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.