By Chinweike I. Eseonu, Oregon State University:
I just got the current issue of Industrial Management Magazine in the mail. The September/October 2014 issue contains a number of what I refer to as “toolbox” articles that we should all review when we get a chance. “Toolbox articles” help identify or hone important skills (tools) for one’s professional “toolbox.” I thought I’d share a few highlights from the current issue:
Highlight 1: Did you know that your “Kitchen Cabinet” is one of the most important tools in your managerial “toolbox”? No, not the dead tree boxes hanging on your walls. In the current issue, Dan Quiggle discusses the importance, requirements, and uses of a “Kitchen Cabinet” – your personal and professional advisory board. He draws lessons from Ronald Reagan’s kitchen cabinet to demonstrate the who, why, and hows of creating and working with your kitchen cabinet.
Highlight 2: There’s an article, by Dan Carrison, on the importance of effective, clear communication with customers as a means of mitigating the weight of uncertainty. I found the article quite insightful because, as we all learn at some point, the client’s perception quickly becomes reality, with financial consequences.
Highlight 3: Mohammed Hamed Ahmed Soliman takes a fresh look at Failure Modes and Effects Analysis. He outlines 12 steps for effective FMEA events, and uses an interesting example to reintroduce the FMEA process. Its amazing how often we overlook the analytical strength of IE tools for decision making.
Highlight 4: There are a number of other articles, including a discussion on making workplace competition healthier (Christie Lau and Brian H. Kleiner), and an interesting look at business and governance issues surrounding global urbanization, which I found prescient given current issues in the news (Fariborz Ghadar and Kathleen Loughran). The current issue also contains two SEMS says columns in which Suzanna Long and I discuss our (and your) potential for global impact through our engineering training.
Take a look at the current issue when you have a minute and share your thoughts on the articles. We will post a selection of your ideas and feedback in the coming weeks (with your permission, of course).
Keep filling the toolbox!