The Passive-Aggressive Organization

Healthy companies are hard to mistake. Their managers have access to timely information, the authority to make decisions, and the incentives to act on behalf of the organization. The organization, in turn, carries out those decisions. We call these organizations “resilient,” because they can react nimbly to challenges and respond quickly to those they can’t dodge. Unfortunately, most companies are not resilient: Fewer than 20 … [ Read more ]

The Cat That Came Back

How do you snatch a company from the brink of bankruptcy and restore it to profitability? As demonstrated in the mid-1980s by Caterpillar, the world’s biggest maker of heavy equipment, the key lies in reshaping its “organizational DNA” — the decision rights, motivators, information flows, and structures that determine an organization’s behavior. By retooling its corporate culture to make it align better with its overall … [ Read more ]

The Centerless Corporation: A Model For Tomorrow

For businesses to thrive amid the formidable complexities of their new environment, an entirely new type of corporation is called for that is distanced from the excessive levels of command that companies have become comfortable with. That corporation must have a much stronger focus on the basics of what ultimately creates value: knowledge, people and coherence. It must evolve toward a new business model (the … [ Read more ]

Yellow-Light Leadership: How the World’s Best Companies Manage Uncertainty

“our research finds that the CEOs whose companies are best weathering the recent downturn are practicing old-fashioned, pragmatic management by the numbers – what we call yellow-light leadership. This conclusion is based on an onging Booz Allen Hamilton study of about 40 Fortune 500 companies, conducted with the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California and initiated in 2001.

This finding is significant … [ Read more ]

The Best Business Books of the Millennium

strategy+business asked twelve opinionated, acclaimed strategists, scholars, and writers to identify and assess the most important business books in strategy, management, and various other categories.

Editor’s Note: A few of these pieces offer more than just listings of recommended books. In particular, I recommend you read:

Strategy (by David K. Hurst)
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Toward a New Business Model

Authors contend that the current business model, which arose in the mills of Britain more than a century ago and has evolved ever since, is no longer sufficient for these times. They claim to propose a “new” business model (see comments).