We recently surveyed our readers on their use of mobile technology in the lab. Thirty eight percent told us they were currently using mobile devices in their labs, 23 percent said they would be in the future, and 39 percent said they had no plans to. This month’s cover story examines these latest trends and finds out what’s useful, what’s not, and what’s promising. You can bet we will be circling back to this topic in another six months or so, as I’m sure things will be changing fast.
Speaking of fast change, this month we look at the challenges of managing a team or working within an organization that is undergoing change. In our Lab Manager Academy article on page 32, Dave Jakielo advises readers: “To successfully implement change in your lab ... concentrate on the 50 percent who are on the fence and be open about the change and make sure you explain the rationale.” In our Leadership & Staffing article (page 26), Ron Pickett discusses a “Systems Thinking” model that provides managers with a “more robust,unemotional foundation for looking at elusive and indirect, but important, changes in relationships.” Done right, this approach can predict reactions to change in advance in order to prepare for and ameliorate possible bad outcomes. Resist or accept, change is the one true constant in all of our lives. Best to be prepared.
In this month’s Business Management article (page 74), John Borchardt looks at the driving forces behind the globalization of R&D and offers up practical advice for creating workable and successful codevelopment programs. “Whether research is conducted by a single company in research centers located in two or more countries or by multiple companies, effective and timely communications among team members is essential. In addition, R&D managers must understand what team members expect and want from their managers,” says Borchardt.
The problem of excess noise is the topic of Vince McLeod’s Lab Safety article this month, in which he shares ways to determine safe or unsafe noise levels and recommends possible fixes either in the design phase or later. Excess noise, he tells us, “is not a good thing. It can make conversation difficult, affect concentration, distract workers and increase fatigue, not to mention the potential adverse effects on other support personnel who enter the area.” Turn to page 70 to learn more.
Every year about this time we begin identifying topics for the following year’s editorial calendar. This year we think we’ve done an even better job of coming up with the topics of most interest and value to you. That being said, I’m still open to suggestions. If there are any management issues, safety or regulatory concerns, new technologies, or anything else you and other readers would benefit from learning more about, please send your suggestions to me.