ISPI Performance Digest
June. 29, 2010


Soft skills boost the bottom line
Far from improving financial performance, hard-driving, "results-at-all-costs" executives actually damage the bottom line because they lack strategic insight or the ability to work with and inspire others. That's according to a new study by U.S. organizational consulting firm, Green Peak Partners, and Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, which argues that self-aware leaders who possess strong interpersonal skills deliver better financial performance.More

Automation and training boosts Six Sigma quality levels
Works Management
A U.K. based manufacturer of electrical and electronic assemblies has attained world class Six Sigma manufacturing quality levels of 99.97 percent following the installation of fully automated, custom designed wire processing machinery at its factory in the West Midlands region. A gradual, phased implementation of automated production machines over the last 10 years — coupled with PP Electrical Systems' own successful culture change program and continuous improvement initiatives — have resulted in quality levels increasing from 98 percent in 2007 to 99.97 percent in 2010. Company chairman David Fox said that while most manufacturing companies would regard 98 percent quality as being world class, PPES recognized that it needed to achieve in excess of 99 percent to satisfy its customers and reduce costs by revealing more of its 'Hidden Factory.' More

Invitation to Present at THE Performance Improvement Conference 2011
ISPI is inviting all members to submit a proposal to present at THE Performance Improvement Conference 2011, April 10-13 in Orlando, Fla. The goal is to shape the future of performance improvement through learning, teaching, collaborating, and networking. Educational sessions are designed to focus on current and emerging issues, best practices, and opportunities facing the performance improvement field.More

Knowledge management and collaboration create knowledge sharing
An age-old corporate maxim says, "Our strength is in our people." Cliché? Definitely. But the concept should see new life today, as knowledge management systems merge with collaborative and social technologies to create a new category of business tool: knowledge sharing technology. In the book The Wisdom of Bees, Michael O'Malley wrote: "Bees have honed an exceptionally complex system of information exchange by which they monitor internal and external conditions, convey hive status and needs to one another, and direct activities, Perhaps we could take what the bees do so well and apply it to our institutions so we can do better."More

Great workplaces can distinguish Scotland from global competition
The Herald
Scotland is an asset-rich nation. Oil and gas have played a vital part of our economy for the past four decades and still have a vital role to play in securing a successful future in terms of U.K. supply and Scotland's future as an energy hub. Our natural energy resources, such as the tidal waters surrounding the Pentland Firth and Orkney and winds that cross our shores, have potential to power a world-class low-carbon economy, creating jobs, driving innovation and delivering on targets for renewable energy and climate change. More

Refocusing on talent management
Human Resource Executive
As the recovery inches on, HR leaders are rethinking how to fit talent management strategies to a new business environment. Leadership development and succession planning are among the top-rated concerns of employers. But too many HR executives focus on whether a program is executed competently, rather than whether the program achieved the desired result. If employers considered talent management a critical success factor prior to the recession, it packs an even more powerful punch now. More

ISPI SkillCast: Creating Engaging Web Based Training
Tired of churning out "page turner" content? Are learners getting what they need to out of the training you deliver online or are they still left with too many open questions? We will specifically look at the tools, techniques and best practices available today with a variety of tools and media to efficiently build content that will effectively support your audience for whatever setting you are responsible for. Come to this skillcast to learn techniques that will enable you to deliver better quality content to a diverse audience and improve the results in a variety of situations.More

Jobless producing US profit on higher productivity
Malcolm Barnes distributed snacks for 27 years before losing his job in October 2007. After applying unsuccessfully with food companies, he's taken welding and machining classes and is looking for manufacturing work. "If they are not hiring in vending, you have to change with the times," said the 53-year-old Greenwood, S.C., high school graduate. "I am doing everything I can to upgrade." The 6.8 million Americans out of work for 27 weeks or longer — a record 46 percent of all the unemployed — are providing U.S. companies with an eager, skilled and cheap labor pool. This is allowing businesses to retool their workforces, boosting efficiency and profits following the deepest recession since the 1930s, and contributing to a 61 percent rise in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index since March 2009. "Companies are getting higher-productivity employees for the same or lower wage rate they were paying a marginal employee," said James Paulsen, who helps oversee about $375 billion as chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management in Minneapolis. More

Leaders cannot quit when dealing with quitters
Police News
Embarrassment that a quitter is in the ranks is one thing, but as a law enforcement executive, just noticing is not good enough. Quitting and teamwork are just not a good mix. Teams, including those consisting of law enforcement officers, are stifled when positions are occupied by the apathetic. With every member expected to fulfill a valuable role, quitters not only create a void that jeopardizes success, their actions require adjustment by the entire team. Moreover, quitters actually can generate diminishing returns. Consider the homicide investigator who is just one question away from developing a lead to solve a case, but instead cuts off an interview. Or the agent on surveillance whose half-hearted effort results in a target's noticing that he's being watched. And the recently-solved kidnapping case of Jaycee Dugard demonstrates how a victim's misery can be extended when law enforcement officers are not diligent.More

5 tips for workplace communication
Seattle Post Intelligencer
When listing one's strengths during an interview or on a resume, most of us include "excellent communication skills" because we know this is valuable to employers. But how many of us are really capable of communicating effectively? For that matter, how many employers are excellent communicators? Ineffective communication skills in an organization can dramatically impact the bottom line. In fact, according to research by Watson Wyatt, Gallup Consulting and Towers Perrin, these costs can include increased employee turnover, increased absenteeism, dissatisfied customers from poor customer service, higher product defect rates, lack of focus on business objectives, and stifled innovation. No wonder communication skills are so valued in the workplace. More