June archive

Team Working

June 28, 2007 0 comments

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Introduce participants to key team roles

Help participants identify and consider their best team role

"Configure" a team and suggest its expected performance in light of Belbin team role theory

Group Work

  • Discuss role types given in handout "Useful People to Have in Teams"
  • Complete Self-Perception Inventory
  • Identify your preferred team role by analysing the role typical features
  • Using the Self-Perception Inventory and table below identify your "lead" team role and "back-up" team role
role Low Av. Hi Very hi Av.
CW 0-6 7-11 12-16 17-23 10
CH 0-6 7-10 11-13 14-18 8.8
SH 0-8 9-13 14-17 18-36 11.6
PL 0-4 5-8 9-12 13-29 7.3
RI 0-6 7-9 10-11 12-21 7.8
ME 0-5 6-9 10-12 13-19 8.2
TW 0-8 9-12 13-16 17-25 10.9
CF 0-3 4-6 7-9 10-17 5.5

Glossary

CW = Company worker, CH = Chairman, SH = Shaper, PL= plant, RI = resource investigator, ME = Monitor Evaluator, TW = spirit; SF = Completer-Finisher

"Role Ballance and Team Development <http://www.ibam.com/pubs/jbam/articles/vol8/no3/JBAM_8_3_3.pdf>"_

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio

Presentation Hints

June 28, 2007 0 comments

Preparation – group – book a room in the Library. Practice speaking to an audience

Preparation – personal – practice speaking in front of your bedroom mirror

Each group member is to speak even if it is only a few lines.

Acetates should be used to illustrate sales, profits, strategy

Your speech should be written in large letters and double spaced so that you do not have to peer at it

Speak clearly and audibly, not too fast

Maintain eye contact with your audience

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio

Understanding of an organization structure design.

June 28, 2007 0 comments

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Important to rich an an understanding of the critical factors influencing design of organisation structure.

Review and discuss the factors affecting the design of the organization structure and the different types of structure

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio

“The Recruitment Process” and “Interview Critique”

June 28, 2007 0 comments

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Review content of "The Recruitment Process" and "Interview Critique"

Do role-play exercise.

What was important in a preparation for interview and was it required?

What was important in the preparation of the interviewer and did it achieve satisfactory answers?

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio

Management Report Format

June 28, 2007 0 comments

Requirements

The Report is to contain the following sections:

  • Introduction – including your team members and their positions in the management structure.
  • Summary – of your decisions taken; why you took them, the reasons behind them, your marketing, stock keeping, production strategies etc
  • Provide relevant management theory references which you include to back up your arguments
  • Conclusions – How well you did and if not, why not
  • Recommendations – should be where you put your money where your mouth is – one or several short sentences
  • Bibliography - referencing is to be used where appropriate
  • Appendices - diagrams, graphs, bar charts – if any

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio

Job Search Plan

June 28, 2007 0 comments

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Prepare a Job Search Plan (1) to improve action planning skills and (2)to improve decision-making skills.

Show an understanding of the difficulty in dealing with trade-offs in a time sensitive situation.

Actions

Recap on nature of action planning and asked how that translates to a Job Search Plan

Start JSP focusing, individually, on your preferences, trade-offs and objectives.

Swap your plan with your colleagues who critically appraise same for inconsistencies, realism and a contingency perspective.

To be continued

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio

Writing a Cover Letter

June 28, 2007 0 comments

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Draft a Cover Letter for cold approaches

Show an understanding of the recruitment process and standard interview structure from the interviewer's perspective.

Cold approach and general rules of letter writing

For example, you are applying for a position of a production manager in a large electronics company based in Los Angeles.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio

Creating a Curriculum Vitae

June 28, 2007 0 comments

Drafting CV will improve your self promotion skills Your Personal Inventory can be used to develop a CV.

In CV you recall constituent parts of a Personal Inventory:

Skills, Values, Interests, Core Strengths, Other Personal Attributes, Weaknesses, Areas for Personal Development.

You should be aware of the structural differences between conventional and skills-based CVs

Which CV is best if you know the details of skills required to do the job?

Which CV is best if application is cold?

How does the Personal Inventory help in the preparation of both types of CV?

Assume that you have registered with an agency to help you find a specific Placement employment and you have now to prepare a CV for them.

Which type of CV will you use?

Try to get the structure and key points right

Swap with a colleague and apply the "arms" length test;

Raise points about layout and content with your friends. Listen to their suggestions

Complete the CV. You Can look at your CV later and improve over time.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio

Personal Inventory

June 28, 2007 0 comments

By preparing your Personal Inventory and Strengths and Weaknesses Statements, you improve your self awareness

It is important that you have the ability to identify skills, values, interests, strengths and differentiating factors; have evidence of achievements etc.; are proactive in seeking feedback; able to identify areas for personal, academic and professional development.

Personal Inventory should consist of:

  • Skills
  • Values
  • Interests
  • Core Strengths
  • Other Personal Attributes
  • Weaknesses
  • Areas for Personal Development

Specific skills:

Such as accounting, IT, marketing etc which employers might seek.

List learning outcomes of modules taught and rate how “good” you are at these “basic, intermediate advanced” or record the length of time you have been using and practicing these skills.

Personal Transferable skills:

These are transferable between jobs of different types.

Examples include communication skills, interpersonal skills, team working skills, organizing skills, leadership skills, adaptability , willingness and ability to learn, self-motivation , self discipline.

Think about the big events in your life specific achievements, awards obtained, work experience, travel adventures responsibilities held etc. Reflect on each and identify the skills acquired/ utilized/ developed.

Values

What do you prize, esteem, appreciate?

Strengths

Skills, attributes which are your most developed/expert. (who says?, testimonies?, references?)

Weaknesses

Attributes you are aware are not as well developed as you would like and which represent areas for personal development.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio

Skills Set

June 28, 2007 0 comments

Early identification of need : ”delayering”, ”down-sizing” (re-sizing) and “business re-engineering” have lead to leaner more efficient organizations with greater responsibility passed down the structure, the need for teamwork, better “people” skills and IT Literacy. Dr Peter Hawkins of Liverpool University concludes that the complete graduate needs four types of skills:

SPECIALIST: it helps to be an expert at something (e.g. programming, marketing; tax planning; family law)

GENERALIST: must have general business skills and knowledge;

CONNECTED: must be team players (e.g. meeting skills, negotiation skills, networking skills);

SELF-RELIANT: must be able to manage their career and personal development (e.g. confidence, self-awareness; action planning; political awareness).

Holbeche(1997) considers ”what seems to be emerging is the idea that a career will involve more lateral than vertical moves; that it will be characterized by constant learning and development of skills and competence and that employees will be primarily responsible for managing their own careers”.

Bridges, quoted in Holbeche (1997), considers that jobs as we know them will cease to exist – that society will become “de-jobbed”. The only way to survive is to look at yourself as if you were self-employed.

The “new” self-reliance skills are necessary to enable people to manage the processes of career progression and effective learning” since the traditional career ladder and job for life has disappeared. Other academics, practitioners in the careers field, and the Government all identify similar skills required by graduates for the new careers of the 21st century.

SELF-RELIANCE SKILLS

“The Self-Reliant Graduate is aware of the changing world of work, takes responsibility for his or her own career and personal development and is able to manage the relationship with work and with learning throughout all stages of life”.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio

Project Portfolio

June 28, 2007 0 comments

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Your project portfolio should contain the four components:

  • An analysis of your own strengths and weaknesses
  • A CV typed up and ready for use
  • A logically formulated job search plan clearly set out with targets and deadlines
  • A copy of each of the cover letters sent out to potential employers and notes giving the background details upon which you based the cover letter, along with the potential employers' replies.

Once you have secured a placement there is no need to add any further cover letters to your portfolio.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio

Questionarie

June 28, 2007 0 comments

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Questions you have to answer:

  • Which section(s) or department(s) did you work in?
  • Who was your Industrial Supervisor or main person to whom you were responsible?
  • Were you given an induction program to help you in the first few days of the placement?
  • Were you given training courses at any time during the placement?
  • Was your progress discussed with your Industrial Supervisor as often as you would have liked?
  • What were the 4 tasks which you spent most time on?
  • What were the main responsibilities you were given?
  • Did you work on your own? How much team working did you do?
  • Did you use IT? What software, hardware?
  • What were the wages?
  • Any bonus?
  • Did you get a holiday entitlement?
  • Facilities (e.g. restaurant, sport, social, etc.)
  • Was accommodation adequate?
  • Any financial or practical drawbacks to the placement?
  • What skills and knowledge from University (College) Courses did you use?
  • What skills and knowledge did you acquire on placement?
  • Are there any skills/knowledge which you would have preferred to have gained from your University (College) courses before going on placement?
  • Final reflections on the placement? Will you consider an offer of this placement (Internship)with your employer organization?

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio

GUIDANCE NOTES ON PLACEMENTS. (Health and Safety)

June 28, 2007 0 comments

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Action to be taken in an emergency

Because of the wide variety of work that is carried out and the possible complex layout of the various buildings, it is not possible to produce a set of valid and detailed emergency instructions to cover every situation that may arise. For this reason, each employer has its own emergency instructions relating to particular buildings. There should be in every building a notice setting out the procedure to be adopted in case of fire.

This instruction should be studied and committed to memory.

There are certain points that apply to all emergency situations:

  • You should commit to memory the standing orders for emergency action. You will have not time to read them in an emergency
  • Remember: you are expected to act in the spirit of the instructions. There is no substitute for common sense
  • The most important consideration at all times is human safety
  • Remember: if you become a casualty someone must rescue you, possibly at personal risk to themselves
  • You should act quietly and methodically. You should not rush or attempt to pass others when leaving the scene of an emergency
  • The senior person present should assume control of the situation, ensuring the safe evacuation from the premises of all persons present and be prepared to warn the Emergency Services etc., of all known specific hazards

If you have to telephone for assistance in an emergency, the following information must always be given:

  • Who you are
  • Where you are: i.e. the location and telephone extension from which you are telephoning
  • The nature of the emergency and what services are required
  • The exact location where assistance is required.

You should ensure that the message has been correctly received by asking for it to be repeated back to you.

It is essential that the location be clearly defined. Local terminology should not be used because for instance, "the research site" means very little to the Emergency Services.

It is important always to give the correct name for the building and the street where it is located. If the postcode is known that should also be provided.

General duties of employers

  • Employers are required, as far as reasonably practicable, to:
  • Ensure the health and safety and welfare of employees
  • Provide safe plant and systems of work
  • Ensure safe use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances
  • Provide information, instruction, training and supervision</li><li>Maintain a safe place of work and safe means of access and egress.

General duties of employers to employees

The effect is to make criminally enforceable the common law duty to take reasonable care for the safety of employees. This includes the requirement, as far as reasonably practicable, to ensure:

  • Employees know the risks
  • Employees know the precautions
  • The precautions are available
  • Employees know the precautions available.

General duties of employers to persons other than employees

Employers have a general duty to protect anyone affected by the undertaking e.g. the general public. Regulations:

  • Require information to be given to persons affected e.g. living near the plant
  • Prescribe situations regarding emission of fumes, smoke etc.
  • Place duties on persons in control of premises in relation to harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

Duties towards the customer

Duties of those who design, manufacture, import or supply and install articles or substances are to:

  • Ensure that they are safe and without risk to health
  • Carry out tests, examination and research (or have it done on their behalf)
  • Provide adequate information regarding proper use, maintenance etc.
  • Install or erect plant and equipment safely.

The duties can be relieved by a written undertaking from the supplier that he/she will take the steps to ensure that the article or substance will be safe in use or while being cleaned, maintained etc.

Duties of employees

No levy on employees is permitted for the provision of statutory protective equipment. Employees must:

  • Take reasonable care for themselves and others
  • Co-operate with the employer and use safety appliances
  • Not recklessly and willfully interfere with safety appliances.

