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  1. 1. AWARENESS IN MANAGEMENT Transforming data into qualities… From understanding to meaning… From meaning to results … Draft 1.0 Prepared for a course at the UNIVERSIDAD ADOLFO IBAÑEZ MBA program “A problem is the difference between what you have and what you want” David Thornburg This is a draft for course work. Please do not reproduce it without the formal authorization of the author Sergio I Melnick March 2009
  2. 2. Contents Overview … 2 10 attributes of great managers …4 Dealing with awareness … 9 5 main pillars of awareness process …11 The innovation cycle …13 The creative process …14 Dealing with the inner world …16 From ideas to action: from mind to heart …18 The personal voyage of life …20 Improving the awareness process for the external …21 Critical thinking standards …22 A possible course in business awareness …23 Measuring the starting point … 26 Key readings …28 Exercise 1 …29 An alternative approach to awareness with questions … Maps annexed Stuck in a problem? Liderazgo (Bennis) Organization cycles, post symbolic language Virtues El Viaje del Héroe Ordenando objetivos anuales 1
  3. 3. OVERVIEW There are at least three things almost all human beings share, for good or bad, and with sundry arrays of success: 1. We are all necessarily managers of our own life, 2. We are all forced to be, decision makers, and 3. We do these two, always oriented to the future. We always plan, anticipate, and predict. These are natural components of management. Thus, in principle we could say that everyone could eventually become a manager in business. That’s correct. However not all will succeed, and just very few will excel. Management today has become a very technical profession. In the complex current civilization, in order to become a good manager, it is not enough to be just intuitive or being able to run our personal lives adequately. There are so many societal codes and regulations for business, and organizations, and so much technical knowledge available and necessary, that it is rather difficult, albeit not impossible, to be a self made manager that reaches the top. That’s why people today attend business schools, that have proliferated extensively in the last decades. There are thousands of them. Business as such, is new discipline, perhaps no more than 100 years old, that is, relatively new. Some scholars actually think of it as a science. I rather think of it as a discipline that draws on many sciences. Before that time, most managers with a profession came from engineering, perhaps law. The majority of managers, for centuries, were actually self made managers, made on the practice of it. Many of them were entrepreneurs, faced with the imperatives of management. In sum, today’s majority of managers come from business schools, and not all of them teach equally or the same. 2
  4. 4. The most elemental mission of a good business school is to make it’s students great professional managers. People are not robots or computers. Thus transmitting knowledge to students is simply not enough. A solid business school will obviously teach elements such as; what is management, what managers do, the different specialties and their challenges (marketing, accounting, finance, strategy, human resources, and so on) , and will provide best tools available for all of that. Some will be more practical, others more theoretical. But there is still the “person” part in the equation that is actually what always, with no exception, still makes all the differences in life. That means that the very same business school, with equal curricula, will generate different types of managers. Amongst graduates some will eventually fail, as much as those who would become quite successful. Some will even leave the profession. But how come is that? Can we guaranty just a minimum of success? Well, we simply cannot. We can only guaranty a certain amount of formal professional knowledge, like in many other professions. Management is not a “mechanical” activity, with clear perfect solutions. Human beings are essentially unpredictable We do change. We actually make an effort to change. Furthermore, we aim at generating change all around. That has many interesting implications. For instance, that is the underlying reason why controllable futures are ultimately less predictable than uncontrollable ones. The fact that controllable futures are less predictable than the uncontrolled seems like a paradox, doesn’t it? 3
  5. 5. All our decisions are made in order to change the future. We make our decisions based on information and knowledge, and that changes every second. Furthermore, decisions as such, can only be made in the present, the future cannot be so to speak “pre-decided”. For example, you cannot “decide” today to get up tomorrow at a certain hour. You certainly may have the intention to do so, but the actual decision will be made only at the very precise moment of having to get up. Should the information have changed, from the time of your “intention”, then, you will modify your decision accordingly. If, for instance, you had an emergency just before, or if you feel sick, or whatever the situation, the decision will be different of your initial intention. This issue is not evident in itself. Actually, if you ask less informed people about the subject, they would probably emphatically assert you, that the more controllable a future, the more predictable it is. It takes more than just knowledge to “understand” all of this. It takes a form of awareness. It implies “meaning”. There are so many exceptions, and still the conclusions holds. Just understanding it’s not enough here. How will that be used in practice? Well, again, the “human factor” is the key. Business schools will try, as much as possible, to support that “human” and inner part of the unknown equation that explains success. That has to do with developing competences such as the ability of the student to think and learn on his/her own, ideally with strong values and ethics in management, character building, discipline, responsibility, network building, curiosity, and self management to a certain extent. Sure enough, a significant component of the final management skills and abilities will be developed through experience, an ineludible component of this profession. But that is out of the reach of the school. Management is an activity that deals with decisions, actions, and it must always be especially geared towards results. Management it is not an intellectual endeavor as it may be philosophy, True awareness always metaphysics, history, and others of the kind. With the implies a change. same education and training, some managers will go to Change is the driving public organizations, others will be executives, and gear of innovation. others will be entrepreneurs, but all of them, as managers, will be necessarily oriented to results. So, right in the intersection between the “you” part of the equation, and the managerial capacity and competences there emerges a weird concept: awareness. Something that if improved will, I believe, become a clear competitive advantage in the profession. An advantage that is absolutely personal, not replicable. That’s the basic tenet of this proposal. Should that be case, the natural question arises immediately: should that competence be part of the curricula in a business school? Can it actually be taught and measured? Let’s begin the subject with an interesting exercise. 4
