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Build for Change: Revolutionizing Customer Engagement through Continuous Digital Innovation by Alan Trefler

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Chapter 6Liberating Your Organization

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Source: Delacroix, Eugene (1798–1863). July 28th, 1830. Liberty guiding the people, detail. Musée de Louvre, Paris, France. Photo credit: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY. Used with permission.

When a leading U.S. company in the benefits management business began to bring its customers into 1080 high-definition, the senior leadership quickly realized that it needed to completely rethink how it organized, hired, trained, and rewarded its people as part of an entirely new way of doing business. The company established a radically new organizational structure better suited to close collaboration with its connected customer base and one that would enhance the customer experience. Its model is a good one for other businesses to adopt.

Just as with changing the relationship between business and IT, an organization that wants to enter this 1080 high-def world has no choice but to change the structure of how it harnesses technology. But it’s not enough simply to adopt what you think of as a new strategy and shift things around on the organizational chart. There also has to be a culture change. As the remark famously attributed to management consultant and author Peter Drucker goes: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

How do you get there? One step involves fundamentally changing the relationship between business and IT in your organization. ...

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