ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - April 2000

Issue Highlight - Hard Measures for Human Values
--- We have now made the stock market our primary measure of well-being. It is the lead story on the news, it stares me in the face at the top of my home page. It peers at me from the lower right hand corner of my TV screen...

In This Issue...
Looking For Adventure
Healing Blue Cross And Blue Shield
Applying The Magic Of Disney
When Teams Are Destructive

Peter Block Column
Views for a Change

Diary of a Shutdown

Brief Cases
Business Briefs

Is There a Doctor in the House?
With rising health care costs, employers are looking for innovative ways to keep their employees healthy. The Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News said that healthier employees lead to lower insurance costs, fewer sick days and a more productive workforce. From a cafeteria cash register that rings up the fat content of your meal to scheduling time-off for exercise, executives are finding incentives to encourage a healthy workplace.

-- Some companies are promoting health consciousness with cholesterol screenings and by putting health information in the company newsletter. They are also educating managers on stress reduction; their own stress level, as well as how to reduce the stress of the people they supervise.


What's Cooking with Teambuilding
-- Team-building exercises have been trying to improve communication, the decision-making processes and problem-solving skills within the group. Now, training companies are taking groups out of the office and placing them into the kitchen to reach these goals. Culinary team-building programs are starting to spring up across the country. In Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., the Viking Range Corporation has teamed up with Jackson, Wong & Associates to offer professional workshops that not only teach team-building skills, but also encourage participants to experience the fun of cooking.

-- The team-building sessions have addressed a broad range of issues; everything from interpersonal dynamics to difficulties taking initiative. Teams adapt quickly to their workplace behavior in the kitchen. This gives the facilitator a chance to bring any issues "to the table" and address them quickly.


Putting Knowledge into Action
-- With the increase in technology, it is sometimes difficult to combine the information stored in databases with the information stored in employees' heads.

-- According to the Wall Street Journal, corporations have turned the responsibility of "knowledge management" over to information technology employees. Knowledge management is the sharing of important information with employees.

-- Moreover, a survey performed by the Conference Board of New York found there are more effective ways to put knowledge into action. The survey of 200 executives found the most successful methods of knowledge management come from informal employee networks or by allowing everyone to have equal access to technology tools.


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