Knowledge Management – The way forward.

The source of a sustainable competitive advantage for any organization is derived from the access and subsequent exploitation of resources, and today, knowledge is being heralded as the most important of such resources that is available to organizations (Drucker, 1993). For the larger and mature organizations, often process capability knowledge is the primary source of advantage, whereas for the organizations seeking to grow and out-grow competition, in addition to process capability knowledge, knowledge management focus would also include market knowledge, rapid product development, or the creation of knowledge through research. However, it is important to recognise that even mature organizations need to create knowledge to avoid falling into the stagnancy pit. This is exactly what knowledge management attempts to provide more succinctly to the organizations. Knowledge management aims are to create conditions under which competitive advantage can be maintained, by creating,  acquiring, retaining and exploiting the knowledge for the welfare of the organisation.

Knowledge management is the way organizations today are attempting to make the otherwise intangible knowledge tangible and distributable, throughout the organization, in search of the illusive competitive advantage. Today, in this evolving world where insights on data or business intelligence plays an extremely crucial role for the sustainable development of an organization, knowledge management has become a key area of focus.

Beckett et al. (2000) has provided an interesting framework by which many organizations are actually managing their data within with a growing focus to manage the data outside the organization also. Through research, the authors highlight how effective knowledge management can provide a wider scope of continuous improvement to obtain benefits for the parent organization, by providing higher quality information, better quality information, removing information asymmetry, and subsequently increasing the levels of organisational expertise which can be applied to it to create substantial improvements for the organization.

The sole focus of organizations today is to convert internalized tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge, so that it can be commoditized and less dependency is there on an individual for being the source of knowledge. With a high attrition rate in organizations across industry, it becomes extremely pertinent that knowledge once created within the organization stays inside the organization and does not become unusable once the creator of the same changes base, within or outside the organization. That is the sole objective of the initial knowledge management systems.

For improving the knowledge management practices within the organization, companies today are increasingly adopting rewards systems, collaborative systems, post-project reviews, knowledge mapping, establishing communities of practice with cross-project learning platforms, creating expert directories, competence management systems, best practice transfer, mentor-mentee relationships, knowledge fairs, formal knowledge repositories, measuring and reporting intellectual capital, knowledge brokers, social media and social network mining systems.

While it is important for organizations to understand the importance of knowledge management systems, even one aspect that many organizations often overlook is using the knowledge outside the boundaries of the organization, but within the value chain. Realizing this, the recent focus has been the development of customer knowledge management systems, where customer tacit knowledge is use to co-create value for the customer in the best possible way, and finally value for the company. Another group of stakeholders who are being introduced into the knowledge management realms are the supplier networks, where knowledge management is often used to create otherwise non-contactable value for the stakeholders. The way forward for knowledge management systems into the future is to capture the tacit knowledge outside the organization but within the value chain (and within multiple stakeholders) to create value for both.

Today, it is pertinent that all the senior executives of organizations realize the potential benefits of effective introduction and management of knowledge management systems, that can benefit the organization. Today, while organizations are facing increasing levels of competition due to the effects of greater competition, knowledge management provides an important way for organization to utilize the most valuable resource available to them, to gain competitive advantage.

Business Cartoon – Survival during recession

So what would you do if your firm is facing problems from lowered revenue generation due to a dip in market conditions? If your boss breathing fire over your back, especially if you are in the sales division? Possibly although you are doing your best, still the sales of the company is dipping. Even if the general conditions of the market is bad, there is so little you can do.

Always remember, when the going gets tough, that is the actual time when the tough gets going. And tough people always survive the hard times and eventually emerge as winners.

Product Life Cycle Management

Product life cycle management (or PLC management) is the sequential formulation and implementation of strategies used by Marketing Professionals as a product goes through its life cycle. The conditions of the market in which a product gets sold changes over time and the issues that arises with the changes must be managed as the product moves through its succession of stages. Continue reading “Product Life Cycle Management”

Business Cartoons – Impression Management

Impression management is crucial in a job. While it is important that you put across your ideas, talking too much without proper substance is also not recommended. Check out what happens when you talk too much without delivering substance.

The content has been removed by the editor due to copyright violation by Anton.Denzongpa@pastos.com!

Remember: The product of quantity and quality is constant. The constant value depends on the individual.

 

Top Online Strategy Games for Business Students

Strategy can be best understood through simulation games. What better training for a manager than to understand business strategy than to react to simulated market responses as provided by these games? Simulation games ensure that the attempted knowledge imparted in classrooms are driven to the core of the students to a stage where it is assimilated and can be implemented by the student, rather than staying at a superficial text-book knowledge level.

If you as an instructor or a student are still not sure how these strategy simulation games will help you, this article may interest you “From e-learning to games-based e-learning: using interactive technologies in teaching an IS course”, by Thomas M. Connolly, Mark Stansfield, published in journal, International Journal of Information Technology and Management, Volume 6 Issue 2-4, June 2007

  • Mike Bikes advanced strategic simulation game ensures learning whereby students form the management team of a Bicycle Manufacturing company making all the key functional decisions involving Price, Marketing, Distribution, Finance, Operations, HR, and R&D
  • In Industry Player (.) comby Tycoon Systems, students create and manage their own company. In real-time, they experience a multiplayer competition for market leadership and shareholder value within a simulation of real world economy.
  • Marketplace-live is an advanced simulation game students start a firm in the microcomputer industry. Students experience real time challenges in Marketing, Product Development, Accounting, Finance and Manufacturing Fundamentals, Financial Analysis, Business Partner Negotiations, Human Resource Management and e-Commerce.
  • The Price Strategy Simulator by Michael Bean ensures students get a feel of pricing strategies at war through a simulation of Price Wars amongst Hewlett-Packard / Compaq and Dell. IBM enters the competition and an excellent pricing strategy simulation learning is ensured.