  6. 6. 10 attributes that make a good manager and could anticipate their success There is obviously no agreement about what is the core of the core of which are the key competences that most likely would make managers successful. Many current Reality is merely an illusion, practicing managers have never even albeit a very persistent one. attended a business school, and some Albert Einstein could even possibly teach there. Experience does matter indeed. The difficulty in finding these core competences is even more evident in the case of entrepreneurship. Warren Bennis in the 70’s set out to elaborate a general theory of success in his research at MIT business school. The experience was frustrating at first, but eventually quite productive. In fact, from this research and publications altogether new schools of thought emerged around leadership.1 The question however is still open. The world has continued to change. Technology is pervasive, globalization a reality and so on. It’s is quite a valuable exercise trying to find the 10 –or so- attributes that maximize the possible success of the manager. Perhaps the exercise is even more important than the actual results. Each business school does this exercise all the time, and seem never to be solved.. Let’s see some of them: a proposal. Sure enough, some technical knowledge base in business is absolutely necessary, but still seems to be not sufficient. Many other competences are still needed. Going through the literature and internet, we will find almost hundreds of such desired attributes for management. All of them seem good, a priori. Nonetheless, on the first place no one can possibly have them all. On the second place we do observe successful managers with quite the opposite of such traits. In practice we observe that, for instance, there are successful managers that are not very good leaders, being leadership a trait more than often mentioned. Furthermore we find solid managers that are even not necessarily honest, as desirable as it seems. That’s the case for instance, in drug cartel’s managers, or perhaps the case of pornography just to name a couple. With the current economic crisis, many managers have emerged that were actually either breaking the law or deceiving customers (or both), and were until then considered quite successful and even idealized for quite a long time. I am sure many of those gave lucid talks or classes in top business schools. 1 Benis then found that the capacity to physically envision objectives, the capacity to have others “see” these images, the capacity to convince others about the power and returns upon “materializing” them, the capacity to focus, perseverance were critical competences that everyone in his sample had and were identical. 5
  7. 7. We have also seen successful managers that are good listeners, but also there are others that act like dictators, and both types are successful. The same way, some good managers do manage their selves quite well, and others simply don’t, and have quite difficult personal and family lives. Not even a special intelligence seems to be a key trait. We see more than often average intelligence transformed in great managers. That’s normally accompanied with other attributes or virtues. Thus, the question is indeed quite intriguing. Is there a core of the core in management competences? Is there a minimum that maximizes the chance of success? As for a knowledge base perhaps, but we know it’s not enough. In my personal case I will adventure in the next chart an opinion in that vein. These competences I have selected, are subjective, and the result of my own experience having participated in tens of companies and organizations (private and public) in different capacities, from manager, to CEO, or even in the board. Also as an entrepreneur with both many failures and a few successes. It also considers decades of teaching, including a deanship of a school of business, trying top solve the puzzle. 6
  8. 8. The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions. Anthony Jay 7
  9. 9. My intention here is not to solve the riddle, but to install the question and the debate. Perhaps with the intention that each manager should try to build such a list for his/her own, and do the necessary workout afterwards. Finding the gap between what you deem necessary and what you have is an interesting form consciousness. "Vision is the art of seeing the invisible." Probably the initial list would evolve in time with Jonathon Swift the wisdom of experience. Having such a personal list it’s certainly and advance in awareness. No doubt, as emphasized before, there is a knowledge base and some basic competences requested in management, particularly in the 21 century. Business schools spend countless hours trying to define the best general curricula, leaving aside for a moment the specialization areas in which it is always more clear what to teach. Interesting enough all these schools reach different solutions. They usually agree on subjects such as accounting, quantitative skills, perhaps some marketing, finance, or human resources. All of that is always desirable. In my personal view, by and large, the more knowledgeable the manager the better the expected results in this “age”, as long as his geared to action and results. Bottom line, if I was to single out the core of the core in knowledge, I would select two themes: (a) project assessment, and (b) negotiation skills. Understanding and calculating well the numbers of a project, is an integrative business knowledge process for action. Each project assessment will force you to define how much specific knowledge and details are need in that case, depending in the project. But almost all are needed. Some projects are intensive in technology, others in marketing, others in logistic, others in strategy or efficiency, and so on. However, all of them need number crunching skills, strategy notions, logistics considerations, organization definitions, solid finances, and all of them have to deal with risk. In project assessment you need to learn how to make the appropriate questions, and that is a great competence. Secondly, in management, almost all you do has always an important negotiation component. A good manager, almost by definition, must always be oriented to results. Management is actually measured by results, not by intentions or the finesse of its models or ideas. A good manager, I believe, must have a permanent hunger for success, whatever the form used for its measurement. A good manager, unavoidably needs initiative. Accordingly, having clear objectives, clear targets, clear ways of measuring results is a key attribute of a manager. Accomplishing these results needs an appropriate strategy and all the adaptability possible, along the way. Adaptability is much more than flexibility. It involves learning ability and evolution capacity. Adaptability is a competence that can be developed. La imaginación es más importante que el conocimiento. 8
