Editor's Buzz

Adjusting to a Flat World

In Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, the author examines the impact of the "flattening" of the world, and argues that globalized trade, outsourcing, supply-chaining and political forces have changed t

Pamela Ahlberg

In Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, the author examines the impact of the "flattening" of the world, and argues that globalized trade, outsourcing, supply-chaining and political forces have changed the world permanently, for both better and worse. He also argues that the pace of globalization is quickening and will continue to have a growing impact on business organization and practice.

This month's cover story "Global Management" looks at the flattening world from the perspective of the lab manager struggling to stay on top of projects and teams located far away from his or her facility. According to author John Borchardt, complexities of the problem include various cultural attitudes toward deadlines and punctuality as well as differences in language, age and time zones. He credits technology such as e-mail, long-distance conference calls and videoconferencing with making global management even remotely (no pun intended) possible, but also points out their limitations. Those technologies "are not conducive to relaxing and engaging in the informal conversations that build familiarity, trust and a sense of common purpose between managers and their staff members and between staff members themselves."

John Borchardt also contributes this month's Leadership & Staffing article, "Competing Priorities". In the piece he discusses the critical importance of making sure your efforts in the lab are in line with those of the larger organization. He offers up practical tips for keeping your priorities straight, your lab more competitive and, perhaps in doing so, your job better protected.

In this month's Technology & Operations article, "Into the Field," Angelo DePalma explores the latest in field instrumentation and the technologies and demands that are driving its evolution. Though the need for real-time, actionable analytics that the instrumentation offers is great, DePalma says that many of these portable instruments "lack the dynamic range, sensitivity, resolution, automation capability, and interoperability of their benchtop counterparts."

This month we are proud to introduce two new features to the magazine. The first, Lab Manager Academy, introduces the topic and the presenter of our next Lab Manager Academy webcast. Meet Karla Brandau who, here and in her webcast on September 1, shares her insights into the importance of setting crystal clear goals for your lab. Visit www.labmanager.com/academy to learn more and register.

We also introduce our first Lab Product Surveys results. Based on your participation, learn what your peers say goes into purchasing a titrator. And speaking of surveys, if you haven't already, expect to receive this year's Lab Manager Magazine Salary and Job Satisfaction survey in your e-mail inboxes soon. Please take a minute to share your story so that we can get a clearer picture of what, if anything, has changed over this past year of economic changes and challenges. The results will be published in the October issue. Make sure you're included.

Lastly, I hope you will be taking some time away from the lab this summer to relax and recharge your batteries. Enjoy yourself and don't forget the sunscreen! - am