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GGI RapidNews R&D Product Development eZine: Volume 4, Issue 3, March 3, 2003
GGI RapidNews is published approximately once a month.

In This Issue

BOOK REVIEW -  The Leader's Edge

FUTURE TRENDS - Web Conferencing

NEW BIENNIAL SURVEY - 2002 RD&E Survey Results available now

TELEVISION EVENT - Alexander Haig's World Business Review

NEW WEB CONTENT - New GTKs: ISO 9000 and Logistics Software, Updated Calendar

iSTORE UPDATES - Security Upgrade and Product Revaluation

NEW iSTORE PRODUCTS - Product Development Metrics Portfolios Coursebook

FEATURED iSTORE ITEM - 2000 Product Development Metrics Research Summary




The Leader's Edge:  Six Creative Competencies for Navigating Complex Challenges, by Charles J. Palus and David M. Horth. John Wiley & Sons; May, 2002, 1st edition. 304 pages.

Creative leadership is essential in times of change and complexity.  Author David Horth states that "the six Complex Challenge Competencies tap unique resources and ... are highly useful when we are trying to make sense of complex challenges in a way that leads to effective action."  These competencies are based on seven years of cross-industry research performed by the authors at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The six competencies proven successful for handling complex challenges are:

"1. Paying attention - using multiple modes of perception to understand a complex situation,
2. Personalizing - tapping into your unique life experiences and passions to gain insight and create energy to confront group challenges,
3. Imaging - making sense of complex information through use of pictures, stories, and metaphors,
4. Serious play - generating knowledge through improvisation and experimentation,
5. Collaborative inquiry - communicating across the boundaries of language, culture, and professional discipline, and
6. Crafting - synthesizing issues, events, and actions into meaningful wholes."

We will focus here on a few areas of particular interest to product development folks, specifically paying attention and serious play.

Paying Attention:  In complex or chaotic situations, it is important not to jump immediately to solutions nor to make quick decisions, but to shift gears and slow down the process to analyze the problem.  The authors recommend using different modes of attention -- analytical, emotional, intuitive, etc. -- to increase your effectiveness in paying attention and to avoid missing important information that might help to solve a problem. My experience with analytical people, especially engineers, indicates their tendency to want to solve complex problems immediately, even in the face of contradictory information that cannot be explained, rather than taking the time to examine all of the information and arriving at a more robust solution.  Another important aspect of paying attention is to ask powerful questions that get at the root of issues and assumptions.  Powerful questions might be simple, such as "So what?" or "What is this?," or what-if scenarios, or "wild cards" (originated by John Petersen of the Arlington Institute), or use the SCAMPER system (created by Alex Osborne) to generate stronger and deeper questions (Note: SCAMPER stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Minify, Magnify, Put to other uses, Eliminate, Rearrange, and Reverse).

Serious Play: To foster innovation and learning, you must create an environment where people can play together.  As MIT's Michael Schrage, author of the book Serious Play, stated, "You can't be a serious innovator unless you are willing and able to play."  You must allow for improvisation -- creatively dealing with the unknown -- and experimentation -- testing ideas that have traditionally been out of bounds.  One key techniques to enhance this competency is questioning conventional wisdom, in order to challenge assumptions that might be limiting ideas or decisions.  The authors also suggest temporarily suspending your formal agenda or schedule to "create time and space for something unexpected to happen."

The Leader's Edge offers key leadership competencies that balance looking at the details with synthesizing the whole, analyzing the data while incorporating intuition, remaining open to all information and many points of view.  The activities, case examples and tools can help ensure your success in handling the complex challenges of today's business environment.


Web Conferencing
Have you been to a Web conference lately?  This latest trend, which allows participants to share documents and view presentations at their own computer, has a huge cost-savings potential as well as the ability to boost productivity of virtual teams.  As reported in the December, 2002 issue of CFO, companies spent $150 billion on business travel in 2002.  Comsys Information Technology Services, Inc. was quoted as saving "more than $500,000 in travel costs each year by using Web conferencing."  Besides saving hotel and airfare costs, the avoidance of a business trip also recaptures the productivity lost in time away from the job.