  10. 10. As the old business wisdom reads: no risk no gain. A good manager must understand and deal appropriately with risk. There is a necessity to clearly identify the risks involved in the domain of its practice, and find, in each case, the adequate balance between boldness and risk aversion, according to expected results. Keeping on, a manager without a solid discipline will never be a good manager in the long term. A manager without a systematic focus capacity, will never get best results. Summing up all the above, perseveration is, in my view, a fundamental attribute for a successful manager. As Edison pointed out: success is only 2% inspiration and 98% perspiration. All the above is still not enough. A good manager never procrastinates. Procrastination may perhaps be defined, in this case, as the perfect antithesis of management. A manager in general will always need to communicate in different levels and forms. To begin with the instructions to subordinates or all reports needed, the presentations, and so on. There are formal and informal ways of communication. Even body language, at times, could be important. Whatever the situation, nobody can be a good manager without some basic communication skills. We may differ in the skills that are more appropriate, but not in the necessity for communications. I am not even arguing that must be a great communicator, only effective, nor even efficient. A good manager always evolves. Do the same things always, and you will get always the same results always. The world always moves. The basic motivation for evolution is desired success, and aiming at the top (recognition), and not always at becoming an independent entrepreneur. Not everyone can become an entrepreneur. Furthermore the latter need managers. Last but not least, results are mandatory, but also it is the “power game” within the organizations, and in the markets. In that area, the network of the manager plays a vital role, as it plays in information and access. Knitting networks is a key competence needed by a manager, especially nowadays were the extent of such networks is simply incredible and worldwide in scope. All these attributes and their development hinge upon the “awareness” ability. "Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different." Albert Szent-Gyrgyi, Nobel Prize winner 9
  11. 11. Dealing with “awareness” As important as it is, awareness is quite an elusive concept. There is no good formal definition2. There are actually many synonyms to get around, such as, cognizant, perception, conscious, alertness, sensible, awake, alert, watchful, vigilant. For languages such as Spanish, there is simply no adequate translation. To become aware implies that some knowledge was gained through one's own perceptions, or by means of information. Somehow, something must have entered your consciousness as you gain awareness. Something has been perceived. But, what is it exactly what do became aware of? An idea? Data? Emotion? Intuition? What id the “texture” or “currency” so to speak of awareness. Awareness is something beyond simple understanding. There is an “external” level of awareness that is less relevant for this essay. For example, when you became aware of a new legislation piece, or perhaps some hostility of an opponent, or a child behavior, or the last statistic number. It could also be applied to trends of different types. Awareness has to do with understanding and practicing the difference between watching and seeing, of listening and hearing. Bottom line, the notion of awareness that I’m trying to explore here, is more an attitude than act. It is not an idea or model, IT’S RATHER A WAY OF THINKING. I will expand further this crucial distinction later on. Awareness thus is always and necessarily personal.3 It’s something more profound than mere knowledge. True awareness, as you will learn, it’s always linked to action: the very essence of management. That’s the link, that’s the plot. The key question is if we can change our level of awareness deliberately. Should the answer be positive, then it must necessarily be learned in management programs. 2 This is nice quote: “Those of us who actively participate in the new online world are aware that we need to be more aware…”. 3 One may argue that bottom line everything is personal. May be, but here I want to differentiate from things that may be social, natural, technological, formal and so on. Personal here means from within. 10
  12. 12. As you see, it is not that easy to define exactly what is awareness, much less what does it mean from the standpoint of management. For instance, is it a skill?, an art?, a method?, an attitude? Is it something discrete or continuous? Is it rational? Well, probably is all of that in different ways. That’s the difficulty. Without defining it yet, awareness is an attribute of the relationship between the internal an external world of an individual. In practical terms it deals with heavy concepts, such as consciousness, soul, data and information, brain and mind, language and tongue, ideas, values, emotions, logic, and so on, that finally define Brand awareness is a known use of your own identity. It’s “you” who became the term in marketing. However interpretation and measurements aware of something, and you have no equal on are not always clear. Common three earth. In other words each “awareness” is levels are defined: first reference, different. It is as difficult as love. Theory is not clear identification, having heard of. enough. It means nothing without practice. A formal Definition: “Extent to which a brand is Awareness therefore is about you, in this recognized by potential customers, case you as a manager. But it is about you and is correctly associated with a personally. And it must be dealt as such. particular product. Expressed usually as a percentage of target The interest here, therefore, is not market, brand awareness is the primary goal of advertising in the philosophical or conceptual, but in relation to early months or years of a product's management skills and its results. introduction”. Management is about results, not about intellect, which is naturally necessary, but not sufficient. University of Edimburg That is, the proposal is to enhance awareness in order to gear it (what ever it is) to results that can be measured in different ways, according to objectives. Sure enough we have to deal with the abstract concepts abovementioned, but always for the sake of practical action in organizations of different types. Awareness serves equally, public and private, small and big organizations From data to qualities: awareness is the way Our direct senses capture a lot of direct data all the time. Our “informed” mind receives tons of formal (processed) data, pieces of information, and knowledge. All of that together and interrelated generates our “language” or our map of reality. But the map is not the territory. There is a gap between data and reality. That gap is perhaps infinite, and a key reason for that is the very essence of qualities and symbols. Qualities are something data can only 11
  13. 13. approach to but fully not capture. Well, awareness is our capacity to somehow fill that gap. It is the extent to which part of that gap is covered. An initial practical approach: external AWARENESS has five practical pillars: If awareness is closer to an attitude than an act, or event, then there is necessarily an ongoing continuous process working beneath. That process is the actual manner in which we connect our inner world with the external, for the sake of managing organizations or creating new ones, both in the private and public arenas. Awareness is not to be associated with nothing similar to illumination, in the spiritual tradition. Awareness, as said before, is the result of a process, whereas illumination is an event. In general terms, a process is basically a series of actions or activities taken to obtain an outcome. The starting point is the relationship between us and the situation, condition, event, or trend that we need to became aware of. The observer may have different positions that will affect the awareness process. It may be changing from one type of relation to another. The deepness of the understanding this relationship is somehow a good proxi for the level of awareness. We can start to think of that relationship as a process. Further down we will deal with the “person” in this process. 12
