Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On The Train, Dec. 11, 2007

The reality of going home with still daylight is you have to be contented with a packed train. Today was no different. Not only the train was late but also there were a lot of commuters waiting on the platform already when I got there. As a strategic move to get a seat I moved to the middle of the train and waited for someone to get down at KL Station. In fact the whole four persons sitting in a cube next to where I was standing disembarked.

On The Train, Dec 10, 2007

Despite my enterprising weekend, workloads and work pressure became the staple of the day.

A young Chinese couple boarded at Serdang and became lovey dovey right in front of my nose. Because I was typing I ignored them most of the time but I was successful only to the extend of their obvious behaviour. Doesn’t matter if they are Malays, Chinese or Indian I still could not tolerate their behaviour and disrespect to the other commuters in the coach.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

On The Train, Dec 7, 2007

Another challenging day in the office for me. All I can say is if you are honest with your works Allah will always be with you.

Late again, but not as late as yesterday, and I managed to catch the 2212 train home. At least I could forget everything about work for two days. The next two days would be for my family. I have no specific plan but I would like to do something crazy.

The commuters really became sardines when we arrived at Mid Valley station. Complete with a group of young salespersons in green t-shirt. As I was typing about our recent camping trip I overheard a foreign language being spoken next to me. Without looking I knew it was Thais spoken by two ladies. My guess, both of them Thais from southern region as their dialect was spoken a bit fast and not soft and sweet. Well, I could only guess.

Friday, December 7, 2007

On The Train, Dec 6, 2007

Staying alone in the office late in the night I could not help feeling déjà vu. The pressure was so intense I thought I had learnt my lesson well in MDC for three years. Handling this project have not been very easy for me as I confronted with challenges after challenges as if trying to test my resolve all the way to the end. I know I’ll survive this one but maybe not without hurting myself along the way.

The train came at around 2222

At least two persons were standing with a book in hand reading oblivious of the packed surrounding. The man was reading Joseph Stiglitz’s Globalization and the lady Geisha. Apparently a lot of people were shopping at Mid Valley or maybe they work there and taking their ride home. It would be nice if most of them be reading a book each as well. It just like hoping the Malaysian football team to win the SEA game gold medal in Korat. It is not going to happen.

On The Train, Dec. 5, 2007

As usual I took out my book to read but the only thing was I continued reading all the way to Bank Negara station. It was Sam Swope’s I am a Pencil, a narrative of a writer’s, Swope, experience teaching 3rd Grade class in Queens, New York, on how to write. It has been wonderful reading so far. While reading and looking around the train I realized how I missed the things that I love to see before. So stay awake Ghaz! But nowadays I just could not help to doze off most of the time as I was really tired coming home every night now.

I was late then ever going home today. The coach was really empty except for one person when I boarded at Bank Negara station. It was a lonely surreal ride home.

On The Train (Old Friends), Dec. 4, 2007

I was dressed for a dinner invitation but in the end could not go as I had a lot to deal with at the office. I came down late to the station but I did not have to wait long for the train. Expecting the train to be a bit empty I complaint silently when I saw the train arrived with almost full capacity. I got a seat though but not my favourite. I opened up my laptop anyway and started to type my first family camping escapade.

Looking around the coach trying to find something interesting to write I realized a person in front of me was looking at what I was doing. Looking at the face it was sort of a confuse one that trying very hard to read me. There I was seating in suit in a train engrossed typing away that seems to be interesting. When I panned my sight to further left I saw Bob, a Sdara that I knew, sitting looking tired. I knew he must have just got on at KL Sentral from our monthly TT Session there. Because of the crowd I could not call him until we were at UKM station. He came over and sat next to me to have a short chat before I got down at Bangi. I met a lot of my old and new friends this way. Let’s have a lot of friends as it can only be good to me. At least I expand my social network.

On The Train, Dec 3, 2007

I just wanted to ignore that it was already Dec when I was typing this but I knew I would not be successful or even useless. What’s the point as I boarded the train in the morning it was devoid of the school children and going home it was packed. It is a normal occurrence now that the train is still full with commuters up to UKM station.

When we were just going out of Kajang station I saw an Indian woman was actually standing holding the vertical holding bar with her forehead leaning against it. She looked like she was praying and thinking very deep or maybe trying to catch few winks in a standing position. Or maybe she was reflecting on something as in KM what seems to be doing nothing is an option. The mind will start to relax and reflect. It would have been great if I could witness it till Seremban but my stop came as if suddenly giving me no opportunity to have some fun. I tried to do that once but I failed miserably.

On The Train (Elderly commuters), Nov. 27, 2007

Nowadays I really do not have the urge nor the brain capacity to write about my rides on the train. Looking around inside the coach I just felt I have nothing to write anymore until at Kajang I saw three elderly commuters with their tired and sleepy face taking down the isle in front of me. What so unique about them was that the man was holding a child on his lap and the two elderly ladies both sitting in line with him talking happily. I could guess they were visiting and could be their first time on the Komuter. I could be wrong but they seem to be so. Come to think of it we would not see this scene before. Most of them would either take a bus or taxi. But now they considered short train ride as an option for them. What it means is that they were confident on their ability to make the right decision.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

On The Train (A Tribute to A Friend), Nov 15, 2007

I got the usual Friday night commuters today. Although the aircon is working because of too much body heat being produced by everyone the coach became a cause for global warming concern.

I was replying to an email today when suddenly I became sad and nostalgic. It all started when I wanted to share my feeling when I was at our alma mater watching the Old Boys vs The School basketball game. I describing the players that I used to have fun watching played that I was brought to the reality of the lost fo Allahyarham Roslen Yusof. Roslen was the point guard for our great basketball team of the late 70’s. During those periods we beat everybody in NS and went to capture the Hamdan Cup three years in a row. Roslen was not only known to me as the member of that great basketball team but he was also my room mate in 1974-75 and in 1979 we were in the same school U20 Rugby Team. We met again in UiTM when were there. Ironically we met for the last time when we gathered in PD to entertain our old basketball coach, Jims Khulman, who came down from the US for a visit. He unexpectedly also passed away in PD a few months after that. May Allah SWT place you together with the blessed ones my friend.

The train is still a sardine can and we have just left Bandar Tasek Selatan.

Tomorrow I am going to Damai Laut again and this time the office Treasure Hunt. I was there two weeks ago for another Hunt but this time would be better. I also did not write about that hunt and this one I’ll probably will.

Looking around the coach I guess it only will be better when we are at Kajang. Right now still a lot of commuters. In fact few more got onboard at Serdang.

Friday, November 16, 2007

On The Train, Nov 15, 2007

Does it matter if your children got 5As or 5Cs? If you asked any parents the obvious answer would of course be ‘yes of course’. I used to think that way. In this competitive world, it could be worse in the future to some, that we are in now it is no brainer for our children to be top A students. The arguments have been they should be a straight A students to get a better chance to go to tops colleges and universities to be doctors, engineers or architects. Well, nothing wrong with that. But to me not at the expense of my children not knowing how to survive the supposedly competitive world. I want them to be thinkers rather then memorisers, be entrepreneurs creating job and wealth rather than searching for jobs and hoping wealth will come. I also would want them to enjoy their growing up without having to deal with peer pressure very early in their life. Parents sometimes would make the situation worse for their children as unknowingly will add to the stress level when hey started to compare their children with others. Statistically, there are several incidences of death at the early age of 30’s and 40’s. Apart from eating habit and other things one contributing factor is stress being introduced early in their life. I do not know whether there has been a scientific study on this but I believe so.

On The Train, Nov 14, 2007

I was not expecting anything out of the ordinary when I stepped into the train on the way home. With the earphone stuck in my ears channeling songs that I have selected to be the ones I would like to hear I sat down in between two ladies and tried to discreetly type this. I was a bit uneasy doing it as I did not wish for both of them to get offended. I may be writing about them but they did not know that but for sure. However they could see the title ‘On The Train’ and could guess. In the end I wrote nothing until I got to Kajang. A lady sitting in front of me kept stealing opportunity to see what I was doing. Lucky for me she got down at Bangi. But by then I did not have enough time to write more. What I did then for most of the journey home? Day dreaming.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

On The Train (Lingam on the train), Nov 13, 2007

I finished reading Complication on the way home yesterday and I thought to continue with Black Swan on the way home today. Instead I was typing yesterday’s entry. I finished that entry when I reached Kajang. I was to engross with it to my surprise at UKM my old school mate Lingam (nickname of course) walked back towards me and we surprised each other. He was on the way back to Seremban and got on board at KL Sentral. What a pleasant surprise and to make it even more interesting both of us had our laptop on and busy typing. So are we nerds now? Both of us were oblivious of our presence. Because my station was the next one after UKM we did not get much time to catch up.

On The Train (Was at CoP get-together), Nov 12, 2007

I was in Shah Alam this morning attending the CoP, Klang Valley 2007, Get Together at Seminar Room, PTAR, UITM Shah Alam, organized by UiTM/Paradigm Systems. It was meant more for ILMU users. I have several reasons to be there.

To network with fellow practitioners to share our experience and to market ourselves
Since the topic was actually and introduction of CoP and I knew would be a new thing to most. I wanted to help to make sure we are doing and introducing it properly so that the community would be effective
Also, since the subject of competency was another topic of discussion our experience would be very useful to share
Lastly, to at least help to give the true picture of what KM is suppose to be.

