Leading Beyond the Walls: How High-Performing Organizations Collaborate for Shared Success

Leading Beyond the Walls: How High-Performing Organizations Collaborate for Shared Success

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780787955557
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 01/05/2001
Series: J-B Leader to Leader Institute/PF Drucker Foundation Series , #1
Edition description: Revised ed.
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.02(w) x 9.15(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

FRANCES HESSELBEIN is chairman of the board of governors of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management and editor in chief of its journal, Leader to Leader. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States of America's highest civilian honor, in 1998. MARSHALL GOLDSMITH is a founding director of Keilty, Goldsmith and Company, one of America's key providers of customized leadership development. He is also a cofounder of the Learning Network, an association of the world's top consultants. IAIN SOMERVILLE is a partner in Andersen Consulting, where he founded and led the Organization Strategy practice and Institute for Strategic Change-the firm's global "think tank." As a top management consultant and educator, he has for more than two decades served the world's leading private, public, and social sector organizations.

Read an Excerpt

The New Pluralism
by Peter F. Drucker

Peter F. Drucker has been a teacher, writer, and adviser to senior executives for more than fifty years. Author of thirty-one books, he is honorary chairman of the Drucker Foundation and Clarke Professor of Social Sciences at the Claremont Graduate' University in Claremont, California.

Society in all developed countries has become pluralist and is becoming more pluralist day by day. It is splintering into a myriad of institutions each more or less autonomous, each requiring its own leadership and management, each having its own specific task.

A Brief View Back

The last pluralist society in the West existed during the early and high Middle Ages. The Roman Empire tried, quite successfully, to create a unitary state in which Roman law and the Roman legions created political uniformity throughout the empire while cultural diversity was preserved. But after the collapse of the Roman Empire, this unity splintered completely. In its stead arose a congeries of autonomous and semiautonomous institutions: political, religious, economic, craft oriented, and so on. There was the medieval university, autonomous and a law unto itself. But there were also the free cities, the multinationals of the medieval economy. There were the craft guilds, and there were the all but autonomous major orders and great abbeys of the Church.

Statesmen and political philosophers tried throughout the Middle Ages to re-create community. It was one of the main concerns of the Middle Ages' greatest philosopher, Saint Thomas Aquinas, in the early thirteenth century. And it was equally the concern of the Middle Ages' greatest poet, Dante, in his late-thirteenth-century work, De monarchia. Both preached that there should be two independent spheres: the secular one, centralized in and governed by the emperor, and the religious one, centralized in and governed by the pope. But by 1300 it was much too late to restore community. Society had collapsed into chaos.

Why We Need Pluralism

There is one simple reason why the last 150 years have been years in which one institution after the other has become autonomous: the task-centered and autonomous institution is the only one that performs. Performance requires clear focus and narrow concentration. Multipurpose institutions do not perform. The achievements of the last 150 years in every single area are achievements of narrow focus, narrow concentration, and parochial self-centered values. All performing institutions of modern society are specialized. All of them are concerned only with their own task. The hospital exists to cure sick people. The fire department exists to prevent and to extinguish fires. The business enterprise exists to satisfy economic wants. The great advances in public health have largely been the result of freestanding organizations that focus on one disease or on one part of the human body and disregard everything else (consider the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Society, the American Mental Health Society, and so on).

Whenever an institution goes beyond a narrow focus, it ceases to perform. Hospitals that tried to go beyond sickness care into "health education" and "illness prevention" have been miserable failures. There are many reasons why the American public school is in trouble. But surely the one reason that stands out is that we have, of necessity, tried to make the school the agent of social and racial reform and social and racial integration. Schools in all other countries, including countries that have serious social problems of their own (for example, France, with its large immigrant population), have stuck to the single goal of teaching children to read. And they are still successful in this single endeavor. One may argue (as I have) that the present concentration on "creating shareholder value" as the sole mission of the publicly owned business enterprise is too narrow and in fact may be self-defeating. But it has resulted in an improvement in these enterprises' financial performance beyond anything an earlier generation would have thought possible-and way beyond what the same enterprises produced when they tried to satisfy multiple objectives, that is, when they were being run (as I have to admit I advocated for many years) in the "best balanced interests" of all the stakeholders, that is, shareholders, employees, customers, plant communities, and so on.

Leadership Beyond the Walls

We know that this integration can be achieved. In fact there are already a good many success stories. What is needed is for leaders of all institutions to take leadership responsibility beyond the walls. They have to lead their own institutions and lead them to performance. This requires single-minded concentration on the part of the institution. But at the same time the members of the institution-and not just the people at the top-have to take community responsibility beyond the walls of their own institution.

The Central Question
Who's the Customer of Training?

In the fall of 1996, I received a call from a client inviting me to corporate headquarters. My previous projects with this company, renowned for setting world-class levels of customer service, had been successful and over time had been integrated into their culture. But now there was growing evidence that the company was starting to lose its competitive edge to newer, younger organizations.

