All entries for April 2010

April 18, 2010

blogs @ knowledge sharing

we are all practising knowledge sharing this year.  when we discussed about knowledge or had presentation in this kbam week, many times we talked about having blogs for employees.  how about in real, is it a successful means for us to share knowledge?

personally, i think having blogs as part of our learning is very informative and useful.  i really enjoy this.  when i read about the things i wrote in leadership module, i am so glad that i wrote them down as i am a very forgetful person.  those blogs remind me lots of things that i have learnt and sometimes i have new point of views after reading what i thought at the time.

but frankly speaking, if it is not part of our assessment, i might not so eager to express what i learn here and i guess it is the same for my friends.  as it is a kind of reward for knowledge sharing, i just wondering if we are practising knowledge sharing in a successful way?  i remember i read an article about the cause of failure about lessons learned.  it said that one of the failure factors is that capturing knowledge is not a part of the business process and become a burden or an extra thing that need to be done. in our case, i do feel that writing blogs is some kind of extra workload.  at first, i thought if people realize the need of capturing knowledge, the feeling of "extra" will be reduced.  but in my case, i do enjoy reading back what i thought.  so, what's the problem?

finally, i know what's going wrong.  the article also tells that the way of capturing knowledge is important.  so, it suggests to have IT system for knowledge management.  back to the problem of writing blogs, i think the problem is because we find difficulties in express ourselves in a foreign language.  this leads to a feeling of "extra workload".  paul has already encouraged us to write blogs freely without much care about our language.  i did feel better after knowing this.  um... i may say, our knowledge sharing system of writing blogs has already be ran in the "best" way.  so~ keep writing!!

KBAM presentation

When we first studied about the question for today's presentation, we all blamed that we wanted a more specific question because it was just too difficult to start.  but after the presentation, i realised that having a broad topic gives us an opportunity to explore and learn more.  all the presentation focused on different aspects and it was quite interesting to look at how did other teams analyse the question.

other than knowledge about the topic, we also learned about teamwork and leadership during preparation of the presentation.

when we had the reflection on the presentation, i was quite struggled about the point of having a leader in a team as area for improvement.  is having a leader essential in every situation?  as simple as preparing a presentation for a module with my colleagues, i think we might not need a leader.

for my team, it is very true that many of us have very strong personalities. but in my opinion, what i think we can do better is to be more cooperative rather than having a leader.  i think having a leader might not be the best way to solve conflicts between group members.

i am a very flexible person.  i think i took a different role this time comparing with doing mini projects in previous modules.  as i was the secretary, i usually listened rather than expressing my own ideas.  of course, if i found something very wrong i would tell.  but when i listened, i tried to understand the intention of others' opinion first before expressing my own opinion.  then, i can combine what others want and my own thoughts to produce new ideas that would be accepted by everyone.  in previous modules, my team members were not that active to express their thoughts.  at that time, i would talk more and hope to stimulate others to give comments.  i did experience copperating with different people this time.

but i need to clarify one thing.  i really enjoy working with my team.  thanks ozlem, xuan, ronald, albina, amy and shelley=]  we did have hot debates because we all have strong personalities, but i think we all enjoy learning together these two weeks.  thanks=]

situation awareness

i cant imagine how can a module without much core section became that special. 
my intention to suggest more workshops is that i hope we can be inspired to study the topic in different perspectives.  i think the workshop for situation awareness is very useful but i find it's really difficult to express what i have learnt.  let me try my best here.

situation awareness is not only important in running a business but also in daily life.

it is said that the most common situation awareness error is during the information gathering stage.  These errors include information not available, information not observed, information difficult to detect and memory error.  situation awareness is important to minimize these errors.  in oder to be more situation aware, we cannot deny the role of knowledge managment.  if we have the essential knowledge about what we need to know, it will help to build our situation awareness.  same as the problem of incorrect mental model and failure to think ahead, all these effect can be reduced by having knowledge about certain issue.

after looking at so many accidents in the video, i realised that it is very difficult to tell how can be done better to aviod dangers to happen.  only when you are failed in something, you will realize that you must have done something improper.  so, teamwork is also very important.  by sharing knowledge within a team, people from different background can have a view of others' thoughts.  that's why we learn knowledge management.

one question was raised in the class about how can we have the essential awareness when we come to a new environment?

it is really a difficult question.  i think at the early first stage, we should imagine what can happen that cause harm.  this harm can be in terms of money, accidents, or people, anything.  just like the concept of FTA or FMECA, when we think of the negative impact, it is possible that some positive information can be generated.=]

external knowledge

we had a seminar about external knowledge on tuesday.  when we talk about learning in an organization, of course we cannot ignore the importance of learning externally.  we identified many ways which we can learn outside the company.