Web conferencing appears to exist typically at the department level of many companies now, and it is growing in use.  Often different departments within a company are using different vendors for the same service, which highlights the opportunity to reduce costs - potentially 25%, according to CFO - through volume discounts with one vendor at the enterprise level.

Types of Web conferencing are:
1. Webcast - one or a few people communicate with, potentially, thousands of participants
2. Web conference - communications flow mostly in one direction, but with fewer participants than a webcast
3. Web meeting - a handful of participants interact.

Web conferencing has audio, typically through the phone, and all participants view the visuals on their desktop monitor.  Separate windows may be available for submitting questions or conducting parallel chat sessions.  One of the great advantages to Web conferencing is that it uses the existing infrastructure that everyone has: a phone and a browser.

Whether for technical seminars, team meetings or employee training, Web conferencing is a cost-effective and growing trend today. The CFO article mentions 3 Web conferencing products: WebEx (the dominant company with 50% market share), PlaceWare and PictureTalk by Pixion. Certainly there are many others, all offering similar services, whether a subscription-based Web-hosted service or a product that is installed at the customer site, as part of this large and growing market -- $427 million in 2002, predicted to grow to $881 million by 2004.  Try it out - this could be a key tool to improve your product development process by bringing virtual teams together more easily.


2002 RD&E Survey - Resource & Capacity Management: Complete results from our 2002 Product Development Metrics Survey are now available.  The composite results of this year's survey were first presented to the public by Brad Goldense at Management Roundtable's Metrics Conference on October 29, 2002 in Chicago.

The survey focused this year on the following 5 areas of capacity management:
- Loading the RD&E capacity pipeline,
- Providing capacity for RD&E activities,
- Balancing cross-functional resources (staffing ratios),
- Using systems, tools, & metrics to manage capacity, and
- RD&E metrics used in industry.

The 3 versions of the survey results reports that we offer for sale to the public are

1. 2002 SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS: A text-only report (65 pages),including the full text of all the results and analysis of the survey population analyzed as a whole,
2. 2002 SURVEY SUMMARY: A report of composite results, where the survey respondents are analyzed as a whole (116 pages, including a full set of graphics), and
3. 2002 SURVEY RESULTS: The most detailed report, complete with the composite results and "special cuts," where the survey population is segmented and analyzed in the following groups: Public vs. Private, Smaller vs. Larger, Process vs. Repetitive/Discrete vs. Job Shop, Higher Technology vs. Lower Technology, and More vs. Fewer Employees (220 pages).

Please note that the 3rd report, Survey Results, will be available at the end of March.

These reports are available in the Market Research section of GGI's iStore (


Alexander Haig's World Business Review: Brad Goldense has made several appearances on Alexander Haig's World Business Review. Streaming video is now available for the show that aired on December 15, 2002.  The two previous shows (from August 4 and September 29, 2002) are now available for download. See below for details.

One final broadcast of the September 29 In-Studio interview, a 22.5 minute program, will be shown on the PBS Business and Technology Network (a subscription service) and on Tech TV (for digital cable subscribers) sometime soon. We will let you know the specifics when they are available.

December 15 In-Studio with Alexander Haig (7.5 minutes) on CNBC paid programming: This In-Studio interview aired nationwide on Sunday, December 15.  Streaming video for this segment is now available at:

September 29th In-Studio with Alexander Haig (22.5 minutes): This In-Studio program aired nationwide and internationally on the PBS Business and Technology Network (a subscription service) and on Tech TV from September 29 through October 13. Streaming video for this segment (as well as the entire 30-minute show) is now available at:

August 4th On-Location at GGI (3.5 minutes): This On-Location field report is now available in streaming video on GGI's website. To see the program, go to:

The web page includes links to download a streaming video player, if you do not currently have one installed on your computer.

