Updated: 6/30/2005; 11:30:46 PM.


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  Friday, April 23, 2004

  Do you want to be a management guru?

Heath Row:

Ever wonder how much money business speakers such as Jim Collins, Tom Peters, and Michael Porter pull down each time they take the stage? Workforce Management has compiled a handy chart. Here are the highlights:

  • Clayton Christensen: $40,000
  • Jim Collins: $45,000
  • Stephen Covey: $65,000
  • Gary Hamel: $50,000
  • Tom Peters: $65,000
  • Michael Porter: $70,000

The chartlet accompanies a feature story about management gurus -- and whether they make good on the promises they make the companies they work with.

Even if speaking fees look very attractive I'm not sure I want to become a management guru. Don't know why, just a feeling while a read the article. I guess the reason behind it is the same as behind lack of desire to write books: it feels like broadcasting and not conversation or visible impact.

Please, remind me about this post if I publish a book :)

More on: leadership passion 

  Knowledge flows are powered by questions

Don't know if this piece will survive in the paper I write, so post it here. This is pretty much what I think on "why people share knowledge".

One of the goals of knowledge management is to improve knowledge flows and knowledge reuse in an organisation. While there is much discussion on knowledge sharing, motivation and culture, the demand side of knowledge exchanges seems to get too less attention.

I believe that knowledge flows are powered by questions: in many cases employees do not mind to share their knowledge, but do not do it because nobody asks them or because they are not sure that others need to know. This could be one of the explanations behind the success of on-line communities where knowledge bases fail (e.g. in Shell EP case, see Petersen & Poulfelt, 2002 or ask Andy): many communities work in a problem-solving mode, where knowledge sharing starts with a question or problem. In this case knowledge is shared to help others, and it is rewarding. In contrast, submitting a document (for example, "lessons learnt" from a project) to a knowledge base doesn't have an immediate question behind it, but more of an expectation of future questions that may never arise, so the motivation to share is much lower.

And, as I wrote before, asking is more difficult then answering and reinventing is more fun then reusing.

Guess what my conclusion is? KM is about motivation to learn :)

  PhD blogging and paper writing

Just wondering: when I finish my PhD research how much of it will not documented in my blog. In other words, will I be able to say to my readers something like "this is a link to my dissertation, but there is nothing new there for you"?

Trying to imagine how things will be when I finish PhD (futurecast ;) is one of my ways  to get over unproductive time.

Blogging is another way - it helps starting. When I work on a paper I often write posts related to it: informal notes that later will turn into formal paragraps, side track ideas, paper summaries or just associations. Next to a good feeling of producing at least something it get's me into a writing mode: switching from blogging to paper writing is much easier then starting directly.

It's funny how blogosphere brings something that correlates well with your current mode (or how selective is your own attention :). Came across this old post by Joel Spolsky in the morning:

Once you get into flow it's not too hard to keep going. Many of my days go like this: (1) get into work (2) check email, read the web, etc. (3) decide that I might as well have lunch before getting to work (4) get back from lunch (5) check email, read the web, etc. (6) finally decide that I've got to get started (7) check email, read the web, etc. (8) decide again that I really have to get started (9) launch the damn editor and (10) write code nonstop until I don't realize that it's already 7:30 pm.

Somewhere between step 8 and step 9 there seems to be a bug, because I can't always make it across that chasm. For me, just getting started is the only hard thing. An object at rest tends to remain at rest. There's something incredible heavy in my brain that is extremely hard to get up to speed, but once it's rolling at full speed, it takes no effort to keep it going. Like a bicycle decked out for a cross-country, self-supported bike trip -- when you first start riding a bike with all that gear, it's hard to believe how much work it takes to get rolling, but once you are rolling, it feels just as easy as riding a bike without any gear.

Maybe this is the key to productivity: just getting started. Maybe when pair programming works it works because when you schedule a pair programming session with your buddy, you force each other to get started.

Yes, another thing to get into paper writing it to start discussing it with someone else :)

More on: blog writing flow PhD writing 

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© Copyright 2002-2005 Lilia Efimova.

This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

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