Sunday, July 31, 2005

Solving a "wicked" problem

Closing the achievement gap is not just a goal. It is a mandate that calls us to redirect our systems to accelerate student achievement and dissolve the increasing gaps among a diverse student population.

This will mean doing things differently, letting go of some past practices, opening our minds and classroom doors to collaboration, considering new ideas and refining our repertoire of solutions that work. Knowledge-management systems can serve as organizers for making the shared collection of knowledge and solutions accessible to the community.

Have we been on the right track with our strategies in attempting to solve the achievement gap? The solution requires a research-based and collaborative response on the part of educators at all levels. A solution process, supported by the efforts of professional networks and development teams, creates a new educational environment where resources are expended on proactive activities rather than on fixing a problem that should never have grown to the point of even being named.

Complete article at findarticle

Friday, July 22, 2005

Getting New Managers Up to Speed

The usual employee-orientation process needs to be retired. In this article from Harvard Management Update, savvy companies explain how to jump-start the success of new managers. Tip: Set up meetings, use technology, and coach newcomers.

by Lauren Keller Johnson

When Jacqueline Lopez, a new program manager at Intel's Mobile Platforms Group, arrived for her first day on the job, Jessica Rocha, her boss, handed her a calendar bursting with already-scheduled meetings. These meetings had nothing to do with the usual employee-orientation process, through which new hires learn about Intel's values and HR procedures. Rather, Rocha had scheduled face-to-face interviews with people across Intel who had the technical expertise, cultural lowdown, and political "juice" Lopez would need to accomplish her work.

Complete Article at HBS

Monday, July 04, 2005

People Power: How to Measure It

Companies own their capital assets, but (obviously) not their employees. Yet people-powered business is more important every day. In this Harvard Business Review excerpt, two Boston Consulting Group experts outline a way to measure true performance.

We are hardly the first observers to note the measurement and management challenges posed by the increasingly people-heavy and capital-light nature of business. But in our view, most efforts to take account of this shift focus on the wrong things. For example, attempts have been made to "fix" the balance sheet by including intangible assets. While these attempts certainly have value, they miss a crucial point: The critical resource of most businesses is no longer capital—that is, assets that a company owns and utilizes at as high a level as possible. Rather, the critical resources are employees whom a company hires and must motivate and retain. The fact that companies don't own their employees, as they do their capital assets, is why methods for valuing "human capital" on balance sheets are so tortuous.
Complete article at : HBS Working Knowledge

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Wikis, Weblogs and RSS: What Does the New Internet Mean for Business?

The Internet may be entering a new phase that will decentralize control inside companies, enable employees to collaborate more easily, and drive efficiency. But corporations that want to use the web strategically to build corporate value will not just need to make radical cultural changes, they may also need to master a new vocabulary with terms such as Wikis (software that allows anyone to update and edit web pages instantly and democratically); Weblogs (online journals more commonly known as blogs); and RSS (really simple syndication) feeds, which distribute content from the Internet.

Arcane as these terms may sound to anyone but the initiated, the technology behind them is hardly fancy. Wikis, blogs and RSS feeds are relatively simple tools that will have a huge impact on the way people -- and companies -- communicate and do business. So how is the Internet changing? How can companies seek to understand the technological effects of these changes? And what cultural adaptations should companies make to capture value from these new tools?

Complete article at: Wharton

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

OD and KM : Gautam Ghosh

I've been thinking over the last few days...that traditional approaches to KM have followed the two approaches that are doomed for failure. These are the1. Expertise approach - The assumption being that people in the 'client' organization do not know anything and it's the expert's job to make them aware. The expert mostly does not do any implementation of his/her recommendations.2. The pair of hands approach. The 'client' is aware of what needs to be done, but lacks the time or money or both to develop the necessary skills. This is the approach most often taken by IT consulting organizations, and this is the reason that while KM systems often come up they are rarely successful. That's because the 'client' is usually the top management and not the user of the system.

Complete article on
Gautam's Blog

Some HR Articles here

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Boil a Consultant-Fastcompany

Next Time, What Say We Boil a Consultant

Consultant Debunking Unit

According to consulting lore, corporate change all boils down to frogs.

In case you haven't heard it (and who hasn't? the frog story ranks number one on the change hit parade), Manfred Kets de Vries published the fable in his recent book, "Life and Death in the Executive Fast Lane":

"Take a pot of hot water and a frog. Throw the frog into the pot. What do you think will happen? The obvious, of course: the frog will jump out. Who likes hanging around in a pot of hot water? Now ... [t]ake a pot of cold water, put the frog in it, and place the pot on the stove. Turn on the heat. This time something different will occur. The frog, because of the incremental change in temperature, will not notice that it is slowly being boiled. Unfortunately, many organizations, as they grow, begin to resemble the boiled frog."

Fast Company's investigative team, the "Consultant Debunking Unit", put the frog story to the test.

Complete article at Fast Company

Link to the HR Blog

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Practical Advice from Jack Welch

Want to Win? Here's Some Practical Advice from Jack Welch

Jack Welch, former chairman and chief executive of General Electric, loves to be heard. After retiring from GE four years ago and publishing an autobiography, he has now written a book on his management philosophy, titled Winning, which he is promoting through frequent speeches and media interviews. But, unlike most prodigious talkers, Welch is hardly boring. He advocates candor and practices it, strenuously.

Last month Welch visited Wharton to speak to students about his book, co-authored with his wife Suzy. In a packed auditorium, he participated in a fireside chat with Knowledge@Wharton, followed by questions from the students. Here are a few samples of the 'Welchisms' heard during the session:

· Distinctions between leadership and managing are "academic hogwash."

· "Don't take a job because your mother wants you to. Don't be a victim. You own your decision."

· "In the end, winning companies are the only thing that sustains societies like ours. Governments create nothing."

Complete article at: Wharton's website

Some HR readings click here