Genevieve Clark on telephone, circa 1910.

Australia Calling Elliott Jaques

Forrest Christian Reviews - Articles, Theory Leave a Comment

There’s an interesting article about Elliott Jaques’s work in Australia (“Come back Elliott Jaques, all is forgiven” By Helen Trinca, in Financial Review BOSS [Australia]). It includes a review of Julian Fairfield’s book, Levels of Excellence, a copy of which Glenn Mehltretter of PeopleFitgraciously provided to me when I met with him recently down in Raleigh. I’ve enjoyed the book, …

Analog Computing Machine in Fuel Systems Building Lewis Flight Propulsion Lab-NASA

McKinsey Quarterly on “When IT lifts productivity”

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A new study of 100 manufacturing companies in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States supports the view that IT expenditures have little impact on productivity unless they are accompanied by first-rate management practices.………………..Companies should first improve their management practices and then invest in IT. — from “When IT lifts productivity” by Stephen J. Dorgan and John J. …

New York-to-Paris automobile race: [Automobile stuck in snow]

CRM Implementation Woes: How to Make It Work

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McKinsey Consulting came out with a CRM article the same week I read Mark Van Clieaf’s comments about how to succeed at CRM — he says to run it through Marketing before, during and after implementation. McKinsey’s piece (Anupam Agarwal, David P. Harding, and Jeffrey R. Schumacher, “Organizing for CRM“, McKinsey Quarterly) has some very amusing things to say: In …

“Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives”

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“The Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives” by Sydney Finkelstein, Ivey Business Journal, Jan/Feb 2004. I recently passed by Finkelstein’s book, on which this article is based, as I was picking up Social Life of Information, Linked and Six Degrees. (My quest for information on network theory continues.) I wish I hadn’t. This article is both fun from a “let’s …

Medicen Speed Networking in 2011 at Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris. (c) 2011 Daniel Rodet (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Does Social Network Analysis Simply Show You Work Levels at Work?

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Art Kleiner has an interesting piece about Professor Karen Stephenson, the guru of social network analysis, entitled “The Quantum Theory of Trust“. It’s part of the same strategy+business series where he profiled Elliott Jaques’s requisite organization and felt fair pay work, which I’ve mentioned before. His work is always interesting and you may want to check out the rest of …

Pile of twenty pound notes. (c) 2011 TaxFix.co.uk Ltd.. (CC BY 2.0) Via flickr.

“Incentive Systems Promote Corporate Corruption”: Guest article by Al Gorman

Forrest Christian Managing, Reviews - Articles 3 Comments

Al Gorman has sent me an article that explains in more depth some of the points about incentive systems that he has made on this site. He’s volunteered to have it posted here, so I’ve converted it to PDF for easy, non-threatening viewing enjoyment. It’s interesting that he and Harald Solaas make such similar points. I think that Solaas says …

Young worker at the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad 40th street shops, 1942.

Learn More & Faster By Doing Something Else (That’s Similar)

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Implicit in discussions of learning curves in organizations (and explicit in most) is the idea that focused, uninterrupted learning is best. Learning curves (which go down and to the right, please note) are descended because of doing the same thing over and over. That may not be quite the case. In “Learning by Doing Something Else: Variation, Relatedness and the …

ADLER typewriter Model n°7 (Frankfurt / Germany). Unknown model date (probably ~1930/40). By Dake

The person with the longest Time Horizon cleans the toilets

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Besides having a very entertaining title, Marc Bilodeau and Al Silvinski’s “Tolient Cleaning and Department Chairing: Volunteering a Public Service” (1994) has some interesting proofs. Basically, they want to put forth some propositions about figuring out who would volunteer to do an activity that no one wants to do but that everyone would benefit from. Specific examples can be found …

Flowing artesian well in the meadow near the *Laghi di Fusine-superiore*, Valromana, Italia. (c) 2009 Michael Gäbler (CC BY 3.0). Via Wikimedia Commons.

Formalism vs. Constructivism in Software Development

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West reviews the philosophical underpinnings of the battle between structured programming and object-oriented programming. It’s an interesting read, as he goes back to the basic fight between the rationalist/formalist Enlightenment camp and their pesky detractors, variously called “hermeneutics”, “constructivist” or “interpretationalism”.