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  • GM CEO Mary Barra Offers Update on Ignition Switch Recalls

    In this video, General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra offered an update on "where things stand" with the ignition switch recall. Last month, 1.6 million small cars were recalled. The defective engine switches investigation began in 2004 and is linked to 12 deaths. In an effort to assure buyers that GM is moving faster to fix safety defects, CEO Mary Barra said, "Something went wrong with our process in this instance, and terrible things happened." GM is undergoing an "intense review" of its recall procedure. "The bottom line is, we will get better as a result of this tragic situation if we seize the opportunity." Why should GM act now on the new recalls instead of waiting until the ignition switch investigations have ended? How is GM changing the way they are operating? How will they review and resolve potential safety issues more quickly?
  • Honor System

    Lisa Siegel of Riverside Market & Cafe in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, discusses the honor system used for controlling the purchases of their 550 types of bottled beers available in their wall coolers. Why do you think this system works? What other companies could use the honor system?
  • A-B InBev Drives Results from Social Media

    In this video, Lucas Herscovici, Vice President Digital of A-B InBev , talks about measuring results in social media. "You can't manage what you can't measure." Managers need information to make decisions. In control, they measure actual performance against the plan and if necessary, take action. How does A-B InBev measure results in social media?
  • McDonald's and Visa Help Employees Manage Money

    McDonald's partnered with Visa to develop a " practical money skills for life " web site to help employees manage their money. A Budget Journal (attached) is offered "to help you make financial goals, build budgets and track your spending." That sounds very similar to the functions of management of planning and controlling. A budget is a plan for spending money. Tracking is control because it determines what was spent and compares it to the financial goals. In addition, guidelines are given for writing goals . In management class, we refer to these as "objectives," because "you cannot do a goal." Semantics aside, the guidelines below can help you write objectives. A realistic goal is SMART (in more ways than one) S pecific M easurable A ttainable R elevant T ime-related Specific - Smart goals are specific enough to suggest action. "Example: Save enough money to get a refrigerator, not just save money. Measurable - You need to know when you've achieved your goal, or how close you are. Example: A refrigerator costs $600, and you have $300 already saved. Goals which aren't measurable, like "I'd like to have more money," are much harder to achieve - and you don't even know when you get there. Attainable - The steps toward reaching your goal need to be reasonable and possible. Example: I know I can save enough money each week to arrive at my goal within one year. Relevant - The goal needs to make common sense. You don't want to struggle or work toward a goal that doesn't fit your need. Example: You don't need to save money for 18 pairs of shoes. Time-related - Set a definite target date. Example: The repairman says my refrigerator won't last another year. I need a new fridge in the next six months. McDonald's has been criticized for the sample budget journal . Annie-Rose Strasser of Think Progess wrote , "Not only does the budget leave a spot open for 'second job,' it also gives wholly unreasonable estimates for employees' costs: $20 a month for health care, $0 for heating, and $600 a month for rent. It does not include any budgeted money for food or clothing." A McDonalds spokesperson provided this statement to ThinkProgress : "In an effort to provide free, comprehensive money management tools, McDonald's first used the Wealth Watchers International budgeting journal when this financial literacy program launched in 2008. As part of this program, several resources were developed including a sample budgeting guide, an instructional video and a web resource center that had additional tools and information. The samples that are on this site are generic examples and are intended to help provide a general outline of what an individual budget may look like. " -- How important is it for employees to develop 'practical money skills for life"? What do you think about the Budget Journal? Does it help employees develop practical money skills? How could you improve the sample? rite a management objective that a first-line supervisor at a McDonald's restaurant could use to encourage employees to develop money skills for life.
  • How Google Understands You

    When you want to know something, do you 'google' it? How does it work? Vertical Measures answers that question with an infographic. How does literal search differ from semantics? What jobs might this technology replace? Infographic by Vertical Measures
  • Measurement Matters

    "You can't manage what you can't measure." Measurement is very important to management control. It lets managers know whether or not plans have been met. If plans aren't met, adjustments must be made. The board of J.C. Penny let CEO Ron Johnson go last week. Johnson had been very successful at Target and Apple before joining J.C. Penney. Retail analyst Robin Lewis blogged his "continuing and steadfast belief in Ron Johnson's ultimate vision for J.C. Penney's: that of a transformed, uniquely-compelling shopping experience, appealing to a more contemporary-minded consumer who would form a new customer base, perhaps a smaller, yet more productive business, but nevertheless poised for growth vs. maturity." Yet, let's look at some measurements during Johnson's employment at J. C. Penney. Revenue declined by $4 billion. Graphic from Same store sales fell 32 percent. Graphic from The stock price lost half its value . Graphic from More than 20,000 employees were laid off. Graphic from By any measure, J.C. Penney has had one of the worst performances by a major retailer. Now, Robin Lewis says that Ron Johnson's performance as CEO of J. C. Penney was "the most colossal, dramatic, tragic, transparent, rapid and microscopically tracked meltdown in the history of retailing." Have any executives failed as badly as Ron Johnson? Did the board move too soon or too late? Will J. C. Penny come back?
  • Measuring America Every Year

    Peter Drucker said, 'If you can't measure something, you can't manage it.' The Census Bureau has an ongoing statistical survey that samples a small percentage of the population every year. It is called the American Community Survey (ACS). Respondents are asked about the topics below. age sex race family and relationships income and benefits health insurance education veteran status disabilities where you work and how you get there where you live and how much you pay for some essentials Managers of organizations combine the data into statistics that are used to help decide everything from school lunch programs to new hospitals. In this video, Target managers explain how statistics from the American Community Survey are used to make decisions, How might managers (other than those at Target) use the statistics from the American Community Survey to make decisions and future plans?
  • Work smarter, not harder

    We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but some people accomplish a lot more than others. Successful managers control their time by using the skill of delegation. They define objectives by answering, "What results does the company want?" Then, they get out of the way and let employees achieve those objectives. They trust employees to do the job. But, some employees know how to delegate. They manage the boss by using upward delegation . " Who's Got the Monkey" by William Oncken, Jr. and Donald L. Wass is a classic management article using the metaphor of a "monkey on the back" to illustrate upward delegation. Read the attached article. How can managers avoid taking responsibility for a monkey that belongs on the employee's back?
  • Microsoft Surface Challenges Apple iPad

    Microsoft introduced a tablet challenger to the Apple iPad (June 18, 2011). Microsoft, a software company, makes money by charging licensing fees to hardware manufacturers who put Windows operating system and other software applications on their machines. Apple makes money by making the software and the hardware for its gadgets. Thus, for the first time in its 37-year history, Microsoft will manufacture a computer. Producing its own tablet is a major turning point for Microsoft. Is this a new strategy or a new tactic for Microsoft? What will happen to Microsoft's relationship with PC makers investing to develop their own Windows 8 tablets? Does Microsoft lack confidence in the ability of its PC partners to design alternatives to the iPad? Does Microsoft want more control to ensure Windows plays a major role in the mobile computing market?
  • Creating Efficiencies

    As a manager, you always need to be thinking of ways to help your business become more efficient. One way to be more efficient is to save on controllable expenses. The United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) is controlling expenses by helping delivery drivers become more efficient. Delivery drivers save time by not making left-hand turns, walking at a brisk 2.5 paces per second, and wearing a digital-remote fob on their belts, which turns on the ignition and unlocks the bulkhead door . In this video, Bob Stoffel, senior Vice President of UPS, discusses why UPS drivers never turn left. Watch the video at . What else are managers doing to help businesses become more efficient?