Unfortunately, due to my early morning meeting I was late getting there. I actually left the office at 1046 and reached the Seminar room around 1130 when the second session was already coming to an end. Thus I could not contribute much. Reading the handouts I had my worries.

Firstly, the slides on the introduction to CoP was too academic and not properly contextualize to the audience. Secondly, I found out the KM framework that was used to contextualize the concept was too limiting. I doubt it brought clarity to explain what CoP means to librarians. Thirdly, the second paper on competency also was a bit academic and did not incorporate the real world needs. With all due respect to all I am not trying to belittle the efforts but more trying to help as for so many times already we missed opportunities just because we did not understand enough of the new things and apply them appropriately within the profession. Fourth, I was told the workshop on Competency for Librarians after lunch was a repeat of what they have done in PD. This is the fallacy of Best Practices that we have to be aware. What works before do not necessarily will work again and this time certainly failed to me. I would have preferred for the session to be an open discussion. It was so unfortunate as well that I had to leave the session early after lunch for my teleconference session at the office.

The other observation that I could make was that the seminar room arrangement was not suitable for session like we had. It would have been better if it was horse shoe of half moon to give opportunity for everyone to face each other. The arrangement was not audience friendly. The way the session was conducted could also be improved by doing it in a discussion and conversation mode rather than just presentations. This is something I believe we need to improve urgently.

Monday, November 12, 2007

On The Train, Nov 7, 2007

Expecting a lot of people waiting for the train, tomorrow is Deepavali, I waited for the ‘right’ time and my timing was perfect. As I was about to slot my ticket into the machine the train arrived. As expected the train was packed at KL Sentral.

There was a lady in red standing close to me and I did not realize that she was pregnant. He tummy was not that big that is why it was not obvious to me. I on realized it when we were at Tasik Selatan when an Indian lady sitting next to me offered her seat. I was really embarrassed. I was too engrossed with my laptop I missed it and I guess even if I notice I would not be sure if she was pregnant or not. I may offend her by offering my seat. Nevertheless, knowing it then I was ashamed of myself.

Lesson learned: I should be more oblivious of my surrounding if I want to be a better learner and person.

On The Train (with nothing else to do apparently), Nov 6, 2007

Phonetically below suppose to be Japanese. In fact it is a song by Kiroro. While listening to it on the way home I tried my darnest best. If you know Japanese please let me know which small part that I did correctly.

Mirai e

Koola hasimoto rhoomee tego rauu kolega
Hanatano hayumuu michii
Hoo olaa mohei bumi tegoo raauuuu
Hanega hanataa no mirai e

Hahaga kumita
Takusamu no yasasusa
Haaiwoo migaitei
Hayumeitoo kuriga heseeta
Hanoto kiwa mada
Hosana kitei huminaado sina nayei
Soo unda wata siedoo
Tewo nigi iirii
Hisoni haayunde kita

Yu meiwa hitsumo
So latakatu arukara
Toto kanakite kowa ine
Nakeito orie chucu keruno

Chibumnmu mo sinto ori
Takarakoso aakidamie taki nayei
Muwanun da tutoo
Tewo nigi iirii
Hisoni hayunde kita

Sonoyaa sasisawoo
Tokoniwa iyagarii
Hananetaa kamaeshu oo naru rinaoshu

Koola hasimoto rhoomee tego rauu kolega
Hanatano hayumuu michii
Hoo olaa mohei bumi tegoo raauuu
Hanega hanataa no mirai e

Sonoyaa sasisawoo
Tokoniwa iyagarii
Hananetaa kamaeshu oo naru rinaoshu

Koola hasimoto rhoomee tego rauu kolega
Hanatano hayumuu michii
Hoo olaa mohei bumi tegoo raauuu
Hanega hanataa no mirai e

Mirai e ne tuka

On The Train, Nov 1, 2007

Just like that November crept in into our life indicating there are only two months left in 2007. The journey was tough at times but I survived the trial of life. The children are growing up (very fast I found out) so much so the house seems small and of course the Ranger is like sardine can when all the seven of us got in. Oh yes I am getting older, as if I was surprise, and sadly thought still young. I found out my body could not take the hard pounding anymore. Lessons from this are perception and assumption could hurt you.

Friday, November 2, 2007

On The Train (Blogging), Oct 30, 2007

Yesterday my dear wife remarked that my I have not updated my blog for a while. Indeed I got caught up with a lot of thinking on writing something else that I neglected this blog. That is the challenge really; it is easy to start a blog but not that easy to keep on writing if you have no passion to do it. Blog is somewhat different to a diary although a lot of people treat and write is as a diary. Writing a blog you are writing on one particular subject of your interest, generally something that you good at and you are most of the time writing for an audience or readers. My blog is about Knowledge Management and I am using my daily commutes on the train to work or my travels as a metaphor and examples to share my thoughts on the subject. Blog is of course one of the tools that you could use for KM.

A small girl, I think slightly older than Mar, is sitting, rather standing on the seat now, in front of me. Just like any normal kids she is active and her eyes are wondering around the coach trying to find something interesting to explore. She is now leaning back watching a man ‘texting’ on his handphone. She is so engross at times watching and must be wondering what exactly the man is doing. What she is seeing, judging from how things moving now, would be a museum piece when she grow up. Just like when I was four or five all that I knew were paddy fields, rivers, fish, birds (the feathers kind) and a lot of toys that we made ourselves from whatever we can get hold off. So to us creativity and innovatively were never an issue as we practically invented the words. We learned to survive very early. The thought of using a tool like my laptop that I am using now was the farthest as the farthest star in the sky. Just imagine what this girl going to get in 20-30 years from now? No matter what she will survive and know how to deal with her world. As parents we sometimes worry too much about our children’s future. We forget what carry us through so far. That is the beauty about knowledge and the importance of instilling good knowledge behaviors into our children. Through out history it has been proven that way. The better, stronger and richer individual or nation have been the one at the forefront of knowledge. So the question then why do we need to manage knowledge now? We can’t. What we are doing is only trying to manage the process and discipline to ensure we learn continuously, quickly and learning the right things.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

On The Train (Eating Month), Oct 25, 2007

Well we are in the month of Shawal that is a month that we suppose to be grateful after a full month of fasting. Instead a lot of us made a mistake of making Shawal a full month reason to eat that beat the purpose of fasting in Ramadan in the first place. The number of open houses is mind boggling at the moment and somehow you got caught in them. Although we have the knowledge of what is right or wrong the culture still pull us back down. Coming back from a week of leave was really a challenge for me and I once again managed to forget my password LOL. The first day was difficult but since then I have been going home late as usual. Now I am on a 2030 train home and it is packed with commuters.

Friday, October 12, 2007

On The Train (Balik Kampong), Oct 11, 2007

Of course since the first day of Ramadhan the earlier trains going home would be packed with commuters rushing home for ifttar. But for the last few days the train is packed with huge luggage along side with their, temporary resident of the city of Kuala Lumpur, owners are beginning to go home in droves to their respective kampong for the Eidul Fitri. Today is no exception and worse but I enjoying the moment. In the old days at the time like this people would be chasing and climbing buses and trains to go home but today we have other options but still we are chasing and almost climbing to get ride home. Now I am squeezed within the crowd just with limited room to open my laptop and type. Just like a feeling of staying in a small crowded flat in London or in an outhouse during the old kampong days. :)

Since I was in school I just love to send people off balik kampong until the very end you were the only one left behind. I did not mind as it gave me some kind of satisfaction to see my friends off for their holidays. I do not know but I just love doing that and at times with no better things to do, seriously, then I used just sit around bus stands and trains stations just to see people them with their excitement and sometimes sadness to go separate ways with the love ones. Hey! Wait! There is nothing wrong with me ok! :). I guess I just love to observe things happening around me. In fact my dear wife once mentioned to me she probably had seen me at certain bus stand even before we went to college and met LOL. Love you Yang.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

On The Train (Where is this heading now?), Oct 9, 2007

I am facing another change and uncertainty now. No matter best you do the waiting still persist and until it is decided things can go either way. I need to bring clarity to the team now. Maybe what I need to do is to go back to basic and answer these following questions.

What is knowledge-based organization?
What is a knowledge worker?
What is a learning person or engaged learner?

In capacity building not only you to ensure certain subject capability or expertise reside in the organization but also you have to provide the best environment, processes and structure for us to be all the three.

Another thing is that I just could not get the thought of the All Blacks failing at another world cup out of my mind.

On The Train (Good and Bad News), Oct 5, 2007

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

On The Train (Lamenting), Oct 1, 2007

Today is 19th Ramadan and I am on the 1830 train going home. Yes, no doubt I am going to be late again but what else is new. Worse things happened to me before and I survived but things could be eating inside of me in bits and pieces that I did not realize. As anybody could deduce these bits and pieces could snowball in the future. Another bit hit me today no matter how best I can manage it, it will grow. I am getting tired of trying to explain the same thing again and again to the same people. Worse is that I know that I would not be stopping anytime soon. I guess I just have to make it happen and prove and show to them what it is all about. I am relax and managing this to the best of my ability. The train ride and writing have been my main outlet to talk about it. Given a choice the easy way out is just to drop everything and remain anonymous but what is that for a career. Another possibility is drop and get out but being a consultant is not fun as well. So the best thing to do is to prod on, persevere and pray hard than one filthy rich dying dude would name you as his sole benefactor LOL. That’ll be the day LOL. Seriously though, thinking about it now it is not that bad. Be honest in what you do and they will come, InshaAllah.

