What Works: A Decade of Change at Champion International / Edition 1

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Once upon a time, Champion International, one of the largest players in the highly competitive paper products industry, struggled with a below-average physical plant, a traditionally managed workforce, adversarial union relations, and a reputation for poor financial performance. Over a period of ten years—while another industry player, Scott Paper, was being shred apart by Al "Chainsaw" Dunlap—Champion transformed itself into a Wall Street winner with exemplary employee practices. How did one company survive and thrive where another disintegrated? Despite the rags-to-riches results, there was no magic behind Champion's success. Theirs is not a story of one man's heroic triumph or the application of quick-fixes or fads. Champion prevailed through an unwavering company-wide commitment to sustained, progressive change in the face of considerable criticism and setbacks. In What Works, three change leaders who saw the process through give a candid account of the corporation's experiences that will help executives and managers everywhere understand the complexities of large-scale change.Unlike other top-down, executive-led transformations, Champion's comeback began with reform on the shop floor and grew over time to include every level of the hierarchy and every business activity. It matched major technological investments with a guiding sense of social values for a broad-based transfiguration that remained both profitable and humane.The authors-writing with the perspective and authority their insider's positions afford them—detail how Champion managed its sweeping change effort, analyze its enormous success, and provide a set of principles that people at all organizational levels can apply to their own attempts to lead and manage change.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Take a fascinating, decade-long journey to witness the remarkabletransformation of a mediocre company into a team-based topcompetitor. Your guides are a trio of participant/observers, allkey players in achieving this systemic change of classicproportions." —Jerome M. Rosow, president, Work in AmericaInstitute, Inc.

"What Works makes a very important contribution by challengingconventional wisdom. The story of Champion International's decadeof change illustrates that a fundamental and permanenttransformation in corporate culture and performance depAnds on anevolutionary, bottoms-up organizational learning process led bymany managers at all levels." —Michael Beer, Cahners-RabbProfessor of Business Administration, Harvard Univesity

"Anyone in a leadership position today, union or management, shouldread this book. It tells the important story of howlabor/management partnerships can make a difference and provideworkable solutions to complex problems presented by today's globaleconomy." —Boyd Young, international president, UnitedPaperworkers International Union

Recounts the transformation of Champion International from a struggling company to a Wall Street winner. Three of the company's leaders during the change tell about the company-wide commitment to sustained, progressive change in the face of considerable criticism and setbacks. They detail how Champion managed its sweeping change effort, analyze its enormous success, and provide a set of principles that can be applied to other companies at all organizational levels. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787941819
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/31/1998
  • Series: Business and Management Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 181
  • Product dimensions: 0.63 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

RICHARD AULT was the senior consultant to Champion throughout most of the decade chronicled in the book and still works closely with the company. He is an indepAndent consultant who lives in Navarre, Florida. RICHARD WALTON teaches at the Harvard Business School and was formerly a consultant to Champion where he remains a member of the board of directors. He lives near Boston, Massachusetts. MARK CHILDERS is Champion's senior vice president of organizational development and human resources. He lives in Stamford, Connecticut.

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Table of Contents

Foreward: A Remarkable Journey
1. Dogged Persistence And Unjustified Optimism: An Overview
2. Aligning the Organization: Strategy, Technology, andValues
3. Building Capabilities: Competence, Commitment, andCooperation
4. Letting Go: Style, Structure, and Systems
AppAndix A: Research Methodology
AppAndix B: The Champion Way Statements
AppAndix C: Gainsharing

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