PROFESSIONALS AND BUSINESSES PARTICIPATING IN DISCUSSION
Hr Consulting ,trainer -creative Thinking
MOSES J. EMANUEL
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MOSES J. EMANUELDear Kumar,
If I got your query correctly, perhaps you should start by reading Wall's paper, "The Protean Organization" find it attached. If it isn't really what you wanted just clarify further you question.
Moses J. Emanuel
From Tanzania, Dar Es Salaam
Rajat JoshiHi Vinay,
You can refer the book by Christopher Barnatt on Challenging Reality where he talks about the turmoil uncertainity and transisition which are going to be characterized in future organizations.
Also would like to share an article on the same – Building a Boundaryless organization by Nido R Qubein
BUILDING A BOUNDARYLESS COMPANY
By Nido R Qubein
I'm intrigued by a concept that John F. Welch developed with great
success at General Electric: the concept of the company without
By this, Welch means the removal of all barriers to the flow of
information and ideas into and through your company.
In some companies, information flows through the corporate structure,
but only through narrow, carefully restricted channels.
In a typical old-style corporation, ideas and information flow up and
down "chimneys of power" running from the executive offices down
through several layers of management. Often, information becomes
bottled up in little bureaucratic compartments where it can never get
out and reach the people who could really benefit from it. There are
several reasons for companies to dismantle these barriers to free-
THE FOUR F's
Rosabeth Moss Kanter tells us that modern companies must observe the
Four F's, by being focused, flexible, fast, and friendly. You can't
be any of those unless information can flow fast and freely from all
corners of the organizations.
You can't focus the efforts of your entire work force if your
organization is criss-crossed with walls that impede the flow of
You can't be flexible if you have a rigid corporate structure in
which every division and department is a closed information loop with
no lines of communication to other parts of the organization. You
can't respond to the market if you erect barriers to information
flowing in from the outside.
You can't be fast if information has to seep slowly through layer
after layer of management.
And you can't be friendly if your people don't talk to other people
inside and outside your organization.
In the old days, everyone had to "go through channels." In the new
business environment, the channels have to be removed. The
organization must become saturated with information and ideas.
Here's how Jack Welch described the kind of organization he had in
In a boundaryless company, internal functions begin to blur.
Engineering doesn't design a product and then "hand it off" to
manufacturing. They form a team, along with marketing and sales,
finance and the rest. Customer service? It's not somebody's job. It's
everybody's job. Environmental protection in the plants? It's not the
concern of some manager or department. Everyone's an environmentalist.
If you look around, you'll probably find plenty of boundaries in your
own company that need to be removed. One of them may be the door to
your office that remains closed to input from your employees. Another
might be a rigid boundary between hourly and salaried employees that
keeps people in one category from talking freely with people in
another. Or it could be a boundary labeled "NIH" for "Not Invented
Here." Some companies are hostile to ideas that didn't originate in-
THE RIGHT WAY, THE WRONG WAY, AND THE COMPANY'S WAY
To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, in many organizations, the company's
way isn't the best way; it's the only way. When you take that
attitude, you're literally shutting out a world of innovative ideas.
Because GE was receptive to ideas from beyond its corporate walls, it
was able to reduce its average inventory levels by $200 million a
year. Here's what happened:
GE found an appliance company in New Zealand using an innovative
method of compressing product cycle times. It put the method through
a trial run in a Canadian affiliate, then transferred it to its
largest appliance complex in Louisville, Kentucky.
The method, which GE dubbed "Quick Response" has enabled GE to
respond more quickly to customer needs.
But GE didn't just introduce it in Louisville and forget it. It
brought people in from all 13 of its major businesses to study the
method and adapt it to their own operations.
A company without boundaries doesn't just shop for ideas among other
companies in the same business. GE dispatched people to Wal-Mart to
learn about the management practices that have propelled this
business to the forefront in retailing.
Smaller companies can use the boundaryless concept to acquire
products and expertise that they can't afford on their own. If you're
wrestling with a tough problem, look for some other company that has
had the same type of problem and has solved it. If you can't afford
the R&D required to develop the technology you need, look for
somebody who has already developed the technology and buy it.
This approach can benefit both sides of the transaction. I've watched
it in action with a long-time client of mine in Tulsa. The Bama
Companies is a sweet goods and snack manufacturer. It does a
prosperous business under its own label, but has broadened its
market. A number of other companies in the sweet goods and snack
business have contracted with Bama to manufacture their products
under private labels.
Some of these companies are too small to invest in the manufacturing
facilities Bama can offer. Others are large companies that find it
more profitable to contract with Bama than to invest in their own
plants. Bama has made it into a win/win situation for all parties.
DIVISIONS WITHIN A CORPORATION
Another boundary might be the lines that run between divisions of a
corporation. GE brought down the interior walls by practicing a
principle Welch calls "integrated diversity."
Under this concept, GE remains a diversified company. It consists of
many different businesses, each at the top or near the top in its
market. But the people from these businesses look for ways of sharing
their knowledge and technology. If one division develops a piece of
technology, the company looks for multiple applications.
For instance, in GE's Medical Systems, experts from Aerospace helped
with the development of ultrasound technology. Engineers from
Aircraft Engines helped Power Systems to cope with expanded worldwide
demand for gas turbines.
Moving personnel across divisional lines provides fresh perspectives,
not to mention hybrid vigor. In 1991, GE transferred leadership in
four of its 13 major businesses, with new leaders coming from other
GE businesses. These internal transfers give executives throughout
the company broad-based experience. They no longer think narrowly of
divisional interests; they think first of GE.
Among the toughest boundaries to dismantle are the ones individual
managers erect around the borders of their turf. In the old days, you
provided people with upward mobility by giving them a raise and a
title. Soon the corporate work place was overrun by people
with "manager" in their titles. They carved out little fiefdoms and
fiercely defended them.
Look at your own work place. How many of your "managers" really need
to manage? In a boundaryless corporation, there's a greater need for
people who coach, advise and facilitate through teamwork than for
people who control and direct through authoritarian management.
If you review the job titles and job descriptions in your company,
you may see opportunities to reduce the number of management
positions by replacing functionaries with leaders. If you do this,
you'll be amazed at the way boundaries of authority can be turned
into avenues of cooperation.
Many of the bureaucratic boundaries erected by corporate
functionaries are there because the individuals feel insecure.
Because they feel insecure, they resist change. GE sought to remove
these boundaries through a program it calls "Work-Out."
Work-out sessions are similar to New England town meetings. The
people who attend are drawn from the ranks of hourly and salaried
employees; of management and union leaders. These are people who
don't often have an opportunity to speak to each other during the
work day. In keeping with its boundaryless nature, Work-Out also
frequently includes representatives of customers and suppliers.
During these sessions, people are free to speak out on any topic that
turns them on. Often, the complaints they raise are addressed on the
One union leader, given a chance to lecture at Work-Out, told the
group that he used to have three clearly defined enemies: the IRS,
the Russians and GE management. Now, he said, there's only one: the
I'm convinced that the Company Without Boundaries is the company of
the future. If you remove the barriers between your company and its
stakeholders, you create a community of mutual interests in which
everyone works toward the good of all. That's what you call a win/win
From India, Pune