There are encouraging signs that the media is recognizing that the structure of organizations must change to enhance collaboration and maximize value. And when the media gets on board, organizations often follow.
Several media outlets that have featured The Bounty Effect: 7 Steps to The Culture of Collaboration have focused on changing organizational structures from Industrial Age command-and-control to Information Age collaborative. This is crucial, because The Bounty Effect is about seizing opportunities to design and build new organizational structures that exigent circumstances provide. So, reviewers and journalists have clearly understood the central theme of the book.
Reviewing The Bounty Effect in The Washington Times, James Srodes describes the big picture of why changing organizational structures is necessary. He relates the need for collaborative structures to the changing “hinges of history” in which a decades-long trend suddenly shifts. Srodes mentions a global economic state where little or no growth is the norm and dwindling raw materials and political instabilities among other trends impacting the planet. This insightful review endorses the book’s approach:
“If you recoil at the notion of folks sitting around a boardroom campfire singing “Kumbaya,” Mr. Rosen offers an ingenious example of the essence of the collaboration strategy. The “Bounty” in his title is in fact the HMS Bounty, famed in Hollywood’s bogus history for its portrayal of a despotic (command-and-control) Captain Bligh.”
In a question-and-answer article with me entitled “Can Collaboration Be Forced?” in Talent Management magazine, Kellye Whitney also focuses on changing the organizational structure. My answer to a question about what talent leaders can do to change command-and-control structures echoes the “hinges of history” shift in the Washington Times review:
“In the workplace we should constantly be working to create value. It used to be that companies could make a decent buck by just telling people what to do. A few people were paid to do the thinking and everybody else was paid to carry out orders. But with globalization, increased competition and the boom and bust cycles, companies are realizing that it’s all hands on deck.”
In another question-and-answer article entitled “The New Way We…Collaborate” in Avaya Innovations magazine, Eric Lai focuses the interview on changing organizational structure and culture. Here’s my response to his question about the role of technology in changing the structure and culture:
“The Greek philosopher Socrates believed that the way to truth is through dialogue. Socrates rejected writing because it meant—quite literally in Ancient Athens—that ideas were set in stone or wax and that the process of developing those ideas was dead. Email is the modern equivalent of setting ideas in stone. If given the choice, Socrates would have found a lot more truth in using real-time tools rather than email. Email is essentially an updated version of the old memorandum. In command-and-control organizations, people send an email and wait for a response. An email is often a report or a request for a decision. There is no real-time dialogue in email, so Socrates would have found little truth in email.”
So the media is beginning to join the growing numbers of organizations that have jumped on the structural change bandwagon.