General Safety

The prevention of accidents in laboratories, stores, workshops and all other places of work are a duty of every individual using or entering them. Ensuring the safety of others is as important as the avoidance of personal injury.

Everyone should make it his or her first task to become familiar with any special instructions issued for dealing with emergencies peculiar to the place in which he or she is working.

General safety issues

Eating, drinking, smoking and the application of make-up in laboratories or when handling or working with chemicals is prohibited. Smoking may also be prohibited in many other areas as well.

You should familiarize yourself with:

  • The layout of the building
  • The location of fire-fighting appliances and how they work
  • Ways to get out of the building in an emergency, which may be different to the way you came in</li><li>The siting of telephones, and
  • First aid arrangements.

Remember: it may be too late to find out very much when an emergency actually happens.

If you have any queries on safety matters: consult your supervisor or safety representative.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio

Your Assessment Profile

June 28, 2007 0 comments

ASSESSMENT PROFILE

Personal

Attribute

Description

1

2

3

4

5

A.  Appearance

Appropriately dressed.  Business-like.






B.  Enthusiasm

Keen and lively interest towards work and the organization.






C.  Self-discipline

Ability to control behavior as appropriate.






D.  Self-confidence

Confidence in own powers and judgment.  Assured.






E.  Integrity

Overall reliability, consistency and trustworthiness.  Ethical norms.






Interpersonal Skills

Attribute

Description

1

2

3

4

5

A.  Oral Communication

Effectiveness of expression in individual or group situations.






B.  Written Communication

Ability to express ideas clearly in writing in good grammatical form.






C.  Listening Ability

Ability to pick out important information in oral communications.






D.  Interpersonal Sensitivity

Awareness and empathy with the needs and feelings of other people.






Motivation

Attribute

Description

1

2

3

4

5

A.  Self-Motivation

High need to achieve success.






B.  Commitment

Belief in own job or role and its value to the organization.  Gives maximum effort.






C.  Initiative

Actively influencing events rather than passively accepting; sees opportunities.  Originates action.






Intellectual Ability

Attribute

Description

1

2

3

4

5

A.  Problem Analysis

Effectiveness in identifying problems, seeking pertinent data and finding possible solutions.






B.  Judgement

To reach the best conclusions from available information.






C.  Creativity

Ability to come up with imaginative solutions in business situations.  Innovative.






Managerial Ability

Attribute

Description

1

2

3

4

5

A.  Leadership

Displays leadership characteristics.  Ability to develop teamwork.






B.  Planning and Organising

Ability to establish efficiently an appropriate course of action for self and others to accomplish goal.






C.  Organisational Sensitivity

Capacity to perceive the impact and implications of decisions and activities on others.






D.  Management Identification

Ability to identify readily with and to accept the concerns and problems of management.






1 = low

5 = high

SUMMARY ASSESSMENT

Area

A

B

C

D

E

Total

A

V

E

Supervisor’s Comments

Personal









Interpersonal Skills









Motivation









Intellectual Ability









Managerial Ability









 

Assessment Guidelines

Average Area score of less than 2:

Considerable improvement needs to be made. You should consult with your Industrial Supervisor and discuss your personal improvement strategies with your Academic Supervisor.

Average Area score of 2 to 3:

Clearly some room for improvement! Focus on developing the areas which are most important to the successful completion of your placement work.

Average Area score of 3 to 4:

About average performance. Good! Can you improve further? Delight the customer?

Average Area score of 4 to 5:

Excellent!

Improvement Strategies

Area
 Resources Action Target Date
1        
2       
3       

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio

Personal Development Portfolio

June 28, 2007 0 comments

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The Personal Development Portfolio is designed to help you get the most value out of your placement work experience.

The goal of this information is to help you to find a first work placement and develop self-reliance skills

  • To introduce you experience based learning techniques
  • To develop further knowledge and understanding of the management functions and skills
  • To develop team working skills

To develop knowledge and appreciation of statistical inference in business and management

The following topics will be illustrated:

"Presentation_Guidelines <http://lisaconsulting.com>"_

Introduction and Self-reliance Skills - Exploring self-reliance

Self-awareness; Self-promotion - Supervised Work Experience

"Curriculum Vitae <http://lisaconsulting.com/networkopportunities/>"_ - Opportunities and Networking

"Action Planning and Decision-making <http://lisaconsulting.com/actionplanning/>"_ - Cover Letters and Interview Skills

"Development Focus <http://lisaconsulting.com/devfocus/>"_ - Job Search Plan

Business Games

"Team Working <http://lisaconsulting.com/teamwork/>"_

"Organizing <http://lisaconsulting.com/organizing/>"_

Planning

Leadership

Controlling

Tasks Action Plan

  • Record of Work - a summary of your work profile
  • Reflective Learning - a diary about your day-to-day duties
  • Developing your Skills - Self Appraisal of competencies and discussions with your colleagues or Supervisor

Presentation Outcome of your Portfolio

  • Legibility - All entries should be clear and comprehensible
  • Layout - Diary entries and the summary work record should be clearly laid out and orderly
  • Condition - The portfolio should be intact and in good condition throughout

The Content of Your Portfolio

  • Completeness- All tasks completed in a conscientious and professional way
  • Relevance- Work record and diary entries relevant to learning aims
  • Consistency - Logical relationship between entries in work record, diary entries, assessment profile and improvement strategies
  • Integrity - Evidence of input from Industrial Supervisor

Training Record

Record details of any training you are given by your employer

This training may take the form of in-house courses or courses delivered by external consultants contracted specially for the purpose.

Please, indicate a date, course title, short description and the name and title of a person who delivered it.

Your Induction Checklist

The following items should be included in your induction into the organization, preferably on your first day.

Please check off the items below when they occur and discuss with your Industrial Supervisor any items not covered within 1 week of the start of your placement. This list is not exhaustive and other topics may be covered which you may note if you wish.

Tasks

Introduced to key staff members and their roles explained

  • Location of toilet facilities
  • Lunch, tea and coffee arrangements<
  • Place of work
  • Dress code
  • Work space
  • How to answer the telephone, transfer calls and make calls both internally and externally
  • Post arrangements
  • Car Parking

Health and Safety Issues

  • Emergency Procedures
  • Safety policy received or location known
  • Location of First Aid box
  • Fire procedures and location of fire extinguishers
  • Accident reporting and location of accident book
  • Display Screen Equipment regulations/procedures
  • Manual handling procedures
  • Protective clothing arrangements
  • Instruction on equipment you will be using
  • Other issues

Tasks - Record of Work and Reflective Learning

Key aspects of Supervised Work Experience are (i) the actual jobs you do in the placement and (ii) what you learn while doing the job.

The aim of this task if therefore two-fold - to provide you, for future reference, with a structured record of the job and to encourage your thinking about the work (reflection) to promote your learning.

The Job

When you record work activities on the Work Record sheets, first of all, you might want to record the activities or jobs in some detail. However, as the placement progresses you will want to use abbreviations or your own shorthand to record the jobs which are by then more familiar to you. At the end of the placement you are required to summaries the range and nature of the jobs you have done and to show approximately how much time you have spent doing each type of job.

The Learning

You are to use the Diary pages to record your observations and experiences e.g. how you felt about certain jobs or parts of jobs, whether you enjoyed doing particular jobs, were indifferent to them or hated them!

Clearly, observations and experiences are only worthwhile if you learn something from them, so be sure to identify the learning for each set of observations or experiences you decide to record in your diary.

You should enter in your diary the observations and experiences relating to the learning aims are set out below:

  • to develop your personal and interpersonal skills and to improve your knowledge and understanding of the management functions;
  • to develop further knowledge and understanding of the business functions and of how they are integrated within the business organization.

These diary entries are to help you reflect on particular parts of the work so that you can identify why things went right or went wrong and what actions or behaviors should be adopted in the future to achieve successful enjoyable outcomes.

Whenever you can, use your placement as a source of data and information:

Prepare a document on "Reflections on improving personal and interpersonal skills with reference to your experiences at (organization)"

Identify a business/management problem/issue within the host organization, undertake a limited investigation of it and prepare a management report which outlines the topic, the methods used to investigate the topic and a discussion of the findings.

References:

Hannagan, T (1998) Management Concepts and Practices, 1nd ed., Pitman Publishing. Turya, E (1992) Write them right:, Schelmsford, Beihireyo Books

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Building Your Personal Development Portfolio

Generating Business Ideas

June 27, 2007 0 comments

Another way of finding out about yourself is to carry out an analysis of your ideas.

Create a analysis chart by first listing your personal attribute talents, skills, interests and hobbies, then translate each to develop a group of possible business areas.

For example:

Business Ideas Generator (BIG)

Talents/skills/
interests/hobbies
Possible Business Ideas
Programming Software Development, IT consulting
Musical music store; recording studio; entertainment agency; musical instruments; sound/venue consultancy; musical scores
Artistic illustrator services; graphic design agency; artists supplies; picture framers; interior design studio
Cooking caterers services; sandwich bar; restaurant; fast food take away; home freezer supplies
Legal Legal Consulting, Law Offices
Word processing word processing agency; small business service; dissertation and manuscript production; script writing
Travel travel agency, courier service, tour operator, distribution logistics, events management

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship

What is Knowledge Management

June 27, 2007 0 comments

A summaries of various descriptions of knowledge management.

 


"An Open Discussion of Knowledge Management",Brian (Bo)Newman, 1991:

Knowledge Management is the collection of processes that govern the creation, dissemination, and utilization of knowledge. In one form or another, knowledge management has been around for a very long time. Practitioners have included philosophers, priests, teachers, politicians, scribes, Liberians, etc.

So if Knowledge Management is such an ageless and broad topic what role does it serve in today's Information Age? These processes exist whether we acknowledge them or not and they have a profound effect on the decisions we make and the actions we take, both of which are enabled by knowledge of some type. If this is the case, and we agree that many of our decisions and actions have profound and long lasting effects, it makes sense to recognize and understand the processes that effect or actions and decision and, where possible, take steps to improve the quality these processes and in turn improve the quality of those actions and decisions for which we are responsible?

Knowledge management is not a, "a technology thing" or a, "computer thing" If we accept the premise that knowledge management is concerned with the entire process of discovery and creation of knowledge, dissemination of knowledge , and the utilization of knowledge then we are strongly driven to accept that knowledge management is much more than a "technology thing" and that elements of it exist in each of our jobs.

 


Dr. Arthur J. Murray provides the following Knowledge Management Argot

  • Argot: The vocabulary used by a particular group, usually an underworld group.
  • Corporate Knowledge: The collective body of experience and understanding of an organization's processes for managing both planned and unplanned situations.
  • Corporate Knowledge Management: The process whereby knowledge seekers are linked with knowledge sources, and knowledge is transferred.
  • Corporate Knowledge Server:
  • Epistemology: The study of the nature and foundations of knowledge.
  • Etymology: The study of the history of change of a linguistic expression.
  • Knowledge: A set of models describing various properties and behaviors within a domain.
  • Morphology: The study of patterns and structure of word formations in language.
  • Ontology: The study of relationships that give rise to meaning of expressions.
  • Taxonomy: A framework for the classification and arrangement of objects (used to build a classification hierarchy).

Thomas Bertels provides the following definition of Knowledge Management

Knowledge management is the management of the organization towards the continuous renewal of the organizational knowledge base - this means e.g. creation of supportive organizational structures, facilitation of organizational members, putting IT-instruments with emphasis on teamwork and diffusion of knowledge (as e.g. groupware) into place.

As I am a very practical person I am focused rather more on the practical aspects, how we can improve the reality.

 


Maarten Sierhuis provides the following definition of Knowledge Management and supporting concepts.

