star - How to be a star engineer Page: 1 N 1985, I WAS...

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How to be a star engineer Page: 1 http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/spectrum/oct99/features/engi.html Corp. and now mostly belonging to Lucent Technologies Inc.) was perplexed. It hired the best and the brightest from the world's most prestigious universities, but only a few lived up to their apparent potential for brilliance. Most developed into solid performers of mostly average productivity who did not substantially further Bell Labs' contribution to AT&T's competitive advantage in the marketplace. What the labs wanted to know was: what separates the star from the average performer? Is it innate or can star performance be learned? Could a program to improve productivity be designed that would help turn average performers into stars? Not just companies are asking these questions. Since 1985, I have met few professionals who do not want to be more productive. In their own minds, most engineers believe they can be stars. They dislike being outshone by a co-worker and strive constantly to do better than before. In the workplace, they are being forced to do more with less. Global competition, mergers, and downsizings have left them with greater responsibilities and fewer resources. Who among us is not working longer and harder today than five years ago? Who does not have more work piled up in the in-basket or long lists of unanswered e-mail and phone messages? Which of us is not afraid that if we are not more productive, we might get the ax next? Who does not want more control over their lives--a better balance between work and personal lives? Everyone is being told to work smarter, but no one seems to know what that means. My colleagues and I have been working on these corporate and personal productivity questions ever since. Over a thousand engineers from Bell Laboratories, 3M, and Hewlett-Packard contributed to the original research as both collaborators and subjects. To discover the secrets of star performance, we used paper-and-pencil tests, direct observation, work diaries, focus groups, and individual interviews, drawing upon statistical analyses, content analyses, and iterative model building as appropriate. Many other companies took part, from those reliant on electrical engineers--such as Analog Devices, Fore Systems, and Air Touch--to those like Shell Oil and
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How to be a star engineer Page: 2 http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/spectrum/oct99/features/engi.html Kimberly Clark that are involved in other kinds of engineering. They have used our productivity improvement program to turn their engineers into higher performers and in so doing have also contributed to the growing body of knowledge on star performance. The path to stardom
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This note was uploaded on 11/07/2010 for the course ME 100 taught by Professor Jasondaida during the Fall '07 term at University of Michigan.

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star - How to be a star engineer Page: 1 N 1985, I WAS...

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