Workshop 1 (Half Day)
Corporate Renewal: How to Overcome Barriers to Alignment
Harvard Business School
Organizational theorists generally accept that an organizations
effectiveness is a function of alignment with its environment. Various elements such as
structure, systems, leadership style, shared values, skills, and staff must be internally
consistent and they must align with competitive strategy. A demanding competitive
environment is forcing all corporations to make more frequent changes in strategy and to
strive for higher levels of performance. More frequent and fundamental changes in
organizational behavior are required. Most efforts to realign an organization are
characterized by a variety of change programstraining, total quality management,
structural changes, and reengineering, for examplethat fail to achieve fundamental
changes in behavior. Even when they do, they usually fail to develop the
organizations capacity to adapt and change in the future.
Mike Beer will discuss six core barriers that block an organization
from aligning with strategy, changing its culture and becoming a high-performance system.
He will describe Organizational Fitness Profilinga process he has developed
in the last decade to aid management in overcoming barriers to organizational change.
Organizational Fitness Profiling has been applied in a number of corporations at the
corporate and business unit level. It is a powerful process that provides a top team with
an unvarnished picture of the organizations pattern of behavior delivered by its own
employees. And, the process guides the management team through a diagnosis, the redesign
of the organization and its management processes, and finally through the change process
itself. In effect, Fitness Profiling delivers an organizational performance appraisal and
guides management through the whitewater of change.
Participants will be required to read a brief case study that will be
discussed at the Workshop.
Michael Beer is Chaners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration
at the Harvard Business School. Prior to joining the faculty at Harvard, he was Director
of Organizational Research and Development at Corning Inc. He is currently teaching in the
Advanced Management Program, and in a residence education program for senior executives
from around the world. Mikes research interests are at the intersect of
organizational effectiveness, organizational change, and human resource management. He has
written numerous articles, book chapters, and several books. The Critical Path to
Corporate Renewal, co-authored with Russell Eisenstat and Bert Spector, won the
Johnson, Smith, and Knisely award for the best book on executive leadership in 1990, and
was a finalist for the Academy of Managements George R. Terry Book of the Year
award. Mike received the 1998 OD Institute award for the best OD Worldwide Project for his
work with Organizational Fitness Profiling.
Mike Beer was Visiting Professor of American Management at Johann
Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, and has been on the editorial boards of several
journals. He was Program Chair for the Division of Industrial/Organizational Psychology,
served as the divisions representative to APA Council, was Chairperson of the
Academy of Managements Organizational Development and Change Division, and served on
the board of Governors of the Academy. He is Chairman of the Center for Organizational
Fitness, has consulted with numerous corporations and was a member of the board of GTECH,
Coordinator: Karen Paul, 3M
1999 Conference Registration Information
Page || Return To Workshop Description Page