  14. 14. Formalizing the process That means that business or management awareness is the result of such a sequence of activities. This process can be formal or just intuitive. Of course, the more formal we make it, the more productive it will be. That’s the objective of management education in this case. The first step is to be “aware” of the existence of such process. The second step is to improve it step by step until mastering, but it in your own way. That is, even though there is a general description of the model, it s always tailored by the user. Seeing this ovwerall process, it looks very similar to the innovation cycle. If such is the case I would like to suggest that awareness is a necessary condition for innovation, and probably should be included into it’s theories and models. 13
  15. 15. The innovation cycle The chart that follows, shows the traditional understanding of the innovaction cycle. Basically, is how to go from ideas to business results and hopefully success. Underlying any innovation process is a basic awareness of what is believed possible. Creativity needs awareness. 14
  16. 16. The creative process Creativity is an innate faculty of human beings. We are all creative in different degrees and areas. Its like a “software program” already installed in our “operating human system”. That program –so tospeak- can be used better than we usually do. That’s the real objective of training programs and workshops in creativity. However, the first and necessary step is to “activate” or launch the program so to speak. Many times has been blocked. Back to awareness, like in any process, there is an input and an output in each node. In practical terms, even though there is a rational sequence, all parts work always simultaneously. Remember that awareness deals with how do we connect the outer and inner world for the sake of business. Dealing with the outer world One of the obvious things about our outer world is that there is movement, and changes all the time. That’s simple but not trivial. There is an inner urge in human beings to make sense of it, to understand it, both for practical and deep reasons, in that order of interest. Thus, dealing with the outer world means trying to understand it and learn the cause effect phenomena. To that end we do certain recurrent actions, that make a full process. 15
  17. 17. The SENSEMAKING, is the basis of the relationship with the external world of the individual, or the organization as well. In this node of the process, awareness means being alert to signals and what’s happening “out there”. Common sense will only capture all the external and obvious things, but what makes the world tick. Both science and faith have always defy common sense. Awareness is obviously beyond common sense. In spite of observing in present time, all we can document is always the past. Nonetheless, the objective is not the past, but the future. The challenge is to find patterns, meaning, or whatever may help us to project into the future. Historians are clearly the first futurists. Gathering isolated events are useless since they are just part of the past. Finding a pattern of events is a different question. This stage of the process has to do with the sensors to which we have access, in order to gather data, information, and knowledge. It is a process fundamentally analytic, from the methodological standpoint. In observing and documenting “reality”, we always look at the world with prior models, or the knowledge we have so far. That builds up the “language”, or our maps of reality. The map is not the territory (something that is changing in the virtual world) but they define what can we actually “see”. As it is obvious, this part of the process can be formalized to a great extent, and thus improved significantly. In fact at the present stage of civilization we carry out this part of the task with an enormous amount of technology. Mastering that technology is crucial. Furthermore, a lot of technology in history has actually been devised to improve such sub-process. If we were successful in this part of the process, the output will be the capacity of CONNECTING, in the form of models, maps, conjectures, or theories. This activity has to do with synthesis (as opposed to analysis). It’s the capacity of transforming data into knowledge. Being successful means that we have “learned” something (different with just experienced it). As a result of this new knowledge, we expect a new capacity to anticipate cause effect situations. Therefore it is nothing but a strong bridge to the future. This outcome, as said already, will always be quite influenced by our prior knowledge, tools, and methods available4. This stage is the basis for the healthy aspect of speculation. Now is the time of going across the bridge. It’s the time ENVISIONING. In business and organizations the “vision” –which is the desired output of this process- must be prior to the mission, and the latter previous to the strategy. Strategy in turn must be previous to organization. An organization is basically instrumental to the strategy. The vision may take many forms. All are the initial forms taken by the opportunities. It could be new products or services. Perhaps creating new rules of interaction, with new relationships and resources, and so on. This is the capacity of creating inner virtual scenarios to be materialized through management, 4 From time to time (a la Kuhn) we may have paradigm changes. Still those are reactions to the previous ones. No knowledge starts from zero. 16
  18. 18. New ideas normally need the process of INVENTING. That is bringing it down from virtual to real. Invention splits out into two different areas. One has to do with the creating the prototypes in order to demonstrate that they actually work. The other has to do with things that must experienced directly, that are more abstract such as new business models, and new types of relationships that add the greatest value to our organizations, new control methods. Strategy in business is certainly a key inventive piece. All the above activities are part of the process of relating with the external world. Dealing with the INNER world The true problem is that the “future” which is the “space” were we want the success to happen, is an entirely human idea. It is a social drive. It is a social conflict. The future is open and we all want to grasp or capture a piece of it. That’s the name of the human game. Both our greatness and selfishness enter into action here. The best and the worst will come out in trying to capture the future. Every human being is different, in many ways unique. Our DNA is 98% similar to apes. Were we differ the most is in our ideas and emotions. That is the key foundation for the necessity of freedom. Furthermore, we actually want to be differentiated, perhaps special. Successful managers do make a difference; otherwise machines and systems will do the job. All of that is to say that there is no real awareness without a significant dose of self- knowledge. In this case we are aiming specially to the manager’s part of oneself, but still there is the overall “person” behind. These cannot be fully separated. The essence here is that we are dealing, on the one side with emotions and values, and on the other with the erratic field of creativity, as a necessary condition to the innovation game. One of the best books in creativity for business, is Michael Ray’s “The highest Goal”, which recalls the discoveries of the famed Stanford Creativity Course offered by Ray for more than 25 years. The focus of his approach is basically the inner person. Here we enter in grounds that seem 17
