Edward E. Lawler III and Christopher G. Worley

Organizations need to pay individuals for their skills and knowledge, not for their jobs. In a work situation in which people have changing task assignments, paying the person according to their market value is much more effective than paying the job, particularly when it comes to retaining the right people. When all is said and done, it is people that have a market value, not … [ Read more ]

Reward Systems, Motivation And Organizational Change

Many organizations try to change but most of their change efforts are doomed to failure from the beginning. The type and amount of change that is attempted is simply beyond the ability of most organizations to implement successfully. Admittedly, some organizations have made amazing transformations. A key barrier in most change efforts is the motivation to change; all too often it is simply missing. We … [ Read more ]

Designing Organizations That Are Built To Change

As the pace of globalization and social change quickens, executives are correctly calling for greater agility, flexibility and innovation from their companies. Indeed, the premium on an organization’s ability to adapt and change should be at an all-time high. But it is not. Largely ignored in the calls for more agility is that organizations are designed to seek sustainable competitive advantages and stability. Buried deep … [ Read more ]

The Agility Factor

A few large companies in every industry show consistently superior profitability relative to their peers, and they all have one thing in common: a highly developed capacity to adapt their business to change.

Management Reset: Organizing for Sustainable Effectiveness

Management experts Lawler and Worley (authors of the bestselling Built to Change) have developed a set of management principles that enable organizations to be both successful and responsible. Existing command & control and high-involvement management styles depend too much on stable conditions and focus too narrowly on economic outcomes. They convincingly argue that we need to “reset” our approach to management to one that fits … [ Read more ]

Just Rewards

CEO compensation is never not a hot topic—among CEOs, anyway. For everyone else, it’s a subject that flares up periodically and sparks a heated debate that always concludes the same way: The system of CEO pay in U.S. companies is broken.

The criticisms are familiar: The system rewards the wrong things, ignores shareholder objections, relies on arcane financial machinations, focuses on short-term results, and insists on … [ Read more ]

Talent: Making People Your Competitive Advantage

The source of competitive advantage has shifted in many organizations from reliability to innovation and flexibility. But what does it take for an organization that innovates to then manage effectively? In this follow-up to Built to Change, Ed Lawler argues that it is a combination of the right structure and the right people. First, organizations must decide what structure they are: are you a high-involvement … [ Read more ]

The Talent Lie

“Putting people first” can be more than a slogan.

Edward E. Lawler III

Most companies are operated in ways that downplay the importance of people. They have bureaucratic structures that optimize the value of financial capital, machinery, equipment, and natural resources, at the expense of talent development and the opportunity for people to use their skills. Work processes are designed with simplified, standardized jobs, and individuals are controlled through well-defined hierarchical reporting relationships, highly monitored bud­gets, and close … [ Read more ]

Winning support for organizational change: Designing employee reward systems that keep on working

Organizations undertaking change initiatives must engage employees. Paying the person instead of the job and using variable pay and stock are perhaps the most powerful changes an organization can make in moving its reward system toward one that supports performance and change. These authors describe the reward systems and motivational tools that will move employees to support the organization’s change initiatives.

Individual Director Evaluations: The Next Step in Boardroom Effectiveness

Skeptics see little value in assessing the performance of individual directors. But these coauthors, experts in leadership and governance, say that correctly carried out, evaluations are highly valuable and provide a mechanism for the board and the CEO to hold each other accountable for clearly defined performance expectations.

Treat People Right! How Organizations and Individuals Can Propel Each Other into a Virtuous Spiral of Success

How do organizations move beyond merely acknowledging that “human capital” is their greatest asset, and actually implement practices that create true benefits for both employees and the organizations? In this book, Edward Lawler shows how companies can “treat people right” by doing more than simply ensuring good working conditions and good pay. He shows how to build a special relationship between individuals and the organizations … [ Read more ]

Leading A Virtuous-Spiral Organization

It is impossible to separate the performance and well-being of organizations from the performance and well-being of their members. To provide people with mean­ingful work and rewards, organizations need to be successful. And to be successful, organizations need high-performing individuals. The challenge is to design organizations that perform at high levels and treat people in ways that are motivating and satisfying.

Treating people in ways that … [ Read more ]

The Folly of Forced Ranking

Mythic leaders like Jack Welch swear by distribution curves to remove low performers. But there are pitfalls in playing the percentage game.

Corporate Boards: New Strategies for Adding Value at the Top

A comprehensive look at the evolution of corporate governance reforms in the United States over the past 20 years, with practical recommendations for making the corporate board a more effective resource for companies.