Mar 03 2010

Reorganize for Resilience: Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business

From Harvard Business Press comes a book entitled Reorganize for Resilience: Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business.  Author Ranjay Gulati examines a number of companies who have succeeded in this arena, including corporate real estate services provider Jones Lang LaSalle.

From the Inside Flap

Most companies say they’re “customer-focused”—yet consistently fail to deliver solutions to the problems their customers care about most. That’s because the divisional silos most firms are organized around make it impossible for them to adapt quickly to changing customer needs. In an era of raging commoditization and eroding profit margins, survival depends on staying one step ahead of your customers—not just giving customers what they say they want, but also anticipating what they’ll want in the future, even if they can’t articulate it yet, and finding innovative ways to deliver it.

In Reorganize for Resilience, strategy and organizational behavior expert Ranjay Gulati reveals how resilient companies prosper both in good times and bad—driving growth and increasing profitability by immersing themselves in the lives of their customers. Instead of pushing their own offerings on customers, these firms work from the outside-in: identifying current and potential customer problems and then providing seamless, integrated products and services that address them.

Based on more than a decade of research in a variety of industries, this implementation-focused guide shows how resilient companies do it: how they break down internal barriers that impede action, build bridges across divisions, and create a network of collaborators. Using examples from companies including Cisco Systems, La Farge, Starbucks, Best Buy, and Jones Lang LaSalle, Gulati describes the five key levers that together help create a resilient organization:

• Coordination: Connect, eradicate, or restructure silos to enable swift responses
• Cooperation: Align all employees around the shared goals of customer solutions
• Clout: Redistribute power to “bridge builders” and customer champions
• Capability: Develop employees’ skills at tackling changing customer needs
• Connection: Blend your offerings with partners to provide unique customer solutions

Authoritative and practical, Reorganize for Resilience will finally help you “walk the walk” of customer-centricity—and jump-start a virtuous cycle of profits, growth, and competitive advantage.

About the author

CRE Editors

The Editors moderate this CRE blog and the Corporate Real Estate LinkedIn Group.