Toppling the Pyramids: Redefining the Way Companies Are Run

Overview

A visionary way of structuring businesses that allow them to respond faster to a constantly changing marketplace.

American businesses are facing a time of profound change--when the old hierarchical pyramid structure no longer allows them to respond quickly enough to a rapidly changing marketplace in which customer wants and needs must be met instantly. The co-founders of Change Lab Intl. have developed a revolutionary system for ...

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New York, NY 1994 Hardcover New Condition in Brand New jacket Text Appears Clean, Nice looking book Quantity Available: 1. ISBN: 0812923413. ISBN/EAN: 9780812923414. Inventory ... No: 1560743961. Read more Show Less

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Overview

A visionary way of structuring businesses that allow them to respond faster to a constantly changing marketplace.

American businesses are facing a time of profound change--when the old hierarchical pyramid structure no longer allows them to respond quickly enough to a rapidly changing marketplace in which customer wants and needs must be met instantly. The co-founders of Change Lab Intl. have developed a revolutionary system for meeting modern demands.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ross and Kay, consultants at Change Lab International, here address the issue of organizational change. The authors develop a ``Molecular Organization'' managerial matrix redefining the role of leaders in setting priorities that establish the company's vision and guard its culture. Using case studies (IBM, Aetna), they present ``five levels of understanding the customers'': the product-focused organization, the market-centered organization, etc. While their approach is stimulating, Ross and Kay's theories are underdeveloped, the cases are pedestrian, including the not so ``new technological paradigms'' they highlight in their discussion of Adult Foods' mass customization of dairy products. This study adds little to our understanding of organizational theory. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Academics Ross and Kay present an organizational model called the "molecular organization," which views the company as consisting of supervisors (the nuclei) and workers (the electrons). The atom is held together by a shared vision and value system, which is to focus solely on the needs of the customer. This shift to a client-centered organization is a change that the authors view as vital for companies to survive in today's world. Their model thus differs from the traditional "pyramid" model, which has supervisors at the top and workers below. The authors list five stages to understanding the customer and provide chapter-length case studies using examples from real companies. The authors offer their model as an alternative to total quality management; their work is well written, thought-provoking, and of interest to both practitioners and scholars. Recommended for general business collections.-Gary W. White, Pennsylvania State Univ., Harrisburg
David Rouse
Management observers and theoreticians alike agree that the "traditional" hierarchic, pyramidal organizational structure is ineffective in today's business environment. Most also agree that what is needed are flexible, responsive, customer-centered organizations. How to create such organizations is where there is disagreement--although many of the differences are more semantic than substantive. Ross is a Canadian academician; Kay, British. They envision the molecular organization, a holistic model they have already implemented at Aetna, Reuters, and Bristol-Meyers. Their sole focus is the customer, and they identify five stages of understanding the customer using actual examples from the marketplace. Stage one organizations are product-focused, stage two customer-driven, stage three segment-driven, stage four market-centered, and stage five are "molecular." Ross and Kay's book is noteworthy because the authors attempt to use their model to compensate for what they see as the shortcomings of the burgeoning total-quality management movement.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812923414
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/6/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: It's a New World 3
1 "Molecular" - The Most Natural Organization in the World 13
2 Patterns of Change - Order out of Chaos 35
3 Leaving Home 45
4 WCI America - Life After Quality 75
5 The Guerrilla 101
6 Mass Customization Springs Ault Foods from the Commodity Trap 135
7 IBM: Wrapping Around a Market 159
8 Aetna: Improve or Die 189
9 All Paths Lead to the Summit 209
Bibliography 215
Index 219
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