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Future Focused Organization, The: Complete Organizational Alignment for Breakthrough Results

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Future Focused Organization, The: Complete Organizational Alignment for Breakthrough Results


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  • Focuses on the need for flexibility and responsiveness in today's fast-changing competitive marketplace
  • Build "Virtual Superteams"
  • Controlling the pace and direction of change
  • Overcoming crisis management
  • Moves past TQM to Strategically Future Focused Management


  • Copyright 1995
  • Dimensions: 5-1/2" x 8-1/4"
  • Pages: 256
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-323791-5
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-323791-7

This book presents practical techniques for realigning business organizations for breakthrough success. KEY TOPICS: This is the only end-to-end guide to refocusing your entire organization on a positive, proactive vision of the future. From reengineering the organization to anticipating tomorrow's cusotmer expectations, the authors help senior management actually achieve the radical transformations they know are necessary. Moran and Burton present proven techniques for building "virtual superteams" that are agile enough to compete regardless of how the business environment changes, and they offer an essential guide to hiring and rewards in this new era. MARKET: The Future Focused Organization is ideal for senior executives, strategic planners, market and sales managers, and designers of current or emerging organizations.

Sample Content

Table of Contents

 1. The Future-Focused Organization.

 2. Involving the Total Organization.

 3. Future-Focused Organization Structure.

 4. The Omni Pattern.

 5. Competitive Analysis.

 6. Future-Focused Organization Planning Process.

 7. Focusing and Expanding Customer Expectations.

 8. The Virtual Super Team.

 9. The Hiring, Growing, and Rewarding Process.

10. Charting and Staying the Course.

11. Summary.



Let's reflect on the evolution of organizational models in corporate America. We have witnessed various trends of centralized versus decentralized, structured versus unstructured, functional verses team based, matrix management, delayered flat structures, roulette wheel structures, top-down and bottom-up, formal versus informal, and probably many other approaches to managing organizations. Today, management is not sure when it should plan, control, delegate, empower, intervene, or create another team to solve the company's problems. One executive commented recently, "We used to have functional silos. Now we have a whole barnyard of programs and teams, and to be honest I've lost track of what they're all doing." As a result, many executives are struggling with how to continue this evolution of repositioning their organizations to compete globally in the 21st century.

The focus of this book is on helping an organization and its leadership to develop a future-focused strategic business development and deployment process. This book answers the question of how the organization should rapidly adjust and redeploy resources so that it will always be in the leadership position in its marketplace. We refer to this model as the future-focused organization. This organization provides the underpinnings of success by bringing the terms agile, fluid, or seamless to life through people. This new model is also a must for those organizations pursuing revolutionary change through reengineering or seeking the next level of excellence in their total quality management, cycle time reduction, or other continuous improvement efforts.

This future-focused strategic business process is a radical change from the widely practiced and popular POSDCER process of plan, organize, staff, delegate, check, execute, and then replan. The future-focused strategic business process outlined in this book puts the executive team in the do loop by specifying their duties on how to deploy the plan so that it is achieved in the most timely and efficient manner for the organization.

The planning and deployment of corporate strategic direction must have a cycle time measure. The future-focused strategic business process utilizes the organizational resources effectively and efficiently. The planning and deployment of business strategy must not be a valueless and disruptive yearly event to the organization. In many organizations that we have worked with the strategic business planning and deployment process is dreaded because it is an event-based process. The output of the event is a document that is bookshelf bound and not results bound. Planning and deployment must be a real-time process, performed by 100% of the work force. Stated another way, organizational agility and adjustment must become a people-driven process that is as natural as breathing.

This future-focused strategic business process helps the organization to know what to change, how to cause the change in the most efficient and painless manner, and how to time and cause the change to happen. From this process the organization will know what is important, what is a strength, what has value, and what does not. It will know when an approach has been useful and when to discard it. It will know when a business process contributes to customer success or when to reengineer it away.

Its strategic business strategies will deal more with cultural change factors than traditional operational and financial factors. This process will allow the organization to be the best practices industry benchmark. The organization transforms itself from supervision to creative leadership, and will learn to develop a reliance on and trust in those in the cross-functional lateral and functional daily management positions since they have the fundamental understanding of the business. Creative leadership will focus on the panoramic future of the organization and lead by macromanagement, not by the traditional micromanagement.

Creative leadership will master the fine art of virtual partnerships that are interorganizational and external to the organization in order to maximize the leveraging of their scarce resources. The leadership will expend their scarce resources to change how they service their customer base now and in the future, rather than on public relations to change their image. Their image will be changed by their long-term actions.

