ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

November 1997


Quality Is No 'Easy Rider'
Accountability, Confrontation two keys to success at Harley-Davidson

Rebel With A Cause
Who is accountable for productive meetings.

Measure for Measure
Merrill Lynch relies on measurements for success and customer satisfaction


When Change Is No Change At All
by Peter Block

The Balance Sheet: Hidden Costs of Open Book Management
by Cathy Kramer


Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Views for a Change

Book Review

Letters to the Editor


Brief Cases
Business Briefs

Is Brainstorming Clouding the Brain?
Focusing idea generation efforts on problems rather than solutions isn't the best way to develop solutions and that is exactly what brainstorming does. Author Jordan Ayan, head of the Create It consulting firm in Chicago feels that reading, traveling and exploring are the best ways to get one's creative juices flowing. The concepts and information that are not a part of the problem are what will stimulate the mind. That is why it is important to keep a paper and pencil handy so unexpected ideas can be captured before they slip out of memory and are lost forever. Enriching your environment, enjoying the arts and becoming aware of today's technology are great ways to allow the mind to expand. Ayan is the author of "Aha! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas."

A Reading List To Be On
Employees at Trigon Blue Cross/ Blue Shield in Virginia learned the value of a dollar and the benefits of literacy when CEO Norwood Davis paid them $100 each for reading a book and answering a few questions. The book, "A Complaint is a Gift," written by Janelle Barlow and Claus Møller is "the best customer service piece" that Davis had ever seen. So moved by its message, Davis sent copies of the book to 1,100 members of Trigon's front line staff, inviting them to read it. By noting five ideas they got from reading the book and suggesting three of them they could implement, they would received the promised $100. Davis paid out $60,000 in incentives to 600 of his employees, an investment he was happy to make. As far as Berrett-Koehler, the book's publisher, can tell, there has been "no other instance when such an amount of money was spent to encourage people to read a business book."

Is the Information Superhighway Keeping Us Keystrokes Apart or Miles Away?
According to a recent issue of The Futurist, 10-30 million people in the United States use the Internet. Forty percent of U.S. households have PCs, 34 percent have printers, 19 percent have CD-ROMS, and 16 percent have modems. With all of the interactive technology that's at our fingertips today, it would seem that individuals have more free time, effective education, easier learning, an improved environment, a more democratic/ participative government and a wider range of contacts, but that's not the case. This interactivity also leads to societal fragmentation, the blurring of work and leisure, increased stress, loss of privacy, declining civility, and as a result more isolation.

Nov. '97 News for a Change | Email Editor
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