ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

February 1999

Doctoring The Health Care Industry

A Toast To The Future

Business, The Final Frontier

Formula For Success: Balance Technology And People

Y2K Calling

by Peter Block

Have You Hugged Your Goalie Today?
by Bryan McGraw

Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Views for a Change

The Quality Tool I Never Use

Sites Unseen

Book Review

Brief Cases
Business Briefs

Psychic Friends Network
Predicting the future is no longer a job for fortune tellers and employees of the Psychic Friends Network. These days, big business is turning to futurists, strategists and "coolhunters" to spot new trends and a possible understanding of life in the millenium. A forecaster develops scenarios based on possible and probable major shifts. "It's not about predictions," says Peter Schwartz, president of the Global Business Network in Emeryville, Calif., which specializes in scenario planning. “Scenarios are about trying to avoid getting the future wrong in fundamental ways.”

Smith & Hawken, an upscale gardening equipment firm, hired Schwartz to map out possible scenarios for the future. In each scenario, the founders saw potential for increased interest in gardening and a need for well-made tools.

It's Time to Motivate
Good words and a pay raise might motivate anyone. But good words from a supervisor might be enough and shouldn’t be under rated. Topping the list of important motivation factors for employees are constructive feedback from supervisors and cash incentives.

According to a study conducted for American Express, nearly half the respondents named feedback as their preferred form of appreciation and 32 percent preferred financial rewards. These two factors outweigh other motivators such as on-site daycare or flexible working hours. Regardless of the actual source of stimulation, more than 50 percent surveyed say they are more motivated today than five years ago.

Invest in Your New Year's Resolutions
Every January it's the same thing—New Year's resolutions. Is this really going to be the year to quit smoking cigarettes, get in shape and lose weight—or just get your life together? The support of your employer could be what you need. Many companies now look at wellness programs such as nutrition seminars, smoking cessation classes and fitness center memberships as a smart investment.
The Wellness Council of America, Omaha, Neb., points out the obvious benefits of healthier employees: improved productivity, control of health insurance premiums and lower turnover. Companies will also see improvement in employee morale, increased employee loyalty and better employee decision making. Maybe the company’s News Year’s resolution should be to start such a program.
February '99 News for a Change | Email Editor
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