An organization that follows this future-focused process will not be trying to duplicate its past glory days, or to rejuvenate or reinvent itself. It will be causing its competition to do this since it will be the market pace setter for all others to imitate. Such organizations are future focused in all their actions. To achieve this, there must be common commitment at the top and alignment and partnerships throughout the rest of the organization to achieve future- focused goals and objectives.

A future-focused organization is lead by individuals who are up to the challenge to take charge of their organization and lead it to its destiny. Few leaders today are prepared for this challenge. Instead, we read many articles that point out that a CEO seemed to be caught off guard when sales waned, or profits dropped, or technology past his organization by, and so on. Our unemployment figures reflect the inability of managers to maintain a future-focused view for their organizations.

Our corporate landscape is littered with the shells of former great organizations whose leaders did not have the vision to see their organization's future unraveling before them. A ride around Route 128 in Massachusetts or through Silicon Valley, Detroit, Cleveland, or Bethlehem brings this reality home. Unfortunately, when reality struck, such organizations were ill equipped to deal with the problems and unable to respond quickly to offset their devastating effects.

Some of these former great organizations of the 1980s have either ceased to exist, are 50% to 75% of their previous selves, or have merged for survival and lost their identity. One such organization that the future overtook no longer trades on the stock exchange and at its pinnacle had 37,000 employees. This is a high price for society as a whole to pay for managers of these former great giants not maintaining a future-focused view.

During the last decade, enormous energy, expenses, and capital investment have been expended in the elusive search for answers to improve industry competitiveness. Many organizations have become paralyzed by their belief that continuous improvement must be slow and steady, but tortoises only win races in fairy tales. And benchmarking has taught us that being the best tortoise in the group is not all that impressive to the 1990s customer.

The purpose of this book is to get executives to recognize that despite our progress, U.S. industry is still replete with implicit organizational rules left over from earlier decades. Companies must now shift paradigms, move boundaries, change the rules, and redefine the templates and fundamental assumptions about how they manage their business.

This book focuses on helping senior managers develop an attitude that goes beyond day-to-day continuous improvement of the organization's current functions. It explains how, and it leads senior management to adopt a view that is focused on the future, that is, the next 5 to 10 years. The book shows senior management how they must constantly monitor their environment if they wish to keep their competitive edge and market leadership position.

This book stresses that to be a future-focused organization requires a permanent and fluid or virtual organization structure composed of three types of management: strategic management, lateral management, and daily management (see Fig. P.1). Lateral management is the fluid or virtual structure in the organization. The other two types of structure are permanent parts of the organization.

This book shows senior management how to plan and involve the organization to focus, redefine, and expand customer expectations. In addition, a number of tools are included to help the reader accomplish this.

The future-focused organization is an alternative approach to the doomsday or crisis management style being popularized today in much business writings and many seminars. This future-focused organization book details a process that can accomplish a radical transformation of an organization in a positive and proactive manner, rather than in a negative and reactionary manner, thereby maintaining the company's integrity and employee satisfaction.

The leaders of future-focused organizations do not wait for nor create crises to motivate organizations to change radically. These leaders keep their organizations focused, lean, and able to quickly react to any change or opportunity in the marketplace. These future- focused organization leaders see a crisis forming far on the horizon, view it as an opportunity, and focus the organization well in advance not only to meet the crisis head on but to prepare to emerge from the crisis with an enhanced competitive advantage.

Future-focused organization leaders do not allow themselves to be imprisoned in the past or languish in the present, but instead they focus on how they should be operating to remain the market leader and provider of choice. They recognize the belief systems and convictions that inhibit breakthrough improvement and full employee stewardship. They have brought the seamless, business team organization to life by empowering employees to execute and benefit from change, rather than become victims of competitor's changes.

The future-focused organization approach details a path for an organization to follow that results in a crisis in their competitor's organization but not their own. The future-focused organization is always focusing on change to maintain its leadership position and no longer considers change just when a real or manufactured crisis appears.

A future-focused organization is always making change, but in a controlled and focused way that constantly increases its strategic advantage portfolio in the marketplace. Future-focused organizations are controlled and focused revolutions that constantly hunt down and eliminate the rebels of arrogance, overconfidence, status quo maintainers, and nonreality acceptors.

Doomsday or crisis management accomplishes short-term change but does long-term damage to the organization's infrastructure. Short-term radical change raises havoc within an organization by producing winners and losers. A future-focused organization approach has a win-win result for the organization and its employees.

This book is written for senior executives, strategic planners, market and sales managers, and designers of current or emerging organizations. It is for all types of organizations-manufacturing, service, health care, government, education, and so on.

The Future-Focused Organization goes a step beyond current management materials and focuses on the organization's need to develop loyal customers and employees. The future-focused organization places an emphasis on the need to have constant, well-planned revolutions that restructure the organization and focus it on the future through a self-help approach.

It is the approach that will take organizations into the 21st century.


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