By Edward E Lawler; Christopher G Worley
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Extra resources for Built to change : how to achieve sustained organizational effectiveness
Creating a stable organization to perform in a complex and rapidly changing environment is following a recipe for failure. The primary drivers of organizational effectiveness are fluid and dynamic; so too must be the primary elements and processes of strategy and organization. We can no longer think of structure as a static concept, we can no longer view strategy as a “thing,” and we can no longer accept that people are resistant to change. We need to embrace Why Build Organizations to Change | 19 the view that the ability to change is an organization’s best sustainable source of competitive advantage.
Depending on when you look at Al’s career, you would say that he was wildly, moderately, or barely successful. But only by knowing Al’s history would you have any real sense of why his effectiveness was high or low. Similarly, the media’s glib attempts to blame current leaders for poor corporate performance (or laud them for outstanding effectiveness) are misleading. The truth is much more complicated, as any careful study of organizational effectiveness will reveal. The story of Nabisco in France is a great example of how change and time must be accounted for in assessments of an organization’s performance.
Competencies What exactly are organizational competencies? In their influential 1990 Harvard Business Review article, Gary Hamel and C. K. 2 Often parts or all of an organization’s competencies can be protected by patents and licensing agreements. Sony’s core competency lies in the miniaturization of technology. It allows the company to make the Walkman, video cameras, notebook computers, and a host of other products. Similarly, Honda’s ability to design gasoline engines is critical to the company’s success in selling motorcycles, generators, lawn mowers, outboard motors, trucks, and automobiles.