The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance In the Changing World of Work [NOOK Book]


With roots planted firmly in the industrial age, the corporate ladder has been the metaphor used to describe the prevailing one-size-fits-all model for success. At its heart, the ladder is derived from inflexible, hierarchical, organization models in which prestige, individual rewards, information flow, power and influence are tied to the rung each employee occupies.

Yet the workplace as we know it is in transition -- evolving away from the ...
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The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance In the Changing World of Work

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With roots planted firmly in the industrial age, the corporate ladder has been the metaphor used to describe the prevailing one-size-fits-all model for success. At its heart, the ladder is derived from inflexible, hierarchical, organization models in which prestige, individual rewards, information flow, power and influence are tied to the rung each employee occupies.

Yet the workplace as we know it is in transition -- evolving away from the linear, one-size-fits-all model of the corporate ladder toward a multidimensional approach that Cathy Benko calls the corporate lattice.

This book will serve to widen an organization's strategic lens, representing a fundamentally new way to work and run a company. It offers a framework to help senior leaders and HR directors harness the talent in their company in a way that provides a strategic advantage, not only for recruiting but also for achieving and maintain better individual performance.

In the bestselling book Mass Career Customization (Harvard Business Press/2007), Cathy Benko and Deloitte provided the breakthrough MCC dashboard for understanding the important variables of individual employees' career-life profiles, but she also coined a new metaphor -- the corporate lattice -- as a way to think about the changed career landscape. This book delves much deeper into the power of the lattice for organizations, fully exploring its contours and applying it to real-life practice throughout a company.

It explores how the corporate lattice model creates value by:

1. Ensuring a flow of talent into and through the organization.

2. Increasing the efficiency of and return on organizational investments.

3. Improving financial and operating results through greater employee engagement.

The three-part framework of the book presents specific ways managers and organizations can use The Corporate Lattice to manage talent, measure results, collaborate across teams, engage employees, and reor"

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher


“Cathy Benko and Molly Anderson have produced a landmark book that should be read and reread by anyone who cares about improving corporate performance. It argues persuasively that the old corporate ladder metaphor is dead. What has emerged in its place is the corporate lattice, which is flatter and more collaborative and in tune with the changing workplace and workforce. You will find yourself nodding in agreement with the analysis of this new world and taking notes on what to do about it. This is a book that will have a profound and positive impact. I recommend it highly.”
-- Anne Mulcahy, Chairman, Xerox Corporation

“The right model for the times. Lattice takes on worn-out corporate ladder assumptions and convincingly argues that the workplace must adopt more nimble ways to engage its people. This book illuminates a much-needed path forward, showing organizations how to tap into each individual’s performance power to achieve exceptional bottom-line results.”
-- Marshall Goldsmith, world-renowned executive coach and New York Times best-selling author

“The war for talent will never end. Victory will go to those organizations that solve the high performance and career-life quagmire. This book, a sequel to Mass Career Customization, moves beyond theory to everyday practice. It describes how the lattice has been made to work in real companies with great success. Anyone responsible for driving results should read this book.”
-- Shelly Lazarus, Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide

“Read this book immediately if you want to crack the code on how to build and sustain a truly engaged, diverse workforce. A fascinating read with stunning data; it’s chock full of pragmatic ideas and evocative examples.”
-- John Seely Brown, former Chief Scientist, Xerox Corporation; co-author of The Social Life of Information and The Power of Pull


“As a follow up to her book, Mass Career Customization, Cathleen Benko and Molly Anderson have teamed up to present The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work.
As outlined in MCC, the world of work is changing, not only for companies, but also for individuals: personal values, diversity, and skills are being viewed differently than they once were, and it’s changing the structure of people’s lives. Because of these factors, more people aren’t necessarily “climbing the ladder” like they once were. They’re working from home and available 24/7 (as opposed to 9 to 5), they’re looking for challenges, and they want to learn new things. Thus, the old corporate model also needs to adjust, and The Corporate Lattice provides the framework to make changes.
As Shelly Lazarus, Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather, states on the back cover: “Anyone responsible for driving results should read this book.” It’s true. Whether you’re an employee, looking for ways to advance your skill set and achieve more, read this book. Or, if you’re a manager and want more from your team, read this book. For both, it’s a clear guide on how to find, or provide, an environment that builds engagement – and that engagement provides both sides a wealth of value. “
-- 800-CEO-READ; The Daily Blog

“I highly recommend the landmark and must read book The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work by Cathleen Benko and Molly Anderson, to anyone seeking a more in depth understanding of the transformation of the modern workplace from a traditional, hierarchical ladder concept to that of a more diverse, and multi-directional corporate lattice framework. The book contains the blueprint to guide corporate leaders and employees toward a more participatory and collaborative company where work and life are better balanced, employees are more engaged and productive, and where the corporate bottom line is improved as well.”
-- Blog Business World

