Fistful of beans 03/02/2011

4 things I’ve seen, read, or thought might seed results:

1. Implementing Planned Change: An Empirical Comparison of Theoretical Perspectives — American Journal of Business

Planned change has been viewed from a variety of conceptual perspectives, but few models of planned change we’ve all been part of have been studied using empirical research designs.  With a study we may find the relative important of various change process factors in successful change.

This study looks at:

  • Change variables;
  • Variable selection; and
  • Variable justification like:  action planning, skill development incentives, monitoring and control

This is a rich, dense article well worth the time investment to read.  Understanding planned change and its components for success is a critical skill for managers involved in the implementation of short and long-term strategic objectives; that speaks to most of the managers I know.

2. The U-bend of life — The Economist

Conventional economics uses money as a proxy for happiness, though economists do not use the term happiness, but the term utility.  Other economists are unconvinced that money has a direct relationship and are looking at happiness itself.  This has a deeper bearing on views of compensation and salary.  As some countries use Gross National Happiness over Gross Domestic Product to shape policy, this shift might do for some interesting conversations in executive board rooms.  Further still, does age have a bigger causal effect on happiness than money?

3. The Tragic Fall of Reserved Parking — Bloomberg Businessweek

The corner office comes with increased stature, pride, and organizational position.  But what of the reserved parking spot with one’s name to announce to the organization whom parks at the most coveted of spots.  What is the emotional, rational, and financial case to remove the hallowed reserve parking lot and why are companies looking at this as an economic or strategic issue.  Change management is never easy, take a peek at organizations this article highlights who have tried to change parking policies.

4. How to Foster Innovation Through Diverse Workgroups — Inc. Magazine

A diverse workforce with a strong culture of individualism has profound effects on internal employee relations, but it can also assist in obtaining new clients.  Large companies, like Coke, have affinity groups made up of cross-organizational teams with members from a similar demographic or social background. Setting up these groups may benefits  your organization for a variety of reasons:

    1. Teach new employees about organizational culture;
    2. Gives existing employees a way to develop relationships and connect with people across company groups; and
    3. A resource for your organization’s marketing needs through mini focus groups

One of the biggest challenges to diversity is the organization pull for “sameness”.  IBM was a place where their ads in the 1980s touted “Great minds think alike”.  Eventually, IBM changed the ad to read: “Great minds think unalike.” The point is clear enough:  a diversity of knowledge, talents, and experience helps companies grow.

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