Lesson learned: Do not assume what you have told somebody would be a permanent resident of his memory. Sell, sell and sell; back it up, back it up and back it up.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

On The Train (Morbidity and Mortality Conference), Sept 24, 2007

I am reading Atul Gawande’s Complications and just stop at the chapter where he described a ritual or culture of sharing mistakes between surgeons at hospitals. Surgeons in any hospitals are working under constant risk of making mistakes and some of them were fatal. According to a Harvard Survey on average surgeons would make one major mistake in their career. They culturally do not talk about these mistakes while on the job but recognized the value of learning from them. What they do is that they will weekly convene in a hospital conference room, have all the mistakes presented and discuss about them. The objective of this is not pointing fingers but about accountability and learning from the mistakes. The process is that each case would be studied and compiled by the resident surgeon and presented to all and they talk about each one of them. In KM speak it is not really just an AAR but more than that. They called this session as Morbidity and Mortality Conference, which is M&M for short. Apart from learning they are using this M&M as a measure to create fear among the surgeons, fear that mistakes are real, culturally to instill balance within the community. This fear factor and accountability would prevent the surgeons being too over confident and damn right cocky.

To quote Gawande,

‘In it’s way the M & M is an impressively sophisticated human institution. Unlike the court or the media, it recognizes that human error is generally not something that can be deterred by punishment. The M &M sees avoiding errors as largely a matter of will - of staying sufficiently informed and alert to anticipate the myriad ways that things can go wrong and then trying to head off each potential problem before it happens. It isn’t damnable that an error occurs, but there is some shame to it. In fact, the M&M’s ethos can seem paradoxical. On the one hand, it reinforces the very American idea that error is intolerable. On the other hand, the very existence of the M&M, its place of the weekly schedule, amounts to an acknowledgement that mistakes are an inevitable part of medicine.’

On The Train (KM as a career), Sept 20, 2007

KM as a career is something subconsciously always on my mine. Not that I do not believe in it but trying to convince people that you have a future in it. In any organization creating a new post is not easy let alone introducing something a lot of people do not understand enough and know about. I was asked once if we were to introduce such a position what is the career path. To be honest there are a lot. To begin with we can have a junior KM person to work at operationalising certain technical and processes like operationalising certain knowledge systems and tools. Or managing and ensuring certain knowledge process like capturing and disseminating of information taking place properly. This is what we call the operational level of KM work. The next level would be manager where the KM person would be responsible to look at the strategic positioning and solutioning of KM in meeting the business goals of any unit or department. This role could grow to the senior manager level and then on with the competencies gained so far the person would be suitable for any management position as I believe the competency is very useful to them in managing strategic issues. Even without this straight forward career path I believe anybody with two or three years knowledge management experience could go into any line of management position. I said this because they will be equipped with the right attitude towards knowledge, being comfortable determining their learning and knowledge requirement and the best of all they know where the source and how to get the knowledge required. Even if they were being deployed throughout the organization it would be beneficial to the whole organization as the more people understand and believe in KM the better the organization going to be.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

On The Train, Sept 18, 2007

I am being crazy again! During lunch time today I was bored and not that I did not have anything to do I have a lot actually and to say I have a lot of free time is totally way off. But somehow I had a very strong urge to go out to a book store and grab a book or two. That was what I did during lunch time I took a train to Kino at KLCC. Of course I ended up buying books, this time two by Atul Gawande. The part being crazy is this, at home I am at the last few chapters of Ghengis Khan, on the train to work I am reading, or rereading if you think of it, Patrick Lambe’s Organising Knowledge and now on the train home Atul Gawande’s Complications. Yes, I am crazy and it is Ramadhan LOL.

I missed the intended train going home and that meant I would be even late for my breaking fast today. I thought the train would be empty but I was surprised to see more people on board as we approached each station.

Monday, September 17, 2007

On The Train (Reading Community), Sept 14, 2007

A brother from my big SDARA family invited me to be his Shelfari friend today. Shelfari is social system based on your book collections. The system enables you to catalogue your collection online and make it accessible to your friends and public as well. I have been using The LibraryThing for this but I found out that Shelfari is better at community building. The LibraryThing although has a lot of social software features but lack the community building feature of Shelfari. So with Shelfari you can create your own community of book lovers. I took time to explore it and decided to replicate what I have in the LibraryThing. In fact I added more and find it very easy and useful. It looks like I bee using Shelfari more now. I actually invited some of the people close to me to join and by today I have three already.

What is interesting is not just Shelfari but the concept of social network and community building is really growing in the websphere now. Almost every new web systems and services today are introduced with social network and community building features. Not only that you only need to oick one subject area and you can be sure that there are already a lot of communities and social networks exist on the Net using several components of what is known today as Web 2.0 tools. The best part sharing is really a norm on the Net now and most of the younger generation is exposed to it. Which is good for the future. Save to say that this is the kind of things they will expect we they moved into a working world.

The train was really solid packed on the way home today. That resulting from the combination of Ramadhan, Friday evening commuters and delay (what else) by KTMB

Friday, September 14, 2007

On The Train, Sept 12, 2007

It was reported in Kosmo today that KTMB had organized class on the train programme which I think long overdue. Whatever it is at least they are doing it now. I always believe programme like this is very important to the survival of KTMB. I still remember the time I really begin to love the train was when our English teacher, Basil De Mello, actually took the whole class during our english period to Seremban station to learn about locomotive live. We were brought into the engine car and were shown how the train engine work. In fact that was the first and only time so far that I was in the engine car. I believe if you did not manage to capture a lot at least 1 percent of students would be sufficient for the future if the remain as train lovers for the rest of their life. Of course KTMB need to strengthen that we other loyalty programme.

In the last two days several of my friends have been sharing their train travels experience in our mailing list. The way they wrote about it was positive and indication that they love doing it and would love to do it. One or two did complaint about KTMB neglecting our national treasure and not providing services to certain standard. That is a fact to me and it is really a tragedy. I would have hope despite not making enough money KTMB would try their best to maintain certain standard and literally properly maintain the train as well. Probably a totally mindset and human resource change are required at KTMB.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

On The Train, Sept 11, 2007

Is there something going on today that I am not aware of? Not only the 2020 train was full with school students going home but other commuters as well. .It was as if Friday night with weekend commuters. The only reason that I can think off is Ramadhan the next two days. Well I could understand the students being given days off to be with their family but shoppers? Are we going for eating binge or trigger happy buying foodstuff that we THINK we need for Ramadhan? No used pretending as the paradox of Ramadhan is that more people are spending unreasonably instead of saving. We really have a lot of confused people in this world

On The Train (You are not young anymore), Sept. 10, 2007

‘You are not that young anymore you know’ said my wife when she saw me limping home after my weekly football game. This time I really messed up my knee. The moment I felt the nerve reacting I knew instantly this is going to be a bad one. Indeed my knee was swollen when I woke up in Sunday morning and I practically crawled to the bath room. I braved the day but I knew I have to rest for at least a month. Lucky for me the blessed Ramadan is just round the corner and I have the best reason not to exert myself.

Since I could not afford not to go to the office I limped on the train this morning. I was tested further when it was raining when I arrived at the Bank Negara station. I had not choice but to limp away under the rain to the office. Luckily it was not that heavy and I managed. As expected questions came straight to me from almost everyone when they saw me limping in. I could have made it a bit more dramatic my coloring my story a bit but I opted for ‘I busted my knee playing football over the weekend.’

The thought of going to see the doctor did not cross my mind until 0830 when I was suppose to have my daily morning meeting. I felt bad moving around and getting up from my seat. I guess there a lot of people in the organization has ‘gout’ as that was what the doctor remarked when I limped into her office. No, I am a bit more sophisticated than that, I said the same thing I said to everyone else. I busted my knee …… The doctor diagnosed it as either ligament or tendon tare and ordered me home.

The moral of the story for this is this actually. Yes, I am not that young anymore I know that, but the thing is you have to know your body and take note of what your body is trying to tell you. I was given the signal last few weeks already but I chose to ignore it. I should have pay more attention during warming up and stretch the muscles. Actually it is a communication process and instinctively you are told and should know. High level of knowing I guess. I need to listen to my body more for signals or symptoms before anything breakdown. Just as I should with my organization. Somebody night have said ‘you are not young anymore’ in the office but I have ignored it.

Friday, September 7, 2007

On The Train, Sept 6, 2007

I realized this morning that there are a lot of new faces on the train. Ultimately this means that there are more people using the train as even the 0631 train from Bangi was already almost full. You will be very lucky if you were to get a seat if you boarded at UKM. I did not realize this before primarily because I normally doze off after reading for a few minutes. I blame the content of what I am reading rather than anything else as I am sure I would be wide awake if I were reading an interesting stuff. Nevertheless I got a bit more rest after a very tired day in the office.

