Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On The Train, Aug 24, 2009

Third day of Ramadhan and first day of Ramadhan at work I am going to be late for iftar already. Now at 1838 I am still waiting for my train. It was announced just now that my 1820 train had been cancelled. Yeap! KTMB can do just that. At this rate I would be home at around 1950.

I am on the train now but as you could guess almost rip at the seam. At the moment I am trying my best to be positive with the whole thing. Frankly, my fuse is at the thinnest string now. Anymore ‘technical problem’ from KTMB would deem my puasa meaningless for the day. I just hope I do not have to come to that. On a brighter note despite the obvious I have learned to really control myself as it could have been worse.

Indeed I landed on the platform at Bangi station at 2001.

Looking at the whole scenario I think conceptually KTMB did the right thing, giving their current train shortage, with the schedule. The only problem their execution could have been faster and better. They really have to see this as not a technical problem but and adaptive one. What they are doing now is whenever there is congestion in either line they will take a train out of the other line to cover. They do this by closely monitoring the volumes. As I said they could do this better and decision making is the key element.

Monday, August 24, 2009

On The Train, Aug 21, 2009

I just knew that today is going to be worse than yesterday for two reasons.

1. Friday evening
2. Tomorrow would be the start of Ramadhan. Extra bodies would be going home for the weekends as well as people going home a bit early to start going to surau for their sunat ramadhan.

Nevertheless I tried my luck as I hoped to be home earlier than the usual. No dice and once again I got out of the platform and parked myself at the Swiss Oven.

Around 2000 I dragged myself out onto the platform for the Sentul bound train so that I could catch my train at KL Station. My timing today was brilliant as I did not have to wait long. I was alos lucky to get a seat as we rolled into KL Sentral. Just like the trains before it was transformed immediately into a hot sardine can.

It was really chaotic when we stopped at MidValley and Bandar Tasek Selatan. To make thing worse one of the door refused to open.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On The Train. Aug. 17, 2009

It was still drizzling when I walked down slowly to the station anticipating a nice ride home. Naturally after the heavy downpour the station was wet from one end to the other. Sitting down in the bench was a lucky event after somebody had actually sat to dry certain spot. I thought the train was coming in a short while so I paced myself to the end of the platform. As I turned back at the end came the dreadful announcement that the Seremban line was delayed by 30 minutes. Not wanting to drain myself further of my already depleted energy I sat myself down and relax. The hope of a nice ride home diminished as I see more people come waiting and even more when the train actually rolled into the station with almost total capacity.

I was lucky several commuters near where I was standing got down at KL Station and I got a seat. But then my mood had already been spoilt by KTMB. The best way was to converse with myself through my writing.

On The Train, Aug. 13, 2009

The week so far has been unpredictable for me. Both physically and mentally I am drained. I do not know why physically my mentally I was disappointed with the development of our project as well as worried of the situation of the H1N1 pandemic now. More and more commuters putting on their masks on the train now. Yet I am still adamant that I am not zorro. But I know I am just being stubborn about it. Eventually I will put on one once the situation is out of control.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

On The Train (High Bandwidth Network), Aug. 5, 2009

I was at the MSC Innovation Centre this morning having a discussion on MYREN. MYREN stands for the National (Malaysia) Research Education Network. Technically it is a high bandwidth network infrastructure that was meant to provide opportunities for the research communities to collaborate virtually. Their popular services being an infrastructure for high definition video conferencing (VC) or just a normal VC, video streaming, e-learning and high power computing facilities. These are the obvious usage of the network and if you study and understand the network better actually it could be the best investment that you ever made for knowledge sharing and acquisition especially among the academic community. One thing that I like and people at MYREN doing right is to encourage a community-based business model among their users. Simply because that what it should be. Their entire research community should realize this and tap all the potential of the network to the fullest. As I was listening to the briefing I was also thinking and one thing that I realized immediately was not the bandwidth or the power of the network but the power of connectivity it provided across all expert groups for face-to-face conversation. Unfortunately, culturally, the research and academic communities failed to see this and instead pegged themselves to the belief that knowledge is power. They refused to recognize the big picture. Whatever their issues or problems they have with each other they have to see the positive side of the coin. For us we have a pretty good idea of how we are going to utilize the network.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

On The Train (Adaptive Challenges), Aug. 4, 2009

I learned about Adaptive Challenges today when I read Nancy Dixon’s blog and it cleared my thoughts on the things that I was thinking in trying to find leads to possible solution. As always the reading introduced me to further reading materials that I would want to buy later at MPH.

Dixon wrote:

‘Characteristics of adaptive challenges are 1) their unpredictability, 2) the lack of agreement on exactly what the problem is, and 3) differing views about what constitutes an acceptable solution. Examples of adaptive challenges are, organizations that have merged and now must create a new and joint culture; hospital systems faced with an interminable nursing shortage; the anticipated retirement of thousands of workers in the government sector; and companies that, in order to survive, must change from selling products to service.’

She further wrote:

‘With adaptive challenges existing assumptions, methods, and tools are useless. They may even get in the way. Dealing with the complexity of adaptive challenges requires altered assumptions, different methods, and yet to be invented tools. And beyond that, adaptive challenges often necessitate that employees learn and practice new behaviors.’

This is exactly what we are facing now and as I said cleared some of my thoughts on the issue. The best part is that it explained why we are doing what we are doing now. It is as if this writing was just written for me or us.

On The Train, Aug 3, 2009

Another H1N1 related death was reported today making the total number for Malaysia to 6 deaths. From the report so far most of the death happened because it was detected too late. There are still some pockets of the population are not aware of the situation and what to do. This is more of an attitude problem rather then just communication. Nevertheless, the failure of communication stills very much the case in Malaysia. Misinformation is still rampant and the channels used sometimes are not appropriate if not outdated. And if you combine these problems with the attitude of Malaysian the problem snowballed. Malaysian still has the attitude that if it is not happening to me or my family I am ok. Again I feel we are engaging complex issue and situation using the old tools.

Monday, August 3, 2009

On The Train (Language, Conversation, Connection and Recognition), July 31, 2009

Maybe not with the same bang as the first one we had still this year’s K Fair was concluded successfully. I do not thing we could make the turn up any bigger than the first one for the lucky draw. The first one was always special for the obvious reason. My personal observations of the three days have been:

1. Those that came to the booths and events were not the normal people that came just for the sake of the gifts and lucky draw.
2. From the questions that they asked indicated that they were there really to learn and share.
3. Again awareness and the use of new language proved to be important in creating change
4. Some of the events that were not ‘work’ related should be encouraged, apart from discovering fresh talents in the organization, they were opportunities for connecting people. Thus, the seed of their social networks and communities of practice. This was obvious during the puisi and story telling sessions.
5. The award recognitions opened up better understanding to the management and they encouraged us to continue with the effort. With their understanding and support I am positive we could see better things to come.
6. Yet again with proper guidance, support, believe and trust you could delegate almost everything and your colleagues would deliver

I was so tired that I left the office after I had a bit of rest in the office. I was also conscious of the Friday evening crowd. I got to the platform with my train approaching and as soon as we were at KL Sentral it was solid packed. With that ended another week of my life.