Smart Work

In his latest book, Steve Stanton explores the dramatic and dire consequences of our industrial-era organizational model.

The problem starts when busy-ness prevails. When employees spend half their time on email and the other half in dysfunctional meetings, there’s no time to think. And, in the absence of reflection, the urgent drives out the important, and symptom management triumphs over solving root causes. When we’re too busy to think, we identify hundreds of metrics instead of a well thought-out scorecard. We launch thousands of disconnected improvement projects and we lack the ability to transform processes, resulting, at best, in better sameness.

What’s required is a dramatically new nervous system to provide unprecedented levels of self-awareness. Components would include dispersed measures and sentience – the ability to sense, understand, and respond to marketplace information. They would include evolved business processes that both produce and use actionable data in every task. These and similar capabilities would allow process performers to become far more effective in their work - engaging their brains as well as their hands.

Finally, success requires strengthening the enterprise governing processes as well. Without strong integrating processes for strategy formulation and capability management, large organizations will continue to experience diseconomies of scale instead of serious synergy.The Research Services of FCB represent a direct link to our shared past with Dr. Hammer. We worked with him through the years in research consortiums such as Prism and Quantum and in the genesis and growth of revolutionary ideas such as Business Reengineering and Process Ownership.

The book explores the misfit between the turbulence of today’s marketplaces and the behaviors embedded in industrial-era organizations. Intended to encourage traditional organizations to embrace big change, it answers questions such as:

  • Why are organizations that merely execute doomed?
  • What are the advantages of developing smarter, digitized processes?
  • How do data-driven enterprises sense, measure and respond to change?
  • How can fragmented firms develop and adopt smarter operating models?

For many organizations, the problems start when busy-ness prevails. When employees spend half their time on email and the other half in dysfunctional meetings, there’s no time to think. In the absence of reflection, the urgent drives out the important, and symptom management triumphs over solving root causes. When we’re too busy to think, we identify hundreds of metrics instead of a well thought-out scorecard. We launch thousands of disconnected improvement projects and we lack the courage to transform processes. Better sameness prevails.

Smart Work describes a new nervous system that provides self-awareness and sentience – the ability to sense, understand, and respond to marketplace information. Elements include:

  • Reengineered processes that exploit new technologies and data
  • Balanced scorecards that provide unprecedented levels of value
  • Sensing processes that illuminate customers and competitors
  • Smart improvement initiatives
  • Revitalized governance and decision making

Smart Work is written for all of the smart employees in dumb organizations. It’s intended to help industrial-era organizations transform themselves so that they can use their scale and assets to defeat disruptors.  It’s for those who know that getting smarter is the path to success.

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The book builds on research conducted with members of the FCB Community listed below.

The FCB Community

AAA
3M
Air Products & Chemicals
Allmerica Financial
American Standard
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
AutoZone
Bacardi
Baker Hughes
Bank of America
Barrick Gold
BC Hydro
BD
Canada Post
Cargill
Caterpillar
Cervecería Nacional Dominicana
Cessna
Clorox
Conectiv
Consolidated Edison
Deere
Duke Energy
DuPont
Epcor Utilities
Fidelity
GPU Energy
Goodyear Tire and Rubber
Hallmark Cards
Hewlett-Packard
Hoffman La-Roche
  The Holmes Group
Horizon Blue Cross Shield
Humana
IBM
Iron Mountain
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Johnson & Johnson
Kimberly-Clark
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Merck
MetLife
Michelin
Mosaic Company
Nationwide
Owens Corning
Pacific Gas & Electric
PepsiCo Gamesa
Pfizer
Sandia National Laboratories
SaskPower
Schneider National
Service Canada
Shell
Sun Life Financial
Smart Technologies
TVA
Tetra Pak
Texas Instruments
United Illuminating
UPS
Zurich Financial