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The New How by Nilofer Merchant

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Part III. Foundations to Successful Collaborative Organizations

We’re getting close to the finish line.

In Chapter 1, we made the point that most organizations are using outdated systems that derail effective strategy creation. We looked at the pieces of organizational systems and identified three chunks. The first belongs to the individuals in the organization, which we covered in Part I. The second chunk, process methodology, is shared by the individual and the organization, and we covered that in Part II. It’s time to look at the third chunk of system elements, which belongs more to the organization than it does to the individuals.

If we take a metaphorical perspective, we can view the process creation system as a cathedral. The individuals represent the bricks, and the process phases are cross-timbers. To build a robust edifice, we obviously need quality bricks and excellent timbers. But we need more. Something must fill in the cracks between those structural elements and hold them together; we need bolts and mortar. Similarly, the third chunk of our system ties all the other pieces together. Also, it’s best to figure out the other parts of the structure before we try to figure out how we’re going to glue them together. The mortar fills in the gaps and the bolts link where we need linking. We’ve done the big pieces of structure for six chapters, and now we’re down to the last few crucial parts.

Enough said. We won’t hold you up any longer. Let’s move on to how organizations enable ...

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