The composition of commuters going home was a bit interesting today. We had a balance of age, races as well as local and foreign. Being in the coach felt like being in a midst of one big happy family having a party and I just sat absorbing the nice atmosphere.

On The Train (Bad news is good news), Sept 5, 2007

Phew!!!! That was how I reacted inside as I walked out of the room. Facing the management is never easy even more if it is something that is complex to explain. But you have to explain to create understanding and buy-in. Of course at the same time willing to face the consequences. I was caught of guard by the sudden instruction to present and by my standard I fumbled my first few lines. I recovered quick enough to manage the situation but I still rate my performance there at 3 out of 5. My belief in the project is as strong as before and we are very sure we are going to create major impact to the organization. I was still thinking about all these on the train home and the realization of the lessons that we have learned is something that really established in my mind. If not for all the problems and issues that we faced we would be just in our own world. Now, at least, most of the staff knows about our project and we should capitalize on that. It is true that we could learn more from these negative results. We achieve certain degree of awareness as I have heard people were saying.

1. This EP project is complex
2. It is about new discovery
3. It is a gateway (although the use of the term is not right but they understood the concept)
4. The platform where other project could leverage
5. So, it is important!
6. EP is one-stop interface
7. EP is useful communication channel

In fact the percentage of people asking, ‘What is EP?’ when we use the word is less now. All these indications and more would work to our advantage in the end and we should strategise properly.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

On The Train, Aug 30, 2007

I rushed out of the office at 5 minutes to 1800 and I was late already as I intended to leave the office exactly at 1730. I was lucky the train arrived as I did at the station and second time lucky to get a seat. I expected the train to be packed with Malaysian going out for the Merdeka eve celebration. The same reason why I was rushing home today but not so much of the Merdeka eve but more because of the fireworks competition at Putrajaya. Tonight is the last competition night and team Japan will be lighting the sky. To top it of I had bought three tickets for good view at PICC.

The cost, the hassle and the wait more than paid for by just this one shot.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Cobalt 1, Ritz- Carlton, KL, Aug 28-29, 2007

I did not put my expectation too high for a conference like this as I walked down towards the hotel from Bkt Bintang monorail station. However looking at the list of the presenters I am hopeful and at the very least I would like to talk to them personally. The first thing I learned was that it is definitely shorter and easier to walk down Jalan Bukit Bintang towards Starhill rather then along Jalan Imbi. The conference rooms of Ritz-Carlton are actually linked to Starhill. I forgot actually I was there in the exact room for one masterclass before.

Cobalt 1 is small room and one look at the list of participants it is a very small conference despite the line-up of good speakers.

Before the conference starts I booted my laptop and discovered there is a free WIFI. So I was connected the rest of the day and it was useful to check for information and reference. I thought of blogging the conference live but decided not to.

Mr. Nagendran M. Perumal, Head of Semantic Technology Platform, MIMOS Berhad, MALAYSIA

The first speaker, Mr Nagendran, was from MIMOS and he supposed to talk about Semantic instead he talked more about KM and KM in Malaysia. The first two slides were really a nice surprise to me as he had historical items on KM Journey at MDC and KMAM. Both that I led and part off in a big way in 1999 and 2003 respectively. The speaker just did not realize that he has the person as his listener when he talked about it. MIMOS is using Sharepoints Portal with all the features and I sense the reality is that all of them not highly utilised.

Prof. Eric Tsui, Professor of Knowledge Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, HONG KONG

What Prof Eric shared with us is something that, more or less, we have journeyed through. His ECM framework comprises of Knowledge Audit, Taxonomy Creation and Maintenance, and RSS Feeds. For the knowledge audit he uses SNA to explore and understand the relationship of the subject he is dealing with. The result of the exercise also provides him with the map of what is the best possible way to structure his Enterprise Portal. He put emphasis on the development or adopting a very good taxanomy framework. However his facilitation workshop to develop the initial taxonomy was a bit simplistic to me. According to Prof Eric the combination of manual and automatic tagging is the best option to properly manage any critical assets. We also share the same believe that it is important to get everybody to tag their own information. The third component of his framework is RSS Feed and he proposed us to explore the newly launched Yahoo Pipes.

Mr. Tho Chee Kin, Practice Manager – Enterprise Content Management, Siemens Malaysia, MALAYSIA

I met Mr Tho when we visited Siemens a year ago and during his presentation he mentioned my name twice in emphasizing certain points. The first order of the day in implementing ECM according to him is to sell the business case to the management. Sustainable competitive advantage is one option and the other could be making the organization Agile, Efficient, and Compliant.

He defines ECM as the technologies used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes.

The issues mentioned and the business case put into place were common issues argued from the point of view of KM and we have been addressing some of them through various initiatives. However the concept of ECM is very important to understand, internalize and implement.

His suggested ECM Roadmap.

1 Understand the Technology and Capability
2. Identify Processes to be Implemented
3. Prioratise based on Need and ROI
4. Prepare Overall Plan (3-5 years)
5. Select Technology and Implementation Partner/s

He also stressed Change Management as key component for successful implementation.

Mr. Keith De La Rue, Knowledge Manager, Telstra, AUSTRALIA

Keith, whose works I used to read about, shared his KM experience at Telstra through implementing Online Document Library, iStore, ; a weekly web-based Sales KnowHow Bulletin; and Knowledeg Bites.

He called his strategy as a Middle-out strategy.

He started with no clear policy on storage and access; multiple sources of content, no single target audience view, start small and think big. Tow major key success factors are adopting an Open policy – Trust and instituting Reward for Knowledge Sharing. He admitted that most just fall into places and lucky that their Lotus Notes based system is scalable and easy to use.

Learning: It does not have to be big but only something practical and make sense to most. Trust is also key.

Mr. Kemal Hasandedic, National President, Records Management Association of Australasia, AUSTRALIA

ECM is defines as – Seamless integration of People, Content and Processes at Internet Speed.

Advocate continuous selling and communicating

Start with a pilot project and ‘seek opportunity’ – content management policy – emails management.

Mr. Alan Pelz-Sharpe, Principal, CMS Watch, USA

If you have heard CMS Watch you must have heard Alan and of course vice versa.

1. Basic question to ask is - Why we manage content?
2. To him ECM without Business Process Mgt is useless
3. WCM is always separate from ECM – taxonomy for web content is navigational whereas the ECM is internal.
4. Integration is key and ways to integrate – Portals, Workflow/Routing, BPM, EAI, ESB, EDI
5. Also the need to see ECM as a platform.
6. The right metadata, standard, policy in day one would help
7. Pay more attention to information or document life cycle.

Mr. Alok Shende, Vice President – ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan, INDIA

Future of ECM

Most of the content of his presentation have been covered by otherspeakers.

1. DRM = ECM
2. Records Mgt is no longer just document but might be process and a piece of a document
3. ECM/BI – Analytics - content usage behaviour
4. Value to corporate knowledge and low complexity – Blogs, wikis
5. Benefits – tangible

Panels Discussion:

1. Ms. Melissa Heng
Practice Manager – Business Intelligence, Siemens Malaysia, MALAYSIA
2. Mr. Arijit Chowdhury
Senior Business Intelligence Manager, Dell Inc., MALAYSIA
3. Prof Eric Tsui
4. Alan Pelz-Sharpe

Q: Who own content, content mgt and the portal?

Eric: Depends on governance models. Content Mgt – broken between dept, not clear within the industry
Alan: Governance – no owner, finding on is a nightmare. Content mgt – dept take ownership. Platform – IT

Q: Strategic roles within ECM value chain?

Eric: The importance of contents

Q: Challenges to implement BI?

Arjit, Eric: Structured data. Content analytics for unstructured data is the biggest challenge.
Alan: context of structured data sit within unstructured data
Eric: External content is also important. RSS, Links, reference are important to keep and track
Alan: Web content analytics is really taking off

Q: How to go about creating a policy?

Alan: Really slowly and patiently. Difficult stuff
Eric: Contextualise

Q: Implementation?

Alan: Involve as many as possible within the value chain
Eric: Agreed with Alan and part of change management
Alan, Eric: Hype is real in ECM.
Alan: Web Service enabled means nothing. Archive storage must be vendor natural


1. Framework of ECM – overview
2. Map what we already have
3. Operationalise Content Management policy
4. Ensure standardization – metadata, taxonomy
5 Give due consideration to external content

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On The Train (Reactive Nation), Aug 24, 2007

Here we go again! The entire government engine related to transportation was making the front page of most dailies the last few days. We could read all sort reaction and measures were talked about and said going to be implemented. But after all these years one main thing escaped Malaysians was the need to at least think proactively. We said it all the times but we never do it. Again and again we see and read this happening. The latest is of course the ‘Bus Tragedy’ that I blogged about dew days ago.

Give me one good reason how possibly can Malaysia achieve the Knowledge Economy vision.

On The Train, Aug 23, 2007

There was no firework display today so I left the office a bit late. The train and I arrived at the same time at the platform and in one motion I booted up my laptop as soon as I sat down. Due to the school holiday the train was a bit packed when we got to KL Sentral. Just imagine this me sitting my laptop typing nonstop like nobody business and on my left a young Chinese lady texting non-stop on her handphone. Both crazy and oblivious of the surrounding for most of the time. But the crowd tonight was a bit happy crowd. Making the train a bit fun place to be.

