ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

November 1999


Boeing Flies High

Fostering Creativity: An Early Start

Are We There Yet?

If It Ain't Pretty - I'm Outta Here

Flying Above Mediocrity

Teams At The Top


Large Ideas Expressed In Small Amounts
by Peter Block


Brief Cases

Diary of a Shutdown

Views for a Change


Brief Cases
Business Briefs


Valuable Human Capital
Companies that have superior human capital practices create superior returns for their shareholders, according to the first ever Watson Wyatt Human Capital Index ™ study.

The study found that a 30 percent increase in market value can be attributed to significant improvement in 30 key areas of human capital management. From them, five key dimensions were specified: recruiting excellence; clear rewards and accountability; a collegial, flexible workplace; communications integrity; and prudent use of resources.

"At a time when virtually all companies say that people are their most important asset, this study begins the process of helping them quantify that importance," says Ira Kay, Ph.D., North American director of Watson Wyatt's human capital group and one author of this study.

Virtual School Brings Results
One can make a full-time job out of working smarter. Northwestern University's Institute for Learning Sciences director, Roger Schank, thinks that education theory narrows to one lesson: "What you know is trivial. The real issue is what do you know how to do?"

This principle is what he and his group used to design an interactive simulation for Anderson Consulting. Their goal was to simulate the challenges faced on a typical consulting engagement. The program is called Business Practices Course, and this learning-by-doing virtual school seems to be doing its job. In fact, it split training time at Anderson Consulting by 40 percent and saved their corporate training university $10 million.

Project Workers Are Getting It Done
Project workers are becoming the business world's next-best-thing to free-agent employees. Since some projects do not require a full- or part-time postion, an employee who can complete the job and then move on is sometimes the best answer.

The projects they work on may take a day or even a month, so it's much easier to hire someone just to manage a project, rather than hire a regular employee. In many cases, the project worker can save managers time, money and the responsibility of finding more work for him or her when the job is done. And, with the project worker able to take on a variety of jobs with many different companies and organizations, this system seems to be beneficial to all involved.

November '99 News for a Change | Email Editor
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