Smart Lemming Review: Bergstrand’s Reinvent Your Enterprise

reinvent-your-enterprise-bookcoverWhat it is: Bergstrand’s Reinvent Your Enterprise.

What it’s about: Improving results – better, faster, and cheaper – in today’s Knowledge Age

The new book offers people, who are not satisfied with their organizational results, a management system that focuses on doing the right, and doing them right.

5-star-rating

The Good: A proven framework, complete with guiding principles on how to reinvent your Enterprise for future success and competitive advantage.

The Bad: At times, too academic, but it’s a theory that’s been prototyped and proven.

Action Item: Knowledge workers, managers, and leaders should read this book to understand how companies could be structured, operated, and perform to achieve desired results.

Reinvent Your Enterprise: Through Better Knowledge Work by Jack Bergstrand

What are the most conducive organizational structure, processes, and principles that allows a company or Enterprise to be productive? Bergstrand answers this question with his book, Reinvent Your Enterprise: Through Better Knowledge Work. Building on Peter Drucker’s approach to management and knowledge workers, Reinvent Your Enterprise is Bergstrand’s doctoral work at The George Washington University, combined with his firm’s consulting clients. The result is a practical, research-based knowledge work productivity framework and process for the Knowledge Age.

Bergstrand also developed an online survey, The Strategic Profiling├é┬« assessment, an instrument to help people apply the system, accelerating their knowledge work. He prototyped an actual company, based on the system and productivity principles, testing and refining a holistic set of Knowledge Age ideas with real employees, customers, and competitors. Bergstrand proposes and proves that a “Knowledge Work Productivity Management System” is the ideal approach for a productive company using his four-area framework, consisting of the following areas:

  • Envision
  • Design
  • Build
  • Operate

Explaining the Foundation of his Assumptions

Bergstrand explains the transition from manual work to knowledge work, using Peter Drucker’s approach to management. “Knowledge workers acquire knowledge through a combination of education, experience, and personal interaction, and then use that knowledge to achieve organizational goals in changing environments.” The challenge in managing knowledge workers is the invisible nature of their work, at times; these workers are not held to results-oriented standards like manual workers. Unproductive knowledge worker issues include:

  • Too many meetings that produce few results
  • Competing internal priorities with no mechanism for resolution
  • Studies that are completed and put on the shelf
  • Projects that get started but are not finished on time
  • Projects that never get started but get talked about every year
  • High executive turnover that causes frequent changes in direction

4-squarelogoBuild the Knowledge Work Productivity Management System

Bergstrand created the Knowledge Work Productivity System using a four-part framework in four steps. The four-part framework is a 2 x 2 matrix, with continuums from work (a physical output) to knowledge (mental output) and subjective (an intuitive output) to objective (a structure output), forming the four knowledge worker productivity work behavior areas. Each box/area is defined as Envision, Design, Build, and Operate:

  • Envision is the need to focus on Where you intend to go and Why.
  • Design is necessary to concentrate on What you need to do and When.
  • Build is needed to focus on How to best implement the design.
  • Operate is required to concentrate on Who needs to be responsible for which tasks.

“Managed in a holistic way and in the right order, these four steps are essential to improve knowledge work productivity and reinvent Enterprise.” He offers principles to reconsider and reinvent the following foundational areas to improve faster and become more sustainable:

  • Corporate hierarchy and vertical productivity
  • Functionitis and horizontal productivity
  • Company meetings and project productivity
  • Socialized costs and free riders
  • Enterprise property rights
  • Asset redeployment

Proving and Prototype a Knowledge Work Productivity Enterprise

Bergstrand took his doctoral project from theory to the real world by creating a working model from a “clean sheet of paper with real customers and employees,” integrating theory and practice. After he developed the company based on the Envision, Design, Build, and Operate framework, Bergstrand applied his principles:

  • Work to increasingly help your customers be more productive
  • Work to increasingly turn your Enterprise into an economic pass through, such as no caps to compensation with very few socialized costs, linked to personalize benefits. Surplus profits were redistributed based on employee contribution tracked by points, related to the company’s top three business drivers: (1) selling great work; (2) delivering great work; and (3) recruiting and developing a diverse group of great people.
  • Work to increasingly decouple status and rank from total compensation that helped the company continually improve its knowledge work productivity. Also directly rewarding those who generate the firm’s profits.
  • Work to increasingly redesign your corporate and personal infrastructure by allowing flexibility in the choice of personal tools to get their job done, but within corporate data security requirements.
  • Work to increasingly reduce Enterprise transactions an moving parts
  • Work to increasingly replace judging with coaching

The Strategic Profiling tool

Bergstrand created a new survey, unlike the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator, Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument, David Keirsey Temperament Sorter, and the John Lopker Pictures of Personality. This tool was designed in conjunction with the principles of the book. The opposing forces of knowledge, work, subjective, objective described in his framework, produce fifteen different knowledge worker Strategic Profiles. Each profile is unique with respect to productivity-related strengths and weaknesses. The key to using this tool is having the insight to use the profiles results to better manage projects, so you can reinvent your Enterprise better and faster. Below is a summary view of a sample Strategic Profile.

strategic-profile

About Jack Bergstrand

Bergstrand is an expert in Enterprise reinvention and knowledge work productivity management. Bergstrand is the founder of Brand Velocity, Inc., described by The Drucker Institute as the smartest company you have never heard of. He is also the creator of the Strategic Profiling instrument, a companion tool to help organization accelerate their large Enterprise projects. Bergstrand earned his Master of Science degree in management from Stanford University, a Master of Arts degree in advertising from Michigan State University, and is a doctoral candidate in the Executive Leadership Program at The George Washington University.

jack_bergstrandConclusion

With his book, Bergstrand answers the question, “What is the most conducive organizational structure, processes, and principles that allows a company to be productive?” Knowledge work productivity requires turning inputs into outputs, converting knowledge into action. By rapidly doing so, the Enterprise creates sustainable competitive advantage in the Knowledge Age. To reinvent your Enterprise, a better structure is needed to produce better results. Bergstrand’s Reinvent Your Enterprise is roadmap for managers and leaders adapt their company to the Knowledge Age.

While Reinvent Your Enterprise is targeted at managers and leaders who are hoping to improve their company’s results, this book is also invaluable for the knowledge worker in the trenches who aspires to become a manager or leader in an organization. Reinvent Your Enterprise teaches the fundamentals of knowledge work, knowledge work management, and how to build a better knowledge work productivity system to achieve corporate goals and create a sustainable competitive advantage.

3 comments

  1. Your review is right on target.I think the book is written is simple terms and is a easy read.Jack seems like he he has a lot of on the job training making the book pratical.Bill

    • Hi Bill, I’m happy to hear that my impression is on track with yours. I think what I find really impressive is Jack starts out, with what seems to be a thesis, does extensive research, and then tests his approach in a real-life lab by creating a company using his model. Brilliant!

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