Reinventing The Organization

Reinventing the Organization: How Companies Can Deliver Radically Greater Value in Fast-Changing Markets by Arthur Yeung and Dave Ulrich provides timely insights into how companies can adapt to volatile market conditions and pursue opportunities with speed and scale. The authors highlight experimental and emerging organizational models, mainly drawn from the tech industry, suggesting alternatives to traditional hierarchal models.

They also propose an ambitious integrated framework for organizational reinvention that encompasses strategies, capabilities, structure, culture, management tools, and leadership. Given the wide array of topics covered, this book is more of a high-level business transformation survey than an in-depth treatise. It’s an ideal overview for curious management accounting and finance professionals, regardless of whether it’s practical to implement the integrated framework fully.

Organizational reinvention is worth considering as businesses emerge from the pandemic. One of the recurring themes in Strategic Finance is the need for accounting and finance professionals to partner with their company’s CEO and other senior leaders to drive business decisions and results. For many, the COVID-19 years might be remembered for remote work from home and pandemic-related minutia; tightly controlled selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses, budgets, and cash forecasts; and dynamic financial modeling. Moving forward, how can finance leaders help businesses to prepare for a post-pandemic new normal? The authors share useful answers to that question that tie into operations and strategic planning.

In chapter 2, the authors recommend an environmental, social, and governance assessment as a critical first step of reinvention, encouraging readers to “predict the evolution of your industry not from the past, but by imagining backward from the future [to] become a futurist who imagines things others don’t see [and to] constantly be looking for what is missing.” Practical suggestions on culture and collaboration are found in chapters 6 and 11, respectively. Chapter 12 includes insightful tips for the many hats that leaders wear: cultural definer, business strategist, organizational architect, and talent manager.

Yeung and Ulrich should be commended for the breadth of the topics that they cover and their suggested applications of the concepts that they present. Readers will have much to consider, including at least a few ideas that prompt immediate action.

About the Authors