October 11, 2002
Just as the genes in a strand of DNA determine the characteristics of an organism, the relative quality the individual business units in a company largely determines the characteristics of an organization. Much like an organism’s DNA, the basic corporate structural model developed according to the demands of survival. Now, with the arrival of new technologies and new business realities, the corporate structure is evolving again.
Heightened competition, reduced interaction costs, and rapid communication have already begun to make obsolete the traditional corporate structure composed of design, manufacturing, marketing, and sales units. More and more businesses are separating the different functions, outsourcing many of them, or spinning them off into independent businesses. In fact, the days when a single company researches, designs, manufactures, and sells a product or service might soon be over.
Rebuilding the Corporate Genome presents a new vision of the corporation – a sleeker, more compact organization in which business units are recombined to create more potent corporate DNA and more competitive corporations. Leaner and more agile than their ancestors, today’s capability-driven organizations are reaping the benefits of a focused approach to what they do best. By concentrating on their strengths and eliminating or subcontracting their weaknesses, these new companies are maximizing profits, quickly adapting to changing markets, and better satisfying customer and shareholder expectations.
Like modern-day dinosaurs, many corporations are too big and slow to compete with smaller, faster creatures better suited to today’s super-competitive business climate. This book provides a plan for building the prototypical capability-driven organization. You’ll set a realistic agenda for recombining your corporate DNA and build a capability-driven organization that is transparent, agile, and manageable. You’ll learn to turn your company’s value-producing capabilities into businesses in their own right, leverage your company’s strengths through exclusive like-ups and partnerships, and pool capabilities with other organizations in pursuit of scale.
Rebuilding the Corporate Genome will show you how to focus on and nurture only the most profitable parts of your business – and build an organization that succeeds and survives by concentrating on what it does best.
Johan C. Aurik is Vice President of A. T. Kearney’s Benelux Unit with offices in Amsterdam and Brussels. A. T. Kearney is one of the world’s leading global management consulting firms. He is a frequent participant and speaker at conferences such as the World Economic Forum and The Conference Board.
Gillis J. Jonk is a principal at A. T. Kearney who frequently gives executive briefings, guest lectures, and speeches on next-generation business strategies.
Robert E. Willin is a principal at A.T. Kearney who specializes in corporate clients in consumer products, financial services, information technology, telecommunications, and transportation.