July 05, 2014

KBAM–MBE courses

We finished all MBE courses last month, and this may be my last few blogs in Warwick, I admitted that until now I may not really get used to the blog thing but I recognized the ideas of sharing. Thorough blogs, we can apply theory to real life, eventually the purpose of study is to apply to our future job and life, or I don't see the value of the knowledge. Just like the Knowledge-Based Asset Management workshop, we can apply our knowledge to help control or reduce incidents to save lives and save money may lose. Moreover, by reading the ideas sharing we can absorb some new thoughts which we don't know before.

What I felt about the MBE course especially for leadership and KBAM is that we are not only learning about the knowledge, knowledge is everywhere and everyone can learn, MBE course taught me the value of people not just pursuing utilitarianism, for example, the idea of taking money out of the table, intrinsic motivation instead of rewarding and transactional exchange, CSR...etc. Moreover, since studying in MBE, we are focusing on management level in organizations, we should have the caring mindset to value and care people as our leadership style, not just persuing utilitarinism. If we can't not have the mindset and try to persuade the people around us and transform them toward right direction, there is no big difference between us and other people. I always think knowledge is everywhere, what makes us different is our heart, thta's what MBE taught me this year.


When I prepared for PMA for the occupational health and safety in asset management, cosidering WaveRiders is a SME, I found some obstacles for SME to implement OSH management. Surprisingly, the biggest obstacle is management instead of finanacial factor, I was shocked since management style, leadership and organizational culture seems vague but it served as solutions for many questions.

Then I recalled that while I was working, some of our suppliers are SMEs in China or in other developing countries, SMEs' resources are not as many as big organizations, and the employees themselves if they are not equipped with the knowledge and awareness of the OSH, OSH is just acting while the goverment or authorities performed inspections. I do agree the organizational structure is flat in SMES, therefore management are overworked and often not sure the extent of OSH in their organization and how to improve. The articles I read suggest that employees' involvement will reduce the workload of the management and effectively performed the OSH practices. The role and responsibility of the management is to create the culture and lead their employees to aware and participate by providing them resources.

However, considering most organizations in China and Taiwan are SMEs, I do think government should provide a department to offer either the information or resurces for SMEs' need to enhance OSH in organizations since most of the people are working in SMEs. The reason is most people in SMEs may not all economically disadvntaged, but SMEs may not have complete unions functions like large organiations, therefore, supports for SMEs may include coping with the inquiry SMEs' having for OSH, suggesting which training or insoection based on individual needs and possible funding sources, these supports should not limit for the company but also provided for the individual employees who need.


June 08, 2014

KBAM–Asset Management

On Fri. presentation about Asset Management part, our team decicded to use three aspects of Asset Management-Resource utilization, maintenance, and health & safety system, other board directors and Paul challanged our view about other aspect such as environmental management.

In the beginning, we thought WaveRiders is a SME, their situation is not good, so we focused on how to optimize their current resource and asset, and also considered their employees so health & safety system were also taken care. However, when Paul mentioned about environmental management and the related CSR, I realized that taking care of their employees is not enough, they still have their corporate social responsibility even if they are SME. So this reminds me a news in Taiwan that a company reused their tire to make furniture, the furtinure's quality is good and durable since it's made of tire, this contributed more income and the company acyually sold them in very cheap price to help people who have the needs but can't afford expensive one, this way the company reduced the waste of their material, reduced the waste into the environment and become more eco-friendly, and also helped the people in need to fulfill their social responsibility, this is such a good example for our team to think about that behind making profits, how SME can actually contribute to this society even if they don't have huge fortune. I believe if they are willing to change, and examine their current situation and asset, every organization can use their creativity to come up with good measures as above company in Taiwan.

KBAM–Knowledge sharing

On Tuesday workshop, we were talking about knowedge sharing, it seems that under limited time and other pressure, knowledge sharing has often been left behind. At that time, I didn't have any good idea about that.

