All 3 entries tagged Environmental

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May 29, 2011

The Environmental Knowledge Circulation Process (EKCP) in WaveRiders?

The EKCP is a version of Nonaka's SECI model, adapted for environmental knowledge management purposes. Socialisation, externalisation, combination and internalisation, are replaced by Creation, Accumulation, Sharing, Utilisation and Internalisation. The EKCP however is considered more like a never-ending process of continuous improvement that helps companies to gain a competitive advantage through excellent KM. Essentially, it combines the tacit knowledge gained from employee experience, the explicit knowledge learned from environmental tasks, and, supported by appropriate environmental management information systems, to improve team efficiency when it comes to solving environmental problems.

Is something like this applicable to an SME like WaveRiders? Certain literature would suggest that it goes beyond the means most SME's have, to implement something like this. However, going beyond the cost of software (and the often hidden cost of reviewing and maintaining the knowledge repositories regularly), I believe this is something that almost any company can do if there is enough support for it. Particularly in the case of a company like WaveRiders where there is so much call for good KM in terms of maintenance, health and safety and other forms of asset management, that it might be possible to combine them all to great effect, as in the TP00 system developed by China Steel Corporation, which successfully integrated ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001 (quality, environmental and health and safety management, respectively).


May 23, 2011

Environmental Knowledge Management, and applying MBE to reality

I have not yet started writing the PMA, but after 20-odd hours of research, I am struck by just how wide the scope of it is. This is not a surprise - the module was more than capable of pointing this out to us all, but there is just so much you can do, you sometimes feel a bit lost about which way to go. In this respect, it reminds me of the LE PMA. It's easier because the question is a bit more focused, but also harder because there is so much you can potentially do when advising about asset management. And this is just in one field!

Environmental management is big enough. The area of Knowledge Management is just ridiculously huge, almost like leadership theory. Fortunately, the crossover area of these, seems manageable, but even it has it's own subset of Environmental Knowledge Management, which sent me on another wild search for literature...

Still, I am convinced we have the right approach. Having begun OPP today, and hearing even more from new sources about the transition to a knowledge-economy, which seems to have been taking place for about 40 years at an ever-increasing pace (and yet somehow there is still plenty more that can change), I feel ready to be part of that. I was thinking about all my undergraduate friends who are currently revising madly for their final exams. I feel so lucky not to be amongst them - not because I am averse to hard work, but because they are largely wasting their time! Sure, they'll get their degree out of it, and that is an end in itself (it might be hard to get a job in the knowledge-economy without one), but for all their hard work, some of them will not remember the material in a few months, and most of them will never need to use it again.

Meanwhile, you and I, while sick to death of asset and knowledge management, leadership, excellence, or whatever, will be able to perform any task asked of us in a few months' or years' time. If we don't know how to do it already, we sure know how to learn to do it. I think this is SO MUCH more valuable in the long term. However, I feel PMA-fatigue and I'm glad that I don't have another module. My project is a burden at the moment, but one that I think will lighten when I get a good run at it. Don't get me wrong, I've loved this degree for the most part, but I, for one, am itching to test myself properly. 

What I am looking forward to now is starting work and seeing how everything I've learnt can be put to use in reality. I've heard and read about the idealised theory, and seen some of my tutors and classmates shoot them down as unrealistic - I'm tired of being called naive for thinking any of it can work, just because I haven't worked in that kind of environment before, even when there are so many examples that it can. I feel ready to go out there and try things. There's been enough talking, listening, reading and writing for me. I want to be doing now. I want to contribute to the creation of an organisational environment based around knowledge-share, that makes me some money and improves, but does even more for society.

Don't tell me I can't - I don't believe you ;-)


May 18, 2011

Opportunities for KM

One of the first things that came to my mind when we were given the PMA was that it was going to be really hard to identify appropriate ways to implement knowledge management for certain types of asset management, such as within certain areas of Facilities Management, or Environmental Management (EM), which was the one I had planned to work on. I chose that to work on because I find it a really engaging area, and I couldn't immediately see how KM might be best applied. I wanted the challenge, and it made sense because I had already done quite a lot of work on EM within the in-module work.

Obviously, because it is a tricky area, I decided to mitigate the risk of choosing it, by only allowing myself a few hours to work on it, and if some relevant ideas had not been presented in the literature, I would abandon it, and move to another area. Fortunately, this has not proven to be the case - there are so many opportunities for KM within EM. In fact, good KM is pretty much a requirement for many EM tools such as Life-Cycle Analysis (different to Life-Cycle Costing), where you need a huge amount of data in order to estimate product impacts over the life-time. Additionally, another vital use for KM comes in the design stage, when you need a multi-disciplinary team composed of designers, engineers, manufacturers, executives, marketers, etc to come together and share and communicate a huge amount of data and information, to develop successful products within a Design for the Environment framework.

I think one of the big challenges of this PMA will be to find good examples of how this has been done effectively in industry, and also examples of where such initiatives have failed.


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  • Nice examples Yanik, especially the second one from OPP that shows that the redundancy of knowledge … by on this entry
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