Summary of The Future of Staff Groups

Daring to Distribute Power and Capacity

Berrett-Koehler, more...

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The Future of Staff Groups book summary
If your job does not directly add to customer value, you should be afraid. Very afraid.


7 Overall

7 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Joel P. Henning’s diagnosis of the growing irrelevancy of business staff groups is right on the money. Simply put, staff members have for too long cozied up to management, ignoring the critical line units that they are supposed to serve. As a result, it’s the staff gets laid off first when times get tough. Likewise, Henning’s prescriptions for revamping staff groups into effective support units merit careful study. Although sections of this book are thin in substance, recommends this insightful analysis of corporate structure to all business leaders.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why staff groups are under fire in the modern corporate organization;
  • Why members of staff groups often are targeted for elimination before line-unit personnel in cost-cutting measures, and
  • How to reshape staff groups into relevant units that serve internal clients and contribute to overall business success.


Staff Groups in Crisis
Corporate staff groups, which perform internal corporate functions such as human resources, finance, legal, quality control, information technology development and maintenance, are at a critical crossroads. The reason? Staff groups often are counterproductive to ...
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About the Author

Joel P. Henning has a doctorate in the areas of learning theory and the philosophy of education. He is a partner in the consulting firm, Designed Learning. For more than 30 years he has been consulting on long-change efforts. He has worked with staff groups at many companies including Ford Motor Co., Levi Strauss, Met Life, Knight Ridder and Johnson & Johnson.

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