In the latest Be Human Salon hosted by Bigwidesky, David Grey author of The Connected Company shares his observations of the divided company and the connected company. The divided company responded to the needs of the industrial age, creating a division of labor, Interchangeable parts and mass production. They made on thing, very well and a lot of them. However, in today’s world change is happening at an increasing rate. What worked yesterday does not work today. The connected company is responding to this need for change. These organizations are flexible, morph, and respond quickly to change. Unlike the divided company, these companies structure facilitate cross communication and support from different areas.
The challenge for business leaders is should and / or how should culture be changed. Mr. Grey defines culture at habits that your form as a group over time. As small portion of the culture is observable, however a majority is under the surface. What are the levers or incentives to drive behavior? What do we value? Do we say we have an open door policy, but cringe when someone takes us up on it? What are our belief regarding our outcomes that drive the organization. There are startups constantly challenging the status quo in our beliefs. Are book stores the only way to get a book? Are music stores the only way to get music? Are grocery stores the only place to get groceries? Is film the only way to keep memories?
So as a business leader it is your job to manage change. There are opportunities for a divided company to continue being very successful, however, it is critical to no be something you are not. Mr. Grey uses the example of Nokia that was a great phone manufacture but tried to be an Apple type company of creating its own operating system. Samsung on the other hand focused on phone manufactures and commands a significant market share today. In Louis Gerstner, Jr’s book Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? He observes that changing the culture is a last resort but can be done.