The two case studies highlighted in this volume show a number of cutting-edge innovations and specific strategic strengths. At AES, you will see how a rapidly growing young company has achieved success with a management philosophy based on a very strong system of values. AES is a model learning organization, both in the way in which its teams operate and in its reliance on a flat organizational structure. Merck is a very large company that has fostered an environment of continuous innovation and success by eliminating hierarchy and empowering creativity through autonomy. As you’ll see, these basic principles can be key to organizational success in a wide range of organizations.
There are six key elements you should keep in mind as you watch the program:
- Structure. These companies are not only flatter, they also focus on the extensive use of cross-functional teams to solve problems.
- <Systems. The teamwork process at these two companies is in many ways organic.
- People. The individuals at these companies don't lose their individuality – they are encouraged to bring forth new ideas and innovations.
- Style. Management at these organizations is willing to experiment and even fail, failure brings about learning.
- Shared Values. Both of these companies have clear, shared values – values that make people proud to work for these organizations. At AES, the values are fun, fairness, integrity and social responsibility. At Merck, their values are driven by their desire to actively fight human suffering.
- Radical Decentralization. Both companies share a structural similarity – they are committed to decentralization. At AES, each plant acts as an independent business. At Merck, each project is managed as an autonomous project. Decision making is team-driven, allowing management to focus its energies on promoting the divisions or projects that are succeeding.
These six key organizational success factors manifest themselves differently yet apply equally well at AES and Merck. As you watch the video, realize that these success factors will manifest themselves differently at your organization as well. The overall goals, however, are the same – to create an atmosphere of continuous learning in which individuals have a clear understanding of how their work intersects with their co-workers, customers and shareholders.
Discover why these corporations support Robert Waterman’s conclusion that your organizational arrangement is your most powerful strategic tool. This series is hosted by In Search of Excellence co-author Robert H. Waterman, Jr
This is available as part of
- Action Guide
Only preview versions of handouts can be viewed without a license.