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Rajkumar Subash. Situations. Who is he?. Another Situation. Complex Situation. Others could not diagnose. Good Judgment. Rapid Decision. Is he Smart?. Is he an emotional intelligent?. Is he brilliant?. Who is he?. “ Deep Smart ”. “ Go To People ”. Dorothy Leonard & Walter Swap.

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Who is he?

another situation
Another Situation

Complex Situation

Others could not diagnose

Good Judgment

Rapid Decision

Is he Smart?

Is he an emotional intelligent?

Is he brilliant?

Who is he?

“Deep Smart”

go to people

“Go To People”

Dorothy Leonard & Walter Swap

Rajkumar Subash

Fall 2011 - MGMT 6600 – Study of Organization

Prof: Dr. Thomas Li-Ping Tang

Middle Tennessee State University


Dorothy Leonard

William J. Abernathy Professor of Business Administration Emerita

Harvard Business School

Walter Swap

Professor of Psychology emeritus and former Chairman of the Psychology Department of Tufts University

author dorothy leonard
Author: Dorothy Leonard
  • William J. Abernathy Professor of Business Administration Emerita, joined the Harvard faculty in 1983
  • 3 yrs of teaching at the Sloan School of Management, MIT
  • Has taught MBA courses in managerial leadership, corporate capabilities, new product and process design, technology strategy and innovation management
  • Also served as a Director of Research for the Harvard Business School and Director of Research and Knowledge Programs for Harvard Business School's non-profit organization, HBS Interactive
  • Education
    • M. A.   Harvard University (Honorary), 1992
    • Ph.D.   Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1979
    • M.A.    University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 1968
    • B.A.     Principia College, Elsah, IL, summa cum laude, 1963
  • Served as Board of Directors in
    • American Mgmt Systems, Fairfax, VA – 1992-2004
    • Gannett Communications, 1997-99
  • Been in Advisory Boards of
    • Prod Dev & Mgmt Association – 2002-Present
    • Creative Realities – 2004-Present
    • Ash Foundation – 2004-Present
    • Daimler-Chrysler, Stuttgart, Germany – 1999-2001
    • ViOS – 1999-2000 & Nordia – 1999-2001

Journals Published


Chapter Written


author walter swap
Author: Walter Swap
  • Professor of Psychology Emeritus
  • Former chairman of the Psychology Department of Tufts University
  • Was also a professor of Gordon institute at Tufts- offers degree of engineering management at practicing engineers and scientists.
  • Served for 9 yrs as the Dean of the colleges
  • Education
    • Bachelors from Harvard
    • Ph.D in Social psychology – University of Michigan
  • Has written numerous chapters and journals
  • Author of
    • When Sparks Fly: Igniting Creativity in Groups (1999)
    • Groups Decision Making (1984)
  • 2000 - First Wave
    • US and Asia: India, Singapore, Hong Kong - 125 individual
      • Mentor Capitalists, Venture Capitalists, Incubator Managers, paired with the Entrepreneurs/Teams being coached in 35 companies, plus informants in industry
    • Longitudinal Studies: 1 VC-coached, 1 MC-coached companies
    • In-depth HBS case studies: 1 Incubator, 2 VC-backed startups, 1 MC-backed startup (A & B cases)
  • 2001 - Second Wave
    • US and Asia: interviews in same 35 companies, with Coaches and Entrepreneurs
    • What have you learned?
  • 2002-2003
    • Details case studies of knowledge transfer in large, established organizations e.g., NASA/JPL, Best Buy, Whirlpool
  • 2004-2006
    • Further Research: Raytheon, Large Software Company, US Forest Service
deep smarts
Deep Smarts

What are Deep Smarts?

A Potent Form of expertise, based on first-hand life experiences, providing insights drawn from tacit knowledge, shaped by beliefs and social forces

Know-How more than know-that

Interactive relationship and Make Swift

Expert decisions based on system level comprehension

Connects with experiences

Develops based on observations

Much organizational capability is in the heads and hands

can mba help you to be a deep smart
Can MBA help you to be a DEEP SMART?

Deep Smarts

cannot be attained through a formal education alone


Can be deliberately nourished and grown and transferred or re-created


technical deep smart
Technical Deep Smart
  • 1980, 2 companies were competing for a multi-billion dollar government contract for tactical missiles
  • Stalemate situation
  • A scientist from one of the companies – a technical wizard – 20 yrs experience
  • For several hours – enthralled the team with complete design changes
  • The company won the project – 400 people team for 1.5 years long
  • More than 20 yrs, it is still reaping the harvest sown by this man with deep smarts
managerial deep smart
Managerial Deep Smart
  • 1997 – Intuit sold off its bill-paying operations
  • A serious situation – requires strategic solution
  • CEO Bill Campell persuaded the board members and the next few months proved him right
  • Course set out in board meeting was successful
  • Campell’s promise to employees was fulfilled
technical managerial deep smarts
Technical & Managerial Deep Smarts

Technical deep smarts are most easily recognized

Managerial deep smarts are harder to identify

other examples
Other Examples

Dr. Neil Clark Warren, Founder

Dr. Warren is a clinical psychologist with 35 years of counseling thousands of married couples, Dr. Warren observed a set of characteristics that seemed to be present in all successful relationships. He called them the 29 Dimensions of Compatibility.

Ten years later, eHarmony's compatibility matching is responsible for nearly 5% of U.S. marriages

Experts are good 

Reed Hastings, Founder

Mr. Hastings established Netflix in 1997 and reached peak customer volume in Q1 of 2011. He recently increased pricing of DVD-by-mail and Streaming by 60%. It upsets many customers.

