Summary of The Organization of the Future

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Editors Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith and Richard Beckhard present a series of short essays by 39 authors describing the structure of tomorrow’s organizations. The essays, which are introduced by Peter Drucker, are organized into six main themes: shaping future organizations, new models for working and organizing, organizing for strategic advantage, working and organizing in a wired world, leading people in future organizations and understanding and improving organizational health. Given this approach and more than three dozen authors, some repetition is inevitable, so getAbstract wonders if readers will prefer to dip in and choose articles that appeal to them the most. Generally, the book explicates broad trends in structural thinking, almost like a survey of organizational forecasting by top philosophers, authors and leaders in the field. This is sure to intrigue the executives charged with steering large organizations to and through this complex future.

About the Authors

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 Co., a provider of customized leadership development. He is the confounder of the Learning Network, an association of the world’s top consultants. Richard Beckhard  is an organization development consultant, author of six books, and former professor at the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

Summary

Shaping the Organization of the Future

Management expert Peter Drucker says that the world has been moving toward a society of big organizations with many employees since the 1860s.

Yet, since the 1960s, most big businesses have lost market share, while small or medium-sized corporations have grown. Thus, says Drucker, diseconomies of scale are moving business toward a networked society, rather than an employee society. Instead of the command-and-control model, the trend is toward relationships where no one controls or commands, such as alliances, joint ventures, partnership, minority participation plans and marketing agreements. Simultaneously, small companies with local or regional markets are being forced to compete in a global arena and to mount a global strategy.

Such developments make new organizational forms necessary. No single type of organizational form will work - rather the trend is toward plurality and a pluralism of organizations, with different types for different purposes, work, people and cultures.

Given these new trends, you need to prepare for organizational change, says James A. Champy, chairman of the Perot Systems Corporation consulting...


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