Knowledge Management (KM): This is, as the word implies, the ability to manage "knowledge". We are all familiar with the term Information Management. This term came about when people realized that information is a resource that can and needs to be managed to be useful in an organization. From this, the ideas of Information Analysis and Information Planning came about. Organizations are now starting to look at "knowledge" as a resource as well. This means that we need ways for managing the knowledge in an organization. We can use techniques and methods that were developed as part of Knowledge Technology to analyze the knowledge sources in an organization. Using these techniques we can perform Knowledge Analysis and Knowledge Planning.

Knowledge Analysis (KA): In Knowledge Analysis we model a knowledge source in such a way that we can analyze its usefulness, its weaknesses and its appropriateness within the organization. Knowledge Analysis is a necessary step for the ability to manage knowledge. Within Knowledge Analysis we can use knowledge modeling and knowledge acquisition techniques.

Knowledge Planning (KP): When an organization has a grip on its knowledge (i.e. has performed Knowledge Analysis), it will be able to plan for the future. An organization will now be able to develop a multi-year knowledge plan that defines how the organization will develop its knowledge resources, either by training its human agents, or by developing knowledge-based systems to support the human agents, or by other means that allow the organization to stay competitive.

Knowledge Technology (KT): This is, as the word already implies, the (application of) techniques and methods from the field of AI, or to be more specific, the field of knowledge-based systems. KT has been around for quite some time, and most people know about the application of KT in the form of expert systems, and decision support systems. Techniques and methods to design these kind of systems are well known; The best known methodology for building knowledge-based systems is CommonKADS (formerly known as KADS).

Computer Supported Work Systems (CSWS): This is a formal and informal (human) activity system, within an organization where the (human) agents are supported by computer systems. The application of Knowledge Technology is very helpful in such work systems, although definitely *not* the only important factor in the analysis and design, nor in the effectiveness of the activity system.

 


Denham Grey offers the following views on knowledge and knowledge management:

What is knowledge?

Knowledge is the full utilization of information and data, coupled with the potential of people's skills, competencies, ideas, intuitions, commitments and motivations.

In today's economy, knowledge is people, money, leverage, learning, flexibility, power, and competitive advantage. Knowledge is more relevant to sustained business than capital, labor or land. Nevertheless, it remains the most neglected asset. It is more than justified true belief and is essential for action, performance and adaption. Knowledge provides the ability to respond to novel situations.

A holistic view considers knowledge to be present in ideas, judgments, talents, root causes, relationships, perspectives and concepts. Knowledge is stored in the individual brain or encoded in organizational processes, documents, products, services, facilities and systems.

Knowledge is the basis for, and the driver of, our post-industrial economy. Knowledge is the result of learning which provides the only sustainable competitive advantage. Knowledge is the next paradigm shift in computing following data processing 1945-1965 and information management 1966-1995. Knowledge is action, focused innovation, pooled expertise, special relationships and alliances. Knowledge is value-added behavior and activities. For knowledge to be of value it must be focused, current, tested and shared.

 

What is Knowledge Management?

Knowledge management is an audit of "intellectual assets" that highlights unique sources, critical functions and potential bottlenecks which hinder knowledge flows to the point of use. It protects intellectual assets from decay, seeks opportunities to enhance decisions, services and products through adding intelligence, increasing value and providing flexibility.

Knowledge management complements and enhances other organizational initiatives such as total quality management (TQM), business process re-engineering (BPR) and organizational learning, providing a new and urgent focus to sustain competitive position.

 

Why should you apply Knowledge Management?

To serve customers well and remain in business companies must: reduce their cycle times, operate with minimum fixed assets and overhead (people, inventory and facilities), shorten product development time, improve customer service, empower employees, innovate and deliver high quality products, enhance flexibility and adaption, capture information, create knowledge, share and learn.

None of this is possible without a continual focus on the creation, updating, availability, quality and use of knowledge by all employees and teams, at work and in the marketplace.


Robert Taylor summarized his views on Knowledge Management by saying:

The vital importance of knowledge in business has always been recognized but, up until now, organizations haven't felt able to manage it because they understood neither the problems and the opportunities nor the strategies and solutions. This picture is gradually changing as models, methods, tools and techniques for effective knowledge management are becoming available and as organizations realize the importance of knowledge and thinking to their capacity to adapt to the changing world.



Karl M. Wiig provides us with the following:

Knowledge -- the insights, understandings, and practical know-how that we all possess -- is the fundamental resource that allows us to function intelligently. Over time, considerable knowledge is also transformed to other manifestations -- such as books, technology, practices, and traditions -- within organizations of all kinds and in society in general. These transformations result in cumulated expertise and, when used appropriately, increased effectiveness. Knowledge is one, if not THE, principal factor that makes personal, organizational, and societal intelligent behavior possible.

Given the importance of knowledge in virtually all areas of daily and commercial life, two knowledge-related aspects are vital for viability and success at any level:

1. Knowledge assets -- to be applied or exploited -- must be nurtured, preserved, and used to the largest extent possible by both individuals and organizations.

2. Knowledge-related processes -- to create, build, compile, organize, transform, transfer, pool, apply, and safeguard knowledge -- must be carefully and explicitly managed in all affected areas.

Knowledge must be managed effectively to ensure that the basic objectives for existence are attained to the greatest extent possible. Knowledge management in organizations must be considered from three perspectives with different horizons and purposes:

1. Business Perspective -- focusing on why, where, and to what extent the organization must invest in or exploit knowledge. Strategies, products and services, alliances, acquisitions, or divestments should be considered from knowledge-related points of view.

2. Management Perspective -- focusing on determining, organizing, directing, facilitating, and monitoring knowledge-related practices and activities required to achieve the desired business strategies and objectives.

3. Hands-On Operational Perspective -- focusing on applying the expertise to conduct explicit knowledge-related work and tasks.

Historically, knowledge has always been managed, at least implicitly. However, effective and active knowledge management requires new perspectives and techniques and touches on almost all facets of an organization. We need to develop a new discipline and prepare a cadre of knowledge professionals with a blend of expertise that we have not previously seen. This is our challenge!"

 


Donna Bible provides us with the following view:

I think that a lot of businesses are overwhelmed by the information explosion in the last several years. Information specialists should seize this time to assist their company's in managing this information overload. The problem is made even more complex by the rapid transition in company personnel which has recently affected lot of organizations. At CTC we are contracted to do many projects, and remembering who has done what is not always possible. The learning process that people undergo once they enter this company all too often leaves with them. Oftentimes a person leaves and takes an entire storehouse of knowledge about their job with them. If a company could somehow capture a part of that person's experience, then the reciprocal relationship between employee and employer would truly be effected once that person left or was placed on another project. Knowledge management is the attempt to secure the experience as well as the work product the individuals who comprise a corporation.

 


Bob Hallsworth, I believe

  • That Knowledge should be just that Not just Information and not just Data!
  • That it should be available from wherever it is needed, to all those authorized to receive it. (Given mainly Commercial / Intellectual Property Rights)
  • That both Input and Output must be simple.
  • That it should only be entered once - and then kept up to date *and* relevant to the enterprise.
  • That the language should be simple and appropriate.
  • That the Information should always support the Learning Organization
  • That the customer probably hasn't fully thought through all the aspects of developing a Knowledge Strategy - Its implications if they do, and Its implications if they don't.

R. Gregory Wenig provides the following views on knowledge and knowledge management:

Knowledge Management (for the organization): -- consists of activities focused on the organization gaining knowledge from its own experience and from the experience of others, and on the judicious application of that knowledge to fulfill the mission of the organization. These activities are executed by marrying technology, organizational structures, and cognitive based strategies to raise the yield of existing knowledge and produce new knowledge. Critical in this endeavor is the enhancement of the cognitive system (organization, human, computer, or joint human-computer system) in acquiring, storing and utilizing knowledge for learning, problem solving, and decision making.

 

Knowledge: -- Currently, there is no consensus on what knowledge is. Over the millennia, the dominant philosophies of each age have added their own definition of knowledge to the list. The definition that I have found most useful when building systems is as follows: knowledge is understandings the cognitive system possesses. It is a construct that is not directly observable. It is specific to and not residing outside the cognitive system that created it. Information, NOT knowledge, is communicated among cognitive systems. A cognitive system can be a human, a group, an organization, a computer, or some combination.

 


Knowledge Management is not easy to define. Let me try to do it from a metalevel according to what people in this field are doing. There seem to be two tracks of activities - and two levels.

Track KM = Management of Information. Researchers and practitioners in this field have their education in computer and/or information science. They are involved in construction of information management systems, AI, re engineering, group ware etc. To them knowledge = Objects that can be identified and handled in information systems.

Track KM = Management of People. Researchers and practitioners in this field have their education in philosophy, psychology, sociology or business/management. They are primarily involved in assessing, changing and improving human individual skills and/or behavior. To them knowledge = Processes, a complex set of dynamic skills, knowhow etc, that is constantly changing. Level: Individual Perspective. The focus in research and practice is on the individual.

Level: Individual Perspective. The focus in research and practice is on the individual.

Level: Organizational Perspective.The focus in research and practice is on the organization. 


Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Knowledge Management

Developing and Managing Know-How in Organizations.

June 27, 2007 0 comments

Objectives and outcomes

  • develop knowledge for use in organizations
  • understand knowledge and workflow as a process
  • appreciate a system of profound knowledge as a way of thinking
  • understand the relationship between information, knowledge and processes
  • appreciate people as intellectual assets
  • derive a suitable definition of Knowledge Management

1.1 The Context of Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management is around for sometime: many organizations are now considering it as their number one priority. In a survey by The Harris Research Center for KPMG, only 2% or respondents considered it a fad, while 43% said they already had KM initiatives in place, and 10% said it had actually transformed their business.

Hoverer, in reality

 

  • lack of KM can be costly
  • most companies are not fully exploiting the technology infrastructure
  • most companies currently have the wrong priorities
  • many organizations are unsure about how to derive a KM strategy
  • some organizations are too lean to exploit the full potential of KM
  • KM does deliver expected benefits

There are some definitional problems about the nature of KM. The current situation, however, indicates a growing knowledge economy, i.e. brain power rather than brawn. KPMG, for example, reckon that nearly 60% of all workers are ‘knowledge workers’, and that 80% of all new jobs are in the information-intensive sector of the economy. Knowledge is the new currency of the economy, becoming the primary basis of exchange and wealth creation.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management

June 26, 2007 0 comments

OVERVIEW

Developing effective ways of utilizing knowledge is now increasingly important in organizations to offset competitive disadvantages and to exploit latent corporate ‘know-how’ to its fullest potential.

"Knowledge is power" has been a central premise to organizations - power to: create and retain customers, Analise corporate information and apply it analytically to changing circumstances, develop and distribute products, and to predict market behavior and plan for it strategically, etc. Knowledge Management (KM) provides a framework for organizations to think about their resident knowledge and to relate it to a wide range of business goals and objectives.

Knowledge Management is the way that organizations create, capture and re-use knowledge to achieve organizational objectives. KM is the next stage in the evolution of organizational transformation strategies. It is emerging as the missing element of popular management strategies such as TQM, BPR, CPI, Learning Organization, Best Practices, etc. Efforts to implement these gn; knowledge and learning: KM strategy: knowledge management best practice; virtual enterprising; anstrategies brought about the realization that a knowledge perspective is a requirement for competing in the next century. Knowledge Management may have different meaning depending on whether the perspective is coming from Operations, Organizational Development, Information Technology, but a business perspective is emerging from the commercial world where KM solutions are sought most vigorously.

AIMS

To introduce Knowledge Management concepts in an organizational context e.g. the knowledge economy; the management of intellectual capital, knowledge and decision making; knowledge and business processes; implicit, informal and tacit knowledge; knowledge management and organizational design; knowledge and learning: KM strategy: knowledge management best practice; virtual enterprising; and cultural transformations.