During preparing our last presentation, we were facing time constraint, but our leader-Kenny and my other team members-Sehee, Rasheed, and Silvio, we worked very closely as a team, and I actually experienced to walk the talk. The last presentation may be the most difficult one in terms of time and content, but I think our result were quite good. Knowledge sharing is about to create an environment for members to share knowledge, the key components of KM are management and IT support. Generally speaking, having IT support is not difficult now as long as members are willing to share. The most important part is how leaders involve and motivate members to share and optimize our performance.

In our team, we discussed our framwork, and divided into two teams of KM and AS management. Leader is the one who coordinated two teams, and make sure we all expressed our opinions and our voices are all being noticed, this is not easy as it looks, cause he need to create a environment and system members all felt comfortable to share, and he motivated us so that we can see the big picture of a whole system not only ourselves, cause I think the conern of knowledge sharing in organizations are members are not willing to share since they have the cpmpetition awareness, so to forsake competition and replace it with cooperation as our team this time will actually optimize our performance since the effect of team work will have more influences than individual work. This experience is really good and I will take the good parts of this time and apply to our future work.

June 04, 2014

KBAM–Mon. Workshop Reflections

Mon. Workshop was about ''Situational Awareness'', situational awareness refers to how people's perception of environmental elements which will influence goals and objectives currently or in the future. Inadequate situational awareness is critical to industry which information flow is high and poor decision making will lead to significant consequences such as pilot of an airline.

Leadership and organiational culture context were provided to enhanced situational awareness, which I really doubted that the answer to the signiicant problem will be so easy and at the same time so vague. So I talked to Paul and mentioned about my concerns such as when I was working beore, no matter how careful I was, there is always mistakes and it seems there is always possibilities for accident or mistakes to happen, if we can't prevent, or can only use tools such as FMEA to minimize them, what's the meaning of this workshop? Then he suggested me to think an organization as a system, after the discussion I realized that I need to change my mindset while I go back to work, since having the title of manager, if I didn't see the organization as a system and only think about myself while mistakes happened, situation will never change cause that's not the leader's mindset. My thoughts are I need to understand individual differences, if the organizational culture which means most people's perception and behaviour doesn't fit in the operation system, how can we expect the system to will work? Moreover, if someone in the system can't fit in the culture, how am I going to influence them to reduce the mistakes and improve their performance, I think the answer go back to ''leadership'', a manager who has the ability to motivate, engage and influence others can be seen as a leader, that's the difference between managers and leaders, so I will try to walk the talk even if it's not an easy way.

March 30, 2014

Be an organizational leader

After reading the book ''Leadership 101'' about how to be an organizational leader, I went through all the tips and found that most of them matched ''transformational leadership'' regarding the culture, engaging the audience, ethical organization...etc, which indicates transfomational leadership suits the current trend and organizational structure. However, the book offered some different tips.

One is celebrating success and another is generating fun at work. They seemed really easy tips but we often ignore. While I was working, the supervisor often arrangeed meeting because what we did wrong instead of what we did right which made us frustrated, and it seemed not appropriate laughing in the office. What I learned from leadership book is we try to inspire and motivate others to get more than expected. Praising followers and create a happy and open environment sounds easy, but if a leader really pay attention and listen to what followers want, they will feel inspired and motivated, I believe the relationship and performance will be improved. The survey also proved that happy employees will be more creative and have better performance.

However, if leaders don't walk the talk, inspiration and motivation will be two meaningless words on the book. Therefore, I believe the essence of leadership is psychology of how to change people.



The future of leadership

The leadership theory started from one dimention-leader's personality and behaviour and turned to multidimention-leader, follwers, and the situatin. The process became from top-dowm to bottom-up which also indicates the develpment of the leader and follower relationship. With the evolving of the leadership theroies shows that the former theory is not adequate, therefore, we should view leadership in more integrative perspectives as leadership is more complex, interactive process, including internal leader-follower interaction and external situational environment, finally, instead of extrinsic rewarding system, intrinsic motivation are encouraged to improve expectation.

