lama to the Qinghai plateau where he hade limited rights of move, probably for preventing him from having contacts with the British occupants.
¡¡¡¡The Finnish national hero, Marshal Mannerheim, visited him there in 1907 during his famous horseback trip through central Asia. He was then a colonel in the Tsar Russian army and his trip was in reality a spy trip. Therefore the 13th Dalai Lama was interesting.
¡¡¡¡The power of Dalai Lama was weakened. In 1950 the PLA marched in to Tibet without war. The 14th Dalai Lama seems at the beginning to have accepted this just as a security for his power as the theocratic dictator he was. He enlarged and restructured the Norbulingka Summer Palace in a luxury way in 1954.
¡¡¡¡The Chinese decided anyhow to finish with the cruel theocratic dictatorship under which the opponents fell down from Potala. The borders where during this dictatorship closed for all foreigners and the only schools where the religious ones. It is well known that it is easier to rule a population with a low education and is ignoring the outside world. In Tibet, about 5% of the population owned everything and the rest literally nothing. About 40% of the Tibetans were monks and nuns living as parasites on the rest of the population that had to feed them. Tibet was not a paradise!
¡¡¡¡Now China decided that the Tibetans should have the same rights and place in the society as the rest of the country's population. The monasteries should be emptied from their excessively large monk and nun populations.
¡¡¡¡Tibet could earlier be reached only by some horse trails and was for the rest insulated. The Chinese built rapidly a trafficable road. The insulation was broken.
¡¡¡¡In 1959, the young Dalai Lama caused a peoples upraising, using the religion as power since he was loosing his own powerful position. The upraising was however stopped, may be in not a too clever and smooth manner. Dalai Lama then left Tibet and his fellow citizens and escaped to India wherefrom he has continued to fight for his come back and reinstall the theocratic dictatorship that China will never allow again.
¡¡¡¡Then followed the ten years of Cultural Revolution that was an unhappy time for all China that closed itself to the rest of the world.
¡¡¡¡Now Lhasa has a modern airport and a railway. China has invested a lot in Tibet. The standard of living has been raised a lot in Tibet and last Xmas I have seen Tibetans spending sun-holidays on Hainan Island! Very lucky looking old women in traditional dresses walking on the beach with their husbands and the youngsters dressed like other young people enjoying the beach life.
¡¡¡¡The possibilities for Dalai Lama to take back his power has diminished and he does not anymore have the population with him. China and India are developing their cooperation and with the closer friendship, India will for sure also not more admit Dalai Lama to disturb this development. His possibilities to act against China will be diminished.
¡¡¡¡Therefore he undertook recently an around the world diplomatic travel since he has seen the possibility of harming the now good international image of China and provoking boycotts of the Olympic games in Beijing.
¡¡¡¡The Lhasa riots where very well prepared. Curriers where crossing the borders illegally for to see Dalai Lama and get his orders. A group of foreign mountain climbers filmed recently across the border an unlucky incident when one of these curriers got shot and another that crossed the border openly declared that he wanted to go to see the Dalai Lama. I have seen that in television just before I left for China in November.
¡¡¡¡China is no longer a closed country. There is no need for illegal border crossings if you are not doing something illegally! You just ask for a passport and take the necessary visas and cross the border at a legal border crossing or better, just take a regular flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu!
¡¡¡¡There where no peaceful demonstrations in Lhasa that where brutally knocked down! Young men went to action after a well prepared scenario at many places at the same time so that police and fire brigade should be taken by surprise and unable to act everywhere at the same time. This was successful! People where just knocked down without differences and all what could be broken was broken in the shortest possible time. With Molotov cocktails, fires where lit and fire cars where stopped. 18 normal citizens where killed without feelings and one police. The police had order to not respond with firearms for not being internationally blamed!
¡¡¡¡When I have seen the filmed riots in television, my diagnosis was immediately clear. The scenario was the same that I had seen many times of organized riots in France since more the forty years of tight familiar contacts and 21 years of living there. The difference was only that less ordinary people seemed to take part in Lhasa. The rioters where surprisingly few but well organized! China's positive image in the world should be damaged!
¡¡¡¡Dalai Lama is acting as the friendly and peaceful father. This is an old trick that also dictators like Hitler and Stalin used. I am not comparing him with them but he is acting like a demon when he tries to take back his power at any cost, not once caring for human lives and against Buddhistic non-violence principles. It was a try to do a coup d'¡¡¡¡ì¬¡¡¡¡ì¬tat that failed. Now he is asking for international help for to stop the violence that he, himself had planned!
¡¡¡¡When I visited Tibet in 2006, I was surprised by the relaxed atmosphere and the few policemen in Lhasa. All that I have seen were Tibetans. Not the Han-Chinese. The atmosphere was remarkably peaceful and gave a picture of general well living. There was no oppressed feeling like I had seen so many times in the Soviet Union and its satellites before all that non-human system collapsed. People in Lhasa where friendly and wanted to speak to me, mostly without success since I do not speak Chinese nor Tibetan but up and then somebody could speak some words in English. Their wish for contact was just out of normal curiosity towards the foreigners.
