ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

April 1998


Forging New Ways To Work

Celebrating Success

JCPenney Spells Out A METHOD For Success

Roberts Express Delivers CATs

Stories Of The Future

Taxes, Oscars And Performance Appraisals


Quality, Wherefore Art Thou?
by Peter Block

The Bottom Line Benefits Of Participation
by Cathy Kramer


Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Views for a Change

Book Review


Brief Cases
Business Briefs

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!
Companies have increasingly relied on benchmarking to aid in their change and improvement processes. According to a study by management consulting firm PRTM, Mountain View, Calif., an organization must not only understand other companies' data, but must also collect and understand their own.
Based on the experiences of three executives from companies that participated in PRTM's 1997 Integrated Supply Chain Benchmarking Study, the benchmarking process is similar to a race in which speed is not nearly as important as consistent and agile navigation. The executives professed a series of seven "hurdles" around which a company must maneuver:
o Interpreting and communicating accurate results
o Engaging support of influential individuals at all levels of the organization
o Prioritizing and targeting specific improvement areas, and conveying the measurement methods
o Organizing for management of operational change
o Achieving short-term results and gaining momentum for ongoing improvement plans
o Rolling out the improvements with internal support systems
o Implementing closed-loop improvement; adapting the concept of continuous improvement.

What Are You Wearing Today?
According to a survey of the 1997 Inc. 500 companies, more than one-third of the nation's fastest growing privately held companies warrant casual or "business casual" as the standard dress. Fewer suits and more relaxed khakis and chinos are becoming the norm, especially at young companies. Roger Mody, CEO of Signal Corp., Fairfax, Va., claims that as he has observed customers' attire becoming increasingly informal in recent years, he has allowed his employees to dress more casually. He found that they are more productive, comfortable and creative. Mody predicts that within five or seven years, NOT dressing casually will be the exception.
So, what will you be wearing tomorrow?

Employers Not Holding Up to Their End of the Bargain
Workers believe they are contributing to their companies' record performance, but they doubt that their hard work is being fully recognized or rewarded, according to the 1997 Towers Perrin Workplace Index. Steve Bookbinder, principal and leader of the Towers Perrin Workplace Index research believes, "As employees take more responsibility and control in their jobs, their sense of satisfaction and motivation is increasing. At the same time, their acceptance of more responsibility heightens their expectation that they will have the opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities and be rewarded for their contributions." But according to the U.S. workers surveyed, employers aren't living up to their end of the bargain. Since the first index was conducted in 1995, employee attitudes have grown more negative in several key areas:
o The belief that management considers employees' interests in decisions affecting them
o The belief that ability and performance are fairly rewarded and recognized
o The belief that workplace policies are fairly administered.

April '98 News for a Change | Email Editor


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