Fireworks, Aug 22, 2007

Kak Cik, Baqir and myself left for Putrajaya via Bangi Lama around 2030. I knew that there would be a lot of people there already but I was surprise I got in around PICC fairly easy and part along the road just around the first ring going up PICC. By chance it was a good spot as we had only to walk a bit down to a decent viewing area. As it was our first time we did not know what to expect and not sure whether the spot we picked was a good one to capture the fireworks. We gambled at the edge of a bank over looking an irrigation and Gemilang Bridges. I though it was a good spot as the bridge gave me a nice foreground as a frame. I setup my tripod and waited. At around 2130 teasers fireworks were fired up at the interval of five minutes. This, apart from milking the appetite of the spectators, gave photographers to adjust our shot. I got a sense that my spot was not the best and I scouted a new one. Satisfying myself I decided to remain there for the first few burst before moving to a new site.

Five minutes to 2200 all the lights around the bridge and our area were turned off signaling the coming of the actual fireworks. It came slowly like a dancer dancing lights next to the Gemilang Bridge followed by one or two bursts of a big one. After a few shot I found out I was right about the spot being not suitable and quickly asked everyone to move to the second spot that I have identified before and there we stayed for the entire 20 minutes duration of the show. Just on sentence, it was magnificent.

Walking back towards our car after the show I knew I would come back again on Aug 24, 30, 31, Sept 1 and 2. I would want to try a variety of locations

Not On The Train But in PD Witnessing (or should I say photographing) a Wedding, Aug 18, 2007

The morning was early for me and as soon as I walked out my room I saw bodies laying in the living room like refugee camp. I peeped carefully trying to identify Mar and there she was curled in the middle of the pack. The newly wed was on the floor sleeping soundly.

I went out with my dear wife to explore what we should get for breakfast. It was drizzling cold morning and I did not think I would be driving far for breakfast. We ended up at the usual place just after the Dataran where we used to buy breakfast before. It was convenience as we can get most of the things there. A nice surprise though I stumbled upon Anis who was buying breakfast there as well. Anis did her practical at our place few months back and now working for the PD Poly.

We came back to the apartment with 10 packets of nasi lemak, 8 pieces of roti canai and a lot of karipap and other kueh. I thought that was overdoing it but in the end it was just nice to feed my platoon. After a long hibernation they sure were hungry. Since it was still early I decided to take a nap and the children jump into the pool.

Let me just breakdown the kenduri into the followings;

1. Berarak and bersanding
2. Speedboat ride
3. Cake cutting, and
4. Continuous eating

Of course I was involved through out as the photographer. The most exciting was actually the boat ride and the three photographers had to follow in another boat. I just wish then I had a longer lens.

The day ended with everyone so tired and we went back to our apartment to rest. The rest went home.

I decided to try the new Tom Yam restaurant next to the Petronas at Batu 4 before walking through the pasar malam (since it was Saturday night). I asked at the entrance what their specialties are and I was told confidently everything. When we finished eating all of us were disappointed and agreed that would be the last time we would be there. You can get testier ones from the roadside stalls. When we ordered we specifically said we could not eat certain seafood and why I was not surprise when the food came they still included those things. I sent them back of course.

1. The wedding was an experience
2. There should be more family outing just to be together
3. PD is becoming monotonous to all of us and there is nothing more interesting to see or experience. I also doubt whether it is a good place to relax anymore.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Not On The Train But in PD Witnessing (or should I say photographing) a Wedding, Aug 17, 2007

We checked in into Laguna Condo Resort just before 1400 as I promised the girl when I called the day before. As we walked towards our unit on the 4th floor of block A I could not but felt that the place was neglected and obviously not popular among tourists. However for the price I was paying, considering the beginning of the school break and I am being I am always making my reservation late that was the best for us. The building was pathetic with lift not working on certain floors, pools that were murky and walls that need paint job very badly. Our spirit was lifted a bit once we were inside our unit. Since we had had our lunch all decided to try for forty winks. Not wanting to disappoint the groom I set the alarm at 1530.

Everyone was already at the entrance to the colony when we arrived and as soon as we were alighted we walked to the bride’s house for the akad nikah. The Khadi and his two witnesses were already inside waiting. Without missing a beat the Khadi started the ceremony by welcoming us, little information to explain to An on how it was going to go down and started on the khutbah nikah. At this point I already passed the camera to Baqir as I anticipated I was going to be the witness as well. Apparently I did not have to and I let Baqir continued to be the photographer with me giving constant instruction. I do not wish to make fun of the groom but before the akad he fumbled on few easy questions. Nervous? Or too eager to get married and forgot everything that he memorized while driving there J))). Whatever it was clues and hints coming from me from behind didn’t register on him either. In the end the Khadi helped out. To his credit though he nailed the akad nikah in one go. Looking at his bride seating not far away I could see relieve on her face. My theory is that the Khadi must have another wedding to do that was why An had it easy J)). I am very sure best practices would not do it here as the situation could be very complex. You may think you nailed the procedure after witnessing several weddings and attending courses but the reality was totally unexpected. For one the ceremony that was supposed to be conducted in the mosque was moved to their resident that adds additional anxiety to the groom. Secondly, expecting the Khadi going to be tough he delivered you a curve ball by being nonchalant in his way. Thirdly, you were caught of guard by the speed of the events. Thus, you forgot what you supposed to answer. Well, the small number of people in the house worked in An’s favour. Ensuing photography session took place in the bride’s holding bedroom and I decided on the normal shots and avoiding the cliché. I just love to shoot as things are happening not really waiting for my subject to get ready to pose. Posing for the camera for me is just for classroom or football team shots.

In any case congratulation to both of you, An and Gie, and remember marriage is something you work at, about compromises and understanding of each other. Accept each other shortcomings and; husband and wife spat. Do not put materials first or in between both of you as those things would not last but your love to each other will. The most important thing of all jangan tinggal sembahyang. That is how your Ucu and I survive all these years.

The rest went home but three cars turned left towards our apartment for a night stay in PD. Even though the water was murky we decided to do the pool before Maghrib where I managed a few laps.

We do not have any specific plan for the night but one thing for sure all of us do not wish to stay in our rooms. So after Maghrib we drove out towards PD town and ended up having our meals at our usual hawker place in town. It was not so much of the meal but sitting together talking among families that made being there a worthwhile thing. Family relationship, trust and the moment, if not environment, enable us to share each other stories and perspectives. In my younger days it would mean during a kenduri kahwin with the main house lighted just by gasoline lamps we sad among the older village folks to hear their tales. In fact we ordered whatever we fancied and stayed talking until quite late even for Mar and Qhila. We tried to find something interesting to do on the way back to the apartment but we can’t find any.

Once in our apartment everyone started to find their own space for the night. Just like chicken going into their coop and knew exactly where their place was and we settled for the night. At least one of us was asleep contented and anxious waiting for tomorrow and the reality on just had been a husband to somebody. Me? ……..

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

On The Train (The Bus Tragedy), Aug 15, 2007

Late in the office today my colleague drop in my office to discuss about work and wile trying to analyze the issues at hand he suggested to use the recent Bus Tragedy as an example to explain about the problem of KM, even taxonomy. He was right of course it was so clear the symptoms of not knowing of what they know, no proper organization of knowledge, no collaboration among agencies and plain simple of not making the right decision at the right time. Firstly all the agencies at fault have or knew about the driver and the bus. The JPJ should have the record of the ill fated bus and they should know also about the driver. The police obviously have the records of the bus and the driver as well. The licensing board as well. But no one was aware of the value chain and the potential effect of them not taking the right decision on time. Had the police taken action the driver won’t be on the road or had the JPJ and the Vehicle Licensing Board grounded the bus the tragedy could be avoided. It could be as well that all the information stored it the respective systems were not organized using a standard taxonomy so visibility was not there for all to see the inter-linkages. So who’s at fault? All the agencies within the value chain and they all should own-up.

On The Train, Aug 14, 2007

I wanted to be a bit early going home but KTMB got a better idea. There was a ‘technical’ problem at Sg Buloh station and I had to wait for at least 45 minutes for the train. What I could not understand, knowing that the delay on the Seremban line was severe why wouldn’t the KTMB diverted one or two Sentul trains to this line. It would not be that difficult as the Sentul station is not that far. Just terminate the service there and instruct the driver to service Seremban line from there. Because they did not do it the train was worse than sardine can at KL Sentral. It they think it was not that bad the next time this happens come and join us. Maybe I could coach them on the proper conduct of being a KTMB customer. Just like the bas tragedy reported in today’s newspaper KTMB is waiting for the worst to happen before taking any action. It seems they have no pride in what they do. Visit Malaysia Year slogan and 50 years independence are useless if we still have a third class mentality and attitude. Suddenly….. Malaysia Tak Boleh.

On The Train, Aug 9, 2007

I woke to the realization it was our 19th Anniversary. I gave no indication that I remember it until when I disembarked at the station. I gave my wife a kiss on the cheek and wish her happy anniversary. She thought I forgot. But I told her the dinner would have to be tomorrow night as I was scheduled to celebrate our beloved SDAR 50th anniversary at PICC together with old boys and old girls of STAR and STF respectively. We knew this for quite sometimes already so no conflicting priority.

