ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

September 1997


Education 101: Redesigning Schools
Site Based Management Relocates Decision Making

Take the Good with the Bad
Positive and Negative Feedback in Creativity Sessions

Site Council Learns About Growth, Power And Communication

Knowledge Management
Taking Control of the Information Age

Etymology of a Buzzward

Investment Tip: Stay In For The Long Haul
Van Kampen American Capital Perseveres to Win AQP Excellence Award


It's About Time
by Peter Block

You Have to Be a Little Different
by Cathy Kramer


Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Views for a Change

Book Review

Letters to the Editor


Etymology of a Buzzword

So you want to fix your ailing business - increase market share, reduce turnover, boost productivity. You want to be just like that company you read about who did that thing... what was it? Downsizing?
Rightsizing? Re-engineering? Core competencies? Outsourcing?
Benchmarking? Whatever it is you better hurry before it's gone. Before it scoots through the revolving door of quick-fix management solutions. After all, that is what you want, isn't it? A little corporate Prozac to instantly transform your organization into the one you
read about.

The latest batch of buzzwords include something called Knowledge Management. Basically it involves creating a system to
accumulate and best utilize the collective intelligence of all employees in an organization. Companies are paying big league fees to big league consultants for the keys to unlock this previously undiscovered vault of potential.

Business Week recently cited a study by Darrell Rigby, a management theory researcher and director of Bain & Co., criticizing the effectiveness of popular theories such as Re-engineering and Knowledge Management (both rated lowest) .
So why all the hype? We called around to find out. A training manager at a large automobile manufacturer had never heard of it. He recommended someone else in the organization. Same response. An executive at a major public utility? Nope. Why is this?

A clinical psychologist, who also did not know, responded: "Most of us are too overloaded with managing the knowledge we already have." He thinks it sounds pretty good in theory, but that placing too much emphasis on a quick fix can be presumptuous. "It occurs to me that even if we had a way to accumulate all the data, we still wouldn't know what to do with it."

Sept. '97 News for a Change | Email Editor
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