Below is a note I wrote more than eight years ago in my older blog.What prompted me to repost this note was due to my conversation with my schoolmate on the importance of learning this morning..Cerita Kedaikopi was my first blog title way back in the 90's...
Cerita Kedaikopi : # 86-31.03.2002
The only way we're going to lose our relevance is if we stop learning..
"I have been reading your 'Cerita Kedaikopi' stories but I still have not finished reading the previous ones",said my friend who happens to be one of my avid readers."Well, I took four
years to write 85 stories but please donot try to read them within a month. Take your time and read them at your own pace-otherwise you will have indigestion. By the way, don't forget to read my other weblogs and travel journals as well", I replied. Then he asked," How come I do not receive anything this month?
'Honestly, it is easier to read than to write. What more if one is busy with one's own business and some urgent family matters to attend to. My wife's uncle, a well known writer once told me: You can't do both; either you write or you do business. He is right and spoke from his experience. He started writing and became a publisher and owned a printing company. Later in the years, he could only do writing and someone else had to do the publishing and printing business. Writing is his business! And in my case, managing project is my business and writing is just a hobby. I will try harder to at least produce two short stories/notes every month . Seriously, I am considering to hand over my business to my partners and take a post graduate studies so that I could have all the time to read and to write. Then,insyaAllah, I will go into teaching and do some freelance consultancy business to foot my bills.
This month I wish to share my experience in the application of a little bit of knowledge that I have in project management. I thought I know enough to do a job but when I come to it, I discover that I have a lot more to learn. I admit that I lack the depth and the breadth of the knowledge as well as the skills to apply it. So I started buying books to read as much asI could for the last three months and at the same time I met a few people whom I believe know more than I do. The words of Kung Fu Tze keeps ringing in my ears:
"The essence of knowledge is not having it but to apply it."
It is very true indeed."The more I dig into it, the more I learn that I have to update my previous knowledge as well as learn more from anyone,anyplace and anytime. In certain areas, I have to re-examine my previous maxims and start to learn,unlearn and relearn even from younger people." May I qoute John Dooner,CEO and Chairman of Interpublic Group:"The only way we're going to lose our relevance is if we stop learning".
Acquiring and having knowledge is a personal thing. This I could do on my own but when it comes to apply it, I have to work with other people ,resources and the environment around the project. As a leader or agent of change, having knowledge alone is not enough. I need physical, intellectual and spiritual strenghts to carry it through. This is the challenge that you and me have to take by the horns if we ever want to change for the better. Anybody can start the game but only a few can finish the game!
We had water supply problems in 1998 and yet we had it again this month. The question that begs the answer is whether we have learnt anything from our mistakes. I think we should also listed down the lessons that we have not learnt as well. IMHO opinion, the states do not have the financial resources to invest in water resources capital expenditures. The federal government should take over and provide good management.Period. I think low cost housing projects is a good example. Privatisation is only one of the financial model that may improve the water supply industry. UK is a good example in privatisation but Japan waterworks is still government owned and managed , yet it works fine!
I could go on with a few more examples but then I will not do justice to your power of imagination to explore on your own to look for similar cases. Since the time is almost mid-night, I will end my short note here with the saying that common men learn form their mistakes but the wiser ones learn from mistakes of others.
Notes: My observations indicate that many mistakes in project management are repeated in many projects even by the same consultants and contractors for a simple reason that thay
have failed to learn from their own and as well as others' mistakes. In that case, they will surely lose their relevance:-(