So many literatures have been written and no less of research on the subject either. Last night was yet another phenomenon. The beauty of the old boys (or old girls in the case of Srikandi) network prevailed. The success of the dinner was not really due to the organization or Sifu M Nasir but of the simple fact that we are bonded for life and would want to meet old school friends. Especially those that we had not met for 30 years. Young or younger we just clicked and immersed with each other. Forget the speeches, forget the dinner and forget even M Nasir, we were there just for each other. What even more interesting was that the three schools were really connected body and soul. Not only the schools were born on the same year some of us married (SDAR, STAR + STF) each other and our children also found some of us to be their parents-in-law. As expected once the dinner was served I could see a lot of people started to move around the hall to talk to their friends and it continued to be that way until even M Nasir came on stage. Our relationship is so special that a lot of people could not really understand. Actually it is so easy; because of the intensity of feeling that we shared so often trying to be the best in whatever we do the sense of brotherhood and trust were ingrained in us.

M Nasir continued to belt out the familiar and nostalgic tunes. The ladies camped themselves in front of the stage inching closer by the minutes. Some of us silently enjoying the music and very tempted to join The Sifu up stage to resurrect our funky moves. Our night continued to morning as we moved our ‘warung’ to a mamak outlet at Sect 9 Putrajaya and I was finally home at 2am.

On The Train, Aug 8, 2007

I dragged myself out of the office and walked slowly to the station. As it was late there were not many people waiting and as if all the energy was drained out of my body I sat myself down to wait. My mind out of my tired brain just managed lingering around close by. No wanting to be adventurous as before. Even when the train arrived I was not that excited only to be glad the ride home was there. The same thing on the train, I guess because I was still aching here and there after a very adventurous weekend on the fields and cycling, I was just not in a mood to do anything. For the past two days I was not really myself. My tired face was so obvious. The tiredness was compounded by the loads that I had to carry in the office.

Looking around in the train I could not see beyond my weary eyes only the obvious. I felt like I was sitting alone. Loneliness, despite having a lot of commuters around me on the train. In the end I felt so drained, closed my laptop and shut off to nap for few minutes. I was awake at Kajang and the few minutes were actually meaningful.

Friday, July 27, 2007

On The Train, July 25, 2007

It was drizzling when I walked towards the station and it has been this way for a week now. But I am not complaining only stating the fact.

I had to get home a bit early for the sport meeting at home. Without really conscious of the time my timing was perfect as when I got to my favourite waiting point the train showed up. The air conditioner in my coach was not working but we were lucky the weather would not necessitate it. If not we would be in a very hot container fro the rest of the journey home. Quite a number of people boarded at KL Sentral and it was like that up to Bandar Tasik Selatan. It got better at Serdang. Actually I was not as observant as I was typing and doing something else most the journey.

On The Train (work, stress and play), July 23, 2007

I had a conversation with one of my colleagues at the office one late evening last week. As any office conversations, maybe I am a very good listener, in the end the topic steered towards workloads and stress. I shared with my colleagues how I had learned to manage my stress and encouraged my colleague to do the same as it would do wonders with our lives. As it turned out I was tested to the fullest last week, and I would think this week as well, by work pressures piling in the office. I was almost defeated if not for few things that as if conveniently organized for me. On Saturday were the veteran team football practice and wedding reception in Puchong. Sunday were the Alumni Bowling Tournament in the morning and the PT veteran football game in the evening. So I had no time to worry about work during the weekend. Whatever it is we have to strike balance between the two. I know it is a cliché but we have to learn to really do it. The moment we walk out of the office we should cut us off from office works. Nothing is more important than your family and health.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cycling Alone at High Altitude, July 15, 2007

I inched closer to the window and pulled the curtain to look outside. It was misty and cold down the valley and made me had a second thought of cycling alone. Since the apartment was on higher ground looking down was really a pleasure creating nice feeling in me. I knew I made the right decision to come up here to rest after a week bout of on and off fever. That actually gave me more reason why I shouldn’t be out there cycling alone. My wife and Mar were still in deep sleep cuddled under the heated comforter as if announcing silently not to disturb them. I envied them for that as it was supposed to be me under the sheet but I was awake staring out. It was not really a complain though as I was really enjoying the view with nice feeling building up inside me even more after each minutes. Then, all of a sudden I decided to go down cycling. I do not know but at that time I just thought it would be a waste not to do it. I put on my gear, woke my wife to let me out and drove down to the park. The small parking area was empty but I saw few people walking in the park already. I immediately took out my bike form the back of the Ranger and cycled towards the hospital passing Mardi as a warm-up run. At that point I have not decided where to go but I figured the climbed to the hospital would be a good warm up to acclimatize with the thin air at that altitude. As I was climbing towards the hospital I only saw a lady and an Indian gentleman joggers.

Probably it was a Sunday morning or probably no body really gets sick in this nice cool place. The hospital was not like any other hospital that I had been to not only the architecture was like and English cottage it was really quiet with hardly any activities. I circled the lobby and sped down with cold air breaking on my face. While enjoying the speed down from the hospital I decided to cycle around the small town to check out all the nooks and crannies of the place. I started by turning right towards the new Century Pine Hotel to cycle around the field next to the school where I met a couple jogging. When I cycled out I saw a group of ladies sitting, I thought firstly were exercising, around reading. That was nice I thought the morning cool condition was indeed pleasant enough for them to do that. I wondered what they were reading. My eyes caught the clock tower in the park and it said 0815 but the morning was hardly breaking it seemed. I was beginning to really love the ride. I proceeded towards the heart of the small town. Wanting to absorb the nice feeling that was constantly growing inside me that I did not understand I cruised in enjoying the town. I turned left at the end and circle around the block where Maybank was and came out of the other side where I saw a small Sunday market was in progress. It was a small Sunday market but I knew I would check it out later. I entered the main road after that and turned left immediately to climb towards Heritage Hotel. Although most people I met ignored me as if I was a normal occurrence I still guessed I was the only one doing it in this town. From there on I kept on cycling in and out of corners and turns to explore part of the town that I took for granted before. In the end I found myself cruising down to where I started off and undecided for a while. I knew at that point it was about 5-6 kilometres from Tanah Rata to Brinchang and it was not the distance that I was worried about as I had covered more than that before. It was not the steep non-stop climb that bothered me really but whether my body was ready to cross the pain barrier after a week of uncertain sickness. To top it off doing it at the altitude of thin air. I was genuinely concern on how my body going to react. In the end I decided to do a Nike, just do it.

I began slowly as I had lost the momentum while I was on the thinking mode and got the bike to lower gear. It was not bad and I managed the first steep corner without difficulty. I looked up and in front of me was another steep corner that forced me to continue climbing without any let-up to stabilize my momentum. Cycling alone with that kind of condition was indeed a challenge as you do not have anybody to push or pull you up. I was perspiring inside but the cool high altitude air suppressed the flow of my sweat. I pressed on with my head up looking ahead and my confident grew after each corner and climb. It was really a wonderful feeling as well as relieve when I reached the top of the climb. I knew it was then steep down hill in front of me that coiled until the Smokehouse. I sped down breaking cool breeze along the way until I got to the edge of the golf course. It was then a long stretch of decent gradual incline interval but a short downhill before the steep climb into Brinchang town. I managed enough to turn left to checkout the unexplored part of the town. Still it was not an easy ride as Brinchang was built of a slope. The thought of pushing up further towards Equatorial Hotel crossed my mind as I harbour ambition to go off road within Sg Palas tea plantation. I knew and confident I could do it but I decided to turn back.

Based on the sign board at the golf course I realized there was an alternative road to bypass the major part of the climb going back to Tanah Rata. So just before the Smokehouse I turned left towards Kg Sg Sedia. Following my instinct I cycled through the kampong and emerged at the second steep corner on my initial climb. By all means it was not that easy going through the kampong as I had to negotiate a decent and the steepest climb towards the end. However it was a pleasant ride through as I discovered a couple of homestay places. Judging from the atmosphere and aura of the area I assumed it was a nice kampong. I even passed a kenduri in progress. After the steepest climb I cruised into Tanah Rata and did not want to stop.

I stopped at the parked Ranger and called my wife to ask whether they wanted to go out for breakfast or for me to buy for them. They decided it was still cold, it was already 0930, to get out and instead of putting the bike in the Ranger and drive I cycled into Tanah Rata to get breakfast. Getting a decent healthy breakfast at Tanah Rata was really a challenge for me. People in Cameron Highland either have Nasi Lemak or Roti Canai for breakfast. I stopped at the mini Pasar Minggu and bought a few kueh, stopped at the sundry shop to get newspapers and cycled back to the Ranger. This time I packed the bike in and considering what I had just bought would not be enough I drove back to town to buy Roti Telor and several nasi lemak. As soon as I got to the apartment it started to rain heavily.

