管 理思想家們也在考慮這個問題。南加州大學(University of Southern California)商學院教授愛德華‧勞勒(Edward Lawler)說﹐公司必須實現靈活性﹐以便迅速、經常地改變方向。勞勒說﹕“你不能指望能有風平浪靜的時候。”2006年﹐勞勒與南加州大學的研究員克 里斯多福‧渥利(Christopher Worley)合著了《促進變革》(Built to Change)一書。
渥利說 Capital One Financial Corp.就是一家擅長應變的公司。這家信用卡發行商曾經對自己的員工表示﹕職位描述是暫時的。許多其他公司就不是那麼擅長應變﹕據渥利和勞勒以及諮詢公 司Booz & Co.最近進行的一項調查﹐548位美國大公司的高管給公司的應變力打出的平均分為2.87分（滿分為5分）。
為 了完成“Fast Strategy”一書﹐多茲和科索寧花了三年時間採訪諾基亞、國際商業機器公司(IBM)和德國軟件製造商SAP AG.等公司的管理人員。他們得出的一個結論是﹐公司需要增加壓力並促進合作﹐才能應變求變。一個建議﹕給管理人員制定表面上互相矛盾的目標。法國汽車製 造商雷諾公司(Renault SA)就是這樣做的﹐它讓大獲成功的Twingo汽車的開發團隊降低其成本、同時提高質量。
多茲和科索寧 說﹐無法適應變化的公司可能會發現﹐隨著時間的推移﹐管理層的最佳方法可能會變得有害。比如說﹐大多數公司都會為新項目選擇有很強經驗的領導人﹐但這份經 驗正好也可能讓他們不那麼願意接受新觀念﹐或是對自己的能力太過自信。為了避免這一點﹐兩位作者建議將經驗豐富的老手與擁有全新觀點的新手或外行搭配。
20 世紀60年代﹐諾基亞進入電信行業﹐隨後又在90年代轉向手機。1998年﹐諾基亞成為全球市場份額最大的手機製造商﹐但該公司卻把業務負責人進行了調換 ﹐將手機業務的負責人調任一個新風險投資團隊﹐並將網絡部門的負責人調到手機業務上來。時任諾基亞策略主管的科索寧說﹐這番調整打破了公司內部長久以來的 條塊分割﹐令管理人員的觀念一新。
一些革新付出了高昂代價。諾基亞2004年的重組創建了新的營銷和研究部門﹐令一部分習慣於掌控這些職 能的企業領導人受挫﹐4位頂級管理人員因此離開了諾基亞。分析師們表示﹐該公司錯過了一些重要的手機潮流﹐如翻蓋手機的興起令諾基亞在2004年丟掉了美 國市場龍頭老大的位置。
2006年年中﹐新任首席執行長康培凱(Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo)領導下的管理團隊向多茲和時任內部顧問的科索寧問及讓公司保持警覺的其他方法。除了將手機業務分成硬件和軟件兩大塊﹐諾基亞還創建了 一個負責營銷和物流的部門﹐另外還有一個指導策略和長期研究的部門。科索寧說﹐這令高層管理人員在成功的道路上進行更多的合作。
Experts Have a Message for Managers: Shake It Up
In January, cellphone giant Nokia Corp. threw itself off balance.
The Finnish company had previously divided its cellphone business into three groups based on market segments: consumer phones, feature-heavy smart phones and business phones. Instead, Nokia executives carved the cellphone unit into two functional groups: those developing the phones themselves and those creating its growing software-and-services offerings.
The reorganization allowed Nokia to focus more attention on software and services, an increasingly important part of its business. It also created an organization that is 'unstable by design,' because the two units are encouraged to challenge each other, says Mikko Kosonen, a former Nokia strategy chief who advised the executive team on the new corporate structure.
One potential friction point: whether Nokia's software should be reserved for the company's cellphones or marketed to other hardware makers, a question with the potential to affect the profits each unit can make. But units no longer set their own financial targets, one of many tactics that force executives to resolve their differences rather than fight.
That mix of tension and collaboration is designed to 'keep the organization awake,' says Mr. Kosonen, who recently authored a book on strategic agility with Yves Doz, a professor at the Insead business school in Fontainebleau, France. 'The very things that make you great will kill you -- unless you take medicine to stay agile,' says Mr. Kosonen.
Nokia's reorganization highlights a growing challenge for companies: how to continually prepare for change -- even when things seem to be working well.
Management thinkers are considering the issue as well. Edward Lawler, a business professor at the University of Southern California, says companies have to build in the ability to switch directions quickly and often. 'You can't look for periods of calm water,' says Mr. Lawler, who in 2006 co-authored 'Built to Change' with USC researcher Christopher Worley.
Mr. Worley points to Capital One Financial Corp. as a company that is good at change; for a time, the credit-card issuer told workers that job descriptions are temporary. Many other companies aren't so good at it: A group of 548 senior managers at big U.S. companies rated their firms' abilities to change an average of 2.87 on a scale of 5, according to a recent survey by Messrs. Worley and Lawler and consulting company Booz & Co.
For their book 'Fast Strategy,' Messrs. Doz and Kosonen spent three years interviewing managers at Nokia and other companies, such as International Business Machines Corp. and German software maker SAP AG. One conclusion is that companies need to promote tension as well as cooperation in order to keep themselves open and able to change. A suggestion: Give managers seemingly contradictory goals, as French car maker Renault SA did when it told developers of its successful Twingo car to both lower costs and boost quality.
Companies that don't adapt may find that management's best practices turn toxic with time, Messrs. Doz and Kosonen say. For instance, most companies choose leaders with strong track records for new projects, but that very experience can make them less open to new ideas or too confident of their abilities. To avoid that, the authors recommend teaming veterans with newcomers or outsiders with fresh perspectives.
Nokia, which started in the mid-1800s as a paper mill, has a history of reinventing itself, even when times are good.
It moved into telecommunications in the 1960s, then shifted to mobile phones in the 1990s. In 1998, the year Nokia became the world's biggest cellphone maker by market share, the company rotated its business heads into new posts, moving the mobile-phone chief to a new-ventures group, and the head of the networks unit into mobile phones. The rotation broke down longstanding corporate factions and freshened managers' views, says Mr. Kosonen, who was strategy chief at the time.
Some shake-ups were costly. Four top executives left Nokia after a 2004 reorganization that created new marketing and research divisions, frustrating some business leaders who used to control those functions. Analysts said the company had missed some key cellphone trends, like a move to clamshell phones that in 2004 cost Nokia its No. 1 spot in the U.S. market.
In mid-2006, the executive team under new CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo asked Messrs. Doz and Kosonen, then an internal adviser, for other ways to keep the company on its toes. Besides splitting its cellphone hardware and software businesses, Nokia created another unit to handle marketing and logistics and a fourth to direct strategy and long-term research. That made top managers even more dependent on one another for success, says Mr. Kosonen.
Mr. Kallasvuo also introduced some tension: He didn't tell other executives what role they'd play in the new organization until a few weeks before Nokia announced the changes.