The Twelve Organizational Capabilities

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9780002558709: The Twelve Organizational Capabilities

‘Our people are our greatest asset’ is one of the greatest lies of working life. Bob Garratt shows how, by making it a reality, organizational efficiency, effectiveness and profitability can be successfully achieved.

Why do directors and managers design and operate organizations as if the people who comprise them do not matter? Why do so many of them have such poor attitudes, and knowledge of the theory and practice of organizing? Organizations are fundamental human institutions, yet all too often they are seen as mindless, heartless machines.

If people are to be truly valued then they, and their accumulated learning, must appear on the balance sheet as assets, rather than simply as costs which can be cut when the going gets tough.

With his revolutionary new theory of organizing Bob Garratt demonstrates the business value of treating people as unique individuals with energy, experience and commitment, rather than faceless minions.

An essential new structure and vocabulary of organizing provides the basis for research-based new methods for evaluating people’s organizational capabilities. These enable directors and managers to put people at the heart of their plans and avoid short-termism and senseless downsizing.

Backed by thirty years of academic research, his consultancy practice which reaches across the world, and exhaustive debates with academics and practitioners, Bob Garratt presents, with case studies, the patterns which emerge in the most efficient, effective and profitable organizations.

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Review:

Praise for The Fish Rots from the Head:

‘Garratt has a gift for synthesizing things in a beautifully clear and succinct way’
Charles Handy

‘No director can afford to ignore this book’
Sir Adrian Cadbury

From the Back Cover:

Why is the Statement that 'our people are our greatest asset' one of the most common lies of working life? If people were truly valued as assets, then they – and their accumulated learning – would appear on the balance sheet. They do not. Indeed, people often feel doubly 'under'valued by their manager's failure to recognize both that they are key resources who deliver the tasks that sustain their organization – and that they are individuals with unique energy, experience and commitment. Sadly, they are often 'valued' negatively only as costs on the profit and loss accounts.

The current fashion to 'downsize' and 'rightsize' leads almost all organizations to put too much emphasis on short-term, simplistic, cost-related factors. Such actions ultimately fail because the vital experience base and social lubrication of the organization has been destroyed. When employees leave, the accumulated learning of the organization goes with them, destroying the customer's perception of the organizataion's effectiveness and any chance of customer loyalty and repeat sales.

After many years of action research, twelve Organizational Capabilities have been identified as essential to measure whether organizations are to be effective and efficient. Until now, there has been no language for describing the capabilities inherent in employees and their organization. This book is the first to provide the beginning of such a language, which must run in parallel with the all-pervading language of finance. Board members and executives can now assess more accurately whether they have the structure and energies needed to implement their strategies and plans – and to get honest feedback about progress.

Underpinning the capabilities is the idea that organizations are not just machines driven by data and rationality, but consist of groupings of human emotions which can work for or against the organization. The director and manager's job is to maintain a balance between the 'hard' (structural, mechanical and accounting) processes of the organizations and the 'soft' (emotional and social) processes.

The twelve Organizational Capabilities give directors and managers the tools they must have to create both maximum effectiveness and efficiency.

Bob Garratt is Chairman of Media Projects International in London and of Organization Development Limited in Hong Kong. He has a global consultancy advising on corporate governance, director development and strategic thinking. He is chairman of the Task Force to create the Commonwealth Association for Corporate Governance. He is visiting professor in Corporate Governance at The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London and a Senior Associate of the Judge Institute of Management, University of Cambridge. His previous titles include 'The Learning Organization 'and 'Learning to Lead, Developing Strategic Thought,' of which he is editor, and 'The Fish Rots from the Head.'

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