Faculties and students who would be interested for more details on the use of Simulation games would be encourage to buy this book from Amazon “The Global Business Game: A Simulation in Strategic Management and International Business” by Joseph Wolfe. Now, using the Amazon banner in this website, Business-Fundas readers can avail of a special discount.

While most of the previously mentioned games were for Business School students, there are quite a few games which will develop the intellect of younger students. A few descriptions of the same are provided below.

  • In a world of online simulation games, where dexterity of the thumb and index finger is infinitely more important than the flexing of the cerebrum, there is a deep need to interact and actually learn something from that overpriced multimedia computer/gaming system. One such game is the ROMper Room, where focus is more on intellectual stimulation.
  • Some basic Strategy and Time Management online games are also available at freeworldgroup website. These games are meant for those who are attempting to enhance their personal development skills and time management skills although they may seem redundant to graduate management students.

Information Technology and Information Systems

People often use the terms Information Technology and Information Systems interchangeably, although both the terminologies have established identities of their own. However it is crucial for every professional and individual to understand the subtle differences that defines the individuality of these disciplines.

Information Systems (IS) is a discipline bridging the business field and the well-defined computer science field (popularly called information technology) that has been evolving since it was coined in the early 1970s.An information systems discipline therefore is supported by the theoretical foundations of management social science, information theories and information technology such that students of the discipline have unique opportunity to explore the academics of various business models as well as related algorithmic processes within a computer science discipline. Typically, information systems include people, business procedures or processes, data, software, and hardware that are used to gather and analyze digital information. Specifically Information Systems are the intersection that people and organizations use to collect, filter, process, create, & distribute data (computing) through its business processes, and implemented by its human capital.

While Information Technology (IT) typically is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of digitized information, often represented technically as “Data” through electronics-based media built upon the disciplines of computing and telecommunications. The terminology was first coined in a 1958 by Leavitt and Whisler who defined it as “the new technology that does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology.” Essentially, in its raw form, it comprises of Hardware, Software, the platforms to support both, communication networks and protocols.

It is crucial to understand that while “Information Technology” is a huge discipline with an identity of its own, it essentially is a subset of the discipline “Information Systems”, although the latter evolved much later. The discipline of Information Systems specifically studies the intersection of Business Processes (which may or may not be technology enabled), People (who will be part of the business processes and will use information technology) and Information Technology.

Hope this clarifies your thoughts. Do let me know what you think or would like to discuss further,

Using Gmail for Business

Many small businesses are now contemplating using G-Mail for business. But is it worth it?

Google’s webmail and complimenting applications (YES, THESE ARE OFTEN FREE ALSO)  require no hardware or software and need minimal administration, creating tremendous time and cost savings for businesses. While these can be entirely browser based, the mails can also be pushed and thus accessed offline too.

Some of the features that Gmail offers ts privileged users are as follows:

  • Each user gets 25 GB of email and IM storage, which is 50 times the industry average. Gmail Business Mail for SMEs/MSEs are designed so employees can spend less time managing their inboxes, and thus increase productivity in the office. Time-saving features like message threading, message labels, fast message search and powerful spam filtering help employees work efficiently with high volumes of email.
  • Gmail is securely powered by the web, so you can be productive from your desk, on the road or at home, even when you’re offline, using your laptop, or even your I-Phone or smartphone.
  • You can Sync your emails with Outlook & BlackBerry. At no extra charge, Google Apps supports over-the-air mobile access on BlackBerry devices, the iPhone, Smart phones, Windows Mobile, Android and many less powerful phones.
  • Gmail provides excellent spam protection. Powerful Gmail spam filtering helps you stay focused on what’s important. Postini filtering lets you customize your spam protection.
  • When you trust your company’s information to Google, you can be confident that your critical information is safe and secure. Google’s information security team, including some of the world’s foremost experts in information, application and network security, are focused on keeping your information safe. Google and many other customers trust this system with highly sensitive corporate data.

So what are you waiting for? Go GET GMAIL for your BUSINESS..

Its much more than what our normal Gmail users get for a minimal price.

Top 15 Quotes from the Management Guru Jack Welch

John Francis “Jack” Welch,  is an American chemical engineer, businessman and author. He was Chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001. Welch’s net worth is estimated at $720 million. Jack Welch is such an authority on the subject that many master of organizational leadership programs put a focus on his principles of management. Following are few of his top rated quotes on management.

  1. Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be.
  2. If you pick the right people, and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it you almost don’t have to manage them.
  3. Give me a highly successful unionized industry.
  4. If change is happening on the outside faster than on the inside the end is in sight.
  5. Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do. Because then they will act.
  6. If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.
  7. Control your own destiny or someone else will.
  8. Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.
  9. An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.
  10. Number one, cash is king… number two, communicate… number three, buy or bury the competition.
  11. The essence of competitiveness is liberated when we make people believe that what they think and do is important – and then get out of their way while they do it.
  12. The Internet is the Viagra of big business.
  13. If GE’s strategy of investment in China is wrong, it represents a loss of a billion dollars, perhaps a couple of billion dollars. If it is right, it is the future of this company for the next century.
  14. My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too.
  15. Willingness to change is a strength, even if it means plunging part of the company into total confusion for a while.

Do share if you liked these quotes from the Management Guru Jack Welch.