- Research Highlight
- Read Time: 6 min
Technology use, diverse networks and access to new information all enhance productivity. Multitasking also can offer productivity benefits — but only in moderation.
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Clashes between bottom line-oriented managers (stewards) and creative technical employees (creators) may be inevitable. But when those conflicts aren’t managed well, a company’s ability to innovate may be at risk.
Obesity in the United States has reached crisis proportions. Is this yet another societal problem to be loaded onto the shoulders of business leaders? For several reasons, the answer is yes -- and some companies are already showing what can be done to turn the tide.
Reaping the elusive productivity rewards of information technology requires that an organization must change the way it does business. Schneider National took that dictum to heart and became a trucking and logistics powerhouse.
Although IT portfolio management has been a best practice for some time now, many companies are still getting returns from IT investments that are below their potential. New studies show that a measurable premium can be gained by implementing a set of interlocking business practices and processes, collectively called “IT savvy.”
In many organizations, the corporate marketing function has lost budget, head count, influence and confidence, resulting in strategic consequences that run deeper than many senior managers may realize. The question is not how to rebuild the marketing center, but how to disperse marketing competenceacross the organization.
People commonly talk about the energy (or lack thereof) associated with certain individuals or company initiatives. Managers can translate such talk into action that creates more energy, improves performance and fosters learning.
The more companies outsource, the more they approach virtual organization, with knowledge centers interacting through mutual interest and electronic systems. To mitigate the risks associated with reduced authority, companies must develop “best in world” capabilities, leverage the capabilities of others and innovate constantly. The author shows how to slash innovation cycle times and costs by 60%-90% and develop the full potential of intellectual outsourcing.
A platform is a collection of components, processes, knowledge, people, and relationships shared by a set of products, allowing companies to efficiently develop differentiated products and to better meet customer needs. The authors describe the benefits and challenges of platform planning, presenting three underlying ideas, a method for planning a new product platform, and recommendations for managing the process.
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.
What has led to the development of Japan’s particular method of subcontracting? Theories that have attempted to explain Japanese subcontracting have critical shortcomings. A combination of political, economic, technological, and strategic factors has resulted in subcontracting’s growth and survival.
Companies frequently mismanage their dealings with suppliers and miss many opportunities to reduce costs. Perhaps it’s time to reexamine purchasing, reestablish some tension in buyer-supplier relationships, and leverage the free market.
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