OBJECTIVES

  • provide frameworks for understanding KM from various perspectives, e.g. operations corporate culture, Information Management, Information Technology (IT)
  • use appropriate methods and frameworks to leverage organizational knowledge to engender the learning organization
  • delineate and measure the knowledge intensity of organizational processes
  • understand the costs and benefits of KM and to justify projects
  • manage and implement KM solutions to organizational and business problems
  • understand the enabling technologies for managing knowledge
  • explore the need for practical approaches to cultural transformation
  • develop a KM strategy for managing knowledge and organizational learning
  • Topics

    1. The evolution of the knowledge-based organization: evolution and precursors of the knowledge society, service sector emergence, discovery and production of knowledge

    2. The concept of knowledge: definition of KM, knowledge categories, knowledge market value, corporate know-how, making tacit knowledge explicit

    3. Managing intellectual capital in organizations: developing and managing ‘know-how’ e.g. customers, suppliers, competitors, markets, etc.

    4. Knowledge Management and organizational design: knowledge management and BPR, self adaptive systems, knowledge ecology, the knowledge-creating company

    5. Knowledge and organizational learning: knowledge and learning cycles, knowledge sharing, learning organization strategies

    6. Knowledge Management technologies: IT infrastructures, evolution of the cyborg, knowledge management technology architectures

    7. E-Business and Corporate Re-invention: coming of the global village, the medium and the message, business electronic relationships, e-strategies and technologies

    8. Creating a Knowledge Management strategy: generating strategic KM options, operationalization KM solutions

    9. Towards an enterprise knowledge management perspective: AI and KM, enterprise resource planning, customer relationships, IT service management

    10. Knowledge working: roles and responsibilities, leadership, team-building

    11. Knowledge Management and cultural transformations: ecology of knowledge, models of change

    12. Contemporary and future issues in Knowledge Management: is KM a discipline?

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Knowledge Management

How does the Violence of Community Differ from the Violence of Individual?

June 14, 2007 0 comments

The violence of the community differ from the violence of the individual in degree rather than in kind.

Freud states that superior strength of an individual could be overruled by several individuals.

For example, in every country and every nation, an individual who commits a crime creates the end of his or her existence. Sooner or later, police will find out and a person will be caught.

Communities, in contrast, can do it as long as they have a law that allows them to do it.

For example, Russian Communists killed millions of innocent people in concentration camps because they believed those people were the enemies of the nation or simply against of Communist Party and its politics. Communists had rights to kill.

Furthermore, communities in power can rule over schools, the press, and the media, let along with political and religious organizations. They also use the above mentioned institutions to manipulate and channel the feelings of the masses. An individual cannot do it.

However, according to Freud, this community or union must be stable ad sure about controlling the might for the nation. Otherwise, an intelligent individual would try to defeat another to create his or her own unity to dissolve the might, and after his or her fiasco, then another might comes along to prove his or her strength and superiority.

Nevertheless, one ought to remember that as soon as an individual has obtained power and respect in the community, he or she will be not individual itself but the community.

In conclusion, the violence of the community and the violence of the individual “work by the same methods and follow the same purposes” and “[the] only real difference lies in the fact that” violence of community prevails.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Thoughts and Arguments

Against Human Cloning

June 11, 2007 0 comments

The idea of cloning humans has held our fascinations for ages. People have written books, sung songs, even made movies about it. Science fiction many of us thought. Pure entertainment But when Scottish scientist Ian Wilmut reveal that he and his team successfully cloned an adult sheep - the world's first cloned mammal - we were surprised. Scientist’s world wide attained that, well, yes; this meant the cloning of humans was now technically possible. Not since God took Adam's rib and fashioned a helpmate for him has anything so fascinating occurred.

Human cloning should be not legalized. It is unthinkable. It is too risky and has a high failure rate. The technique that produced Dolly the sheep needed 227 attempts to achieve 1 success.

There are too many powerful leaders who would abuse this advancement for their own well-being. What do you think?

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Thoughts and Arguments

Cloning Pro

June 11, 2007 0 comments

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If tomorrow someone could prove that you were clone, would you think your life was worthless, that your loves and experiences were devaluated? You would be the same person you always were. Nothing would be different just because you were born from a previously experienced genome.

Imagine if cloning will be legalized. Do you thing it is a technological fatalism that removes ethical considerations from science and technology in a wholesale way?

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Thoughts and Arguments

Personal Code of Honor

June 9, 2007 0 comments

According to William James, someone can have a personal code of honor. He wrote that, “As a man I pity you, but as an official I must show you no mercy;  As a politician I regard him as an ally, but as a moralist I loathe him.”


In my opinion, however, in these examples people are more like slaves because they live in the world agree and keep their mouths shut. Everybody faces a situation when he or she would do something, but his or her personal code of honor could not allow it to happen. Even though people feel a strong sense of ownership, their families, their possessions, think of their social relations and the spiritual self, they still tend to be honest and are able to give up their feelings of self-worth and self-seeking actions.


For example, people can give up a career if their job is not a benefit to the public or if their job is conflicting with their ethical considerations. Some people avoid a career of being a politician or a doctor who makes abortions. Other people will never sell alcohol or cigarettes. Others will not work for agencies that conduct match making or arrange marriages. Others will never work in mental hospitals.


Why do people think the above mentioned jobs can be dishonest?


A career in politics may expect a person of saying truth, but only truth that is profitable for one side. Being a doctor who conducts abortions could be not a good idea because many people feel against abortions and believe that doctors are here to save lives, not to stop them.


Selling alcohol or cigarettes is not good because it makes people drink or smoke which is not healthy.


Marriage bureaus are no good because, in general, they are making money because of people’s dreams and often lie to their clients. It is no good to make money because of others peoples hopes and dreams. In fact, this business may be everlasting but dishonest.


It might be no good to be an owner of mental hospitals or work there because in the former USSR in these institutions doctors made idiots from those who disagreed with communist regime. There a possibility to make a lot of harm because psychiatry kills.


In conclusion, people have a personal code of honor which helps them to resolve conflicts between self and others and make judgments of what is fair.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Thoughts and Arguments

Is a Freud hopeful that a war can be avoided?

June 9, 2007 0 comments

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Wherever there's a war, people start wondering why it must be. People discuss what's happening, but discussions really get anywhere. In the correspondence between Freud and Einstein, both authors looked into the human reasons for a war. Einstein had done thinking about the nature of a war and why it is presenting throughout human history despite its devastating effects. He sees that the only possible solution of preventing wars can be a League of Nations that will be called in all matters of conflict that may arise between nations. Freud, in contrast, does not think that we can prevent the war because of the human nature.

First, Freud states, "It is general principle, then, that conflicts of interest between men are settled by the use of violence." Freud compares men with the whole animal kingdom where the strong wants to win at any time. Looking back upon our past, we can say that people at all times try to compete, first, by their superior muscular strength, then, by having the best tools, and, at last, by their intellectual superiority to rule whatever one can. Furthermore, according to Freud, "killing an enemy satisfied an instinctual inclination." That is why the idea of taking an enemy's life was appreciated at all times. And then, who was defeated had the "lurking thirst for revenge" even by means of sacrificing his or her security.

Second, Freud states that a war seems to be quite a natural thing, to have a good biological basis and in practice to be [barely] avoidable. For example, when there is the situation of changing a superpower, the stronger nation would try to defeat another to create its own unity to dissolve the might, and after its fiasco, then another might comes along to prove its strength and superiority. In fact, in order to demonstrate the superiority of a new nation, a war can be the answer to all its problems and needs.

In conclusion, Freud is not hopeful that war can be avoided. We shall try to minimize the possibilities of war because conflict is a part of human experience, and there will be always people who are incapable of fining non-violent solutions to their personal conflicts and who push their inner conflicts onto people around them. In the age of globalization, it ha become clear that international law is currently too weak to serve us sufficiently. The United Nations does not have sufficient power to act. It is as true today as in 1932 that we will not prevent, or at least minimize armed conflict. Maybe it is simply human nature that finds change difficult, even when we know that the change is for our own good.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Thoughts and Arguments

Three main theories of the Placebo Effect

June 8, 2007 0 comments

What is the placebo effect? The word placebo comes from Latin verb “placer”, that means “to please”. A good definition is the following: “Placebo is any treatment devoid of specific actions on the patient symptoms of diseases that, somehow, can cause an effect upon the patient. “Pay attention to the difference: placebo is an innocuous treatment. The placebo effect is the result obtained by the use of placebo. The placebo effect is the measurable, observable, or felt improvement in health not attributable to treatment. This effect is believed by many people to be due to the placebo itself in some mysterious way. A placebo (Latin for “I shall please”) is a medication or treatment believed by administrator of the treatment to be inter or innocuous. Placebos may be sugar pills or stretch pills. Even “fake” surgery or therapy are considered placebos. Researches and medical doctors sometimes give placebos to patients. Anecdotal evidence for the placebo effect is garnered in this way. Those who believe that there is scientific evidence for the placebo effect point to clinical studies, many of which use a control group treated with placebo. Why an inert substance, or fake surgery or therapy would be effective is not known. However, there are three main theories of the placebo effect: the psychological theory (it’s all in your mind), the nature-taking-its-course theory and the profess-of treatment theory.

Some believe the placebo effect is psychological, due to a belief in the treatment or to a subjective feeling of improvement. Irvin Kirsch, a psychologist at University of Connecticut, believes that the effectiveness of Prozac and similar drugs may be attributed almost entirely to the placebo effect. He and Guy Sapirstein analyzed 19 clinical trails of antidepressants and concluded that the expectation of improvement, not adjustments in brain chemistry, accounted for 75% of the drugs’ effectiveness (Kirsch, 1998). ‘The critical factor,” says Kirsch, “is our beliefs about what’s going to happen to us. You do not have to rely on drugs to see profound transformation.” In an earlier study, Sapirstein analyzed 39 studies, done between 1974 and 1995, of depressed patients treated with drugs, psychotherapy, or combination of both. He found that 50% of the drug effect is due to placebo response. A person’s beliefs and hopes about a treatment, combined with their suggestibility, may have a significant biochemical effect. Sensory experience and thoughts can affect neurochemistry. The body’s neurochemical system affects and is affected by other biochemical systems, including the hormonal and immune systems. Thus, it is consistent with current knowledge that a person’s hopeful attitude and beliefs may be very important to their physical well-being and recovery from injury or illness. The placebo effect may be a measurement of changed behavior affected by belief in the treatment. The changed behavior includes a change in attitude, in what one says about how one feels, and how one acts. It may also affect one’s body chemistry. The psychological explanation seems to be the one most commonly believed. Perhaps this is why many people are dismayed when they are told that their problem is “all in their mind” and that there is really nothing wrong with them. Yet, other studies disagree that improvements in health come from placebos.

The nature-taking-its-course theory says that some believe that at least part of the placebo effect is due to an illness or injury taking its natural course. We often heal spontaneously if we do nothing at all to treat al illness or injury. Furthermore, any disorders, pains and illness, change. What is measured as the placebo effect could be, in many cases, the measurement of natural regression. In short, the placebo may be given credit that is due to the Nature. However, spontaneous healing and spontaneous remission of disease cannot explain all the healing or improvement that takes place because of placeboes. People who are given no treatment at all often do not do as well as those given placebos or real medicine and treatment.

Another theory, the process-of-treatment theory, states that a process of treatment that involves showing attention, care, affection, etc. to the patient is encouraging and hopeful. This process may itself trigger physical reactions in the body which promote healing. A common saying is that if you treat a cold, it will last a week, but if you leave it along, it will be gone in seven days. According to Dr. Walter A. Brown, a psychiatrist at Brown University, there is certainly data that suggests that just being in healing situation accomplishes something. Depressed patients who are merely put on a wait list for treatment do not do as well as those given placebos. And – this is very telling – when placebos are given for pain management, the course of pain relief follows what you would get with an active drug. The peak relief comes about an hour after it’s administered, as it does with real drug, and so on. If placebo analgesia was the equivalent of giving nothing, you’d expect a more random pattern. (“The Placebo Prescription by Margaret Talbot, New York Times Magazine, January 9, 1000). The process-of-treatment hypothesis would explain how inert homeopathic remedies and questionable therapies of many “alternative health practitioners are often effective or thought to be effective. It would also explain why pills or procedures used by conversional medicine work until they are shown to be worthless.

