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Reengineering Revisited: Achieving Seamlessness

Some people assume that reported failures in business process redesign (BPR), also known as reengineering, sound its death knell. We see such predictions as grossly premature. BPR will be with us indefinitely, for the simple reason that BPR, done right, creates tremendous improvements in business...

Failing to Change: The Plight of the Japanese Computer Industry

Japanese companies are still suffering from low earnings and profits, legacies of the collapsed "bubble economy" of the late 1980s. Among the sufferers are the biggest electronics firms in the country: Fujitsu, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, and Toshiba. Some industry observers believe that the...

A Prism Primer Protecting Intellectual Property

Recent news items underscore the effective use of intellectual property to protect and enhance an organisation's competitive position. Despite the critical importance of intellectual property, few companies really understand what it is, how various laws and regulations work to protect it, what...

An Eye on Disclosure: The EC's Eco-Management and Audit Scheme

"... Whereas the provision of information to the public, by companies, on the environmental aspects of their activities is an essential element of good environmental management and a response to the growing interest of the public in information on this subject..."Official Journal of the European...

Viewpoint Full-Cost Accounting

When it comes to full-cost accounting, nobody has all the answers. Certainly we don't. We do know, however, that air, water, and land are not the "free goods" our society once believed them to be. They must be redefined as assets so that they can be appropriately and efficiently allocated. Ideally...

Creating a Product Strategy

Surely every business has a product strategy - right? Wrong! A product strategy is much more than a list of specific product actions over time. It is an explicit route-map designed to guide a company in its efforts to develop and market products that build sustainable competitive advantage and meet...

Controlling the Product Creation Process

Pressure to be first to market with the right products is nothing new. Companies that rely on new product introductions for growth and prosperity have always known that ill-conceived products and lost development time cost them heavily in missed sales targets, lost revenues, postponed profits, and...

Removing Barriers to Change: The Unwritten Rules of the Game

In every realm of our lives, whether we're at work or play, there are Rules of the Game. And these rules always come in two forms – written rules and unwritten rules.

Rooting Out the Causes of Inefficient Product Creation

In the decades ahead, successful companies will be those that can develop products with real customer value - and do so fast, consistently, and cost-effectively. Toward this end, most forward-thinking companies have taken initiatives to improve their product creation processes. Among their new...

Trust and Cooperation: The Payoff from a Great Place to Work

When Robert McDermott took over as CEO of USAA, he inherited an underperforming auto and casualty insurer that satisfied none of its major stakeholders - customers, owners, or employees. Service was often shoddy, and the turnover rate among its largely female clerical staff was nearly 50 percent a...