All entries for April 2011

April 06, 2011

Must Religion and Knowledge………………

Today was a day with a lot of reflections……………. Of course the topic of the week is Knowledge-based asset management. . . . . A good point is what we will wear in the presentations. . . . .. .

Some teams will wear suit. The question is not what they will wear but why…..? Personally I do not like musts. . . I want to be master of my own choices even those are against the society and definitely do not affect the society. I do not see any reason why we have to wear suits not only in that presentation but even if we are real consultancy in real life. . . . Do we wear the suits because we take power from that, because it is a must, or because we like to do so. . . . In my eyes this is a tough question that everyone should think a lot. Personally I will not wear a suit because I really do not feel comfortable in it. . . . I tried once to buy but I felt really but when I was trying it. . . . . . to conclude the paragraph is it a must or you like to wear a suit? Do not answer directly I like it because it is the easy option think of it…. . .

Then while I was in the bus I had an interesting conversation about religion with one of our colleagues. . . . Here come the musts of the religion which are correlated with the must in some societies as well. The topic is that I really have no problem with homosexuals, it their choice but the religions all over the world consider them as abnormal. There have been a lot of researches that prove that homosexual can be born with those preferences. . . . So is that again a must? No homosexuals. Kill the homosexuals. . . Kill the different. Kill what is not like us. . . . . I know that no religion wants its people to be educated. Religions used power to constrain people. . . . .. . . . Our Great Christians burnt the library of Alexandria with all the ancient papers. If we had these papers today the world would have been different. . .

I am wondering is all that mental models? If a member of the consultancy was with a red Mohican (i.e. Great Grame, ahaha) would you accept it? The must say no. . . . My belief says yes…………….. I think someone like Graeme can teach an organization a lot. If Paul wasn¢t with a suit but with some more informal dress wouldn¢t be the same person. Paul can teach a lot as well in an organization. . . . Does all these mental models affect our ability to learn and get knowledge?

I personally believe that without breaking all the mental models that the society imposes we will never learn. Think of the philosophers or the artists they have no mental model keeping them in prison. . . It is my personal view that no suit can give you the real power. Power comes from the mind and only by the mind. . .


April 05, 2011

Used to Speak theoretically

Today¢s meeting was really interesting. . . .All the groups have studied the theory of asset management and came with a lot of ideas……..

We started discussing our approaches. Then I realized that KBAM apart from making us understand asset management, it benefits us in a different way as well. What we have noticed as a team is that we have been used to speak about theory so our recommendations for Waveriders was really theoretical. What I was trying to say during the meeting is that by speaking about theory the Waveriders board will not be interesting. Waverider¢s board has a company with a specific strategy. They want to see how this strategy could be facilitated by the use of Asset management . . . . . . . . ....

Thus during our meeting I was pointing out the lack of practical approaches. While the team members were perfect regarding the theory they were not practical. We should keep that in our mind. For example going to a board of directors and talk to them about what we have learnt at MBE will not benefit us. It is how through those theories we can gain the most out of them. . . it is how we apply knowledge into practice so that the powerful cycle of continuous improvement can be developed………

KBAM make us think like this, how we would apply the theory into practice . . . … . . . . KBAM is knowledge-based and knowledge requires both theory and practice. . . . Are we ready for

But never forget be guided by theory…………….


MBE culture and the potential student of MBE (friend from Greece)… (hahaha)

Today I have got a call from a friend of mine. . . .We were studying together in undergraduate. He was a really good student. Being less theoretical than me but more practical. . . . I have this drawback I know that.

We have spoken three weeks ago and he has expressed me his intentions for having a postgraduate. I proposed him WMG. He called me this morning and the following are his words:

-Oh my God………… I looked through the modules offered in WMG and I have concluded that it is WMG and MBE as a different department……. It is so challenging and requires additional skills. I think that the module operates in a perspective of knowledge creation rather than teaching tools……………. I liked it.. I might apply for it. . . . But I am still thinking of something more in engineering…….. However it is interesting but also tough. . . . 42h per week it is crazy………… Poor Vangelis what have you been through. . .

I went through the web site again to see what my friend saw in it . . I was amazed that MBE requires personal statement. . . . . It was a great choice to add that. . . . . .

What I am trying to say is that we are in a special department. . . . it is pity to let the opportunity go without exploiting every detail . . .. Personally I am learning not only from the tutors but also by the small details that are taking place in MBE. . . ..It is like a Learning Organization in which knowledge it is created every minute. Sitting in front of the PC writing this blog it is useful and make me think of what I can learn from you my colleagues and from MBE itself as a culture.