The leadership future may call the Integrative Era in which we should face and cope with the current trend-organizational structure, new technology, fast-paced change, multi-decision making, multicultural context, and intensive political activities.

Since we face the above complex internal and external environment, therefore leadership theory should be more adaptive, and integrative. Again, there is NO one comprehensive theory and approach, we can only integrate theories for different variables to achieve the effectiveness of leadership.

March 27, 2014

Transactional and Transformational Leadership

The current one of the most popular leadership theories ''transformational leadership'' seems beeter than transactional leadership in nature since it stresses the intrinsic motivation not extrinsic motivation such as exchanging rewards.

Transactional leadership doesn't focus on individual needs and personal development, transactional leaders trade things with followers to get expected outcomes. Two major factors are contigent rewards and management-by-exception. Contingent rewards refers to leaders exchange specified rewards that followers want in order to get efforts of followers. Management-by-exception refers to leaders use both active and passive forms to watch followers closely for mistakes and rule broken, and intervene followers when they failed to met the standards. Both active and passive involve negative feedback amd reinforcement, which often create fear climate and culture in organization, so the leaders can only exachnge rewards to followers to get expected outcomes without surprise.

In the other hand, transformational leadership focuses on creating a vision which shared by individual's needs in organization, leaders involve themselves in the culture and they engage and motivated followers to get greater outcomes. The leadership book introduced some Taiwanese companies perform transformational leadership theory and related to organizational innovation which is not surprising since once leaders create free environment for discussion, followers will feel more engaged and inspire new thinking and things that may be more innovative than expected.



March 26, 2014

Team Leadership

The growing organizational teams have increased the interest in team leadership, team leadership focuses on the team performance effectiveness, and team leadership model provides a framework for leader to diagnose team problems, take appropriate actions and finally examine team performance.

The team leadership model provides a metal road map for leaders, although this theory is not leader-centered approach, if a leader is competent, he can response problems very fast whether to monitor or take actions, and take wide variety actions to meet team member's diverse expectation and needs. Therefore, even leaders may distribute leadership to other team members to accommodate today's complex environment, their abilities still contribute a lot to themselves and the whole organization, so leadership nowadays is not an easy task. Only through continually learning can leaders keep their competitive edge for themselves and their organizations.

What I like about this theory is team leadership shares leadership to team members, everyone in the team can be a leader if they are willing to and cometent, this can be an intrinsic motivation, this may even entice a working dead to wake up to become a star.

General, Grand and Unified Theory for Leadership

When preparing for leadership PMA, I read some books in order to find general, grand and unified theory for leadership. There are many matrics and perspectives to categorize leadership theories according to different scholars by their different bias and perspectives, the most coomom theory is Mark Walker's perspective, leadership theory includes ''Great man'' or trait-based leadership theory, Behavioral leadership theory, Contingency leadership theory, Cognitive leadership theory, Moral leadership theory, and Strategic/Transsactional leadership theory. This leadership evolved from leader-centered to leader-follower relationship which just like the modern society development for politics and business, when the internal and external environment becomes more complicated, it's highly unlikely to listen to one person to reach organizational goal without trying to motivating followers to exceed the expectation and get higher performance.

Unfortunately, after reading 20 pages, the answer is NO such theory since the scope of leadership is too big, perhaps Niels Bohr's worsd describe this situation the best: ''Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true''.

I think it's so difficult to come up with one generial, grand and unified theory for leadership is because there is barely 1 discipline like leadership involving wide variety from communication, coaching, motivating, psychology, culture, gender, ethics...etc, fom the trait and skills of leaders themselves to the relation between leaders and followes, it's not surprising that there is no ONE universal answer to this query, what I am sure about is to find one or more leaddership theories to fit the situation we faced.

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  • Thanks jennifer. i must to say, without your guys support, i can do nothing. i am so enjoy our meeti… by on this entry
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