The Spider's Strategy
IN THIS SUMMARY
Business leaders of today face tremendous challenges. Global data capabilities allow work production across distributed networks, requiring that companies manage the flow of raw material, work-in-process, money, and information throughout geographically and often financially independent workgroups. Companies must remain competitive in a world where consumers demand customized products. The blurring industry lines of today's manufacturers and service providers make it much more complex to maintain win-win relationships with supplier networks. In The Spider's Strategy, Amit Mukherjee introduces the concept of an adaptive business transformation which companies must undergo to handle these challenges. To become adaptive, leaders must implement four powerful design principles: Embed sense-and-respond capabilities within their normal processes so they can manage "predictable surprises" that impact business plans. Adopt strategies that promote collaborative action among network partners. Value and nurture organizational learning. Deploy technologies that enable intelligent adjustment to major environmental shifts. Creating the Adaptive Busines sIt takes a focused and sustained effort to implement the four design principles proposed by Mukherjee, the cornerstones of the adaptive business. To get started, he makes the following recommendations: Approach transformation holographically Select a unit open to change Ensure high level support Build the master plan for change in waves Start with non-customer-facing ends Put the right incentives in place The Chief Network Officer To become a successful adaptive business, Mukherjee proposes the creation of a Chief Network Officer role within the company with critical responsibility for: Prospecting strong, compatible network partners. Evangelizing his company as a worthy partner. Network Building so that the company and its partners function like a seamless, virtual organization. Mediation among network partners to ensure continued win-win relationships. Knowledge Transfer to make sure that good adaptive practices are transferred.