Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Golden Business Ideas

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Golden Business Ideas

Article excerpt

Ensure Teamwork

It happens all the time: A management guru comes up with a catch phrase and applies it to an old and obvious management productivity-improvement process. In short order, the phrase becomes fashionable, and career-minded managers quickly latch onto the trendy idea. But, more often than not, the effort to adopt the idea resembles an attempt to squeeze a square peg into a round hole. It doesn't take an MBA to understand that the only way to insert a square peg in a round hole is to reshape either the peg or the hole. Failure to do one or the other results in frustration and, worse, considerable damage--to both the organization and the staff.

Corporate teams are a perfect example. The idea of forming teams to accomplish tasks is a worthwhile objective. But for a team to function effectively, it has to meet at least two criteria:

* Team members must have essentially the same goal. That's not to say they initially have to agree on how to reach that goal. If anything, diversity of views at an early stage is a positive thing--it stimulates fresh, innovative thinking.

* Team members must not be in competition with each other. If you ignore that stricture, ego clashes are sure to follow, guaranteeing failure of the team's project.

A Better Way to Learn

As an experiment, gather your accounting staff and suggest they spend an hour or two together, sharing with each other some of the work shortcuts they've developed for themselves. One person, for example, may have worked out a helpful spreadsheet macro; another may have figured out a simple way to build a special database or to get the database to instruct a word processor to produce custom mail-merge letters. …

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