Monday, July 9, 2007

On The Train (Flying Without Wings), July 6, 2007

The usual Friday evening commuters were on the train and I sat in front of a young couple with their baby daughter. Of course once in a while the baby got restless and I did not my mind as I love to see her beautiful face. As any baby her age she was an adventurer that would like to discover new things. I am not sure whether the ride was her first but judging from her reaction it was not. I still remember taking the kids on their first long distance ride. They could not sit still even a minute unless they were sleeping. As good as any baby she was playful and did not afraid of anybody. She will grow up to be a very confident girl. Of course talking about her reminded me about my own children and entertaining the notion that time was really flying passed me. All of a sudden Along had just celebrated his 19th birthday and Mar going to be five this weekend. In Along’s early years we shared a lot of things together good and bad, pleasant and discomfort. We got through all those unscathed and surely both of us would cherish the experience and moment. The song ‘When I See You Smile’ by ‘Bad English’ sums up the whole thing for me of the experience.

On The Train (Knowledge in Action), July 3 2007

The realization that we are actually in the fourth year of our project really surprised me today. From the inception and conceptualization of the idea, project scoping, RFP preparation, vendor evaluation to the current state of the implementation no wonder the sign of fatigue exist among the project team members. The faces in the project team changed overtime and the problems that we faced and currently facing came in almost several forms. Nevertheless most of us still believe in the project and the benefit that it would bring to the organization. We are still committed. The human dynamic and the learning journey that we are in now is something that I really want to talk about here. From the point of view of subject domain knowledge we have learned tremendously. Our contribution to the development of competency level of the subject matter I would say is at the highest level. We were involved through the entire value chain of the knowledge cycle. We acquire knowledge from different sources like reading, research, workshop, learning from the experts, benchmarking visits, on the job training. The whole bit of learning before, learning during and learning after. At the other end of the spectrum we also created a lot of knowledge to bring about collective organizational knowledge acquisition. The knowledge are embedded within our processes, systems, artifacts and collaborative mechanisms, like the taskforce, meetings, presentations and briefing, that we are part off. All these I believe, without us really account for them or even realization is valuable to the organization. Someone may ask what all these have got to do to the bottomline of the organization? On the surface probably no but on close scrutiny maybe worth the whole organization.

Mistakes and problems, issues if you term them as such, spread faster in the organization. People talked about them and would remember them better and would learn from them. Of course if we are not careful we created wrong perception. This is what happened to our project and hopefully the rest of the organization would indeed learn together with us. The pressure on us in our efforts to resolve the problems and be successful created an opportunity for us to be innovative and creative. By necessity the situation forces us to think and learn beyond what we know. In the end we learned in practice the idea of allowing room for ‘organized ‘chaos, if there is such a thing, to happen.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

On The Train (The worst train service in the world?), July 2, 2007

I was really pissed off with the missing Seremban train. My being pissed of was because of the David Cooperfield performance of the train as well as I felt my body was aching due to potential flu. The worse was waiting for me on the train not only the train was sardine can, yet again, but it was also a very hot sardine can. The aircon was pitiful only available in a third world country. With the current rapid development in these countries this aircon could be even second class there. The only consolation for me was that hoping the heat would sweat out my cold, but I knew I was asking too much. For KTMB even asking for the worst to be good, positive, also turn out to be even worse. That’s how ridiculous KTMB Komuter is.

I read an email posting, actually he posted it in the form of questions, from my friend that whenever he is out he never failed to get angry at the attitude of all around him. His examples were eating at restaurant or any eating places, his endless incompetent contractors, and us turning into another being when we were behind the steering wheel. It is the same thing with KTM Komuter. The incidence of missing train and bad aircon, just to cite two, is not new to them and at this rate going to be a permanent feature of their service.

Monday, July 2, 2007

On The Train (Knowledge is contextual), June 28, 2007

I was late again and again took the same 2209 train home. However, today the crowd was bigger. My bet is not because of them being late or most of them decided to go home late but one Seremban train went missing from the schedule. The other problem was that we got the train with the blue compact unpractical seats. I had to squeeze my self to be able to do my writing. It was a bit cramped for me.

Just after Serdang I felt really tired and there was no way I was going to continue to work at home. I decided I needed to be fresh for my presentation the next day.

Sometimes back I wrote about never commuting home with the same set of commuters that I travels with every morning. This could only mean one thing, most of them go home early and I am always late. Today was even more obvious as almost 90 percent of them I have never met on the train before. We even had a DBKL lady officer on board. As predicted the crowd only got thinner at UKM. Talking about UKM station I remember one incident yesterday with three lady commuters, I suspected out towners, attending a training program at one of the bank’s training institutes in Persiaran Institut Bangi. There have gone to MidValley and on the way home was given wrong information at which station to disembark. Of course in their case the nearest and easiest would be Serdang station and the second easiest would be UKM. If you do not know the train route and the stations a long that route you will give wrong information. In this case I was told by the ladies that, in trying to be helpful upon hearing that the girls would want to go to Persiaran Institut Bangi, the guard had a logical answer for a station would be Bangi station. The only problem Bangi station is actually located at Bangi Lama. So the three ladies disembarked with me at Bangi station on the last train wondering aloud as to why there wasn’t any taxi except for ‘teksi sapu’. I overheard them asking the teksi sapu and was surprise that the fare would be RM 30 and even more surprise to hear that their institute actually was further. They mentioned the fare from Serdang would only be RM 10. Luckily the teksi sapu man was actually honest enough and did not try to fleece them. Trying to help them I mentioned to them that they should have gotten down at UKM and it was indeed far to Persiaran Institut. Still not satisfied later they asked me again to confirm and I concurred. In the end rather then risking sleeping, or even worse risking their safety, at the station they went with one of the teksi sapu that I knew. This reminded me of a story of Dave getting down at the worst part of downtown New York because he thought the route would be shorter but could have jeopardize his health if not life. The same here knowledge sharing is contextual. There is no where the guard could have known that the Bangi station was not the right station had not somebody knowledgeable explain that to him or he himself had experience the ride and been to Bangi station.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

On The Train (Sharing common objective), June 27, 2007

Another long day for me and I foresee it will continue to the rest of next week. Just like the old MSC IAP days where nights and days are the same, only difference is either dark of nights and clear daylights. I know it cannot be like this all time as this kind of things that I ran away from. So far my family are fine with this arrangement, I guess because I still come home smiling and full of jokes, funny or otherwise.

I took the 2210 train home and as I described before I went home with the other office or construction workers that decided to call it a day. One thing about this bunch is that we are a bit discipline as we fully aware there is no use creating unnecessary stress for everyone. Also, I can see and feel the trust level among us is quite high. This is really important as it creates a compromising and relax environment of trying to achieve common objective – to get home without much trouble. This got me thinking somehow, if we create, maybe force, an environment where several people have to be in one place at certain fix time trying to achieve almost the same objective they will develop enough understand and trust to be a successful community. I would not say collaborative community but it is a start. Let say in an office environment we create a space or situation where people with more or less sharing common goals, without giving them any structure, overtime they will develop into a good community. I do not know how long but it would be a good research to find out. You see all of us in the train are going home and all of us are doing our own things. I am typing, someone else would be reading, talking or even sleeping but all of us would share willingly about what we are doing or even talking about our private family life. All of us do not know each other by name but all of us recognize one another and even know each other stations. So we know each other enough for natural bonding to accour. I met my fellow commuters outside of the train carriage once and we click straight away. I guess in an office environment we just bring possible groups together and let them loose to discover each other. Our KMC is one good example.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

On The Train (How did I survive all these), June 26, 2007

How do I handle all these? Work pressure piles in on me for weeks now and I know I have to keep cool. What have kept me sane all these while are;

  • The train ride that I takes everyday, although today KTMB aggravated my situation by turning up late for my ride home, which I enjoy somehow. It keeps me relax especially when I am sleeping LOL.
  • My writing is another main contributor as I managed to channel my energy, sometimes worries, away form work.
  • The ability to shut out work after office hours. The family activities as well as my sport endeavor pay dividend.
Today a Tan Sri dropped by at our office for a short discussion on the possibility of collaborative digital collection building. I have no issue on that and really encouraged to have more of this collaboration with more parties. The discussion obviously became a short visit and tour around our facility and presented me an opportunity to share our KMC story. I am sure one look at the place people would want to know why we did the place the way we did. I flew with it trying to explain the best I can and I could see the Tan Sri was convinced. He said this, ‘..not like our place, so…stiff.’ The way I see it is this if anyone could see the place, or anything for that matter, is really working then it is easy to convince them. Another thing is that Management would be willing to do new things and you need to persevere in selling your ideas.

On The Train, June 25, 2007

Because of the football game on Sunday I was a bit tired going to work. I slept through most of the journey only to be ‘disturbed’ by a Chinese girl falling over me. The train ride in the morning was a bit shaky, I am not sure why, probably because it was trying to make some times for being late. Not meeting their scheduled time on Monday morning is sure disaster. To this day it still baffles me as to why there are extra commuters on Monday morning. Because of that by the time we were in Kajang it was packed and the lady standing in front of me, made worse by what she had to carry, had nothing to hang on to. So along the way in the middle of my beautiful dream the train jolted and I was shook to life my a lady falling over me. Without even a wink I continued to sleep LOL, I was that tired.