  19. 19. closer to psychology courses, or perhaps religion, rather than to business subjects. But in this case they simply cannot be separated. That’s the tenet of the awareness challenge. Moving from the mind to the heart: from ideas to action Management is about action, decisions, and desired results Since management is a result oriented activity, it’s driven by action. Ideas are necessary but not sufficient for action. In order for an idea to move into action, necessarily an emotion has to take place. Emotions are what actually trigger either a necessity or desire of action. Emotions, however are always personal, subjective, and difficult to compare and systematize. Attitudes As said before, emotions are personal, subjective, and variable. Parallel to emotions we also have instincts at work. Instincts are reactions that occur with no thinking in between. Instincts are the natural reaction in times of crisis. Some are good, some not that much and make an effort to control them. The combination of systematic ideas and inner work with emotions give rise to 18
  20. 20. “attitudes”, which are the normal way we confront our situations in life, professional, social, or personal. It is through attitudes that we can actually improve our desired results. The practical question here is to identify and workout your most important attitudes in life. Emotions can be positive or negative. Attitudes are also neutral in addition to positive and negative. Sure enough, by and large, we must try to get rid of negative attitudes. Even if we attain that, the negative emotions will still exist in life. Pain does exist. The great challenge is thus how to maintain positive attitudes coexisting with negative emotions. Only through inner work. 19
  21. 21. The personal voyage of life Regardless of what we do or how, ultimately we are all working for us, for our own meaning of life. That includes the family, society, or other causes. We all try to understand and hopefully follow our “vocation”, our “destiny”, or any other definition you may prefer. In that sense life is a voyage. We are certain about being alive, and of the end. We need to make sense of everything in between. Michael Ray will call the awareness of the voyage the “highest goal”. Ray says that you are really wealthy when you can do what you really like and have meaning to you, and you certainly enjoy doing. That is a life full of purpose and meaning. Whatever the way you use in order to become “aware” of who you really are, that exercise is absolutely necessary. It is that “you” who actually is the manager we are dealing with here, and that will use the competences to become successful in that field. Now we have to find the opportunities and challenges out there. 20
  22. 22. Improving the awareness process for the external Based on all the above so far, bring us to the conclusion that awareness is not a zero-one type of case or state. That is, you are not totally aware or unaware. It is more of a scale along which you move. You improve –or decrease- your LEVEL of awareness. That is the result not of just inspiration but solid and systematic work and workout. The brief description of the overall awareness process shows that it can actually be modeled conceptually and thus can be improved and taught. We see immediately that there are tools available; there are theories and models available in each step. There is technology available in each node. In a few words, it renders itself for a discipline on its own accepting thus all the benefits of critical thinking. Should that be the case, and achieving through formal working, a better functioning of the awareness process, that will significantly improve the innovation capacity. That’s a hypothesis worth been explored. Awareness should allow us to understand better our surroundings and our organizations, naturally beyond common sense. Actually true awareness always defies common sense, because it deals with creativity and the future. Awareness facilitates predicting and organizing changes within, and outside an organization, managing the lines of communication along which interactions flow and within which decisions take root or die. Awareness seeks to understand and manage this act of giving meaning and creating connections in order to achieve objectives that one has set out to accomplish. 21
  23. 23. Critical Thinking standards If awareness is finally a particular way of thinking and approaching things, it’s subject to the general principles of good thinking, a combination of a critical attitude, and methods of formalizing knowledge. Estándares del bien pensar CRITICAL thinking standards Es mi pensamiento... ¿Lo puedo comunicar bien? ¿puedo elaborar más en este punto¿ ¿lo puedo expresar de ¿Es eso realmente verdad? ¿Lo otra manera? ¿Tengo ejemplos? puedo demostrar o probar?,¿Tan exacto como ¿Tan preciso como requiere el tema? requiere el tema? ¿tengo las ¿Puedo dar más detalles? ¿Puedo ser herramientas conceptuales y más específico? ¿Podré sacar técnicas para lidiar con el conclusiones con un grado de error tema? Una aseveración puede apropiado para su utilización práctica ser clara pero no exacta o en referencia a las opiniones?. Una aseveración puede ser clara pero no ¿Es realmente relevante al tema? precisa o se da vueltas por las ramas. ¿Cómo está esto conectado a la pregunta?, ¿Está realmente ¿Aborda realmente las focalizado? complejidades del tema o problema? ¿va a la yugular? ¿Está tomando en cuenta los verdaderos ¿Demasiado estrecho o problemas del tema? ¿Tiene las demasiado amplio? ¿Hay variables fundamentales? equilibrio entre lo abstracto y las aplicaciones? ¿Se requiere considerar otro punto de vista? ¿Cómo se vería esto desde un ¿Es lógico? ¿Es coherente y punto de vista conservador, u consistente? ¿Se deriva eso de lo otro..? que ha dicho? ¿Cómo se deriva aquello? 22
  24. 24. Objectives of a course about awareness in business The working hypotheses in the course are the following: 1. Awareness if a fundamental element or variable in the innovation cycle. Innovation is the central gear of business evolution. This offers us a conceptual framework of reference, 2. Awareness is not an isolated event or experience, but the result of an attitude. Awareness is a way of thinking, therefore renders itself for education, 3. There is a structural process working beneath awareness. However it must be tailored by each one. That is the bases for teaching it. There are levels of awareness, not a zero-one possibility. Teaching it means improving the level, 4. As much as awareness deals with understanding the external world, it does equally so with the inner part of the manager, as a person. There are three basic areas for awareness in business: inner, business and organization, and external, 5. Awareness is something that must be experienced, not just understood. It has to move from the mind to the heart in order to generate actions 6. Awareness is a core competence for manager’s success Bottom line, awareness is always personal, therefore everyone will do it or experience it in a different way. Increasing the level of awareness is something similar of doing it in creativity. It is different from learning models and techniques that can de replicated in a similar manner by different people. Thus, the main objective of a course in awareness is twofold: a. To increase the actual level of awareness, as a result of formalizing and improving the awareness process, b. To tailor the awareness process to each personal manager, learn how to continue doing so systematically his or her own way. The very fact that is done in a different way by everyone, makes it, if accomplished, in a differential attribute. A competitive advantage for yourself. A non replicable skill or attribute. On the personal side, one of the first “levels” of awareness is formally defining the current or “personal business model” of the manager. He or she, need to be “aware” of that, as a necessary starting point for success. That “business model” has to do with the inner self. And that leads us to a complex set of issues, still necessary. In addition of the main objectives, there is a number of secondary objectives, such as: To better understand our real managerial capacities (and your self) in terms of execution and diagnosis. To increase our capacity for organizational learning 23