It is a powerful system which transforms tacit knowledge into explicit and continually improves itself. Infrastructure facilitates this effort. Students are part of it and tutors opened in new ideas not only teach us but also learn from us. . . . Powerful Knowledge culture in MBE……………. Have we really understood it?

PS: the dialogue closed like that:

-         Vagelis you may have been the best student in undergraduate but I will come in MBE and I will become better than you

-         Kostas my friend, in MBE you will learn that there is no one better than the other but only different people. . . . It is one of the unique characteristics of MBE

I love MBE culture…………


Health and safety is like saying excellence. . . . . .

Yesterday after the evening session my feelings were mixed. . . . . On one hand I was afraid and shocked about the videos that we saw on the other hand I was angry with those managers that didn¢t take all the necessary measures to protect their people. . . . .

As Paul said “I wouldn¢t allow to anyone who doesn¢t use the safety measures to work in the organization”……….

Great words. . . .Most of the managers would have said “Great I save some money as well from the safety equipment which is not used”…. However I want to ask them if they can sleep at night or they feel guilty for the accident and the death of so many people. . . ?

Will we be able to survive if in our organization someone was killed due to lack of safety measures? Personally I would not be able to leave after that. Being responsible for the death of someone is really difficult to sustain.

Lectures today provided us with those tools that will allow as in our futures organizations to prevent such type of accidents. Also made as aware of the situations and what Health and safety is. Thus we as leaders have to do the same in our employees. A Paul did today to us we have to provide them with those tools and make them aware of the risks that there will be there. . . And under communication with them we will be able to protect all of the people against those conditions of potential death. . . .

Knowledge Management will play important role on that. As Juran have said it is not enough to create data. You have to store and make it easily accessible to the employees. Communication, dialogue as well as IT systems are fundamentals to reassure Health and safety.

Tomorrow what will we do? In my eyes safety of people is fundamental aspect of excellence. . . How could we teach excellence without protecting the core of the theory which is people?

It is known that:

“If you destroy the people of a company, you do not have much left”… … Deming


April 04, 2011

Decision making System 0 in our blood…………….

After having been through RDM module we are supposed to detect the sources of bias and at least do not being biased by obvious sources. . . .

However today¢s exercise proved the opposite. . . . It was a particular question that it made me understand how easily someone can be biased. Also I realized that bias is more likely to occur when we take something for granted . . .

The point is that the computer gave us this question. The data showed which the right question was. Our mental models supported the data and immediately decided “ok go for that choice”. We spend two minutes out of ten for that decision . . . . . It was a disaster. . .

The problem is that we didn¢t challenge either our mental models or the data. . . . This is a lesson that we should keep in our life. .. . Challenge everything……………

However in the rest of the question we were good enough. This was depicted by our results as well. We have a focused approach in our goal and this goal was the main dimension against which we got all of our decision.

I would like to take the same task by having more time so that I could utilize some of the techniques that we learnt and compare the results…………….. That it would be interest. . . .


Being late…………

Today it was the first time that I saw Paul so angry (he didn¢t laugh with our jokes). One friend from another module got by mistake into the class and after, when she saw me, she told me “Paul looked really angry”.. . . . .

Well he was right. . . And the problem is not that students were only today late, this is a common practice in MBEb……………………. And we wish to speak in variation terms this is common cause variation so there are no special causes. . . Special causes happen rarely. Thus there should be an improvement on the system to reach the goal. In our case wake up earlier and be on time. . . .

I believe that being on time is a matter of respect. Paul said that in the class that it is respect against the team members. However I believe it is also respect for yourself.

I cannot propose any solution on that. . . . But I have to a question:

If it was the meeting with your CEO, would you be late?

Probably no. Why not? Because it is the one that provides you with job. . . . Logical enough. My question then is:

We study excellence. We learn that external awards are useless compared to internal satisfaction. How will we teach the others those principles if we do not believe on them. . . . Is it all about the scores at the end of the day?

PS: I had no intension to insult anyone it is just some thoughts.


April 03, 2011

Long term thinking or short term? Strategy and we as Leaders…....

We have learnt that long term thinking has a lot of benefits for an organization. . . . Besides Excellence is long term approach. .. . . Deming has said that short term thinking is a deadly disease. However a lot of managers will say that in times of recession short term is the only way to survive. . . . .

The question is we as leaders what we have to do when we lead in times of recession? Stay back cut costs and think in short term approach? Kotler said that in times of recession cutting expenditures is a bad decision.

