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Rebuilding the Corporate Genome: Unlocking the Real Value of Your Business Hardcover – 3 Oct 2002

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (3 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471250767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471250760
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,494,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"...The author, al AT Kearney executives, examine the corporate structure, looking at the ways that organisations can reduce their businesses to their agile, basic elements that create innovative products and services "(Business a.m., 3 December 2002)

From the Inside Flap

Just as the genes in a strand of DNA determine the characteristics of an organism, the relative quality of 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 supercompetitive 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 link–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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Interesting approach to business organisation, still I was expecting it not to be so much theoretical
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Nov. 2002
Format: Hardcover
I think this book is an important read for any executive who is willing to step outside the box to think beyond cost cutting and meeting the next quarter's numbers. The authors present an intriguing and refreshing perspective on how executives can achieve growth. This book is written by consultants and is loaded with examples of how companies have put their theory into practice. I first read about the corporate genome idea in Fortune magazine two years ago and the theory reamins as fresh today as it was then.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The quiet business revolution 25 Nov. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I first heard about this book from an article in Fortune magazine about a year ago and since then it seems to be popping up everywhere. The authors present a completely original and compelling perspective on how companies can exploit the potential of their various business capabilities. Although the topic may appear to touch on old ground, it really doesn't. The authors look at businesses and their boundaries in a new, perhaps revolutionary, way. The text is full of cases and examples so the reading is pretty easy. They also provide solid frameworks and guidelines for executives. I think the ideas here could be as important as Hamper and Champy's "Reengineering the Corporation" was in the 1990's. I highly recommend it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Failed to connect the dots... 1 Dec. 2002
By R. Berg - Published on
Format: Hardcover
While presenting an interesting thesis, the book missed many opportunities at greatness. Why? The genome analogy was almost completely squandered, probably because genes represent traits and not capabilities, as the authors suggest. (Perhaps the authors could compare 'centers of excellence' to organs, with genes being the traits those organs exhibit which separate world class organizations from also-rans.) But I didn't write the book, so, ok, the authors get the benefit of the doubt.

However, the notion that a company that exhibits a world-class capability should soul-search to figure out "what business they're really in" is overly simplistic. The business world is littered with companies that forgot what business they were in, and have since succumbed to their more focused competitors. It is the alignment of culture, strategy and workflow that characterizes great companies, not fitting square pegs into round holes by making wholesale strategic shifts because "we happen to be great at shipping or inventory management or product design." It is these areas of excellence that make otherwise mediocre companies stand out against their competition; packaging and selling such dominating capabilities could prove lethal. How? The notion of packaging a core capability misses an important counterpoint to the enthusiastic promise of the subtitle: Unlocking the value of your business, to be sure, might allow unwanted trespassers.

This book provides much in the way of theory and the ideas presented are valid absent any specific market context. Applying these ideas in the real world, however, is risky, expensive and challenges the notion of cyclicality - that a business varies between reliance on partners (outsourcing) and doing it all in-house because markets demand it or competitive threats command it. Once that dominating capability that you have so carefully packaged and marketed is matched by a competitor, you're back to square one, having forgotten your original business base and left to rethink exactly what business you're in. Again. Sticking to what you're good at is no doubt good advice; sticking to what you're passionate about is better advice.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A must-read for managers 1 Nov. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A fresh and compelling take on management for the twenty-first century. Sure to turn up on B-school reading lists in the years to come. Don't miss it!
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