  25. 25. To be capable of anticipating the impact of changes, crises and action plans in the organization and respecting outside perspectives, while being able to act efficiently in response. Specific attention will be paid to changes in political and economic climate and in businesses that affect the region in question. To better understand social dynamics and to use them to our benefit and to the benefit of the organization to which we belong. To understand better how organizations are able to create new rules in the world of business and new sources of value, to capitalize on the advantages that new technological advances offer them, and, clearly, to reinvent for themselves fresh business models. To prepare our teams and organizations in the face of change and great challenges (and not to drown in the attempt!). If courses on strategy seek shows us how to “think strategically,” this AWARENESS course will allow us to enter the exciting world of “acting strategically” for ourselves, in our organizations and in the markets and professional circles in which we move. How can such a course be taught? Awareness has to do with the way we think. No one can gain Thus, a course for that is based y coaching awareness for you. the student to actually think along the Changing awareness is not awareness process, until making it a built in taught, but coached. You have system. Ideally fully automatic. to do the work on your own. Since there is a “level of awareness” the course must try to improve that level, and ideally measure such movement. 24
  26. 26. The couching method is this case based on questions. The level of awareness, is directly related to THE WAY YOU SOLVE OR RELATE TO THE QUESTIONS. If the student “manages” to devise his/her own systematic method for dealing with these questions, you they have acquired a valuable asset. At the outset of the course a brief self evaluation is made, based on a test, to define the initial level. The student on his/her own will judge at the end if that level changed. To that end, the course confronts the student with about 150 fundamental questions (from personal to managerial and organizational), and 50 more that each specific ones, that each participant has to identity for him or herself. We expect not only that each student will gain awareness in relation to these questions, but that each student will “model” it’s OWN way of dealing with them in a way that this model will become a technology (or technique) of it’s own. This model should be tested in the 50 questions raised by each one. This course seeks to provide tools for disciplined, conscientious thinking about everything that happens in our organizations, your environment, and within ourselves. This is a practical way of approaching AWARENESS. The main work of the participant will be done using conceptual maps, based on the “levels”. Ideally these should be done with computer assistance with programs such as Visio, but they can be done manually, obviously with much more work each time they are redone. 25
  27. 27. Measuring the starting point If awareness is a scale, you should be able to move along it. That implies that somehow we must be able to measure the steps. Interestingly enough, the only one who can measure such a progress is the manager itself. My suggestion thus, is to create a simple test for the manager to complete and define an initial level for his/her own. That would have a significant dose of subjectivity, but defines a starting point, a reference. Then, at the end of the course, or along time, using his/her own criterion, the student will define whether the awareness has changed in relation to that initial point. Alternatives The first alternative is measure the awareness basically in relation to the 10 top competencies needed for his/her as a manager. The second alternative is entering a bit to the inner self. The initial test The chart that follows presents a simple self test to get a starting point. It is based on the three areas and levels of awareness presented before. The only objective at first, is to asses after the course, if there is a change that is perceptible for the student. As we have seen above, awareness is a scale of levels, not a zero/one type of situation. Thus, we will attempt to identify your position in a scale from 1 to 10. Three sets of questions have been selected for each domain: (a) inner, (b) business environment, (c) organization and management. In each case, each question as a weight, and all add up to 100%. The logic of the test is the following: for each question, in a scale of 1 to 10, in the set (a) and (b) the answer you should provide, is a measure of how difficult it was for you to come up with an answer. It is absolutely subjective, do not worry about that. You will always be measured only against your self. Answering 1 in a question will mean that you already have the answer that is satisfactory to you. In opposition, giving a 10 to a question means that is was extremely difficult to reach such answer and you are still not completely satisfied. An answer with a low number (say 1, 2, 3) means that you have already worked with the problem and do have clear ideas about it. The more you have dealt with a problem, the more “aware” we will expect you to be in that area. Resting the weighted average of the question from 10, will provide the first answer, These questions thus, deal with “how aware” are of your self in different areas covered by the questions. Should a question take more than 5 minutes, you should rank the answer with a 5 or more. 26
  28. 28. In the last set of questions (c), you should assess your self estimated level the usual way. That is 1 you do not know or it is very difficult, 10 you feel quite confident and it is easy to answer. The final level of current awareness will be the average of the three, and you will know the actual composition of that indicator. The same test should be taken in the middle of the course. In this case however, we look not for the difficulty in answering, but the answer as such. Same as we did with the section (c) for the first time. That is, 10 represents confidence in the answer. In this case the index will be a direct weighted average. Finally, at the end of the course, the second test is taken again. The three results are analyzed in search of a personal conclusion, and a personal action plan. 27
  29. 29. Key readings Melnick, Sergio y José Miguel Barraza, (2008), ETAN: Estrategia, tecnología, adaptabilidad y negocios, Anticipa, Santiago Chapters 1. Zosiac, 2. Organization and business 4. Looking at the future 5. Part 2, business models: the map of the treasury Ray, Michael (2004-5), The Highest Goal, BK, San Francisco Additional suggested Carr, Nicholas, (2008), The Big Switch. Rewiring the world, from Edison to Google, W.W. Norton and Co, N.Y., Clippinger, John Henry III, editor, (1999), The Biology of Business. Decoding the natural laws of enterprise, Jossey-Bass Pu, San Francisco Friedman, Thomas L., (2006), The World is Flat. A Brief History of the Twenty- First Century 2.0, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, N.Y. Kurzweil, Ray, (2005), The Singularity is near. When Humans trascende biology, Penguin Books, Melnick, Sergio, (2006), “ A general model for the treatment of time-spans on futures research and planning”, en Creating Global Strategies for Humanity’s Future, editado por Timothy C. Mark, World Future Society, Maryland,USA Meyer, Christopher & Stan Davis, (2003), It’s Alive. The coming convergence of information, biology, and business, Crown Business, N.Y. En la WEB Guidelines Una revista con el nombre “awareness” en el terreno espiritual Clave del “own awareness” en business 28