I was thinking of that and I had some problems to find an answer. I am strongly in favour of long term thinking. But the arguments of managers that I am discussing that (Greece is in recession) are really strong. While their arguments seem logical, let see what another guru of management and maybe the father of strategy says about that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwc073nNl3Q&feature=related

Thinking strategically requires long term thinking and planning... Because if you only think in short term you will make your position worse. . . . . . . Dig you pit deeper..................


Who should lead? The transformation of MBE……….

When I started working in my previous job as full time I have noticed that there were no formal meetings among managers. Managers just discussed what they had to do in 5 minutes and then tried to give their best. . . . Profoundly I thought this is not the right way since it depicts a short term thinking perspective. Thus I established meetings.

I introduced the every Monday morning meeting where we discussed and coordinating our operations. Also if an important topic derived instead of discussing it like being in a café we had a proper meeting. I still remember one employee that told me “This is one of the best things someone has done here” and I was only tree “weeks” in the company… I am happy for that. ………..

The point that I want to arise here is that I wasn¢t leading in that meetings due to lack of experience and of course lack of theories…… If we combine them I had lack of knowledge…..

I am just looking back then and I can see a lot of drawbacks in that meetings. We had terrible time management we hadn¢t established agenda and there were no coordination. I am trying to find out what is wrong and I am coming to the conclusion that the person who was leading in that meetings despite he had a lot of experience he didn¢t have the ability to lead and conduct the meetings. We have been trapped in the illusion that the one who sells more can be a marketing manager.

I have spoken for that with the CEO of the company and I clearly told him that this is wrong. . . . . He asked me “Who do you believe that should lead?”….. I grab the chance and I answered me…… It was spontaneous . . . . . It was like Paul asking who wants to lead and I took the chance……… After second thoughts I said what I am talking about… However the answer was positive….. The CEO said “I am looking forward you to come back and work with us”……… Is it that I have more knowledge now? Is it the MBE that made us believe in or selves?

I really do not have the answer but I was so surprised from the outcome of the dialogue. One year ago I couldn¢t think to say something like that. Is MBE that provide us with this power to take the risk and the chances? I have been through a lot of games in MBE that I think they provided us with the potentiality of developing skills of a leader. I feel that I will manage to take over my obligations. We have done a lot of work in Leadership module and in combination with all the other modules we have a complete view on how we should manage a company. How we can lead towards the vision. Or even how we can create a vision.

MBE had developed good potential leaders.. . . . I am looking forward for testing my skills. Applying the theory into practice and develop new knowledge. . . I am looking forward of being a good leader that will provide an alternative for its people and with them will built a better future for them and the society as well…..

I am excited…………….


Spiral of Knowledge the journey of improvement

One of my friends told me

“Without knowledge there is no improvement”

Being here for 6 months now I have to say that his words were justified. . . . . Knowledge conversion from explicit to tacit then again explicit and tacit etc is a cycle of continuous improvement (Or spiral).

We as student came here with a specific tacit knowledge. Then our tutors tried to convert their tacit to explicit knowledge and we learnt from that. We gain this explicit knowledge and after thinking or even some times by implementing in our life or in our imagination we created tacit knowledge for ourselves. Since then we apply the theory in our mind into practice and then we create a new theory (theory of knowledge). Continuous Improvement in our life.. . . . .. . .

Tomorrow in our organizations as leaders (all of us will be leaders we try hard for that) we have not only to improve our personal theory and skills but also transmit the knowledge we already got to our followers……….. It is one of a leader¢s obligations to create new leaders. . . . . Also it is one of our obligations as transformed individuals to always teach the others. . .

Already I am trying when I find the opportunity to teach others. Through that I develop a dialogue which improves me as well. . . Arguments thoughts, all that develop a framework that knowledge is created and every member of a team can be positively affected.

I think that it is crucial to understand the role of knowledge in the success of organizations. . . . Tomorrow we have to convey and proliferate knowledge in our organization if we wish to establish a continuous improvement philosophy. We should never forget that KAIZEN started by the development of small teams inside the organization………..


April 01, 2011

Sharing Information

This is how the first people developed the system of sharing information. . . .. .Is that a system of knowledge development?

I do not know but is is soooooooooooooooooooo cuteeeeeeee..............


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zhFw2cfs9Q&feature=player_embedded#at=102



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  • Great Paper!Thanx for sharing! by Pauline Mmbaga on this entry
  • Hi Vagelis, Thanks so much for sharing such great paper. I quite agree with what the paper propses. … by Pinthida Thanatipanont on this entry
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