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Standardizing Work to Reduce Cycle Time

The proceeding is a follow-up to “In Through the Out Door,” which appeared on Ideas to Action in February 2015.  5S 5S is a method for organizing an underfunctioning space. Each “S” signifies one of the following steps: sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain. Sorting involves reducing the number of items by removing those that are unnecessary — shoes that are out of... CONTINUE READING

Incentives Drive Electric Car Adoption

In the quest to put more electric vehicles on the road, the United States government has provided incentives, both in the form of rebates for consumers and subsidies for manufacturers; consumers have enjoyed a $7,500 tax credit, and manufacturers have benefited from billions of dollars invested to expand capacity to manufacture the vehicles and recycle their lithium batteries. Manufacturers... CONTINUE READING

In Through the Out Door

Erika Deibert lived alone in a three-story townhouse with a first-floor garage. An intelligent and successful executive in the health care consulting industry, she liked her job and was good at it. She felt efficient while in the office but also enjoyed being at home, where she could retreat from the hectic world outside, catch up on work, entertain friends and sleep. She lived simply and... CONTINUE READING

Strategic Communication to Inform or Persuade

Emerging technology has profoundly impacted the workplace and how we communicate. It has enhanced our ability to maintain closer contact with our constituencies and to cultivate relationships with new clients and customers, but it also demands more effective communicators who are skilled at crafting clear and concise messages within tight deadlines. That requires thinking strategically about... CONTINUE READING

How Patagonia Stayed True to Fashion

The clothing company Patagonia prides itself on being an environmentally and socially responsible business. In line with its mission to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis,” the company developed the Common Threads Partnership with eBay, directing Patagonia customers to an online auction platform... CONTINUE READING

Insights From the 2015 Black Business Student Forum Conference

These insights were captured at the 27th annual Black Business Student Forum (BBSF) conference, held 6 February at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. The student-led BBSF brought approximately 150 undergraduate students from historically black colleges and universities to the Darden School for the conference, "Emerging Domestic Markets: Finding Growth in the U.S." Insights... CONTINUE READING