ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

September 1997

Articles

Education 101: Redesigning Schools
Site Based Management Relocates Decision Making

Take the Good with the Bad
Positive and Negative Feedback in Creativity Sessions

Site Council Learns About Growth, Power And Communication

Knowledge Management
Taking Control of the Information Age

Etymology of a Buzzward

Investment Tip: Stay In For The Long Haul
Van Kampen American Capital Perseveres to Win AQP Excellence Award



Columns

It's About Time
by Peter Block

You Have to Be a Little Different
by Cathy Kramer


Features

Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Views for a Change

Pageturners
Book Review

Letters to the Editor

 
Brief Cases
Business Briefs

Technology has made it easier to work at home, but it hasn't replaced the need for interpersonal contact.Experts at Digital, the inventor of the virtual office, as well as many advances in telecommuting, report that in order to keep employees "connected" with others and to
promote teamwork it is necessary to hold face-to-face meetings. Biweekly to weekly meetings provide enough interaction to break the isolation of telecommuting.

Timing is the key to success with new product rollouts. William Barnett of Stanford Business School studied the semiconductor industry to learn why some companies survive and others do not. He found that introducing more than one product at a time was too risky and often causes internal problems. Adjustments made for one product can interfere with changes made for other new products. Employees need time to adjust to learning the new skills required in producing each new product. Barnett says in the semiconductor industry, "managers find it hard to say no to a growth opportunity." They want to keep producing new products for their customers. He says, "The seductive side of growth is a pure focus on the content side of strategic planning - at the expense of the process side."

Downsizing may improve your bottom line - and lose points with the stock market. "Investors are placing a much higher value on companies that outperform their competitors in both revenues and profit growth," says Eric Almquist of Mercer Management Consulting. In a study of large US companies, Mercer found that the difference in shareholder value between profitable growers and cost-cutters has widened significantly. The study found that between 1991 and 1996, the compound annual growth rate in the market value of profitable growers was twenty-one percent, while the cost-cutters' market value grew by only twelve percent. This nine percent gap in market value represents a sharp increase over the period 1990 to 1995, when the difference between profitable growers and cost-cutters was only four percentage points (twenty-one percent versus seventeen percent).

Even when the latest hiring methods are used, companies are not getting the right people for the job. A study conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management reports that high-tech personnel testing programs fail at matching applicants to positions. The problem - existing hiring procedures fail at testing specific skills and exposing the characteristics of an individual applicant.

Sept. '97 News for a Change | Email Editor
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