Walking up to the office from the station was a chore but once I was in the office I was ok and ready to tackle the day full steam. However, my day was not as what I wanted.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

On The Train (Tired, Train, Rain, K Sharing), June 22, 2007

I was really late then the usual going home as I had to settle something important. I came out of the office with the rain pouring down on the tarmac as I walked out of the compound and stopped at the guard house to ask if they knew when the last train out of the station was. The rain and the mood at the station was damp as echoing my somber mood. I just sat there waiting with no interest what so ever to do anything. The works, issues and potential problems kept scrolling up and down in my mind.

It was the 2315 train to Seremban that I managed to board and I think was the last one. One thing interesting about the last train was that most of the commuters were workers, white or blue collars, calling it a day and going home tired. The faces were just like mind with the eyes constantly staring out beyond the train. It was really pouring hard outside when the train running between Serdang and Kajang. Lightning flashed behind me and sitting with my back to the window I could feel the rain on my neck. Imagining it I could see the head of the train with its headlight only managing less than 50 meters breaking through the pouring rain. If I could just stand outside looking at it I would have loved it. I guess rain and train are my things.

While busy trying to finish something important we realized we made two mistakes. They were small mistakes but the potential impact is major. I do not wish to talk about the mistake per se here but more as the human behaviour of how the mistake can happen. When someone in a familiar territory or has been doing something so many times that it became second nature to them they tend to look it at a glance and their mind would straight away say yes, correct or things like that to declare the things they see as the truth. In our case the document that we had been working on took shape overtime and after each draft we put more confidence on the content to be right and blinded by the fine print. One of the best ways to mitigate this is to get somebody not familiar with the document to read it. This got me to thinking when someone argue that they do not have anything to share they are basically saying that they assume what they know has no value because they are too deep into it so much so decided it to be so simple and common sense and not worth sharing. They need to share it anyway as the third party listening to him would understand it differently and certainly triggers different perspective. This means the different meaning would leads to creating new set of knowledge.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On The Train (We assume too much, really), June 19, 2007

The realisation that we assume a lot of things in this world was made so powerful when I was reading a chapter from The Bankers To the Poor, an autobiography of Grameen Bank and it’s founder, today. Even as a so called expert one could be stuck in one’s paradigm that forms a base to a lot of our thinking. We think we know the obvious but in actual fact we assume the obvious. In the book Aid Organizations assumed that people in all situation and culture are poor because they are not educated and do not have any skill. Thus their intervention was providing skill trainings that really the poor do not need. A red flag flashed across my mind today during my discussion about certain system development. Despite our good intention and the understanding to put our stakeholders requirement first and foremost we still think and react from our perspective first. In this case we look at the system requirement from our own internal stakeholders perspective rather then external. I knew instantly we are going to have a problem. I am not sure how to get out of this ‘assuming’ box but one thing for sure I have to start to try to do it now.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Old Boys Network, SDARA78 TT Klang Valley, June 12, 2007

It has been awhile since we had our last TT and up until then several had already sounded me that we need to have one immediately. We planned to have the TT with Tam as he was back from Jeddah for his holidays but Allah decided otherwise. In the end only Arzman Aziz, Amy, Hatta, Shahrin, Mede Ribut, Balong, Cintu and myself turned up at Siraj Restaurant near Cintu’s place. Everything was organized within 24 hours. Abd Rahman Song was in Stockholm when he received my text message, Bodger texted back stating his absence, Mahali reported at last minute ‘bini tak bagi’ (actually mentua dia datang rumah), Nuri’s son not feeling well and the rest no notification of existence :)). In any case we understand fully why some could not make it. Even Tam himself had to go back home to Jelebu at the last minute and in the end could not come. Of course as usual the TT did not go to waste and as usual the stories flow like Nigeria Falls. What did we talk about you ask me? Well for these midlife approaching ‘youngsters’ the same stories that been told before but we enjoyed and laughed all the same, even louder. Mede Ribut as usual very Ribut with his entertaining stories about his time in the army and Timor Leste. Actually this was how the flow of the stories went, firstly catching up on each other especially Arzman that some of us have had not met for years, stories about others that were not there (ngumpat la ni lol), Timor Leste, gathering, Timor Leste, old stories, Mede Ribut’s sad story of his wife passing away due to cancer, old stories, Timor Leste and the cycle continued until the mamak chased us out at around 1230 hours.

Hey! You still do not get my point huh? Let me tell you.

The five or six years that we had growing up together tie us up in a special bond. The bond is so strong that I am very sure would remain forever. We understand and trust each other and at some points in our life would even willing to die for each other. Our network is so strong and it would take a lot of energy to break the bond or change us within our community and it is also would be easy to penetrate us if one managed to get in the good book of any of us. Apart from real life family relationship what we have is the most powerful relationship known to mankind. In this kind of relationship any form of Knowledge Sharing would be natural.

Some photos below. Sorry to Amy and Balong as I failed to remember to get both of you in among the shots.

Mede Ribut. Shahrin, Hatta

Mede Ribut, Cintu, Shahrin, Hatta

Arzman Aziz

This is a bonus photo. There is a free gift ff you can guess the third person

Friday, June 15, 2007

On The Train, (Too much to write) June 15, 2007

Suddenly I am in a position that I have so much to write about. Normally if I am in that state I ended up not writing anything at all but this time I started on every one of them at the same time. So, on the train I jump from one writing to another as I remember or have something pertinent to write about on the subject. Another thing I realized today is that I somewhat loosing the observer in me while on the train. In the morning I would be either concentrating on my reading or sleeping and on the way home doing office work or writing my memoir.

A lady boarded at KL station and sat in front of me and immediately she was on her handphone busy sending and receiving messages. Her face is so tense and worried now that I suspect something is worrying her. A Chinese guy boarded at KL Sentral and sat next to her and amazingly started to do the same thing as she was. The only difference he is just casual.

The usual Friday evening commuters picked up at Bandar Tasek Selatan and the number was constant even when we were arrived at Kajang. The only thing now is that both the lady and the Chinese guy sitting in front of me are sleeping. The lady with her hand on her face and the guy head up facing the roof. The Chinese lady next to him completes the picture as she is sleeping with her left hand propping her head. Looking around I can see several heads are down as well. I guess most are tired after a long week and really looking forward for the weekend.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

On The Train, (Oblivious and Not Environmental Aware) June 12, 2007

I got one Chinese gentleman on one end and a Chinese lady sitting quite close to me talking into their handphone as if they were the only one on the train. I know most of us could not understand what they were talking about but that is not a good reason to talk loudly as well. The episode reminded me of my recent brief trip to Hong Kong and Shenzen. The differences between the mainland Chinese and people from Hong Kong conduct themselves were really obvious. The most obvious one was the former talk very loudly among each other. This was really apparent when I was on the train back from Shenzen. Of course this is not a good or bad thing as it is just cultural. To them it is natural to do that and not to us. No matter how best we try to avoid it the question of culture would always persist especially when we want to create change. Our mistake could be assuming we could break the culture easily and, worse if we do not understand it enough, would put in place something that is totally opposite of the acceptable norm. Cultural awareness and awareness of our surrounding are important if we were to be successful in dealing with complex human system. I more or less argued the same thing in our BCP workshop today. No matter how best we do in coming out with a proper process and procedure to manage our crisis. The mix of these with understanding of human system will increase the odd for us. In their natural environment human will react instinctively and no process and procedure would be successful enough to help them.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

On The Train, June 6, 2007

One of the disadvantages of taking the train is being unlucky to sit close to a person or group of person that has a strong body odor. A group of young men came on board at KL Sentral and they smelled faulty so much it pierced my nostril. From my perspective it was bad and I was tempted to chage seat. But somehow it got me thinking. No, I am not condemning or making fun of them as what ever the reason is it is probably not their fault to smell like that. My point here is that nobody can be sure that the person close to you would like the smell that you emitted. The same thing with the smell of your perfume. You assumed that it smells nice but it definitely could be a turn off or down right nauseating to somebody. A lot of problems we faced in this world are because we assume too much. We assumed that people would like what we presented, offered or developed for them. We assumed what best for someone would also good for another. We also assumed what is successful for a group of people would receive the same success rate with another. The list could go on and on. To make matters worse when our assumption became too strong we always believe that we are right all the time. With that came a whole set of human problems. I learnt a valuable lesson today.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

On The Train, May 31, 2007

The Seremban line is getting worse in the evening. One or two missing from the schedule is common occurrence everyday now. Of course the school holidays is making it worse for everyone. The usual commuters will complaint, very loudly sometimes, and of course some like me would be cursing. Just like today I arrived at the station arounf 1904 and the signboard after a Port Klang train passed indicated that a Seremban train is scheduled at 1916. !916 came and gone and yet the next train was for Port Klang line. When we were at KL Sentral it was packed and as expected it gotten worse at MidValley. Screaming, yelling and excited people could be heard on top of the crowded coach. I could here inexperience riders actually ooing and ooing when the train swayed as there were not used to standing on a fast moving train with nothing to hold on to. At times it was fun hearing them like that. Come to think of it, it is an art to be able to ride any train properly. All of us regulars already master it, I would say at least you have to do it for two years before it became the part of you, and could actually adapt to different types of train. Believe it or not each train had it own peculiarity and specialty. The sound of the engines and air-conditioners are different. The sway is also different where the experts can adjust his or her sitting/sleeping positions accordingly. Seriously as mundane as riding this train it is a discovery of life.