Executive Matters

December 2001

Holiday greetings and best wishes for 2002!

Unemployment’s going up, interest rates are coming down, and the stock market is all over the place. As we begin a new year, we hope to leave the trials and traumas of the past year behind. We hope all of you will find better times ahead.

In anticipation of those better times, this issue of ‘Executive Matters’ takes a positive, proactive approach to business:

In This Issue

Getting Product Ideas from the Marketplace

Hitting Strategic Targets: What Every Senior Executive Should Know

Interview with Brian Tracy, best-selling author of “Focal Point

Identifying Employee Performance Problems

Looking to the Future: Effective Succession Planning

Global Manifest Destiny: Globalization and Life After 11th September

New Poll of HR Professionals on Business’ Reaction to 9-11 Attacks




red dotGetting Product Ideas from the Marketplace
Where can we get marketable ideas? Why not from the market itself? As Roger Bean and Russell Radford describe in their book ‘The Business of Innovation: Managing the Corporate Imagination for Maximum Results’ (AMACOM, 2001), 3M has dramatically improved the effectiveness of new product launches by drawing upon the ideas of “lead users” -- customers working at the leading edge of the marketplace themselves. Of course, 3M determines the trends in the target market by asking experts in various technologies, but it also asks market members to identify lead users and then develops product ideas from discussions with them. The company ensures the profitability of the ideas by hosting workshops with groups of lead users to determine not only what the breakthroughs are, but the potentialmarket size for each. Click www.mworld.org/innovation

red dot Hitting Strategic Targets: What Every Senior Executive Should Know
Highlights from an AMA Executive Breakfast Briefing, by William A. Schiemann and William S. Cogdill, held on October 18, 2001, at the AMA Chicago Executive Conference Center.

Measurement-Managed Organizations (MMO’s) have learned how to drive up results in both good and bad times. They are disciplined enterprises -- outcome focused and passionate about establishing norms, standards, and related measures to ensure that performance targets are clear, management is committed to accomplishing them, and that systems’ distractions are minimized.

There are five key characteristics that distinguish MMO’s from their less-disciplined competition:

  1. Focus
  2. Alignment
  3. Accountability
  4. Learning
  5. Foresight

There is a decisive relationship between employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction and loyalty, and financial results. By carefully analyzing the nexus among all three, MMO’s are positioned to anticipate bottom-line results and take action long before the quarterly numbers are a fait accompli.

Click for more: www.mworld.org/mmo

red dotInterview with Brian Tracy, best-selling author of “Focal Point – A Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity, and Achieve All Your Goals.”
Ever wonder why some people seem to accomplish more than the rest of us, in both their personal and professional lives? According to Tracy, they know how to find their focal point – the one thing they should do, at any given moment, to get the optimal result. One part of Tracy’s method is the "Grand SLAM" Formula, which is designed to "double your income and double your time off:”


red dotIdentifying Employee Performance Problems
If you suspect that one of your employees has a performance problem, it’s critical to take action NOW, before the situation negatively affects your entire team. Start by using our checklist to determine whether or not a problem really exists. Then, determine the reason behind the problem.

red dot Looking to the Future: Effective Succession Planning
Succession planning may not seem to be a priority at a time when companies are laying off employees. But an organization’s survival depends on an ongoing stream of top senior management talent. In his book ‘Effective Succession Planning: Ensuring Leadership Continuity and Building Talent from Within,’ author William J. Rothwell lists six steps critical to successful succession planning:

  • Make the commitment. This means walking the talk, with preparation of an action plan and communication of that plan to those target groups to be served by it.
  • Assess present work requirements. Identify key leadership positions and determine the work requirements for each.
  • Appraise individual performance. Since only those doing well in their current positions should qualify for advancement, such assessments are critical. As part of this process, the organization may want to set up a talent inventory system that identifies human assets already available.
  • Assess future individual work requirements. Answer the question: “What will be the work requirements in key leadership positions in the future?”
  • Assess future individual potential. The goal is to identify the gap between current skills and future needs and to develop the competencies to fill future job needs.
  • Close the developmental gap. The organization needs to allocate funds for a continuing program in leadership development. Decision makers should also look into alternatives to traditional promotion-from-within methods of meeting succession needs.

For more, click: www.mworld.org/rothwell


Global Manifest Destiny: Globalization and Life After 11th September
By John A. Caslione

Globalization of the world economy and that of its businesses had been accelerating at unimaginable speeds over the past decade. Until recently, many in business and in government had begun to believe that complete globalization of the world's economy was inevitable, that it was our destiny as humankind – our global manifest destiny.

Then came the tragedy we witnessed on the 11th of September. While these may have been isolated acts of ultra-extremists with an unacceptable and untenable political or religious agenda, the events of that dark morning have changed life forever – not only for Americans, but also for everyone in the world.

New Poll of HR Professionals on Business’ Reaction to 9-11 Attacks
A poll of 5,673 Human Resources professionals sheds some light on how companies responded to the terrorist attacks on September 11 and how they think the workplace will change as a result:

  • Only 54% of respondents indicated their organization had a disaster plan in place
  • 66% said their organization would put higher security provisions in place
  • 37% expected that business travel would be curtailed

Members Enjoy Up to 50% Savings on Selected AMA Seminars
To ensure learning, quality and individual attention, AMA seminar class sizes are intentionally kept low. On occasion, a few places remain in certain sessions just a few weeks before they are scheduled.

As a benefit to members, AMA makes these seats available on a monthly basis in a Special Seminar Alert section on MWorld. No other discounts apply. Seminars must be purchased via credit card at the time of booking and all sales are final, with no refunds.

Click on www.mworld.org/select below for more information about the discounted January 2002 seminars.

To register, call this special member hotline number: 1-800-313-8650. Be sure to mention Priority Code XMBS.

Space is limited and restricted, and seats go fast, so act now!

Learn by Day – Sleep Free at Night in the Big Apple!
Every one of AMA’s more than 150 seminars is offered in AMA’s New York Executive Conference Center, conveniently located in Times Square. And now, for a limited time only, when you sign up for a seminar in New York City, AMA will pay for your accommodation. You’ll stay in the 3-star Crowne Plaza Hotel, adjacent to the AMA New York Conference Center. Choose from this: www.mworld.org/list_of_seminar_sessions. Then call 1-800-262-9699 for details and to register.

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