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The work the people and the formal structures might

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Unformatted text preview: time to seek shelter in anonymity, evade responsibility whenever possible, and trust in the wisdom of playing it safe, then merely shuffling the boxes on the table of organization won’t get the job done. The work, the people, and the formal structures might be right, but the prevailing culture will keep getting in the way—a situation that will require some major, long-term changes. Without all the right pieces in place, performance will suffer. The transformation of one of our clients—a global high-tech company—provides a classic example of a complex organization that successfully “worked the model.” After decades of industry dominance, the company suffered precipitous losses in market share and earnings as foreign competitors surged ahead with new technology, low prices, and superior quality. A renewed emphasis on quality enabled our client to avert a crisis, but there was clearly a need for a new strategic vision. In normal situations, managers constantly make adjustments to maintain fit among the various organizational components. However, companies periodically experience turbulence as the external environment exerts powerful forces—breakthroughs in technology, major changes in public policy, or the emergence of new players who alter the very basis of competition, for example. During these periods, simply maintaining the alignment of the organizational components will be insufficient, and in many cases, may well lead to disaster. These situations call for radical, or discontinuous, change, which sometimes involves the profound overhaul of most, if not all, of the organizational components. The vision they ultimately developed was right on target, but it wasn’t enough. The company was still overly bureaucratic, slow to bring technological innovations to market, and out of touch with customers’ needs. Quite simply, the organization was incapable of deploying the new strategy. 10 The first step to remedy this was a redesign of the formal structure. But once again, only one component of the organization had changed; the others— primarily the people and informal organization— were seriously out of alignment. To be effective, the company needed managers to play new roles that were out of sync with the traditional culture. That Oliver Wyman – Delta Organization & Leadership required an intense search—both inside and outside the company—for unconventional managers who could “break the mold.” Ultimately, the company succeeded—thanks, in large part, to a detailed conceptual roadmap that emphasized the importance of congruent relationships between all of the organizational components. They also maintained high performance by deliberately managing the alignment of their organizational components. The structure and the work support the strategy, and the operating environment now supports and advances people suited to the work and the structure. Analyzing the Organization’s Problems The congruence model is more than an interesting way of thinking about organizational dynamics. Its real value lies in its usefulness as a framework— a men...
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