For more information on any of Brad's appearances on television, go to:


GTK-Gateways To Knowledge: Your resource for industry and product development related information and contacts offers thousands of links to providers of technologies and services for line management functions. The main entrance to GTK can be found at:

One of our top 3 MEGA Gateways is the Calendar of Industry Events MEGA Gateway, a listing of links to conferences, seminars and distance learning opportunities. We have just updated the calendar to include approximately 20 new conference listings. The Calendar of Industry Events MEGA Gateway is located at:
Another top MEGA Gateway is the Technology Providers MEGA Gateway, which is a directory of hundreds of links organized by technical topic (hardware and software). The Technology Providers MEGA Gateway can be found at:

Application Development Software:  Find it in the Technology Providers MEGA Gateway. This NEW Gateway offers links to companies that provide application development software. The URL is located at:

Satellites:  Find it in the Technology Providers MEGA Gateway. This NEW Gateway provides links to companies that provide satellites. The URL is located at:

VME Bus:  Find it in the Technology Providers MEGA Gateway. This NEW Gateway provides links to companies that provide VME Bus. The URL is located at:

VXI Equipment:  Find it in the Technology Providers MEGA Gateway. This NEW Gateway provides links to companies that provide VXI equipment. The URL is located at:


Security Upgrade -  GGI's iStore has just gone through a significant security upgrade.  The improvements have resulted in increased protection of online payment transactions.  We are committed to insuring security of all your transactions on our web site.

Product Revaluation - I have just finished revaluation of all items in GGI's iStore.  New prices more accurately reflect the value of the intellectual property and are consistent with expectations.  If you haven't recently checked our extensive list of Articles, Technical Papers and other resources, take a look here:


S4 "Product Development Metrics Portfolios (PDMP) Coursebook" [279 pages].  This is the companion coursebook for the intensive one and one half-day seminar of the same name.  The coursebook outlines techniques and tools to help you size, assemble and implement a comprehensive collection of product development metrics.  The book includes descriptions of infrastructures for corporate vs. project metrics and for proactive vs. predictive metrics. A superstructure of metrics in 10-12 areas is also described.

For more information on ordering this coursebook, go to GGI's iStore:


Featured Item: GGI's iStore features one deeply discounted offering, which changes periodically. The current Featured Item is the "2000 Product Development Metrics Research Summary" (MR12).

This 96-page report presents the detailed results of GGI's 2000 Product Development Metrics Survey, which focused on metrics systems in use in industry as well as portfolio management. The report is organized in 5 sections, each of which contains factual observations, management analysis and a full set of graphics. This report, which analyzes the survey population of 122 respondents as a whole, will provide you with detailed information on

1.  R&D linkages to corporate strategy,
2.  Portfolio management metrics,
3.  Product selection metrics,
4.  Product success metrics, and
5.  Actual metrics in use in industry.

This research is still valid, given the fact that the economy has not been in a state of high growth for the past few years. We have found consistency between the 2000 and 2002 surveys in areas where we could compare.

The price for the report has been dropped from $1920.00 to $1152.00, a deep discount of 40%. For more information or to purchase this valuable report, go to


Product Development Metrics Portfolios Seminar:  GGI, in partnership with Management Roundtable of Waltham, MA will be presenting the Product Development Metrics Portfolios (PDMP) seminar on May 14 and 15 at Batterymarch Conference Center in downtown Boston.  This is the 2nd public offering of this brand new seminar created by GGI, based on the positive response from the first run at MRT's Metrics Conference in October, 2002 in Chicago.  The purpose of this seminar is to create a set of metrics to manage R&D as a whole. Participants will walk out with a metrics portfolio suitable for implementation upon return to their company.  More Details will be available in the next few weeks on the GGI and the MRT web sites.  This seminar will be offered to the public with MRT and in-house through GGI.

SCPD 8th Annual Conference: Save the dates of June 11 and 12 for the Society of Concurrent Product Development's 8th Annual Conference to be held in the Boston area. More details to come.


GGI RapidNews is an e-mail publication from Goldense Group, Inc (GGI). Its subject matter includes survey findings, company news, book reviews, key industry conferences and R&D information of interest to clients and associates. Please send communications to rn(at) Thank you.