Of course, spontaneous healing or regression can also adequately explain why homeopathic remedies might appear to be effective. Whether the placebo effect is mainly psychological, spontaneous healing, or happens due to showing care and attention, or some combination of three, it exists. Paracelsus (Swiss alchemist and physician, 1493-1541) wrote: “You must know that the will is a powerful adjuvant of medicine.” It is imperative that skeptics recognize the wisdom and warnings inherent I this statement.

In conclusion, if one can be more optimistic about life in general, it may help him or her to live a long, healthy live. Understand you mind-body link!

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Thoughts and Arguments

The Melian Dialogue

June 7, 2007 0 comments

Thucydides, the Ancient Greek historian of the fifth century B.C., is not only a father of scientific history, but also of “political realism,” - the school of thought, which speculates that interstate relations are based on might rather than right. Thucydides was the first to describe international relations as anarchic and immoral.


The “Melian Dialogue” best exemplifies Thucydides’ view that interstate politics lack regulations and justice. Through his study of the Peloponnesian War, a destructive war, which began in 431 B.C. among Greek city-states, Thucydides observed that justice has no place in dealings between nations that are unequal in strength.


Thucydides wrote that, in interstate relations, the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept. For him, international relations allow the mighty do as they please and force the weak to suffer as they must. Thus, it is the strong who decides how the weak should be treated, as moral and ethical judgments and considerations are nearly nonexistent.


As a historian, Thucydides knew the Athenians were stronger in power. As a matter of fact, they have a reputation as “masters of the sea” and would overpower Malians easily, even though it would be costly. Furthermore, the Athenians arguments were based on the law of nature to rule whatever one can. “[Athenians] did not make that law nor were [they] the first to act on it; they found it existing, and it will exist forever, after [they were] gone; and [they] knew that [Melians] and anyone else as strong as [they were] would do as [they did]. They also believed that Spartans would be of no help while the Athenians rule the sea, and it was obvious that Melians resources were inadequate to oppose Athenian domination. As a result, the Athenians “colonized the island” and “sold women and children for slaves”.


If one has a look in a history book, one might say that Thucydides’ realism has had a timeless impact on the way contemporary analysts perceive international relations. Specifically, the foundations for American diplomacy during the Cold War with regard to the struggle between the two superpowers, and the ethical consequences of problems posed for smaller sates caught in a vortex of bipolar competition are derived from Thucydides’ work. In fact, during a Cold War, the manner in which the U.S. saw the superpower world and the manner in which it treated developing countries were slightly different. Knowing its superpower, The U.S. gave good reasons or interventions in regions like Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean, with the objective of denying communist influence, and American interests ignored any sense of “immorality” even when Americans supported brutally undemocratic regimes. Thus, it is strong who decided how the weak should be treated, as ethical and moral considerations are virtually nonexistent.


Thucydides observed that the strategic interactions of states followed a perceptive and recurrent pattern. According to his works, within a given system of states, a certain hierarchy among the states determined the pattern of their relations. As a result, Thucydides claimed that the “question of justice rises only between parties equal in strength.” It is true and historically proven. Otherwise the strong nations rule, and if it is necessary even justify cases of their interventions in sovereign states.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Thoughts and Arguments

Three Obstacles to Economic Development in Ukraine

June 7, 2007 0 comments

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Historically, Ukraine was a part of the former USSR, which had a command economic system. The Soviet government had complete power and ability to control all business. The former Soviet Union was the superpower, in that it 'gave economic assistance to developing countries.' (Clayton, Economics: Principles and Practice). Today, Ukraine is a young independent country. It has declared its adherence to democratic values, but the Marxist social system continues to influence regulations. There are three main obstacles to the economic progress in Ukraine: government corruption, an antiquated educational methods, and large foreign debt.

The corruption is an obstacle to economic development. The crime phenomenon in Ukraine is its criminal-political connection, an alliance, among former Communist Party elite, members of the law enforcement, and organized criminals. Public officials in Ukraine are poorly paid and face many opportunities to benefit from their positions. That is why they have created a 'bureaucratic web' consisted of vast numbers of laws and government resolutions in order to regulate private businesses. According to Clayton, 'corrupt officials can damage the economy by depositing the nation's savings in a personal account in a foreign bank; or by spending huge sums meant for the economy on lavish personal living'; (Economics: Principles and Practice). For example, Lazarenko, the former Ukrainian premier, is suspected of having stolen $2 million in state funds and hided them in a Swiss bank. The next example is that after nearly six years of independence, some $15-$20 billion is believed to have left the country illegally. Crime and corruption threaten the country's stability, undermine its transition to a market economy, frighten foreign and domestic investment, and accelerate capital flight. Many major multinational corporations - for example, several U.S. companies, Motorola, and the Kyiv Star - have decided not to do business in Ukraine.

'Still another obstacle to economic development is a lack of appropriate education and technology.' (Clayton, Economics: Principles and Practice). In Ukraine, there are high standards of education, but they are very different from those on the West. The main barriers in most universities in Ukraine are the following: the traditional forms of student education (the curriculum, the credit system, teaching methods and facilities); an insufficient level of library service for students and staff; lack of recently published books, manuals, and teaching materials; lack of modern computers and related equipment; and limited access to the Internet. Furthermore, the Ministry of Education might reduce the number of universities, specializations, and the number of students as well. The current financial situation is the main reason for the 'brain drain'; of excellent teachers and scientists to find better working and living conditions abroad.

'A major problem facing nations today is the size of their external debt; money borrowed from foreign banks and government' (Clayton, Economics: Principles and Practice). In Ukraine, for instance, according to the last estimates, the external debt now equals $7.75 billion. The total volume of debt increased because of new loans from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and other international financial organizations. As things now stand, one of the most negative outcomes of foreign borrowing-and-investment policy is that Ukraine has developed 'everlastingly-indebted' economy that is largely dependent on regular financial injections badly needed in mounting volumes. Thus, the debt repayment is becoming increasingly difficult, as it requires more and more allocations from the national budgets. Furthermore, the loans have quite often been used for non-eligible purposes. As a result, the foreign financial support has been not as effective in controlling the inflation than in contributing to the national budgets and local currencies instability. Our assumption that the old debt was settled is usually based on the fact that we have taken up a new loan of much higher value...(D. Ricardo, Experience of funded lending system).

In conclusion, Ukraine cannot be a successful independent country without solving a set of urgent problems, among which are reconstruction of policy, education, and economy. To make a transition from the authoritarian society with centralized economy to the democratic society with the effective market economy, it is necessary to overcome the obstacles to economic progress in the Ukraine.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Thoughts and Arguments

Why Do We Cry?

June 6, 2007 0 comments

http://lh4.google.com/LisaSmirnoff/Rto_UrKXrFI/AAAAAAAACV8/VF1ndjfd-N0/71011.JPG?imgmax=576

Crying makes sense if smoke gets in your eyes or if you are cutting onions. The tears protect your vision. But what good is emotional crying?

Crying often seems to make people feel better when they are sad or upset. When making of survey of a group of people, 85 % of women and 73% of men said that they get better after crying. Dr. William Frey believes that emotional weeping helps to reduce suffering by ridding the body of harmful chemicals. Such chemicals are produced as he believes during stress. The chemicals can raise blood pressure, harm digestion, and increase heart beat.

To test this theory, Frey has been collecting sad tears, drop by drop. He pays men and women to watch sad movies and catch their own tears in a test tube. He has found that about 60% of the viewers will cry is the theater is dark and they aren't crowded close together. During the movies Frey also monitors signs of stress, such as fast heartbeat and high blood pressure to see if crying reduces these.

I personally surprise how scrupulous a person should be to complete this research. I though do not think that tears are helpful; just sometimes depending on circumstances. I think it could be much better to find the way to be calm.

I think some cry with Crocodile tears - or like in a real kids joke

Why do you cry Willy

Why do you cry,

Why Willy<

Why Willy, Why Willy

Why?

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Thoughts and Arguments

Male and Female Communications

June 6, 2007 0 comments

http://lh5.google.com/LisaSmirnoff/Ri2EWDF_0cI/AAAAAAAAAns/Hhz-2_EgSkE/100_4354.JPG?imgmax=512

Men and women have been misunderstanding each other for generations &ndash; probably since beginning of the time.

Numerous studies, let alone Tannen&rsquo;s research, seem to suggest that men and women communicate in different ways. Tannen, a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and the author of the book You Just Don't Understand stays that men and women speak different languages because they live in different worlds, and they do indeed think differently.

Having born in the same planet, men and women are socialized to live in different world. According to Tennan, it begins at the beginning with social encouragement for girls to be cooperative and boys to be competitive.

Women usually match troubles, look for understanding, support, and comfort. While women tend to articulate the process of their thinking and talk about their internal analysis as they go alone, men go through the same process but internally rather then externally.

Men are more likely to keep silence rather then talk about their troubles, while women tent to ask too many questions. Some men not only take no comfort in such a situation but also take offence.(Tennan)

For example, they might think,"They are my troubles not yours,"; and women could accuse men of not caring.

In an informal survey of thirty-two students of English as a second language, only six agree that a man is more likely to keep silence rather then talk about their troubles; Russian man says that he always asks directions because he wants to manage everything for a women, so do typical Russian men; twenty-four students disagree with the statement that men use the communication as a means of achieving their status and independence; only two women agreed that most women communicate for purpose of establishing relations based on intimacy and interdependence; five students even disagree that misunderstanding between sexes might cause a conflict. As a matter of fact, students are very young and evidently have never faced with such problems, and if they ever had some, they took them easy.

According to Tennan, both sexes can make adjustments when they understand where the misunderstanding comes from. That everybody is different makes a world more familiar place to live in. When men and women try to understand each other and respect their differencies and similarities, everything seems to be right. One ought to remember that both men and women belong to the same human race with the same wants, aspirations, desires, and needs, in that our survival depends upon our willingness to understand and be understood.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Thoughts and Arguments

Adventure - MY first trip

June 2, 2007 0 comments

http://lh3.google.com/LisaSmirnoff/RtncfrKXpVI/AAAAAAAACHw/8Rt8zMJZOUk/Pg1_l011.jpg?imgmax=512

When I was 14 years old my parents let me travel by myself. It was spectacular. It was planned, that I shall go to friends of my parents.

It turned out that I forgot their address at home, and my parents were traveling somewhere else and I could not rich them. There were no cell phones or the Internet. I thought that this is even better. I can get acquainted with new friends.

I spent the night going by train from Kharkov to Simpheropol. Then I thought to take a trolley bus to Yalta.

I was very lucky - there was a huge line on a trolley bus, but off there came an excursion trolley bus that happened to have just one free place in it. The driver let me in and during all my trip I was listening to the excursion. It was spectacular because I listened to all stories and old legends about places I am up to visit.

When I took off from a trolley bus, I met a girl. I was 14, and she was 18 and married to a sea captain who was out in flight. She has a nice apartment and invited to stay with her. So I did.

Not only had I the best place to stay, but also I found a create companion. We had a lot of fun. I stayed with her a week and then decided to try to find where friends of my parents live.

I did not remember the name of a bus station where I should take off. I just remembered that the name started with letter P. I took the bus, as I found out later I took the correct bus and my guess was right even with a name of the station. I was going on the bus and suddenly heard the next station is Panizovka.

As I took off, I saw mountains all around me, and there was a small tiny road going down to the ocean shore. There were absolutely no people. I decided to take that road.

A friend of my parents was a director of real estate construction site. The place was isolated and in a distance from the city.

I thought if I won't find a place, I could return to my new girl-friend.

