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TEAMING AT THE TOPTo The Editor:Donald Beall’s article, “Teaming To Win” (CE: May 1994), is replete with examples of how …


To The Editor:

Donald Beall’s article, “Teaming To Win” (CE: May 1994), is replete with examples of how teams have made significant contributions at Rockwell International. It is encouraging to learn of the power of

teams that can be unleashed within major diversified corporations. However, one area that is noticeably absent in the article is an example of teamwork at the senior-management level. Fostering a corporate culture that values teamwork requires that the CEO and his or her staff work as a team.

Roy Serpa





To The Editor:

Thank you for the stimulating June issue. I read with interest the article, “The Seven Deadly Sins Of Process Improvement,” by Dow Chemical Co.’s Frank Popoff and Rummler-Brache Group’s Alan P. Brache. I then phoned some of my friends in Midland, MI. They consistently told me that morale at Dow Chemical was at an all-time low. I wasn’t surprised, especially after reading the article, which displays a top-down, know-it-all attitude. I am selling my Dow stock.

Meanwhile, I plan to discuss the article about Eastman Chemical Co., “Winning The Baldrige Award,” with my vice presidents to see how we can have more of an interlocking team concept in the Society for International Ministries.

James E. Plueddemann

General Director and Chief Executive

Society for International Ministries

Charlotte, NC


To The Editor:

Joe Queenan’s column, “Out Of Focus” (CE: April 1994), is wrong on most of its points about focus groups. He presents such perverse conclusions about a legitimate business tool that he is either ill-informed or trying (unsuccessfully) to be funny. Hopefully, none of your readers will take the article seriously.

While obscured in sarcasm, it is possible that Queenan’s intent is to show that focus groups are sometimes overused or misused. If so, he has a point. Like any tool, focus groups require skill and are only appropriate for certain tasks.

Market research is an art and a science. Skillful research is the product of knowledge, experience, and creativity in using the tools of the trade. And even the best craftsmen are not successful with every project.

Research, in fact, has played a vital role in the development of many fine products and services. Your readers need to know that the focus-group technique is just one of many legitimate and valuable tools used to understand rapid changes in our marketplace.

John R. Bourget


Beta One

Farmington, CT


We compliment you on the roundtable, “Finding What Really Works In Education” (CE: May 1994). The discussion captures the spirit of the day, and we hope it is as beneficial for your readers as it was for us as participants.

Our suggestion to improve your education roundtables: Include an official from the education establishment and one from the teacher’s union. They would present different views, while perhaps learning something from the business leaders. Without that input, we run the risk of preaching only to the converted.

Joseph H. and Carol F. Reich

beginning with children foundation

New York

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