For instance, we can seek advice from benchmarking, the government or consultants, coorperating with other companies, gaining useful information from our suppliers or customers, through the internet or networking, research with professtionals or universities...  all in all, all these external resources are valuable to the company and should be managed according to the situation of the company.

i think some of the external knowledge here is essential and should be included in the usual practices in the company.  like information from the suppliers and customers.  in fact, when we were having the seminar, i asked one of my friend if we should define suppliers and customers as external sources of knoweldge.  i think we should consider these as part of the system and the word "external" is a bit odd for me.  but i believe that is not very important, as long as we know which kind of information is important for us.

after knowing many sources of external knowledge, we should prioritize them according to the reliablity and cost so that we can choose the best way when there is a need.

April 16, 2010

what do the board of directors want?

our team had a hot discussion on the focus of the presentation today.  it was very interesting.  what exactly do the board of directors want when we think it for real?  do they need to know how exactly the approaches work?  do they emphasize only on the benefits they can gain from our suggestions?

of course, it is important to let them know the benefits.  but are they convinced only by the benefits without knowing how everything works?  but for the directors, is it important to know how to implement everything?

for the real world, i think convincing is the most critical part.  of course, we need to look professional by showing our understanding so as to gain trust from our clients.  but the main interest would be the benefits.  Though we all know that the managerial level should have the big picture and understand the whole system, i think it is the responsibility for the managers to seek the knowledge that they need to become a good leader in the real world, not the consultants, right?

this time, i think my team has choose a balance between both.  at the end of the day, this is a module presentation, we need to show our understanding but not only convincing the directors to use our approaches.  moreover, the goal of the consulting project this time is about excellence and it includes every aspects in the business.  by mentioning both parts, we can transfer the knowledge to the managers as well as convince them.

the presentation tomorrow

we will have a presentation for waveriders again tomorrow.  my team has been working together for two teams.  i really enjoy working in this team.  I cant tell why, but i think i learnt a lot this time.

in terms of knowledge, i mean the knowledge about our topic in AM and KM, i think my team did a great job in learning together.  as all of us know, the scope for this project is really big, we have to narrow down and be more focused in order to give a good presentation.  but when we first came together and had a meeting, we all had no ideas about the topic.  my team started by dividing the approaches in AM and everyone was assigned to one approach.  after that, we presented to the rest of the team what we have learnt and made decision on the aspects we should focus in the presentation.  this is a very effective way of learning.  as i am the "secretary" of the team, i need to clarify everything happened in the meeting and all the things we discussed.  I think this gave me a great opportunity to learn things in a very active manner.

moreover, i think my organizational skills has improved as working like the "secretary".  everytime when we have hot discussion, i listen and reorganize the points others have made in order to put them all in the portfolio.

we spent a lot of time to build the logic of the presentation, too.  we tried different ways in putting all our ideas together in a logical way.  i cant really express what i have learnt from this.  i think it is about explaining things in different perspectives?

paul always says, "think it for real."
we think a lot about what the board of directors want and i always imagine that is what will happen in my future career.  it is really a good opportunity to try this in mbe, especially all of us are from different cultural background.

this is the first time that we actually only focus on one project in 2 weeks time.  we did put a lot of efforts in this presentation and i hope we will have a nice one tomorrow=]

April 15, 2010

company culture effect on knowledge sharing

i am always interested in looking at company culture.  since it is the most intangible but important thing in a company.  the culture affects the performance of the company in many aspects.  Today, let me talk about it in the context of knowledge sharing.

i think knowledge sharing is a very important concept in organizational learning.  it is important that people in a company are willing to share what they know freely and express them in a correct way.  So, there are problems in willingness and ability.