You got to believe that there is a small world and who is seeking will always find it.

I had also a large luggage with me. As I was going down, the road anded. I saw a small house, and the very first people who saw me were my parents friends.

Imagine, how I was surprised as well as friends of my parents.

There were a man, Ivan, and a woman, Albina. They had a girl Oksana, about my age. They immediately called my parents to tell them that I have just arrived.

I had a nice conversation with my mother and father telling them how wonderful I spent my time and that a trip is really adventurous.

I was given a separate house because friends of my parents did not trust me and thought that I could spoil their girl and teach her to be independent.

In fact, at all times I was very conservative in my relations, while their girl had a boy-friend with very demanding character. I would not be close friends with her anyway.

I felt very happy to have a separate house next to the Black sea. I liked this place because it was isolated and I could go to the city only if I want to. The most important thing was that the Farms Market was near by. I also had a crowd of students who were building a hotel. I felt a little lonely because I was very interested to get to know guys, but I was a little scared.

Next year I brought my girl-friend over there and we had so much fun.

We saw the whole wardrobe for ourselves to wear every day different outfit, but we did not have any young guys to spend time with. We thought that it would not be serous relationship if one meets another on vocation. We did not believe in fairly tales. I think it comes when you get older. We were very practical young ladies.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Stories about Myself

The Power of Being Independent

June 2, 2007 0 comments

http://lh6.google.com/LisaSmirnoff/RtmoNbKXkhI/AAAAAAAABfw/F_3fdicn8AU/wolf.jpg?imgmax=512

Since I remember myself, my parents told me that I am grown-up and I have my duties.

First of all, my parents wanted me to know the right place for every belonging in the house. So that my responsibility is to watch out my parents if they misplace things.

So watched sometimes my parents misplacing things, and I waited until they asked me to find it. If I could, I asked for special gifts for my paying attention. I felt very proud when my parents asked me to search things. Especially I liked to do it in front of their friends because I always wanted to show how smart and special I am.

There was a thing I did not like much when my mother invited my friends to the house. If my friends made a mess in my room or anywhere in the house, I had to clean up and put my things in order. That is why I wanted most of the time to play outdoors and do not let kids making my room a mess.

My parents always supported me to be independent. So at age 5 I was allowed to walk in a city by myself. But... in return I had to clean, cook and be pretty much as Cinderella at home. I never ever argued with my parents. I knew that this way is better because majority of kids should stay at home and deal with their parents in a much stranger way. I wanted freedom, I wanted to be a big dog, so I needed to be obedient and flexible at home.

I remembered when we were in a kindergarten, and a new coach was asking us questions about being independent, I again was a star.

He was asking questions that I thought that everybody should know. He asked the floowing questions:

  • Do you know how to get to your house if you are lost?
  • Do you know where your parents work?

I was on the stage again.

I knew my address and how to get there from different sides of the city. I knew where my parents worked, their phone numbers and even their bosses names. My father was a head of department, and my mother was a director of IT at that time. But anyway they had their bosses.

I told then a story what universities my parents completed, their majors and their hobbies, even their high school achievements. I knew this information about my relatives at least those who lived in Kharkov. I knew their birthdays and dates of marriages. I always considered it to be my responsibility.

I did not win the price that day. But I was pleased.

My mother told me that my future husband may never know how good I was in school. I was arguing with my mother telling that I will tell him myself.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Stories about Myself

How My Mother and I Bought a Baby Fox

June 2, 2007 0 comments

http://lh4.google.com/LisaSmirnoff/RtpMPrKXsQI/AAAAAAAACfY/kQGJCOdXX34/Fox01.jpg?imgmax=512

We've already had a parrot and fish in an Aquarium.

One day my mother asked me if I want to have a kitten. We were discussing what kitten will be the best. I wanted to have angora kitten with a blue eyes, white, large and with a lot of fur.

We discussed this matter because that day a neighborhood cat escaped from his house and came to visit us. It was the cat of a neighbor who lived downstairs, he simply climbed from the balcony. We played with him a little bit and the cat was returned to an owner. An old lady even did not notice that a cat was absent for a few hours.

Next morning we went to Pets Market. People were selling there all kinds of pets. Neither me nor my mother saw a kitten that we liked as I wanted a white kitten with lots of fur and perfectly blue eyes. I told my mother, 'As we could not find a kitten, may be we should consider another animal.'

We looked and looked and the only pet that was of our interest. It was a beautiful baby fox and we bot could not take our eyes of her. She looked wild, different, with a color like a fire and a long furry tale with white on the end.

I told my mother, 'Why don't we buy a fox?' I told my mother that I knew about foxes a lot because it was my favorite character from fairly tales. I also mentioned that I have a foxy name (Lisa in Russian means a fox), and I will teach my baby fox to live in captivity.

I saw my mother eyes. She was convinced. I also told my mother that a fox is a sly and calculating (I mean in a good way, a fox is cunning) and we can learn from her.

So we bought a fox and off we went home.

Guess what - my father was not surprised. He was also very creative. He was a mathematician in his hobby and an engineer in his profession. So he decided to make a house for a fox.

You may not believe me. It happened that we had two pianos. When we were not home, he decided to make a fox house from a black piano. My father was very happy. He made a fox house and the rest of wood, he trough away. Then, my mothers sister, Lena, saw him - that he came back and took all nails from the rest of piano.

Anyway, everybody had a good time.

A Fox was given a fox name "Alice" -- the same name as in Pinocchio's story.

http://lh4.google.com/LisaSmirnoff/RtpMPrKXsRI/AAAAAAAACfg/JXv7N7Q8Wbo/Fox%20Mouse.jpg?imgmax=512

Alice lived in a kitchen. She had a large chair and she could look when we fixed food for us and for her. Alice also had a fox house that was on a balcony. Mo mother gave her a bath twice a day.

I also learned from my mother to bath Alice and did it whenever I wanted, especially when my parents were not at home.

Everybody loved Alice. I told all kids from a neighborhood that I have a baby fox. So my parents had lots of visitors. Some kids were telling that they came to see Alice.

I heard that kids were telling very secret trusting stories to a baby fox and she seemed to kept secrets well. I had a neighbor kid who lived next door, he was about 5 years old and he could spent hours with Alice.

Imagine how lucky we were. I lured so many kids to become my friends to play with my fox and with me.

My mother also liked to take Alice for a stroll. Alice was always on leash. We never trusted her that she would behave in the middle of a big city.

If you ever happened to have a fox, there are things you should know + A fox needs to take bath 2-3times a day. + You can feed her with a raw fish, and you do not need to take bones out. She will not die. + A fox may still food< + A fox can dig holes

My mother was carefully taking every bone of fish before feeding Alice. Then, once she found that Alice was eating raw fish that she stole from a kitchen and nothing happened to her. Then, I read a book that a foxy in wilderness easily feeds herself.

Another interesting story is that a fox make a hole. It was not a traditional hole. Our inner walls in the apartment were made from wood. Alice found out how to open a secret door and get under the sink. It is hard to believe what she did. She made( she gnaw a wood) a hole to connect to a toilet. It was funny, so she made her feel as if she lived in a forest.

Another thing was that she hided fish in a sand. We kept sand for her to play. We found out immediately because the next day we heard the smell.

A fox was a wonderful animal, wild enough, but very funny. She was hunting fish putting her mouth into an Aquarium; and when the fish got on her language the fox swallowed it.

One day My mother has decided to change the fox for a borzoi - Russian Greyhound). My daddy told me that My mother did it because the fox has bitten her. My mum never complained to me, - so I do not know if it was a joke of my daddy.

The exchange of animals happened so fast, so it was surprise for me when I got back from school. Anyway it was pleasant surprise because a dog was much bigger. And at first some neighbors, most serious, who do not pay attention to little things, were politely asking if our dog grew so fast.

Of course, my mother and I were telling truth that we exchanged a fox for a dog. But people did not believe us and took it as a joke.

I have even more friends because now I had a dog to play.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Stories about Myself

How I Caught a Flying Blue Parrot

June 2, 2007 0 comments

http://lh3.google.com/LisaSmirnoff/RtpJfbKXsOI/AAAAAAAACfI/wvmjnG-zULU/wild-parrot-safari2-722903.jpg?imgmax=512

When I was 6, my mother and I were having an exciting trip to Odessa. We had an accommodation in a large hotel on a second floor. When we were sitting on a balcony, I saw a blue parrot on a roof of the restaurant. A parrot was just in front of us because the roof of a restaurant was on the same level with our balcony.

I told my mother, 'Let us catch a parrot with a towel' - because it was the only device we had. In a second we were on a roof and my mother caught a parrot covering him with a towel.

We decided that a parrot should not have a cave and he should be free. We let him leave in a hotel room. He never spoke a word, but he was beautifully singing.

The parrot stayed with us in Odessa for 10 days, and then we brought him home to Kharkov. He lived with us for about a year, and then he flue away. But it was a reason. We got a baby fox as a pet, and she was hunting the blue parrot while he was flying around.

I was on a balcony and saw him leaving us. I hope he did enjoy staying with us.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Stories about Myself

First English Teacher

June 2, 2007 0 comments

http://lh5.google.com/LisaSmirnoff/RtpDv7KXrrI/AAAAAAAACas/ea7C8b-BrXQ/s144/k.jpg?imgmax=512

When I was 5 years old, I told my parents that I want to learn English.

I think the fact that many friends of my parents were moving to United Sates made a great impression on me. My mother wanted to go and my father told her that USSR will never collapsed. I always listened very attentively to all conversations.

I had an idea that when I grow up and will move to the United states. I even had dreams that I could speak English perfectly. I did not tell this to my parents because I believed that in order to make your dreams come true, you should keep it in secret.

So I told my parents that it is obvious that the whole world speaks English and that is why my parents have to find me an English teacher. I also wanted to find pen-friends in Great Brattain (I believe kids from USSR were not suppose to write letters to American kids). I wanted to know what they do and how they play and have fun.

I had so much fun because some words sounded funny to me. I always laughed when I pronounced a word &quot;elephant&quot; or &quot;umbrella&quot;. I learned to read in English before I started reading in my own language. I loved fairly tales and I imagined that English is a secret language and if I could speak it to fish and birds they understand.

Unfortunately, my first English teacher had a cancer and passed away within a year. I was 6 and once again I did not have an English teacher. I tried to speak with my parents in English. It did not work. My mother memorized &quot;Oliver Twist&quot; , but she could not speak with me, nor understood fairly tales in English.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Stories about Myself

Making Friends

June 2, 2007 0 comments

my picture

My mother was also surprised that whenever we traveled, I needed to get to know every person in the neighborhood. I told my mother that I am a glue and that I am looking for friends and I have a gift to entertain them and motivate to play. I told her that the more kids I make play the more fun it becomes, not just for me, but for everybody. Everybody will benefit.

I also told my mother that I am seeking very funny and smart friends who are to compete with me. I always wanted to meet strong independent kids - what is hard to find. I told her that I should not miss anybody, so I may learn from them too.

When I played with kids, I even came up with another name, -- I called myself Violetta (from Violet). I seemed unusual to me and people remembered me and my name quickly. I actually told them my true name and the name I want to be called.

My Name

My mother called me Veta and my father called me Liza. They had a fight when they wanted to give me a name. My father wanted to call me Ivana or Alexandra. So my mother decided to show him Ioanna (who was a friend of her mother). This lady was very voluptuous. So my father gave this name up. Then the same happened with Alexandra. My mother found another story that I can have a character "like Amazons <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon>"_ - warrior women

My Mother wanted to call me Vitalina, Victory or Natalya. So my father did not like any of these names.</p> <p>My mother did not want to call me Elizabeth because it was a name of my father&#39;s mother. My mother is a very sensitive woman and she was afraid that I would become as her mother in law and be very angry and envy.

My father secretly went to Marriage Palace and wrote my name as Elizabeth. That is why my father called me always Liza and my mother and her side of the family called me Beth (it actually sounds in Russian like Veta).

