Education 101: Redesigning
Take the Good with the Bad
Investment Tip: Stay In For The Long
It's About Time
You Have to Be a Little
Technology has made it easier to
work at home, but it hasn't replaced the need for
at Digital, the inventor of the virtual office, as well
as many advances in telecommuting, report that in order
to keep employees "connected" with others and to
Timing is the key to success with new product rollouts. William Barnett of Stanford Business School studied the semiconductor industry to learn why some companies survive and others do not. He found that introducing more than one product at a time was too risky and often causes internal problems. Adjustments made for one product can interfere with changes made for other new products. Employees need time to adjust to learning the new skills required in producing each new product. Barnett says in the semiconductor industry, "managers find it hard to say no to a growth opportunity." They want to keep producing new products for their customers. He says, "The seductive side of growth is a pure focus on the content side of strategic planning - at the expense of the process side."
Downsizing may improve your bottom line - and lose points with the stock market. "Investors are placing a much higher value on companies that outperform their competitors in both revenues and profit growth," says Eric Almquist of Mercer Management Consulting. In a study of large US companies, Mercer found that the difference in shareholder value between profitable growers and cost-cutters has widened significantly. The study found that between 1991 and 1996, the compound annual growth rate in the market value of profitable growers was twenty-one percent, while the cost-cutters' market value grew by only twelve percent. This nine percent gap in market value represents a sharp increase over the period 1990 to 1995, when the difference between profitable growers and cost-cutters was only four percentage points (twenty-one percent versus seventeen percent).
Even when the latest hiring methods are used, companies are not getting the right people for the job. A study conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management reports that high-tech personnel testing programs fail at matching applicants to positions. The problem - existing hiring procedures fail at testing specific skills and exposing the characteristics of an individual applicant.