¡¡¡¡I had heard that the religious life should been oppressed but it was flowering! I had also heard that so many Han Chinese where moved in that the Tibetans where now very few in Lhasa. I did however see much more Tibetans there. May be that the Han Chinese where hiding?
¡¡¡¡The western medias announced that China had cut all information and that articles about the riots could not be sent out! I got mad about all the apparently incorrect information and wrote this article and two other similar ones although I am not a journalist but just because I could not stand all the bad things about China that was told. I sent them by e-mail without problems and they arrived well but two newspapers did neither respond neither publish what I had written. The third answered and wanted a shorter version that was published many days later as a normal "readers voice". What Dalai Lama had said was largely published every day together with a real anti-China propaganda. What I had written was apparently too China friendly for the "free press".
April 03, 2008
In general, IT has been thought of as being expert at managing data. Libraries have been thought of as being expert at collecting and organizing published information. But in complex organizations there is an increasing need to manage not just data or information, but knowledge. Knowledge is produced by humans who are able to produce information from data, and then merge information and experience into knowledge. Knowledge is often undocumented. It easily can be lost when the individual who has certain knowledge is unavailable. Determining how best to capture and manage knowledge requires collaborative partnerships.
The purpose of this initiative is to focus attention on knowledge management at UTHSCSA, identify opportunities for collaboration among various partners, and increase library support for knowledge management projects and programs
This picture is very interesting. I find people always have potential to do something we do not know. We need manage our knowledge well and exploit the aspect which we do not know.
April 02, 2008
ECONOMIC history consists of distinct economic eras corresponding to shifts in the dominant source of wealth ¡¡¨¬C from land to labour to capital. In the 1980s, several economists predicted the imminent shift to a new economic era in which knowledge would eclipse capital as the primary source of wealth.
Arguments claiming that a new economic era, i.e. that of a knowledge-based economy, has already begun are convincing. Suffice to say that organisations are indeed becoming more knowledge-oriented and have come to rely more on knowledge to create their strategic advantage, as advances in information and communications technology continue to alter the way organisations invest, produce, and market their goods and services.
As productive capabilities become more dependent on knowledge assets, and knowledge itself is being created and exchanged at an increasingly rapid rate, organisations are re-structuring themselves to exploit it to get better market leverage. There has thus been a dramatic jump in the level of interest and use of knowledge management to uncover and utilise knowledge assets.
Knowledge management initiatives are aimed at enhancing organisational performance through the identification, capture, validation, and transfer of knowledge. The assumption is that organisations will be more successful in dealing with the challenges of the new business environment if they are able to manage both corporate and individual knowledge better.
Knowledge management was first used in large companies operating in knowledge-intensive sectors such as oil, pharmaceutical, high technology and financial services. The use of knowledge management has also recently spread to the more traditional economic sectors, for example, agriculture, which has been transformed by biotechnology.
Most of the emphasis so far on the use of knowledge management has been in large organisations. However, knowledge management is also relevant for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Recent Australian SME case studies suggest that knowledge management contributes towards improved business competitiveness in several ways. They include:
¡¡¡§¡§Allowing organisations to better understand customer needs, preferences and pressures;
¡¡¡§¡§Facilitating stronger, longer-term partnership-style relationships with customers;
¡¡¡§¡§Reducing costs associated with business and production processes, and improving speed and quality; and
¡¡¡§¡§Assisting organisations to use lessons learnt from previous projects and tasks to improve future performance.
Another key finding of the Australian study is that knowledge management helps facilitate the generation of new knowledge and encourages innovation through various strategies. These innovations tend to be ideas for new products or services, new clients, new and improved business services and new ways of using and re-using knowledge.
Malaysia¡¯s economic development has been largely dependent on capital investment. However, one important strategic thrust of Malaysia¡¯s current development plans is to transform Malaysia from a production-based economy into a knowledge-based one. The rationale for this strategic change is the declining marginal productivity of capital.
The rapidly evolving global business and trade landscape has important implications for Malaysian enterprises and, in turn, for Malaysia¡¯s economic development. This is because, as part of the Government¡¯s holistic and balanced approach to enhance Malaysia¡¯s international competitive standing, Malaysia will rely increasingly on the private sector as an engine of economic growth.
SMEs face more challenges compared to large enterprises, and the implications of a rapidly evolving global business and trade landscape are especially critical for them.
SMEs also have an important role in the national economy. In 2003, SMEs contributed RM405bil (43.5%) and RM154bil (47.3%) to national output and value-added, respectively. As such, Malaysia will need to ensure that SMEs are not left out of the mainstream of the knowledge-based economy.
Knowledge management in Malaysia remains at a very infant stage, with very few Malaysian companies having initiated any programmes. While knowledge management may not be the magic pill that can solve all the problems SMEs currently face, SMEs will at least be able to deal more successfully with the challenges of operating in the new business environment if they are able to manage corporate and individual knowledge better.