My friends call me Lisa. I have a foxy name because lisa is a fox in Russian. I like this idea. And Violetta is likea woman-warrior from Ultraviolet

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Stories about Myself

Gifts for Performance

June 2, 2007 0 comments

I had very happy childhood. I never asked my parents for gifts. I expected gifts only on occasions, like my birthday and New Year. At that time I could ask for nearly anything. My parents were very responsible. They got me exactly as I asked. And I was giving them very complex tasks because I always wanted something every specific. I still have no idea how they possibly could read my mind.

If I wanted gifts on other occasions, I understood that I had to earn them myself. So when holiday season begun, I visited all places and kids parties to get gifts for my performance. I never was shy and if kids were invited to a stage, it was me, me and me. I needed to look for new and new places, so the organizers will not remember me. Even I was handy to change my outfit nonstop, I could not hide personality.

So I did what I liked the most - to be on stage and to read poetry or tell stories. Though I tried not to sign or dance simple because I did not think I had enough skills for that. By reading and memorizing, I always was the best and I even did not need to try hard to compete. Singing and dancing though was never my horse, but occasionally I did it too.

http://lh4.google.com/LisaSmirnoff/RtnMX7KXn-I/AAAAAAAAB9E/GtEjm7kpfa4/929.jpg?imgmax=512

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Stories about Myself

First Time in the Theater

June 2, 2007 0 comments

http://lh6.google.com/LisaSmirnoff/RqKoA4HYXJI/AAAAAAAABTw/ixdZaFe8GNY/40.JPG?imgmax=512

When I was about 3 years old, my mum brought me to the theater. There there was a representation of "Snow White and 7 Dwarfs <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_White>"_

It was just about the time for Snow White to eat the poisoned apple. I asked my mother if I could save Snow White and she allowed me. I guess she did not listen because she was still talking. I decided that even my mother did not meant to let me do it, I am going to rescue Snow White.

I started running toward a stage. As I climbed on a stage, I started to tell Snow White a true story about the jealous Queen and the poisoned apple and that I am here&nbsp;to rescue her. And if she will follow me, she finds a place to hide.

I was very convincing. The whole play changed its planned stream.

The theater director and administration came to see me. Everybody was laughing, and nobody stopped me.

Slowly people began to be interested whose child is on the stage. My mother still was not paying attention.

This day Snow White has not eaten an apple and all performance have changed. This event make me and my mother to know the director of the theater and administration. They also remember us for years.

I felt very Happy!

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Stories about Myself

An Emerald Eyes

June 2, 2007 0 comments

my picture

When I was born, at me eyes were colors of an emerald. Mother told me that all nurses and doctors from a maternity home came to see me as they have never seen such eyes. They played with me and looked in my eyes for another 10 minutes and then gave me to my mother.

Mom looked at me and thought, why I was born so soon, on May 5th, -- and she has not yet prepared my room and linen had not stroked. She expected me on May, 7 on Thursday.

And behind a window, the spring sun was shining brightly and chestnuts had blossomed.

My mom said that my birth was fast (3 to 5 minutes) and painless, and that for all my life I have not brought her any sleepless night or negative experiences.

She did not want very much my eyes to change. But somewhere through a floor of year my eyes became dark green.

First day at the kindergarten - Leadership

My parents considered me to be a quiet, obedient and happy child. At age 2, I was sent to a kindergarten. My parents were a little nervous whether I could communicate with children.

When my parents came to pick me up in the evening, my coach told them that I am such a leader, so I have convinced all kids to eat the ground, regardless of the fact that most of children were older, they ate the ground anyway. I was such convincing, so all children began to obey me at once.

My mom then was asking me if I ate the ground, but I categorically told her no. My mother asked me a question why other kids ate. I just told her that was because I advised them.

I never was punished for that event. My parents explained me not to overuse my powers any more. Since then, my parents were never afraid about me and my future. They came to a conclusion that I am able to stand up for myself.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Stories about Myself

Basic principles of marketing

June 1, 2007 0 comments

the relevance of marketing to a variety of industries and types of organizations, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

The Scope and Concept of Marketing

The nature of marketing and the contemporary marketing concept. The origins and development of the marketing concept. The concept of the marketing mix. The relationship of marketing to other functional areas of the business. Societal marketing and consumerism. The nature of social marketing. The application of marketing to non-profit organizations.

Introduction to the Marketing Mix

Product definitions, levels and dimensions

Price role and importance

Promotion nature and role of the promotional mix

Place concept of the distribution channel, alternative channel structures

Inter-relationships between elements of the marketing mix.

Market Segmentation

Concept and rationale. Bases for segmentation in consumer and organisational markets. Criteria for viable segments. Selecting target markets and positioning products. Alternative market coverage strategies.

Buying-Behaviour Analysis

Characteristics of the consumer market. Nature of the consumer buying decision. Psychological and sociological influences on consumer buying behaviour. Models of consumer buying behaviour. Types and characteristics of organisational markets. The organisational buying decision process. Nature and role of the buying centre. Influences on organisational buying behaviour. Comparisons between consumer and organisational buying behavior.

What is marketing?

How are needs satisfied?

What are the functions of marketing?

Who carries out these marketing functions?

 

What is marketing?

Marketing is providing the goods and services when and where they are required to satisfy customer needs or wants (Wisner 1996, p.3).

Core Concepts

Needs – A human need is a state of felt deprivation of some basic satisfaction

Wants – Desires for satisfaction of a particular something

Demands – Wants for specific products that are backed up by an ability to pay

Products – Anything offered to someone to satisfy a need or want

Exchange/Transaction – The act of obtaining a desired product from someone by offering something in return

Consumer sovereignty – in market economies the consumer is ‘king’ by choosing the products that will be made

 

How are needs satisfied?

Utility is the ability of a product to satisfy a need/want

Form utility – physical characteristics of a product that provide satisfaction

Time utility – ability of a good to be available when needed

Place utility – ability of a good to be available when needed

Possession utility – ability of a good to be owned or acquired

Quality and variety – ability of a good to meet human need

 

How has marketing evolved?

Production age – period of heavy demand yet short supply

Selling age – period of over production and excess inventories

Marketing age – period of increased competition and selective demand

 

How does marketing affect our lives?

Effects everyone, marketing is everywhere – billboards, t.v., radio, trucks and magazines are a few examples.

 

What is the marketing concept?

Directing business efforts towards total customer satisfaction

Product quality and customer services

Team effort

 

What are the functions of marketing?

Buying and Selling – primary tasks of marketers

Transportation and Storage – have product available when needed

Standardisation and Grading – standardise products and test quality

Credit – set sensible prices and establish terms of sale

Communication – diffuse ideas to customers and team members

Market Research – learn from research to gauge effectiveness of advertising

 

Who carries out these marketing functions?

Internal

Marketing departments

External (because firms may lack resources or expertise)

Advertising firm – plan and create promotional activities

Public Relations firm – concerned with image of the firm

Market Research firm – conduct surveys to test effectiveness of promotions

Marketing Intermediaries – assure delivery of the product between customer and producer

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Marketing

Managing change

June 1, 2007 0 comments

"Every organization has to prepare for the abandonment of everything it does"

Peter Drucker

Change must be "top-down" implemented

"Change agent or team" must be appointed

Three factors in managing change:

  • The type of situation
  • The type of change
  • The type of leadership

1. The Type of Situation:

a) anticipating

 

b) re-active

 

c) crisis

 

2. The Type of Change:

a) the WHAT do we change to improve our disturbing situation?

b) the HOW change ( how shall we do it?)

3. The Type of Leadership

Four leadership styles to manage change - one to be decided on

a) Telling - orders and instructs

b) Selling - provides directions and explains

c) Involving - involves everybody in decisions

d) Delegating - asks people to work on the problem

CRISIS

REQUIRES A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT LEADERSHIP APPROACH - UNILATERAL - MADE AT THE TOP.

The rules are:

1. Decide, inform -SHOW confidence (you know what you are doing - remember - panic is very infectious)

2. Push for quick results (success will lead to success)

3. Communicate so that everything is as clear as possible. Communication is the key success factor in this situation. The leader must send the right signals in the right way so that people understand how they can help.

FORCES CAUSING CHANGE

Internal

  • firm's long and short term plans,
  • improved efficiency,
  • improved cost effectiveness,
  • competition for budgets,
  • expansion,
  • availability of new products,
  • administrative changes

External

  • economic change in society,
  • compliance with government regulations,
  • public pressure,
  • competition from rivals

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Operations Management

POWER

June 1, 2007 0 comments

ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT THEORIES

Power is a relatively new addition to the subject of organizational behaviour within the past 20 years.

An understanding of power is fundamental to the larger understanding of group behavior

Three types of power :

a) INTERPERSONAL

b) SITUATIONAL

c) STRUCTURAL

a) INTERPERSONAL

  • Power needs only to be potential, it does not need to be exercised to maintain its results.
  • However, compliance with certain requests should not always be considered as the result of yielding power.

C.I. BARNARD identified this as The Zone of Indifference ie complying with a request to close the door.

There are four sources of interpersonal power:

1. Position or hierarchical, ie a manager

2. Personal - leadership qualities

3. Expert - unique knowledge

4. Opportunity - John Major

The above sources of power can be used in either of two Modes of Influence

HARD modes based on compulsion or reward

  • Problem - as a threat has been made, it has to be policed to be effective - can lead to counter-threat.
  • Advantage - tends to be more effective

SOFT mode based on warning or advice

Uses persuasion - requires credibility to carry it out - based on how persuasive you are.

b) SITUATIONAL

Hierarchical source of power:

  • This is the power a person holds because of their position or rank in an organization., i.e. manager, chairman, supervisor etc.

Power can depend upon the span of control ie how many people you control.

Other types of situational power:

Dependency - the greater "A"'s power over "B", the greater the dependency "B" has on "A"

Uncertainty - typified by maintenance engineers in a matrix type of organization. Can get conflicting orders from two different bosses.

Group - power in coalitions, trade unions, students, worker groups and professionals.

Power is a continual battle as others are seeking to improve theirs.

c) STRUCTURAL

Delegation of power

  • This is the official giving away of power and can be the hardest thing for a manager to do

Barriers to delegation:

  • military and civil servants - tight, centralised, formal ranking structure
  • education - de-centralised
  • level and training of employees

Psychological - manger might not be able to delegate, on an ego trip, does nor wish to lose power

Advantages of delegation

  • development of subordinates
  • relief of certain time consuming work

De-centralisation

This occurs when the Head Office of a firm decides that branch offices or factories can make their own decisions on purchasing, labour policies, financial budgets, production etc.

Advantages

  • develops managerial ability
  • develops profit centres
  • profit centre managers are highly motivated as results are in plain sight
  • can make quick decisions without recourse to HQ

Disadvantages

  • Centralisation can encourage economy of operation i.e. de-centralisation might cost the group of companies more.
  • Costly mistakes can be made because of lack of control.
  • Lower level personnel may lack capacity t deal with decisions
  • Care must be taken with security in financial departments.
  • Can lead to duplication of efforts

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Operations Management

Integration and Co-ordination of Functions

June 1, 2007 0 comments

Achieved by satisfying Organizational and Personal goals.

Represented by:

1. Organizational Factors

Structures

Goals

Achievement of Organizational purpose

2. Human Factors

Achievement of Self-Maintenance and Growth

Achievement of Social Satisfaction

Internal Organizational structures.

INDIVIDUAL, GROUP, ORGANIZATIONAL, INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL FACTORS AFFECTING MOTIVATION AND PRODUCTIVITY

A) INDIVIDUAL

THEORIES - CONTENT

schema will be available later

Content theories offer a perspective on the relative value that people place upon various rewards.

