Forging New Ways To Work
JCPenney Spells Out A METHOD For
Roberts Express Delivers CATs
Stories Of The Future
Taxes, Oscars And Performance
Quality, Wherefore Art Thou?
by Peter Block
The Bottom Line Benefits Of Participation
by Cathy Kramer
Business News Briefs
Views for a Change
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!
Companies have increasingly relied on benchmarking to aid in their change
and improvement processes. According to a study by management consulting
firm PRTM, Mountain View, Calif., an organization must not only understand
other companies' data, but must also collect and understand their own.
Based on the experiences of three executives from companies that participated
in PRTM's 1997 Integrated Supply Chain Benchmarking Study, the benchmarking
process is similar to a race in which speed is not nearly as important as
consistent and agile navigation. The executives professed a series of seven
"hurdles" around which a company must maneuver:
o Interpreting and communicating accurate results
o Engaging support of influential individuals at all levels of the organization
o Prioritizing and targeting specific improvement areas, and conveying the
o Organizing for management of operational change
o Achieving short-term results and gaining momentum for ongoing improvement
o Rolling out the improvements with internal support systems
o Implementing closed-loop improvement; adapting the concept of continuous
What Are You Wearing Today?
According to a survey of the 1997 Inc. 500 companies, more than one-third
of the nation's fastest growing privately held companies warrant casual
or "business casual" as the standard dress. Fewer suits and more
relaxed khakis and chinos are becoming the norm, especially at young companies.
Roger Mody, CEO of Signal Corp., Fairfax, Va., claims that as he has observed
customers' attire becoming increasingly informal in recent years, he has
allowed his employees to dress more casually. He found that they are more
productive, comfortable and creative. Mody predicts that within five or
seven years, NOT dressing casually will be the exception.
So, what will you be wearing tomorrow?
Employers Not Holding Up to Their End of the Bargain
Workers believe they are contributing to their companies' record performance,
but they doubt that their hard work is being fully recognized or rewarded,
according to the 1997 Towers Perrin Workplace Index. Steve Bookbinder, principal
and leader of the Towers Perrin Workplace Index research believes, "As
employees take more responsibility and control in their jobs, their sense
of satisfaction and motivation is increasing. At the same time, their acceptance
of more responsibility heightens their expectation that they will have the
opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities and be rewarded for their
contributions." But according to the U.S. workers surveyed, employers
aren't living up to their end of the bargain. Since the first index was
conducted in 1995, employee attitudes have grown more negative in several
o The belief that management considers employees' interests in decisions
o The belief that ability and performance are fairly rewarded and recognized
o The belief that workplace policies are fairly administered.