  30. 30. Ejercicio 1 Diseño de un test para evaluar el “nivel de awareness” (POR GRUPO) 0. Formalice su definición de awareness, sea de acuerdo a este trabajo o una suya Awareness: propia o una combinación, transformar datos en cualidades, de 1. Navegue el mapa hasta que se sienta conocer a entender, de entender a cómodo con los contenidos y la lógica, saber captar lo que está detrás 2. Trate de completarlo o modificarlo de de los datos, o lo que estos no acuerdo a su propio entendimiento del pueden capturar. Ciertamente tema, requiere datos, información, y 3. Diseñe un test que mida el nivel de conocimiento para partir. awareness para cada área y combinado Aprender a mirar y “ver” al mismo total, tiempo. 4. Puede usar el test de referencia de la “saber” página siguiente si le acomoda, o El awareness requiere de la simplemente mejorarlo “experiencia”, en la experimentación. 5. Haga el test para cada uno del grupo No es teórico. 6. Evalúe, corrija, comente 29
  31. 31. Ejemplo de un test posible MIDIENDO EL AWARENESS EN NEGOCIOS Este es un test para medir un punto de referencia de su "NIVEL DE AWARENESS" INICIAL. Cómo es cualitativo, sus resultados no son comparables entre personas, sino que sólocon usted mismo. La escala de respuestas es de 1 a 10, donde 1 es una respuesta negativa a la pregunta y 10 muy positiva. El peso relativo que tiene cada pregunta es arbitrario y representa la opinión del diseñador del ejercicio. Si cualquiera de estas preguntas le toma mas de 4 a 5 minutos para responderla el score debe estar sobre 5. 0-10 1 no se, 10 lo tengo clarísimo A SU CONOCIMIENTO INTERIOR Peso Inicio Fin Comentario para recibir opiniones ¿Cuán bien cree usted que se conoce a si mismo? Por ejemplo, su auténtica vocación, Esta pregunta de alguna manera esta 1 misión en la vida, quizás destino, miedos, etc. Cuán fácil es responder a lapregunta ¿para 10% 7 repetida en las otras. que vivo realmente en este período? ¿Cuán claro tengo mis objetivos de largo plazo? 1 tendría que trabajar 2 Puede encontrar las 5 palabras que lo definen o describen en un 80% o más mucho, 10 las tengo 8% 5 clarísimas 1 tendría que trabajar 3 Identifique sus 5 dogmas o creencias más importantes en su vida. mucho, 10 las tengo 8% 7 clarísimas 1 tendría que trabajar Identifique los 7 aspectos más característicos de su carácter. En que medida lo expresan a 4 mucho, 10 las tengo 9% 7 usted clarísimas Cuan formal es su propio "plan de negocios" de su vida personal (en general, no de 6 9% 3 empresario) Encuentre sus 4 instintos clave. ¿Los conoce bien? ¿Cuán conciente es de su actuar? ¿Los 7 9% 7 maneja bien? Identifique 5 de sus ACTITUDES características. ¿Son estas naturales en usted (casi 8 instintos) o son rpoducto de que ha trabajado en lograrlas. (1 si son naturales, 10 si son 10% 6 trabajadas) 10 me conocen 9 ¿Cuán bien cree usted que las otras personas lo conocen realmente? exactamente como 12% 3 soy 10 Cuánto de lo que "sabe de usted" aplica en la práctica? 1 nada, 10 todo 25% 2 Otros temas: espiritualidad, amistades, maestros/gurús, conocimiento necesario, tragbajo con el equipo interno" ==> cuantos yo's conozco. Balance espiritual, racional, emocional, acción. 100% 5.22 Llamado del héroe. Talentos. LA SOMBRA. Manejo frustración. promedio ponderado Aquí hay un problema de mezclar B EL ENTORNO EXTERNO DE LA ORGANIZACIÓN competencias con awareness 11 ¿Cuán sólida es su visión personal del futuro (pais,mundo, industria) a 20 años? 30% 8 12 ¿Cuán buena estima usted es su apreciación de la situación política del país? 15% 8 13 ¿Cuánta confianza le tiene s sus estimaciones de la economía a un año plazo? 15% 8 14 ¿Cuánta confianza le tiene a sus estimaciones económicas a 3 años? 10% 6 15 ¿Cómo rankea usted su entendimiento de la industria en que se ubica y la competencia? 30% 7 Otros temas: redes de información, dieta informativa, 100% 7.5 promedio ponderado Aquí hay un problema de mezclar C MANAGEMENT competencias con awareness ¿Cuán bueno se considera usted en análisis e interpretación númerico de los negocios? 1 muy malo, 10 16 excelente 25% 7 Cuan bien sabe ver a través de los números. Liste las 10 compencias claves para un buen administrador, y establezca su propio gap. Un gap muy grande 1, 17 sin gap cero 25% 4 Cuan claro está su plan de trabajo para ese gap. ¿Cuánta educación formal adicional en negocios cree usted que aun necesita? ¿Cuánto le 10 no necesita mas 18 que la que ya tiene 20% 6 afecta la falta de conocimeintos que le gustaría tener? 19 ¿Cuán "bueno" se considera usted en el juego de poder de la organización? 10 es un maestro 15% 4 Identifique 6 tipos de ejecutivo/administrador y con cual o cuales se identifica usted. Cuan 20 15% 8 bien sabe que tipo de administrador es usted. Otros temas: experiencia, fracasos, maestros/gurus, dieta informativa 100% 5.75 promedio ponderado Promedio ponderado de las tres 6.16 Igual proporción 30
  32. 32. A broadly used concept in management training 31
  33. 33. COMPLEMENTARY MAPS Stuck in a problem? Liderazgo (Warren Bennis) Ordenando objetivos anuales Organization cycles, post symbolic language Virtues El Viaje del Héroe 32
  34. 34. 1
  35. 35. 2
  36. 36. 1
  37. 37. An alternative approach Awareness is the result of a personal quest. That quest is started by questions, and the questions should lead to experiential situations. The classical method will be to present the participant with a series of questions for starting the quest. Ideally the set should have about 100 questions, and ideally with the possibility of some choice. That is not all are mandatory. Part of the exercise is that the participant should create 50 additional personal questions. THE TYPE OF QUESTIONS The sessions will be structured by sets of questions related to special topics, after a brief introductory class in each case. THE QUESTIONS I. The internal. Me as a 21st century manager (10 questions). Defining awareness, reviewing the conceptual model. My own personal definitions. My own approach to management. What makes me different in management. Building a knowledge map of yourself. Some QUESTIONS These questions are rather personal, perhaps uncomfortable. You do not need to deal with them publicly, but you need clarity about them for yourself. This is not a therapy there are no “normals” here. Furthermore non-normal is the competitive advantage. 1. The toughest one: Who are you really? From what angle do you first approach this question? Is it new for you? Define yourself as you wish, and then define you as a manager in this century. Are they compatible? 1. To whom you compare with in management? –if any. 2. In what sense are you unique or would like to be? 3. Define in your own way 7 +/- types of managers. Based on these definitions characterize yourself either as one pure type of these, or a combination 4. List 10 strengths and 10 weakness of you, as a manager or leader (from personal attributes to knowledge or competences) 2. Have you ever found yourself talking to yourself? How many inner “you” can you identify? Building your inner team (a PNL exercise) 3. Graph your balance rational-spiritual-emotional-physical, and your objectives. How clear are you about them? What tools you use for managing that? 4. How does your couple/family affect your career? Current or ideal 5. Whom do you recognize as your leader in life–if any? 6. What makes you trust? What makes you hate? 7. How do you assess the quality of your thinking?
