Employee Retention

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Intellectual Capital = Competence x Commitment

Commitment and competence are embedded in how each employee thinks about and does his or her work and in how a company is organized to accomplish work. This intellectual capital is, according to the author, a firm’s only appreciable asset. He outlines three ways to build employee commitment and five tools for increasing competence in a firm, site, business and plant.

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How Do You Win the Capital Allocation Game?

Why do companies frequently make bad investment decisions and continue to blunder, even after the weaknesses in their capital budgeting analyses are evident? Because, say the authors, they don’t integrate capital budgeting into their overall strategy. To address this, the authors present a framework for dynamic capital budgeting that can help managers make intelligent investment decisions with a long-term strategy in mind.

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Preserving Employee Morale during Downsizing

When companies downsize, managers need to consider how to bolster their employees’ morale in order to maintain productivity and engender flexibility. The authors propose a four-stage approach — gleaned from interviews and surveys — that will mitigate worker mistrust and disempowerment and will, they say, help build a better company.

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Rebuilding Behavioral Context: Turn Process Reengineering into People Rejuvenation

Why are some companies able to remain vital, even after extensive reengineering, while others flounder and fail? The answer, according to these authors, lies in a company’s ability to rejuvenate its employees by establishing a behavioral context with four characteristics — discipline, support, trust and stretch. The authors show how companies like Intel and 3M have been able to renew themselves by creating an environment in which people are the most important resource.

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Human Reengineering

What can the plant manager at a Japanese soy sauce producer teach us about reengineering? In this case study, the authors describe Toshio Okuno’s five techniques for managing major changes in his company. By focusing first on changing people’s attitudes toward change and encouraging them to be creative, Okuno brought about significant improvements in processes and results. And the managers and workers, rather than reengineering consultants, began to propose ideas for change. Okuno’s techniques work as an integrated system that allow his company to innovate continuously and present many lessons for making change fun.

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Empowering Service Employees

THE PRODUCTION-LINE APPROACH TO SERVICE IS BEING CHALLENGED BY AN EMPLOYEE EMPOWERMENT APPROACH. DESPITE ITS GROWING POPULARITY, many managers are still uncertain about empowerment’s impact. The authors describe the returns a company can expect from empowering service employees, which include a number of favorable business results, but new management challenges as well.

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Understanding Organizations as Learning Systems

With the decline of some well-established firms, the diminishing competitive power of many companies in a burgeoning world market, and the need for organizational renewal and transformation, interest in organizational learning has grown. Senior managers in many organizations are convinced of the importance of improving learning in their organizations.

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