“Also recommended is Cathleen Benko and Molly Anderson’s THE CORPORATE LATTICE: ACHIEVING HIGH PERFORMANCE IN THE CHANGING WORLD OF WORK. Changes in the definition and strategies of the corporate world are also changing definitions of work and how the corporate ladder may be climbed: this book creates a model for allowing companies to create more cost-effective approaches to work, from managing real estate and technology to engaging high-performing workers. Businesses need this model of success for the new corporate environment.”
-- The Business Book Shelf; Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422161784
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 8/3/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Cathleen Benko is Vice Chairman and Chief Talent Officer for Deloitte LLP and coauthor of the bestseller Mass Career Customization: Aligning the Workplace with Today's Nontraditional Workforce. Molly Anderson is Director of Talent for Deloitte Services LP, specializing in innovative strategies to engage today's workforce.
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Read an Excerpt

The Corporate Lattice

Achieving High Performance In the Changing World of Work
By Benko, Cathleen

Harvard Business Press

Copyright © 2010 Benko, Cathleen
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781422155165

The world of work is at an inflection point. The hierarchical corporate ladder is giving way to a multidimensional corporate latticeTM.
Firmly rooted in the industrial age, the corporate ladder has been the prevailing paradigm for how an enterprise is organized and how it manages its work and people. At its heart, the ladder depends on an inflexible organizational worldview in which prestige, rewards, information access, and power are tied to the rung each employee occupies. Its one-size-fits-all approach assumes employees are more alike than different. The ladder is built on a top-down, 9-to-5 notion of when, where, and how work gets done. It defines career success as a linear climb to the top.
Still today, this antiquated model continues to shape the ways organizations—sometimes consciously and sometimes not—operate. The mental image of a ladder is etched in our corporate consciousness and has obscured, until now, the sea change already underway.

Workplaces aren’t what they used to be. Organizational structures are flatter, challenging traditional talent development models that primarily rely on upward progression. Knowledge and services work dominate the economy. Much of this work is less bound to a physical location than traditional production processes. As a result of technological advances and globalization, workers are less tethered to traditional offices and set hours. And the makeup of work is changing, too. There are 40 times more projects today than 20 years ago, heightening the need for teamwork. Work is changing so fast that the U.S. Department of Education estimates that 60 percent of all new jobs in the 21st century will require skills that only 20 percent of current employees possess.

The workforce isn’t what it used to be either. Family structures have changed markedly, with profound implications for a corporate ladder model predicated on a household arrangement that, by and large, no longer exists to support it. Up until the 1960s, two-thirds of U.S. households were traditional, defined as Dad going off to work while Mom stayed at home. That number today is down to 17 percent. Women now comprise half of the U.S. workforce, and almost 40 percent are the primary breadwinners for their families. Men in dual-career, dual-caregiver couples now cite more work-life conflict than women. Younger generations are bringing different attitudes to work at the same time that older workers are looking for options to stay in the labor market. Seventy percent of baby boomers and 92 percent of millennial cite career-life fit as a top priority. And along just about every dimension, employees are more diverse. By 2042, the U.S. workforce will be majority nonwhite.


Excerpted from The Corporate Lattice by Benko, Cathleen Copyright © 2010 by Benko, Cathleen. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Corporate Lattice 1
Chapter 2 The Changing World of Work 18
Chapter 3 Lattice Ways to Build Careers 37
Chapter 4 Lattice Ways to Work 58
Chapter 5 Lattice Ways to Participate 73
Chapter 6 Lattice Journeys 89
Chapter 7 The Individual’s Guide to the Shifting Landscape 111
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  • Posted November 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Corporate Lattice

    Rooted in the industrial era, the corporate ladder takes an outdated, one-size-fits-all view of work. In the ladder world, work is where you go from 9 to 5. Success means a bigger title, office and paycheck, plus more power and prestige. Today¿s world is different, explain Deloitte vice chairman Cathleen Benko and talent director Molly Anderson. Globalization and technology are creating firms with fewer rungs and more options for how, when and where to work. Employees are also profoundly different and more diverse. Workers¿ needs and expectations don¿t match those of the former homogeneous workforce. The ladder is collapsing. The ¿corporate lattice¿ is emerging. getAbstract recommends this innovative explanation of the lattice model and how it aligns with the new world of work by allowing more options, careers that zig and zag, work that can be done many ways and good ideas that can come from anyone, anywhere, anytime.

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