  38. 38. 8. Graph, depict, or map, as you wish, your creativity skills or potential for that, 9. Your own biggest or most important question? Questions are never isolated. They are all intermingled. One leads to the next higher level 10. About reality and what do you think really is. What is real? 11. What do you live for this period of your life? 12. Make a map of the stakeholders of your life II. Zosiac: zoom, side, for action. Finding the scope, detail level, and angle (10 questions) –a thinking method. Learning to work dis- associated or associated to the problem. Things are not what they look like. How? Why? Dealing with objectivity Some QUESTIONS These questions deal with methodology. We all do it differently. Be aware of how do you do it and try to improve it formally. Problem solving. 13. How do you decide the distance or altitude to observe and define a problem? Track yourself doing that and try to model your approach 1. The definition of the borders of a problem 2. How assumptions change with distance? 14. What makes you change the point of view to observe and define a problem? Track yourself doing that and try to model your approach 1. How does the stakeholder’s map change? 15. Formalize the difference between seen and watching (listening and hearing), and model how you decide when to use one or the other faculty 16. If it were for common sense, the sun would still rotate around the earth. How do you relate to common sense? 17. How is reality affected by knowledge? 18. Can knowledge negate our senses? 19. How do you define what knowledge you need for a problem? 20. How do you map the rules of a situation? 21. How many hats can you use? 22. CREATIVITY 1. Handling frustration 2. Dealing with diversity 3. Changing positions 4. Methods of your own 5. What makes you tick? 6. Error of the third type 7. Appropriate attitudes 8. Turn off automatic pilot 9. Information diet III. The external. Looking at the future, and signaling. 1
  39. 39. Some QUESTIONS These questions deal with the future and your relationship with it. All we want is there in the future. We will spend the rest of our lives right there 23. Try to make your own definition about “time” –beyond minutes and years- 24. Model your own way, how does the future affect the present? 25. Model your own way how the past affects the future? 26. Dealing with events, trends, and purposes: define and intermigle 27. What is your information diet in regards the future? Design such diet formally and change it according to needs 28. Select the 10 technologies that will change the future in the next 10 years, 20 years, 100 years 29. Identify the 10 new ideas (from any field) that will change the future IV. Crisis, transition, consolidation: time and business strategy Some QUESTIONS This set deals with the management of time and opportunity 30. How do you define what is short, medium, or long term? 31. In periods of crisis your instincts emerge. Do you know them? 32. Transitions lead to crises. Do you have a model for dealing with them? V. Identifying the “treasure” for your organization or business. Business model. Value drivers Some QUESTIONS The map of the treasure is prior to strategy. 33. Track your route you use in order to define a business treasure 34. What does VALUE really mean? 1. What is the ultimate source of value? If any 35. What is really an idea? Where do they come from? 36. VI. Making decisions. Some QUESTIONS We all make decisions differently. The ones who succeed are those who have a systematic way of making them. Know your way, formalize it, improve it with practice 37. How many types of decisions would you like to differentiate? Map them out (for instance: forced, rational, command, consensus, collaboration, analytical, synthetically, etc..) 38. How you measure critical relations? 39. Make a check list of practical questions when in front a decision (for instance: is the problem well define, do I 2
  40. 40. have enough information?, why does the problem needs to be solved? can it be postponed? Are there contradictions?, What is the essence of the subject? Why? When etc.. Be as exhaustive as possible. Create a format and a procedure for your own 40. Tools you master or would like to have for decision making VII. Managing yourself and your agenda. Some QUESTIONS Managing your own time. Use your previous definition of time here. Your aim is to do more things in the same amount of time, with the same or more quality. 41. How complex is your agenda? 42. How rigid is your agenda? 43. How formal do you run it? 44. How distinctive is the way you manage it? 45. How do you measure your own productivity? 46. How far away you usually program activities? 47. How punctual are you really? VIII. You and your network Some QUESTIONS The current world is about networks. You are the center of the most important one: yours. 48. Do you have a model or theory to deal with networks? 49. Do you have a formal database of your relations? 50. Do you have a network design for yourself? 51. Can you measure productivity of such network? 52. Do you spend time in formal networking? IX. Organizational details and weak signaling. Cycles and character. Some QUESTIONS 53. How could you define a critical human resource in your organization? 54. How many types of leadership can you distinguish? … and perceive in the organization (classify your peers superiors, and subordinates) 55. Sources of information beyond the MIS (management information system) you normally use 56. Can you “listen” the weak signals of the organization? X. About clients, channels, products: the complex commercial matrix Some QUESTIONS 57. How formal is the commercial matrix being managed in your organization? 58. Of course you know who is your best client, but do you know who will be your next, next, next? 59. Do you know enough about your clients? What else you would really like to know 3
  41. 41. XI. The weak forces in management: do you feel them? Some QUESTIONS 60. Identify 5 weak forces relevant in an organization 61. How many of these do you master? XII. Technology is not the same as machines. Technology for management. Some QUESTIONS 62. Make your own definition about the difference between technology and machines 63. How does technology interacts with human? 64. What are the 10 new technologies that will affect your business XIII. Leadership. Some QUESTIONS 65. What kind of a leader are you now? 66. What kind of leader you would like to be in the future? 67. What kind of leader you DON’T want to be? What’s the risk of becoming one of them? XIV. Negotiation Some QUESTIONS 68. Identify 5 types of negotiators. Which one (or mix) are you? 69. Rank yourself from 1 to 10 as negotiator. What do you need to improve (if ranked below 7) XV. Processes: the real key for systematic success Some QUESTIONS 64. Identity the critical 10 processes in your organization 65. Apply the logic: effectiveness, efficiency, adaptability for each XVI. nn 4