ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - March 2000

Issue Highlight - The Hunt For Next November

April in the state of Missouri is turkey-hunting season...For some reason the experience, despite its discomforts, is spiritually renewing and leaves you a little more optimistic about life.

In This Issue...
Angels With Rotary Wings
Reality Mirrors Movie
Stop The Merry-Go-Round
Peter Block Column
Views for a Change

Diary of a Shutdown


Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Positive Failure
Why are companies in California’s Silicon Valley making fortunes? Because there is little concern with failure. If their first idea is unsuccessful, no problem, these companies will move on and jump right into a new idea.
According to Steve Case, founder of America Online, companies become stronger when they fail. They learn through failure and use that knowledge to be successful in the future.

-- suggests a few ways to overcome failure: Have someone outside of the project look through the problem and offer new input. Also, take a look at your target customers and ask if they understand your company’s marketing initiatives. Most of all, even if sales are strong, challenge your company to implement ideas.

Outsourcing on the Rise
The labor market is tight and quality employees are hard to find. Therefore, employers are beginning to outsource more and more. Government agencies, corporations and educational institutions are all taking part in this trend.

-- Currently, in most school districts, finding a substitute teacher is becoming more challenging. The Wall Street Journal reports that Kelly Services Inc. unveiled the first nationwide substitute-teacher program and handles screening and scheduling for 20 schools in 10 states. This new outsource service is regarded as more efficient than today’s nerve-racking search for substitutes at school.


Be the Captain of Your Ship
Are you a new leader of a troubled, sinking team? Kathy Simmons of charts a course for smooth sailing.

-- Troubled teams usually lack the direction and goals to succeed. Set a mission by mapping a course with clear direction. A leader must be bold, decisive and willing to take well-considered risks; set an example and lead by it.

-- Who says work can’t be fun? The most productive teams realize they need balance in their work lives—balance your demands with fun. Don’t question yourself. A good manager does not a need fan club; they need inner-strength that doesn’t crumble in the face of criticism. Hire the right people for the job and get rid of “icebergs.” Icebergs are those people who threaten your team—your entrance as captain represents a chance to make some changes in your crew.

-- Get busy steering your ship. Use your abilities to sail through unchartered waters and sail toward success.

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