Organizing the Global Company

Traditional organizational structures, whether designed around functions, products, or geographies; whether centralized or decentralized, can’t cope with the complexity that global operations entail. Matrix arrangements, while explicitly designed to manage complexity, too often end up just adding to it. Managers need new ways to think about molding their international organizations, simply and flexibly, to the needs of their customers and the imperatives of their business strategies.

Global leaders are starting to see a glimmer of a solution. They look at their company through the lens of key global processes. First, they break complexity into manageable pieces by focusing on individual process steps. Then, they carefully orchestrate the interactions required at and between steps. The map of these interactions looks like a cylinder. These global cylinders define the strategic and operational logic around which organizational structures and roles, as well as managerial systems and practices, can be built.

Editor’s Note: discusses the concept of Rigns, Stars and Centers…

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