Category: Organizational Development

In A Class of Your Own Using the Web to Bring the Classroom to You

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There’s an ancient story about a wise king who had to decide what to do with a baby two women claimed was theirs. Well, businesses face that kind of decision every day. There are more demands on business and their people then ever before. Often the demands seem to be mutually exclusive. Take the conflict between watching the bottom line and the need to keep the workforce educated and trained in essential skills. Competition has made us all more cost conscience. Staffs have been paired down to the bare minimum. There are no extra people and no spare hours in…
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Performance Measurement for a Customer Focus Strategy

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Introduction Many organizations are in a perpetual state of change. Changing markets, changing competition, changing organization structures, total quality initiatives and reengineering are often the rule rather than the exception. Often these initiatives fail to yield the desired results or, in the extreme, fail entirely. The reasons for this failure, of course, can be many and multiple. However, one that often stands out is the lack of change in the performance measurement system as the needs for measurement change. The recommended solution is often to establish new measures appropriate to the new techniques employed and appending them to the existing…
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Performance Measurements – Designing the Guidance System for Your Organization

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Introduction Your business is changing. JIT, TQM, Reengineering, Information Technology, Teams, Time Based Competition, the supply chain and the decline of the Command/Control organization structure are just some of the changes taking place. The critical success factor is knowledge, not physical work. Competitive advantage can no longer be perpetually and automatically maintained. In many industries continuous change and improvement is no longer an option, it is a way of life. But what are we measuring? Often organizations are measuring the same things they were 10, 20 and even 50 years ago. Most organizations are still using a cost accounting structure…
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Driving a Winning Culture

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In my 20 years of experience in working with multiple companies across multiple industries and globally, there is a lot of talk about culture; however, little to no impact – bottom line results. On the other hand, I’ve seen companies with an existing, winning culture and I’ve also seen one built – both types of situations drove bottom line results. The distinction between the so-so (and ugly) cultures and the winning culture is perseverance of implementing and maintaining the core elements of culture. The reason the ‘talk’ rarely turns into a winning culture is that it isn’t backed by solid…
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Creating a Next Generation Workforce

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Our customers are revolting! They are demanding more for less. They want world class services as well as total quality products. They want it all and they want it now. If we can’t provide what they want, they will find some one who can. Customer loyalty is a myth formed in the mist of our distant past. Customers in the global economy are more demanding than ever before. They can be; there is more competition than ever before. Customers take it for granted that you will deliver a low cost and high quality product or service. Now on top of…
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Prepare for Recovery

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If you are reading this, you and your company have likely done, at the least, the bare minimum to survive the recession, and you are now looking forward to a brighter future. If you are thinking about how to prepare for recovery, you are probably ahead of many of your competitors. In this issue of our quarterly e-mail, the ACA group weighs in, providing some over-arching goals and concepts that will help you launch your initiatives. Preparation for recovery has several common themes, including: customer service, efficiency, efficient scalable processes, a lower break-even cost, and good communications. All of these…
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Preventing Sexual Harassment: It’s the Law in California

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Research on Sexual Harassment and Current Training Laws Prudent employers have trained managers and employees on preventing unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace for years. Such training helps employers avoid conflicts that result in litigation and can also help defend against lawsuits if they arise. 2005 Legal Requirements for Training This course of action has become a legal responsibility since Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 1825 on September 30, 2004. The bill requires employers of 50 or more (including temporary service employees and independent contractors, in California, or out of state), to provide supervisors with a minimum of…
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Selling Your Ideas to Management – Speak with Data

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While teaching classes for my in-house clients and at local colleges and universities, I often hear students say they can’t sell new ideas to management. They say things like, “I can’t change anything”, or “No one will listen to my ideas”, or “They don’t want to change anything at our company.” These students are largely non-managerial, semi-professional employees, many of them without a college degree who had no thought of being in their current profession when they started their career. These folks take these classes to develop their professional knowledge and skills and to learn new tools and concepts that…
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Senior Management Commitment & the Bottom Line

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As we emerge from the recession, businesses are beginning to think about spending precious cash on projects that will yield a significant return. Although I’m still seeing significant caution when it comes to “pulling the trigger” and “signing the check”; I am seeing a substantial increase in inquiries about projects that could help move the business forward. So, why is Senior Management commitment important? The obvious answer is that without it, nothing will occur. However, it can be less clear that it sounds. Typically, Senior Leaders say they support “good-sounding” projects/ initiatives; however, they don’t support them when it comes…
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The Value of Bilingual Education in the Workplace

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I remember the look of terror on their faces on the first day of class, and now, on the last day of English classes how they were beaming, filled with pride and accomplishment, belying the journey these immigrants took from speaking little or no English with really thick foreign accents, to being able to make a public presentation in their “new and improved” English to their esteemed colleagues. Eyes welled-up as the Vocational English as Second Language (VESL) students shared their success stories at this high-tech medical device company. Twelve short weeks ago, Tran, an electrical assembler from a small…
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