First, let's talk about willingness.  what make people not willing to share their knowledge?  summarizing what i have learnt in the seminar, i conclude that there are 3 main reasons, they are selfishess, shyness and stress due to the hierarchical company structure.  in my opinion, all of these has to be solved by creating an understanding that knowledge sharing can lead to win-win benefits and every knowledge related to the business is valuable to the company.  people should understand that when they share their knowledge, it would allow a room for discussion and reflection and that may lead to new knowledge.  Moreover, it is important that there is a comfortable environment to share and to communicate.  for example, people should not laugh at others' mistakes.  everyone should have the right atitude when listening to others' opinions. at the end of the day, i think it should start with the managerial level again.  as a leader, you should always be nice and listen.  respect is one key thing in communication.  when facing shy person, you should encourage them and give them confident that they are capable in contributing to the company.

well~ how about the point of ability?  how can people express their knowledge in an understandable way?  i think this is a very personal ability about translating what you think or what you know in words.  but coaching can be a way.  in addition, training about making things logical and systemize our thinking can help in the ability of expressing ideas.  personally, i think i need to improve my ability in this aspect, too.  fortunately, i feel that i have already improved a bit comparing when i first came to MBE.  maybe this is because we are trained by writng PMAssss?!  back to the business world, culture does contribute to this aspect, too.   i think if a company has a good communication environment, people will be more willing to share and get used to share what they know.  just like writing PMA, if people get used to this environment, they have more opportunities to practice how to express their thinking, then it can lead to improvement.

to conclude, company culture does affect knowledge sharing in a company.  the most important thing is to create a comfortable environment for people to express their ideas and knowledge.  it would be a big challenge for top management.

April 14, 2010

tacit knowledge

tacit knowledge is the knowledge that is hidden, silently and secretly existing inside people's mind.  people cannot explain how they know or understand something and that is because the tacit knowledge.

Take charismatic leadership as an exampe, it is difficult for a charismatic leader to tell what they have done to draw people to follow them.  But we all know that charismatic leadership skills is some know of useful knowledge.

it is important to share tacit knowledge as it can be very powerful.

but the first question is, how can one know that they have some tacit knowledge to share?

in my opinion, it is about observation.  as it is always difficult for people to realize the existence of their own tacit knowledge, i believe the best way is to be told by somebody else these people has certain abilities in doing something and these abilities should be extracted to share.  In a company, maybe it is the responsibility of the manager to observe the team members and to discover the existence of tacit knowledge.

um... suddenly i think of one kind of tacit knowledge might not be shared.  For example, beethoven is born to be an musician.  he must know about his ability in composing.  but how can he express this kind of ability and transfer to others?

i think tacit knowledge is something not transferrable.  it is always about skills but not solid, quantifiable.  But if one can express his tacit knowledge in some way, every receiver would have different intrepretations.  So, the giver and receiver results can be very similar but always different.

that's what i think about tacit knowledge.  it might be wrong in some way...

so~ the most important thing after all, we need to know the existence of tacit knowledge.  i think this can be done by observation and always ask ourselves how it is done when appreciating someone's work.

a piece of news in hong kong today

Hard landing

Diana Lee and Rebecca Yu

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Shaken passengers yesterday told of a terrifying and chaotic bolt for safety after their Cathay Pacific flight made an emergency landing in Hong Kong.

The crew of a Cathay Airbus A330 made the emergency touchdown at Hong Kong International Airport yesterday afternoon after an engine failure.The dramatic landing of CX780 from the Indonesian city of Surabaya ended with eight passengers injured from the 322 people, including 13 crew, on board.

Passengers had been generally calm despite the aircraft shaking and the hard landing, but chaos broke out when the captain announced an emergency evacuation and people scrambled for exits. "I was so scared," admitted passenger Dewi from Surabaya.

Dewi, in her 20s, said: "The plane was shaking but not severely when approaching the runway. I thought it was normal, and none of the other passengers seemed worried."

But the calm was shattered, she said, "when the captain told us there was an emergency and all passengers had to leave the plane immediately.

"Suddenly, the cabin became pretty chaotic. Many people rushed to the doors, screaming and crying. My brain was totally empty at that moment. I was pushed forward by those behind me.

"We could see fire burning in the rear from the windows. Everyone wanted to be the first to leave the plane. No one cared to follow the crew's guidance."

