Summary of Bridging Organization Design and Performance

Five Ways to Activate a Global Operation Model

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Bridging Organization Design and Performance book summary
How the best global enterprises operate.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

6 Style


Operational leaders seeking a better global operating model and HR leaders working to staff global organizations will gain the most from the advice of consultants Gregory Kesler and Amy Kates. The authors know their subject, but this challenging book on a challenging subject leaves the best part for last. After many good examples and case vignettes, the most useful section for guiding global governance and operational models comes toward the end. To assess your current operating model, turn to the last chapter’s “diagnostic” tools and use them to identify your needs and problems. There, getAbstract finds, you’ll gain a better understanding of how to create a more connected, collaborative operating system.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the challenges and complexities of global business will continue to increase,
  • What strategies will help you embrace and leverage complexity, and
  • What methods you can use to design and implement a more effective global operating model.


Complicated, Frustrating and Fast

Doing business globally is growing increasingly difficult as technology and connectedness accelerate the pace of change and decision making. Strategy alone won’t close the gap. Successful global companies combine strategy with effective organization and structures that emphasize cooperation and collaboration. They leverage economies of scale, influence and systems. Unfortunately, most organizations operate in stovepipes. Though many companies have become reasonably effective within this structure, they can’t optimize. Because setting up companywide collaboration – which requires a matrix-style structure and carefully designed incentives – takes so much effort, some organizations accept the status quo as good enough. Leaders who are determined to go farther and do better face the hard challenge of balancing the agility and innovation of decentralized decision making with the centralization’s economies of scale and clout. Apple does this exceptionally well. It operates a complex, global and highly collaborative business that remains agile and innovative while delivering a consistent experience to consumers across its product platform and around the world. Generally, “the debate between centralized and decentralized organization is unproductive. To achieve agility and leverage, both must be embraced with “center-led” structures, roles, and processes to create an integrated, coordinated way” of working.

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About the Authors

Gregory Kesler and Amy Kates operate Kates Kesler, a consultancy that helps organizations worldwide design new global operating systems.

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