In Company Reorganizations, There Is No Halfway

By Peters, Tom | THE JOURNAL RECORD, August 11, 1994 | Go to article overview

In Company Reorganizations, There Is No Halfway


Peters, Tom, THE JOURNAL RECORD


{;;

! ERROR ! UNBALANCED BEGIN END STRIP BRACKETS }It's coffee-break time at Oticon, a world leader in hearing aid production. As you munch on a tasty snack, you're distracted by a flutter in the clear plastic tube that runs through the room, connecting the mailroom above to the trash disposal below.

The disturbance is shredded paper, probably the day's mail being discarded after it's been optically scanned into the specially designed Hewlett-Packard workstation network by which all Oticoners communicate with each other, all the time.

Paper is out, by edict, at Oticon. So are a lot of other things. On Aug. 8, 1991, at 8 a.m., a new Oticon was born.

"We removed the entire formal organization," explained Lars Kolind, chief or the Danish company. "We took away all departments. We took away all managers' titles. And with them went the red tape. There are no secretaries to protect us."

In place of old-fashioned desks, each employee now has a cart. In this ultimate self-designing organization, project teams form on their own initiative, then gather where they wish (workstations are ubiquitous) and get down to work. (Though a signed-off sheet of paper eventually certifies a team's existence, Kolind flatly insists that he has no idea how many teams there are at any one time.)

To Kolind's surprise, almost everyone took a shine to this strange new way of working _ and exactly one month after the start, in a symbolic move, the company auctioned off all the old office furniture to employees.

More to the point, the firm awoke from several years of slumber. Profits and market share are soaring, and a new world-beating product, which caught competitors (such as formidable Philips) napping, was introduced in half the normal time. Has this strange organization, which Kolind calls the "spaghetti model," made all this possible?

"Absolutely," Kolind snapped.

But then he issues a stern warning. You must, he says, "change everything at once" _ organization structure, culture, physical setting and the "very nature of work itself."

Unlike Oticon, VeriFone, the world leader in credit-card authorization systems, got it right from the start.

"Distribute organizational resources as near the customer as possible, then add tight, fast information feedback loops" _ that's the clinical way that CEO Hatim Tyabji puts it. In the vernacular, he calls it the "blueberry pancake model, very flat, with all blueberries equal. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

In Company Reorganizations, There Is No Halfway
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.