People piled up when sliding down emergency chutes to the tarmac, recalled Dewi, who injured her right hand. "About 10 passengers huddled together at the end of a chute. I saw some of those following step on them to get past."

Passenger Siti Mufarida also spoke of a chaotic response to the evacuation call.

A mainland woman remembered that "the lights in the cabin were twinkling when the plane was landing" and later that "the smell of scorched rubber was everywhere in the air."

A Civil Aviation Department team is investigating the incident, though a Cathay Pacific spokesman explained that "the left-hand engine of the aircraft had shut down as the aircraft made its landing approach. The other engine was functioning."

The crew alerted the control tower that it was to be an emergency landing, and then came touchdown at 1.43pm, blowing out six tires and sparking a small fire at the undercarriage near one of the wheels. Firemen quickly doused it. Cathay chief executive Tony Tyler said six of the plane's tires - all four on the left-hand side of the aircraft and two on the right - were deflated after touchdown. The tires are designed to deflate during emergency braking to prevent then from bursting, he noted.

Tyler also said the aircraft had been in service since 1998 and underwent regular inspections. The captain of the flight is experienced, he added.

Of the eight injured passengers, six were taken to Princess Margaret Hospital for treatment and two to Yan Chai Hospital. Four were discharged, after treatment of minor injuries to the head and limbs. But a woman remained in serious condition.

Li Leung-ming, in command of the Fire Service Department's air division, said units were ready when the plane landed. He also described the evacuation of passengers as "smooth."

A preliminary report on the incident will be released in a month, but a detailed one will take longer. "We want to find out the cause of the incident to prevent a recurrence," said Director- General of Civil Aviation Norman Lo Shung-man.

He said it could not be ascertained if passengers were injured before or after the emergency evacuation.

"Yet I would like to point out, in an emergency landing like this a few injuries have been common in foreign experiences," he said.

The airport's north runway was closed for two hours and 20 minutes during and after the incident. More than 100 arriving and departing flights were delayed.



Actually there is another piece of news about this which motivates me to post the news here.  but that one is in chinese and this is the only piece in english that i found on the internet.
anyway~ here is the link of that piece of news.  anyone who is interested can read this from but i think most of you need google translate for this one=]

that piece of news reported a list of accident happened to a similar model of airbus.

the plane in this incident was Airbus A330-300.
On 1st june 2009, a similar model A330-200 from airfrance had a serious accident at the Atlantic and no survivor was found.
On 7th oct 2008, the same airbus model as the cathay incident, A330-300, descended suddenly for 650ft because the autopoilot was out of control.
On 28th april 2001, again, the same airbus model A330-243 had broken engines on both sides within 13min.  the plane had to glide and had an emergency landing in a military airport.

this piece of news makes me reflect on the things we learned so far.  product failure can be caused by a lot of issues.  though it is likely that we are not going to be the one to design product, or to repair the products, it is always good for us to have some knowledge about what kind of techniques or tools can be used so that we would have a background to manage the company and the people.

it is interesting that after yesterday's lesson on situation awareness and then i woke up this morning to see this news happened in my home town.

yesterday, i talked with my friend about our future career path.  in hong kong, it is very likely that we cannot choose the job we really enjoy but to get a job first and work and work and work.  sometimes, i feel quite discouraged because after all the things we learned in mbe, when i go back to hong kong, i dont know how much i can contribute to make things change.  of course, i'll try my very best, but it is really difficult to change a lot.  When i read the news, u know there must be some problems with the airbus, but all you can do is to wait someone to improve the problem.  the capability for a single human is so small but there are infinite number of problems in the world.

nothing... i just feel a bit sad to know so many accidents is happening around the world which can all be prevented.

right! at the end of the day, we should all equip ourselves and hopefully, we can make our contribution from a very tiny part and spread the whole idea to the rest.

April 12, 2010


Today, we had a seminar about the relationship of KM and OL.  I learn a lot about the two concepts today and my question about the company culture thing is "nearly" solved through the discussion with my team mates.  This time, I am not going to share what I have learnt by typing them out here.  Instead, I reorganize the work of all the teams and create a mindmap which follow the way I structure the question.

So, here is the my work:

April 2010

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Mar |  Today  | May
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5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30      

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