Last week, it announced splitting DVD-by-mail as a separate company as Qwikster. Couple of very bold decisions by Mr. Hastings.

Stock price moved south more than 50% - unknown future

Not all – sometimes over-confident 

why do we care about deep smart
Why do we care about Deep Smart?
  • When Deep Smart leaves the company or moves to the different group – the experience goes with them
  • Takes at least 10 years to develop through unusual situations
  • They recognize bear traps because of their pattern-recognition.
  • They make decision swiftly because of their expertise.
  • They recognize context because of their conditionalized knowledge.
  • They extrapolate alternatives because of their experience.
  • They make fine distinctions that are indistinguishable to an untrained eye or ear.
  • They know what they don't know when they encounter an unusual situation.
  • They know when rules don't apply because no two situations are exactly the same
experience repertoire
Experience Repertoire
  • The science behind Deep Smarts
  • It control the center of the board - Chess
  • Menu of familiar options
  • Faced with wide variety of situations
  • A pattern matching mechanism
  • “Gut Feel” is really a form of “Gut Knowledge”

Most Common Experiences

Rare Experiences

cultivating and transferring deep smarts
Cultivating and Transferring Deep Smarts

Shaping Deep Smarts

Internal Influences


External Influences

(Other People)

Acquiring Deep Smarts

nine dimensions of deep smarts
Nine Dimensions of Deep Smarts
  • Skills & Know how
  • System thinking
  • Swift, Wise Decision-making
  • Ability to take context into account
  • Networks
  • Distinguishing Signal from Noise
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Ability to Deal with Novelty
  • Enthusiasm/Passion for the domain knowledge
sink or swim
Sink or Swim
  • In America, it requires 2 weeks notice for many resignation
  • New people are thrown into Sink or Swim situation
  • An inefficient and ineffective strategy
transfer techniques
Transfer Techniques
  • SINK or SWIM is inefficient and ineffective
  • Need various techniques
  • Mentoring?
  • Constant reinventing?
  • Storytelling?
  • Someone who never played video games may not understand the concept of Multiuser Domain
ladder of expertise
Ladder of Expertise











knowledge transfer techniques
Knowledge Transfer - Techniques






Learning by doing – Guided Experience

modes of knowledge transfer
Modes of Knowledge Transfer

Guided Experience (Learning by Doing)

Active Learning

Socratic Questioning

Stories with a Moral

Rules of Thumb

Directives, Presentations, Lectures

Passive Reception

guided experience learning by doing
Guided Experience (Learning by doing)






modes of knowledge transfer1
Modes of Knowledge Transfer

Guided Experience (Learning by Doing)

- Guided Practice

- Guided Problem-Solving

- Guided Observation

- Guided Experimentation

Active Learning

Socratic Questioning

Stories with a Moral

Rules of Thumb

Directives, Presentations, Lectures

Passive Reception

guided practice
Guided Practice

Practice does make perfect

Novice’s performance is observed by the coach, who provides helpful feedback





See one

Lead one

Teach one

guided observation
Guided Observation

Just listen and learn

Observing by shadowing a coach and follow up discussion on what had occurred

Pattern Recognition

Highly Contextual




guided problem solving
Guided Problem-Solving

Experienced Approach

Expert and novice tackle actual problems facing the company, with the expert sharing perspectives and thought processes along the way

Experience enhances organizational know-how, alters belief systems and contributes to technical expertise

Focusing attention, sharpening process skills, giving feedback, mimic an expert and building experience repertoire

guided experimentation
Guided Experimentation

Testing new products in pilot markets

Coaches offer good advice about where and how much to experiment and improve the team attitude

Costly approach

are they deep smarts
Are they Deep Smarts?

Steve Jobs

William Wang

Larry Page & Eric Schmidt

Frederick W. Smith

Mark Zuckerberg

James Sinegal

strategies for building deep smarts
Strategies for building Deep Smarts
  • Coaching
  • Buddy-Mentor System
  • Learning by doing with simulations
  • Capturing knowledge and Documenting best practices
  • Team learning and Practice
  • Participation in conferences
  • Discussing knowledge gained and lessons learned after every project
  • Rewards and incentives
  • Collaborative portals to capture problems/issues and their solutions (Oracle-Online forums to capture external tacit knowledge)
  • Informal sessions with experienced team members
  • Shadowing systems
  • Apprenticeships and Internships
  • Creating an attitude towards knowledge growing by sharing
  • Experts Connect – ability to identify and quickly reach tacit knowledge
  • Putting in place the right KPIs to measure and reward contributions
  • Motivating talent to stay, share and grow within the organization
future trends
Future Trends
  • Deep Smarts are always there
  • Technological advancements help deep smarts
  • Past studies help growing deep smarts
  • Challenges for smaller companies
  • Gary, Loren: Build Your Company’s Deep Smarts, Harvard Management Update – Article Reprint No. U0508C
  • Jenner, Mark: Out-of-Classroom Experience, Oxford Leadership Journal – Dec 2009, Volume 1, Issue 1
  • Web References:
    • http://ubiquity.acm.org/article.cfm?id=1066329
    • http://www.witi.com/careers/2004/intcap.php
    • http://www.executiveforum.com/LeonardSwapBio.htm
    • http://www.hrc-group.com/resources/Uncommon%20Knowledge%20-%20Applying%20Deep%20Smarts.pdf
thank you

Thank You

Rajkumar Subash