Summary of Designing Dynamic Organizations

A Hands-On Guide for Leaders at All Levels

First Edition: 2001 more...

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Designing Dynamic Organizations book summary
Creating an effective corporate structure means more than just filling in boxes on an organizational chart.


7 Overall

7 Applicability

8 Innovation

6 Style


Constant change, economic uncertainty, unrelenting competition and the frenetic pace of cyber-commerce now strain even the most nimble organizations. Traditional leaders designed many companies, especially those more than a few decades old, along strict hierarchical, top-down parameters, so these firms often find it hard to react swiftly to change. Consultants Jay Galbraith, Diane Downey and Amy Kates have assembled their savvy change management counsel to rescue stuck companies. They designed this “thought-guide” to lead executives through the wilderness of organizational transformation. Their experience-based workbook is chock-full of exercises, questions, formats, charts and tools to direct you step-by-step through the process of creating a “reconfigurable organization” that can handle shifting circumstances. While some examples in this near-classic manual are dated, the advice is still spot-on. getAbstract recommends this excellent, nitty-gritty primer on organizational transitions to executives and human resources professionals.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why being a “reconfigurable organization” matters;
  • What role the five-part “star model” plays in “organization design” and
  • How to design, build and realize your company’s new organizational plan.


Organizational Leadership
As a business leader, you need three crucial skills to change your company: 1) the ability to envision the right strategy for your firm, 2) the aptitude to hire the right management team to execute that strategy and 3) the leadership to create a corporate structure...
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About the Authors

Jay Galbraith teaches at the University of Southern California and at Lausanne’s International Institute for Management Development. Diane Downey is president of Downey Associates International, where Amy Kates is vice president and senior consultant.

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