Stories by Polly Schneider

Creative Consulting Student Aid

It's not hard to imagine an ambitious thirtysomething engineer with an eye on the lucrative IT consulting market. It's not even hard to imagine him squeezing in the extra time to work at consulting while getting an advanced degree. What is surprising is finding any company that would let him do it.

Management: Are You a Bad Boss?

Not long ago, a thriving young manager we'll call Paul was happily ensconced in the IT department of a large manufacturing company. Paul loved his work, found his team members stimulating and had a great boss. One day Paul went to his boss, an IT director, asking for help. Paul was in the middle of a heated conflict with a coworker and hoped his boss could intervene in some way. Paul was so distressed about the problem, he wondered out loud whether he should look for work elsewhere. The boss scratched his head and came up with what he thought was a supportive answer. "Paul, you do what you feel is best for you." Wrong answer, boss.

Sheila Talton: Advancing Women and Minorities

In 1986 Sheila Talton founded Unisource Networking Services, a Chicago-based telecommunications and networking consulting firm. When not meeting with Fortune 500 clients, she is active in several advocacy and networking groups that help advance women and minorities in business and high-tech.

Lessons Learned

The timing for a project blowup could not have been worse. In the summer of 1999, Hershey Foods Corp. suffered a glitch in a $112 million new enterprise system built to automate and track every step of the company's candy-selling business. Just days before Halloween the problem was still unresolved, and business took a scary turn for the $4.4 billion candy-maker. The lost orders, missed shipments and disgruntled customers that resulted from the company's systems woes were well publicized in both the trade and business press. While Hershey would not reveal its losses from the glitch, third-quarter revenues were down $151 million from 1998.

Yobie Benjamine

Yobie Benjamin has followed internet and e-commerce trends for longer than those terms have existed. As chief of global strategy for e-commerce and emerging technology at Ernst & Young in San Francisco, Benjamin works with dotcoms and Fortune 500 companies looking to excel on the net. He shares with CIO some of the myths and best practices of global e-commerce.