Margaret Heffernan: Dare to Disagree

Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counterintuitively) how the best partners aren’t those who just follow like sheep and are happy to agree regardless. Also how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree. While a lot of people would agree with this it isnt always put in to practice which can and is detrimental. Part of the problem was that it takes time to transform perception, even if data shows that something is incorrect it isnt always that simple. We not only need to Dare to disagree, but also dare to believe in an alternative view or belief based on data and new information. We must ourselves be open to changing our own views or consider other possibilities.

Link: Margaret Heffernan: Dare to Disagree

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Drew Dudley: Everyday Leader

In this talk about leadership Drew Dudley takes a slightly different slant on what it is to be a leader. Instead of holding leaders on some sort of plateau that very few of us will ever successfully reach he breaks it down to everyday tasks. He tries to show how important influence is in everyday life in helping others think and act differently. More importantly, leadership is about getting things done through relationships and interactions with people that are talented and skilled, even when they don’t yet realize it. All too often it’s too easy to get caught up in what the definition is of being a leader and not focusing on what it actually takes and what forms it can take. Leaders come in all different forms and its important to remember that when you find yourself in a situation where you may need to take charge.

Link: Drew Dudley: Everyday Leader

The interplay between individual and collective knowledge: technologies for organisational learning and knowledge building

The article further builds on what has been outlined in other studies but in relation to specific technologies. Social-tagging systems, pattern-based task-management systems, and wikis are all looked at in terms of how they can be used to build knowledge via collaboration. They are discussed in terms of the model that is presented which brings together Nonaka’s knowledge-creating theory and Luhmann’s systems theory. The authors argue that knowledge is built as a co-evolution of cognitive and social systems. By examining the methods listed above this idea is explored further with examples used to identify suitability depending on specific incidents. It takes it further and examines how individuals use previous knowledge and how organisations use it when addressing these technologies. A certain type of software that is useful for knowledge building will depend on its ability to cause cognitive conflicts. What is interesting in this article is the fact that not all technology will have a positive impact and that some technology will have a greater impact than others. Other articles tended to look at the bigger picture. This article in particularly useful for further defining aspects that other articles hit upon but don’t explore deeper such as the Networks, Digital Libraries and Knowledge Management article.

Kimmerle, J., Cress, U,. Held, C. (2010) “The interplay between individual and collective knowledge: technologies for organisational learning and knowledge building” (Electronic Version) Knowledge Management Research & Practice, Vol. 8, Issue: 1, pp. 33-44.

Knowledge management as a mechanism for technological and organizational change management in Israeli universities

This journal article looks at the impact that technology has had on higher education on two fronts, firstly how it is the main cause of change and in turn how it is the main tool for dealing with change. In order to deal with this change, knowledge management is looked at as a possible way of fully utilising technology in the education sector. In order for universities to fully incorporate an ever changing digital world it needs clear guidance so that organizational and inter-organizational processes for managing innovation and change in the long run have a stable foundation. Thereby shaping the university into an organization that learns and manages knowledge. An interesting topic that is brought up is that of “Communities of practice” and how they are an integral part of KM. The journal provides a framework of extensive research detailing potential models in an effort to create a suitable model for universities. By looking at a system which is alternative to a business or non-profit organisation this study provides a different prospective but reaches many of the same conclusions. By doing so it strengthens the importance of knowledge management in the digital age. This study highlights the importance of sharing information when striving to improve what has gone before it.

Shoham, S., Perry, M. (2009) “Knowledge management as a mechanism for technological and organizational change management in Israeli universities.” (Electronic Version) Higher Education, Vol. 57 Issue: 2, pp. 227-246.

Brett L. Simmons Positive Organisational Behaviour

Lead From Anywhere
There is a great message in this piece which is that leadership behaviors should be exhibited from everyone even when they might not have the formal title or position. Leadership is something you never stop learning how to do well, and you should start learning how to lead well before you are ever formally expected to assume that role. This point really stood out to me because its something I have been giving a lot of thought too lately. There are many different types of leader and there are many different ways to lead. Knowing your environment is crucial to how you exhibit your leadership qualities but you should always be striving to do so in some capacity. It can be great to be looked at as a leader and your opinion to be held in high regard but sometimes that is not how a situation unfolds but you must be willing to work with people and get the best results and if you have the know how, you should show how to do so.

Effective Organizational Citizens Help, Then Challenge
With recent experiences I can honestly say I fall foul of what is being said here. If you show up do your job and do what is expected of you there can be no complaints. However if you meet these goals and strive for more by helping others around you, then you can be considered effective. This year has been tough with the amount of work I found at my front door and the temptation in group work is to do what is expected of you and no more. At times thats exactly what I have done, not too be lazy but I had to make a decision what could I feasibly manage, although it never sits well with me. Being aware that I need to strive for more is the first step and there are a few words of advice in this piece along the lines of are you willing to voice your concerns about the direction of the work team or company. Another good point is; Are you willing to risk disapproval in order to express your belief about what’s best for the organization. This is not easy and playing the role of the villain is sometimes necessary as I found out in my group work last year and referred to in my blog post Developing my PLN

Elevator Pitch

I am currently a student in UCD studing information systems to attain my Msc. What this involves is studying, carrying out research in a development capacity and working with different groups of people in a wide variety of classes and subject topics. It is completely different from when I studied economics for my BA. Its a hand on approach to learn skills that are transferable to the job market. I have worked in quite a few different part time jobs really exploring what it takes to actually be successful, from a banana factory to a catering system and working at events such as Bloom garden show in an organisational capacity and Electric Picnic music festival as bar staff. I find these jobs through a business interest I am involved in which Stepone Permanent Solutions, a recruitment agency where I am learning first hand experience at what it takes to run a successful business and develop my leadership and managerial skills. Going forward I want to bring these experiences with me and carve out my own unique path which begins in the upcoming year.

The Management Blog

The Key to Managing Change
This is a topic that is always relevant no matter who you are or what you do. A qoute I read the other day was the greatest measure of distance is time. Things never stand still and it is up to you to change and adapt with them. Which is easier said then done. It is a constant push to take yourself out of your comfort zone and push on, to take risks that you believe you will move you to the next stage. Constant change is a business reality, and organizations must continually adapt to their environments to stay competitive or risk becoming obsolete.

Everything You Know About Leadership Is Wrong
I couldn’t agree more with this post. It really gets to the roots of what I believe is an issue with leadership. Firstly a leader shouldn’t hold themselves over other works and think because they are in charge that what they say and do is always correct. Secondly I have touched on this before the problem of dealing with people. People working together have personalities that either merge or collide. The collisions can cause tension. If that tension isn’t addressed, it’ll surface in workplace conflict, hurt feelings, and lost productivity. Leaders must adapt to the people they work with and learn how handle different people and groups effectively if they themselves want to achieve their goals