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The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work

Cathleen Benko

The corporate ladder has been the prevailing model for how companies manage their work and their people since the beginning of the industrial revolution a century ago.

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Book Information

Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Publish Date: 08/02/2010
Pages: 205
ISBN-13: 9781422155165
ISBN-10: 1422155161
Language: English

What We're Saying

October 08, 2010

I know, I know - I promised there would not be a long gap for best selling books around the country - but it has been a pretty busy summer!  So, I will not prolong the wait. . READ FULL DESCRIPTION

September 29, 2010

Progress or Paper Ceiling?

By Sally Haldorson

In the 2008 edition of our annual year-in-review, In the Books, I wrote an essay titled: "For Women Only? A Look at Trends in Business Books Written by Women. " It's a topic that always intrigues me. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

August 27, 2010

A Defense of Business Books

By Sally Haldorson

It's a common reaction. When I explain to people that I work for a bookstore that specializes in business books, most people either furrow their brows or wrinkle their noses. Sometimes this reaction is caused by confusion as bookstores, to most people, are brick and mortar locations that display New York Times best selling fiction, spin racks of greeting cards, and children's pictures books. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

August 04, 2010

The Corporate Lattice

By 800-CEO-READ

As a follow up to her book Mass Career Customization, Cathleen Benko and Molly Anderson have teamed up to present The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work. As outlined in MCC, the world of work is changing, not only for companies, but also for individuals: personal values, diversity, and skills are being viewed differently than they once were, and it's changing the structure of people's lives. Because of these factors, more people aren't necessarily "climbing the ladder" like they once were. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

The corporate ladder has been the prevailing model for how companies manage their work and their people since the beginning of the industrial revolution a century ago. The ladder represents an inflexible view in which prestige, rewards, access to information, influence, power, etc. are tied to the rung one occupies. The problem is, the authors argue, we no longer live in the industrial age. The pace of change is faster. Work is increasingly virtual, collaborative, and dispersed. Organizations are flatter. Companies are much easier to see into. Careers zig and zag. Work is done wherever, whenever. And information flows in all directions. The result? The ladder model -- along with the outdated norms and expectations that defined it -- is collapsing. In their best-selling book, The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work, author Cathy Benko and co-author Molly Anderson define the emerging Corporate LatticeTM model and argue convincingly that a lattice is better suited for today's global business environment. They describe the shift across three dimensions: --How careers are built: From straight up to zigzag. Rather than a series of linear career paths, lattice organizations offer customized options for growth and development. Lattice ways to build careers attract and engage the best talent and create versatile employees well suited to respond to change. --How work gets done: From where you go to what you do. Rather than expecting people to sit at their desks clocking face time from 9 to 5, lattice organizations offer options for when, where, and how people do their work. Lattice ways to work increase productivity and retention while increasing strategic flexibility in business operations. --How participation is fostered: From top-down to all-in. Instead of directed, top-down communications, lattice organizations nurture transparent cultures, providing multiple ways for people to share ideas, learn, and team. Lattice ways to participate tap the power of an inclusive workplace to drive innovation, growth, and agility. Offering much more than theory, the authors illustrate the lattice model using rich, in-depth case studies of exemplars including Cisco, Deloitte LLP, and Thomson Reuters. They also explore the changing role each individual plays in directing his or her own lattice journey.

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