The Conductive Organization book cover

The Conductive Organization

Building Beyond Sustainability

An organization's culture lies at the heart of its ability to perform. In the knowledge economy, new rules are emerging and organizations must rethink how they will compete by leveraging their tacit knowledge - their intangible assets - in order to create and sustain a strategic advantage. In this book, Hubert Saint-Onge and Charles Armstrong, two corporate leaders who have been in the forefront of using knowledge management to gain strategic advantage, focus on knowledge-based customer relationships, innovative internal structures, and self-initiated learning cultures, in order to explain the building blocks that must be in place to create and sustain a knowledge-based culture within organizations—a culture that they argue is integral to a high-performance organization. An organization's culture lies at the heart of its ability to perform. In the knowledge economy, new rules are emerging and organizations must rethink how they will compete by leveraging their tacit knowledge - their intangible assets - in order to create and sustain a strategic advantage. In this book, Hubert Saint-Onge and Charles Armstrong, two corporate leaders who have been in the forefront of using knowledge management to gain strategic advantage, focus on knowledge-based customer relationships, innovative internal structures, and self-initiated learning cultures, in order to explain the building blocks that must be in place to create and sustain a knowledge-based culture within organizations—a culture that they argue is integral to a high-performance organization. This book provides a blueprint for creating and leading organizations with strong knowledge-based cultures to achieve breakthrough performance. Using the idea of conductivity, the authors describe the successful organization of the future as one that increases the quality and flow of knowledge within the organization and within its network of suppliers, customers, and other collaborators. The narrative is based on the thoughts, experience, and models of Hubert Saint-Onge and Charles Armstrong, who have successfully led high-performance companies in the financial services sector and the engineering and manufacturing sector. Each chapter includes practical examples from their experience and from other successful leaders.

Audience
Senior executives; Chief Knowledge Officers and other executives charged with managing organizational change and knowledge

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Published: April 2004

Imprint: Butterworth Heinemann

ISBN: 978-0-7506-7735-6

Reviews

  • "This book is a personal and insightful guide for organizations wishing to better engage with the knowledge economy. It is deeply grounded in the authors own experiences, which makes their recommendations that much more cogent and sensible." - Laurence Prusak, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Babson College, USA "Saint-Onge and Armstrong's work couldn't have come at a better time. In an era of growing institutional failure and emphasis on transparency, The Conductive Organization provides a blueprint for creating organizations that are truly calibrated to customer needs, reliant on value-based relationships with stakeholders, and centered on knowledge capital. An accessible read, based on theory but long on practice, this book challenges us all to rethink strategies for how organizations can exceed expectations." - Leif Edvinsson, The world´s first director of Intellectual Capital, The world´s first holder of a professorship on Intellectual Capital, Lund University, Sweden, 1998 "Brain of the Year" "The Conductive Organization presents compelling insight on organizational and knowledge strategies that leaders can take to gain a competitive advantage. The premise that a connected enterprise is empowered through conductivity puts the customer at the center. Conductivity realizes the full potential of technology, and goes way beyond it. Any leader who wants to succeed will want to put this book on their list of must reads." - Mary Lee Kennedy Director, Knowledge Network Group, Microsoft Corporation "My prediction is that The Conductive Organization will become the most conductive new idea in management circles and business schools around the world. The central idea that all organizational structures in processes must become customer dictated is currently being written about by other authors, but only as a theory. Where the authors differentiate themselves is in providing the actual organizational blue print for making customers permanent creative partners in the innovation, manufacturing, and delivery processes. The Conductive Organization book is a platform that will generate thousands of fruitful management practices and methods." --Dan Sullivan, President, The Strategic Coach "Organizational success relies heavily on the capability to leverage both institutional and personal knowledge. While our systems and approaches for managing information are for the most part highly developed, we are just starting to understand the complexities of how to best utilize our personal knowledge in pursuit of organizational goals. S.A. Armstrong Limited has been at the forefront of this journey of discovery. This book provides insights coupled with practical applications that can guide any organization toward a more effective management and use of its most valuable asset the unique knowledge of its people." -- Maseo Maekawa, Chairman of the Board, Mayekawa Mfg. Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan; President, Mayekawa Holding AG, Zug, Switzerland; President, Mycom Intertec AG, Zug, Switzerland "The Conductive Organization is that delightful rarity among management books: a distillation of the wisdom of two obviously deeply self-reflective practitioners crafted in large measure around the experiences of their own organizations but conveyed through the means of a powerful and pervasive conceptual structure that will make academics and consultants blush with envy. And, yes, for those managers who truly want to understand why knowledge is the ultimate organizational asset and how to leverage it, this is the “must read” book." -- Liam Fahey, Partner, Leadership Forum, Inc. and Adjunct Professor, Strategic Management at Babson College "An evocative account of why an organization must give more than lip service to being customer-centered and how it can implement approaches to create authentic interdependence and "generalized reciprocity" between customers, partners and stakeholders to sustain its purpose." -- Yvon Bastien "As organizations struggle to find new ways to operate in turbulent times, Saint-Onge and Armstrong provide us with a new way of thinking -- of concentrating on strategy-making not just strategies; on calibrating to the customer not just becoming client-centric; on increasing knowledge flows not just gaining knowledge. The Conductive Organization provides leaders at all levels with a framework that is grounded in the authors' cumulative experiences with success and shaped by their values." -- Tom Jenkins, CEO, Open Text

Contents

  • Chapter 1: The Conductive Organization Chapter 2: The Customer Imperative Chapter 3: The Knowledge Capital Model Chapter 4: Customer Calibration Chapter 5: Strategy Making Chapter 6: Internal and External Branding: The Character of the Conductive Organization Chapter 7: Culture: The Collective Mindsets of the Conductive Organization Chapter 8: Structure: The Custodians of Conductivity Chapter 9: Systems: Generating Capabilities Chapter 10: A New Leadership Agenda Chapter 11: From Conductive to Highly Conductive - The Evolving Organization Glossary Figures

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