Performance Digest
Dec. 16, 2008

A Year-End Challenge
from Workforce Management
The new year is an opportune time to re-examine the focus of your HR efforts. While time may be tight, San Francisco State University professor, Dr. John Sullivan, challenges you to take a day off from your busy routine and identify a few actions that could increase your strategic business impact. If your business is experiencing a downturn, now is the time to shift your HR approach so that it more closely fits the new realities. Many organizations have to shift away from dealing with organizational growth issues to focus on activities that will have a more immediate business impact, such as increasing workforce productivity, innovation, workforce flexibility, workforce planning and metrics. More

Staff Training Programs Seen as Key to Improving Business Performance
from Taiwan Journal
Western companies have long understood the equation "well-trained staff equals better performance equals higher revenues." Local firms are increasingly warming up to the concept, particularly during an economic slowdown when good performance may be the key to survival. Taiwan Journal contributor Cindy Sui reports on the development of the training industry in the country. More

What Type of Talent Begets Success?
from Vator News
How do we identify teaching talent? How important is it? How do we improve the quality of teaching for our children? This is a non-trivial problem, but the larger question of domain-specific talent looms in the margins. How do we identify domain specific talent? Perhaps more importantly, how do we develop it? More

Cultivating the Innovators in Your Midst
from Globe and Mail
Innovation requires innovators. In Harvard Business Review, consultants Jeffrey Cohn, John Katzenbach and Gus Vlak set out a six-stage process for finding breakthrough innovators and grooming them within an organization. More

Six Sigma and Statistical Process Control Viewed From the Midwest
from Manufacturing & Technology eJournal
Most business initiatives have the shelf life of cottage cheese, suggests Evan Miller, CEO of Goshen, Indiana-based Hertzler Systems which manufactures GainSeeker Software. Six Sigma has had remarkable staying power in the face of that, but there are enough detractors with an axe to grind of one sort or another who stand to benefit from criticizing it. “One type of detractor is the voice of status quo which rather cynically says 'there is no new thing under the sun. This too shall pass and we can go back to normal life,” Miller says. “Then there are the people within the business improvement arena who want to distinguish themselves and proclaim that they have the next big thing. In order to do that they have to dethrone the aging king, Six Sigma.” More

Using Video Games to Improve Staff Productivity and Motivation
from IT Business
In many offices, approved gaming in the workplace is limited to the receptionist's engagement in rounds of Minesweeper or Solitaire when the phone isn't ringing. Admins may sneak off to Pogo during lunch, and the IT guys may stick around after hours for a game of Counter-Strike, but by and large video games have been no more a part of the typical company's culture than pinochle. Things are slowly changing, however. A number of companies have found that using video games as a way to reward employees for reaching their goals or increasing their productivity can improve office productivity and morale. During the current economic downturn, rewards for overworked employees can be especially welcome. More

Companies Require Expert Human Resource Management Skills During Turbulent Economic Climate
from AME Info
A recent study by Adecco Group, shared the input of 200 leaders participating in the 2008 World Business Forum on how today's leaders are facing and navigating through the current uncertainty. Key findings indicate that generating revenue, pursuing growth opportunities and maintaining a competitive edge were of prime importance. Also on the list were recruitment and retention, which were rated with a higher priority during booming economic times. More