Assumption:

1. Needs are both physiological and psychological in origin

2. Managers have the facility to alter rewards to suit individual preferences - thereby satisfying individual needs (doesn’t work in practice)

This theory could be criticised as being cosy middle class as people will deprive themselves of the most basic needs if they have a powerful enough internal motive to succeed.

McLelland (1961) had a more sensible theory in that individuals had need for:

1. achievement

2. affiliation

3. power

Only one of these tends to motivate at the one time

(See also Maslow, Herzberg and Vroom)

GROUP

Group relations focus on the interaction within and between groups and the stable arrangements that result from such interactions.

PSYCHOLOGICAL GROUP

A psychological group is any number of people who

  • interact with one another
  • are psychologically aware of each other, and
  • perceive themselves to be a group

CHARACTERISTICS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL GROUPS

1. A minimum of two people

2. A shared communication network

3. A shared sense of collective identities

4. Shared goals

5. Group structure

Management Ideas

Open System, schema will be available later

Contingency, schema will be available later

Communication - Formal Channels, schema will be available later

Chain of Command, schema will be available later

The superior has authority over the subordinates. The subordinates have responsibility to the superior. There should be two-way communication between the superior and subordinates. The chain is the official channel. The superior’s communication is authoritative

If Manager A wishes to communicate formally with Staff Member B, the Manager should communicate in the first instance with Manager B who is the superior of Staff Member B. In modern open-systems firms, people communicate by both horizontal and vertical chains of command

Dangers of short-circuiting the chain

If a subordinate is given a job to do by her/his supervisor, the subordinate will carry out the task if it is in the normal run of the day’s business. However, if the M.D comes down to the shopfloor and tells the subordinate directly to stop doing the present task and start on something new as it is required urgently, where does that leave the supervisor?

Common courtesy at least should tell the M.D. to ask the supervisor to allocate somebody to carry out the urgent task. Apart from anything else, the supervisor would know which is the best subordinate to put on that task and which would cause the minimum inconvenience.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Operations Management

Authority, responsibility, accountability, span of control,

June 1, 2007 0 comments

Centralization and de-centralization.

Authority:

May be defined as a superior's capacity, on the basis of formal position to make decisions affecting subordinates. Authority requires a formal position, power does not. i.e.,

Institutionalized power.

We have been conditioned to accept authority-

Parents, school, any youth organization has a leader, a football or hockey team has a captain,

University - exam requirements.

Other factors of authority-

A. Expert knowledge, personal leadership.

B. The desire to avoid responsibility ie. It is easier to accept directions than give orders and accept the consequences of these orders.

Limits to authority: The law - speed limits; criminal and civil law, organizational rules and regulations

A leader can only take subordinates where they want to go.

Resistance to authority

Go-slows, sabotage, strikes, mutiny

Theory - Milgram studies 1974

Tried to find out the reasons why soldiers, who would normally be rational human beings, carried out acts of atrocity during times of war. Peer group pressure was found to be the main reason for these acts.

Remember that after the Nuremberg war trials of the Nazi leaders in the 1940's, it is not a defence for a soldier to say that he was following orders. It is up to the individual soldier's conscience to refuse to obey an order if he/she thinks that the order contravenes the Geneva Convention or human rights.

Brainwashing can account for some of these actions hence public disquiet about the activities of groups such as the Moonies.

Chain of command

The superior has authority over the subordinates. The subordinates have responsibility to the superior. There should be two-way communication between superior and subordinates. The chain is the official channel. The superior's communication is authoritative.

See picture when service available

If d wishes to communicate with g, the message has to be passed through c, b, a, e and f. In practice, adherence to a chain of command can never be complete as superiors who stick to a chain have no idea how their subordinates are performing. In a modern open-systems firm, people communicate by both horizontal and vertical chains of communication. (dotted lines)

Dangers of short-circuiting the chain.

If a subordinate is given a job to do by his/her supervisor, the subordinate will carry out the task if it is in the normal run of the day's business. However, if the M.D. comes down to the shopfloor and tells the subordinate directly to stop doing the present task and start on something new as it is required urgently, where does that leave the supervisor?

Common courtesy, at least, should tell the M.D. to ask the foreman to carry out the urgent task. Apart from anything else, the supervisor would know which is the best subordinate to be put on that task and which would cause the minimum inconvenience.

Span of control

See diagrams when service available

 

One manager cannot control 1000 employees directly. Conversely, too small a span gives overly close supervision. There have been various studies as to the effectiveness of either a "tall" hierarchy or a "flat" hierarchy. No firm conclusion was reached as in so many cases it depends on the individual organization's culture and structure.

Responsibility and authority

See diagram when service available

Responsibility

Authority should flow down and responsibility is passed up. Problems can arise when authority is not correctly delegated. This misses out on possible staff training and development.

Centralization

Like division of work, centralization belongs to the natural order of things. The appropriate degree of centralization, however, will vary with a particular concern, so that it is a matter of debate and analysis which will decide on the organizational format.

Can be effective if carried out in an efficient manner

De-centralization

Occurs when delegation is used extensively throughout an organization i.e., each division of a firm becomes a profit centre.

Advantages:

  • managers are highly motivated as they are on a share of the profits.
  • decisions can be made quickly without recourse to H.Q.

Disadvantages

  • mistakes can be costly
  • personnel may not be capable of responsibility
  • duplication of some functions

Conclusions

Authority is established by a number of different factors such as the general culture, rewards and penalties, belief in the organization's purpose, expertise, personal leadership and the desire of some to avoid responsibility.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Operations Management

MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS AND ROLES

June 1, 2007 0 comments

FUNCTIONS :

1. PLANNING

  • creating a framework for future decisions

2. ORGANIZING

  • getting the right resources together and developing an appropriate structure to divide up tasks

3. LEADING AND MOTIVATING

  • achieving tasks either individually or through delegation to others

4. CONTROLLING

  • maintaining performance levels by monitoring and evaluation
  • appraisal

MANAGERIAL ROLES :

(

Mintzberg, 1971) a manager's day - brevity, variety and fragmentation

1. Interpersonal roles

  • Figurehead
  • Leader
  • Liaison - external world

2. Information roles

  • Monitor
  • Disseminator
  • Spokesperson

3. Decisional roles

  • Entrepreneur - strategy
  • Disturbance handling
  • Resource allocator
  • Negotiator

MANAGERIAL ROLES (cont.)

Rosemary Stewart (1967)

1. Emissaries - (sales staff)

2. Writers - (a/c's and finance)

3. Discussers - (typical middle management)

4. Trouble shooters - (operations mgr.)

5. Committee persons - (local government. - education)

Future

Management terms:

1. End of traditions

2. Size - (small is better than larger)

3. Entrepreneurship and intrepreneurship

4. Firm becoming employee oriented

5. Trade unions - seats on the board

6. Middle management?

Issues :

Environment, EC Social Chapter, computer tech. and M.I.S., Human Resource Management

Quinn, 1990, Becoming A Master Manager

Director Role

  • Taking Initiative
  • Goal Setting
  • Delegating Effectively

Producer Role

  • Personal Productivity And Motivation
  • Motivating Others
  • Time And Stress Management

Coordinator Role

  • Planning
  • Organizing And Designing
  • Controlling

Monitor Role

  • Reducing Information Overload
  • Analysing Info With Critical Thinking
  • Presenting Info; Writing Effectively

Mentor Role

  • Understanding Yourself And Others
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Developing Subordinates

Facilitator Role

  • Team Building
  • Participative Decision Making
  • Conflict Management

Innovator Role

  • Living With Change
  • Creative Thinking
  • Managing Change

Broker Role

  • Building And Maintaining A Power Base
  • Negotiating Agreement And Commitment
  • Presenting Ideas

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Operations Management

Guide for inventors on promoting ideas

June 1, 2007 0 comments

I do not want creative individuals to become unsuspecting victims of unscrupulous firms and be deprived of their limited resources in return for very little.

It includes the key questions inventors should ask before entering into a contract with a firm, from finding out the details of the total cost and all the steps involved in taking an idea through to production to asking for evidence of the firm's previous success rate.

Do you think you have a great idea for a new product or service? - You are not alone.

Every year thousands of people try to develop their ideas and commercially market them. Some people use the services of invention promotion firms to help evaluate, develop and market their idea. Contracting for the services of an invention promotion firm is no different from making any other major purchase. If you are interested in working with an invention promotion firm, before entering into a contract, the following common sense guidance may help you to avoid costly mistakes:

  • Do your homework - there is a considerable amount of free or low cost advice available, on issues such as patenting and other forms of intellectual property protection, which you may wish to consider first. A few of these sources or routes to information are suggested overleaf.
  • Do not disclose the details of your invention to anyone, including the promoter, without a prior confidentiality agreement - failure to do so could prevent you from obtaining intellectual property rights in the future.
  • Early in your discussion with a promotion firm, find out exactly what the different stages of the service are and the costs associated with each stage, from the "research" about your invention right through to the marketing and licensing.
  • Ask the firm to provide evidence that they have the necessary skills and expertise in the field of your interest to support the activities that they agree to carry out on your behalf.
  • Ask what success rate the firm has achieved in promoting inventions since it started offering its services, and find out whether references can be provided from recent clients.
  • Question claims and assurances that your invention will make money. Commercialisation of inventions is a risky business - no one can guarantee that your invention will be commercially successful.
  • Ask them for their rejection rate - the percentage of all ideas or inventions that the invention firm finds unacceptable at the first assessment stage. Not all ideas could be considered to be commercially viable and it should be expected that firms should have high rejection rates.
  • Find out whether the services advertised, e.g. the patent search and/or market assessment, will be carried out in the countries in which you would like to exploit your invention.
  • If the invention promotion firm claims to know, or have special access to, manufacturers who are likely to be interested in licensing your invention, or if they claim to represent manufacturers on the look-out for new product ideas - ask for proof.
  • If the firm offers the services of a 'patent agent' or 'patent attorney' ask if those people are registered. In the UK it is an offence to use such terms if you are not registered, a qualification which entails examination and practice experience.
  • If the firm offers search services to assess patent prospects make sure that the search is comprehensive and covers all published prior art. A patent must be new and if the idea is published anywhere in the world before filing then this will invalidate rights

If at the end of all this you are happy with the evidence and do wish to enter into a contract, ensure that it contains all the terms you agreed to -verbal and written- before you sign. If possible you should seek legal advice. And remember ... do not disclose the details of your invention to anyone, including the promoter, without a prior confidentiality agreement - failure to do so could prevent you from obtaining intellectual property rights in the future.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Product Innovation

Unexpacted Opportunities

June 1, 2007 0 comments

Unexpected occurrences

Incongruities

  • Process needs
  • Industry and Market changes

Drucker suggests that there are three additional sources of opportunity to be found outside a company that affect its social and intellectual environment.

Demographic changes

Changes in perception

New knowledge

Social

changes in social attitudes brought about by cultural drift.

Political

these influences may be micro or macro or a combination

Economic

changes in levels of disposable income with market sectors or target groups.

Legal

changes in the law can open up new opportunities

Technological

ever increasing rates of change introduces new ways of doing things and impending obsolescence

forces people to rethink how they can get in front of the game

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Product Innovation

Product innovation frameworks for gaining competitive advantage

June 1, 2007 0 comments

You need critically analyse, evaluate and discuss development frameworks for product or process innovation that may be used by a business to gain competitive advantage.,/p>

Scenario:

You have joined the product development division. Marketing has suggested that there is an omission in their product range of equipment to meet the client needs. You and your team have to design a suitable product to fill the gap and has asked you to lead the development project.

Instruction:

Produce a project report for introducing the new product. Discuss how you would set about your investigation. Identify and critically analyse a suitable framework for innovation and demonstrate how it may be applied to create an innovative product to meet the needs of your clients.

Discuss how you would lead the team to innovate and investigate the product development process. Illustrate and justify the chosen methodological tools and techniques employed. Define and analyse the benefits that are likely to motivate favorable consumer behavior.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Product Innovation