Lessons Learned

The long and at times painful process of creating, changing, and delivering this program is highly instructive. Looking back at what happened and at how the targeted business outcome and the changing roles of the project sponsor and customer of training affected the success of the project, five clear lessons emerge:

Although this case is somewhat unique, in my experience the seduction of training design is not unique at all. It is very easy in the creative process to lose sight of the outcomes that are required for success.

The High-Impact Training Model

The emotional toll that I went through in seeing months of work shredded on the floor led me to think deeply about the question, "Who is the customer of training?" A very strong case can be made for the line manager as the customer of training. This will sound radical to those of us who grew up with the assumption that the person in the training room or receiving the training on the shop floor is "our customer." We should not ignore or perform badly for those in the training session. Instead, let's challenge the assumption that the trainee is really the customer.

The Performance Hierarchy

For any training process to be at peak effectiveness, the culture of the organization in which the training is occurring needs to be understood and honored. The aspect of the organization's culture that is most immediately critical is "the way things get done around here"-that is, the performance hierarchy. Within every organization, there is a way that "things get done." In some this tracks along very nicely with the organizational chart. In others there is little correlation. Both the person ordering the program (the project sponsor) and the people handling the implementation must keep the needs of the performance hierarchy in mind throughout the program's development, delivery, and follow-up. Simply put, the performance hierarchy is the network of boundaries and barriers that affect how daily work gets handled.


We can generalize the following three points from the example given at the start of this chapter:

Traditional Approach High-Impact Training Model Approach Program designed with Designed with significant and input limited to a few continued input from the customer of training Automatic assumption that No assumption that the customer of training the trainee is the customer is the trainee; requires a rigorous exploration of training of who the customer is Frequent renewal of When aligned with the performance hierarchy, commitment needs more assured program implementation and Low transference rates and More assured relevance and use of the training only rarely do changes stick.0787946621.txt |


From 1990 to 1995, I directed the Project Management Institute's (PMI) project management certification program. When I began the job, I did not realize that it would occupy me seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year for six years.

Intended Audience

As I describe the intended audience for this book it is tempting to point to anyone who plans to work in knowledge-based organizations during the next few decades, because it has become obvious that organizing knowledge work along project lines has become the central way of doing business everywhere. Although I am convinced that such a description is appropriate, my editor has asked whether I could be a bit more focused, so here goes.

Contents of the Book

The book is divided into four parts. Part One comprises three chapters, each of which explores broad issues of project management competence. Chapter One examines why the issue of competence is so important today. It posits that project competence must be approached from a three-pronged perspective: from the viewpoints of individuals, teams, and organizations. It poses the "competence dilemma," which has its origins in the conflict between the theoretical view that all people are competent if given proper support and the reality of great variations in individual capabilities. Chapter Two looks at the connection between competence and rewards. A review of the economics of competence shows that the most competent performers add far more value than average or subaverage performers. Consequently, the rewards that competent performers garner are high. The chapter also explores the idea that in today's brutally competitive world competence is our sword and shield, enabling us to survive the tribulations of downsizing, flattening, and reengineering. Chapter Three raises the point that competence cannot be nurtured in sick organizations. When such phenomena as selfishness, organizational defense routines, dysfunctional cultures, and corruption prevail, competence withers. A variety of commonly encountered pathologies are explored.

A Word of Thanks

This book is the result of my interactions with literally thousands of people. Most of these people have been students: in executive development seminars; in the classrooms at George Washington University, where I taught from 1979 until 1998; or at my new home at the University of Management and Technology. These students have provided me with invaluable insights into what they have experienced in their organizations. They have also tolerated my attempts to test new ideas on them. Their responses to my "experiments" have helped me to develop a good sense of which ideas work and which do not.

J. Davidson Frame
Arlington, Virginia
May 1999

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Community Beyond the Walls (F. Hesselbein).


The New Pluralism (P. Drucker).

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down (J. Collins).

Preparing for Leadership (C. Prahalad).

Leading the Distributed Organization (W. Bridges).

Dissolving Boundaries in the Era of Knowledge and Custom Work (S. Helgesen).

Decision Making Beyond the Boundaries (C. Roussel).


Leadership in Living Organizations (P. Senge).

Maximizing Creative Collaboration (D. Ulrich).

Culture Is the Key (R. Herzlinger).

Winning Commitment to Shared Goals (S. Sherman).

Leadership Beyond the Walls Begins with Leadership Within (E. Cohen & N. Tichy).


The Mind-Set and Skill-Set of a Leader (S. Covey).

New Competencies for Tomorrow's Global Leader (M. Goldsmith & C. Walt).

How to Foster Champions (R. Lynch).

Creating Success for Others (J. Belasco).

Leading Successful Change Initiatives (C. Cappy & R. Anthony).

The Four Cardinal Principles of Leadership (A. Gandhi).


Leading in a Leaderless World (I. Somerville & D. Mills).

Principles of Effective Collaboration (P. Waide).

Creating a Future We Wish to Inhabit (R. Harmon & M. Toomey).

Strategies for Win-Win Alliances (R. Spillett).

Building Civic Coalitions (R. Cavanagh).

New Models of Public Leadership (J. Nye).

What People are Saying About This

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