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© 2024 N. Dean Meyer and Associates Inc.
Excerpt from www.NDMA.COM, © 2024 N. Dean Meyer and Associates Inc.

Principle-based Organizational Structure

a handbook to help you engineer entrepreneurial thinking and teamwork into organizations of any size

by N. Dean Meyer

Book: Principle-based Organizational Structure

Look at any organization chart and see who's fighting with whom, who's not making objectives, and who has ulcers!

Organizational structure is not a matter of intuition, fads, or simplistic models. And it shouldn't be based on today's projects, or the personalities and careers of senior leaders.

Structure is an engineering science, with firm principles and constructs.

This is the definitive book on that practical science of organizational structure, the culmination of over 30 years of study and practical experiences implementing restructurings in dozens of diverse organizations.

Far beyond the traditional HR literature, this book is based on the "business-within-a-business" paradigm, where every manager thinks and acts like an entrepreneur running a small business within their large organization. This results in innovation, accountability, cost control, customer focus, and great teamwork.

"Frankly, after studying and applying these principles repeatedly, I can't imagine why other executives would depend on their intuitions, or repeat the mistakes others have made under the guise of 'best practices.'

I encourage you to read this book before you make any decisions about organizational structure."
Preston T. Simons
CIO, Aurora Health Care
and former CIO, Abbott Laboratories

The book describes clear principles for the design of organization charts, and it's chock full of stories and case studies that bring those principles to life.

It also explains how to build explicit, yet flexible, cross-boundary teamwork, the antidote to a "silo" mentality.

And it describes a step-by-step change-management process to implement structural change in an open, participative way.

This book is a rare combination of vision and practicality, of solid science and pragmatic guidance.

Available in hard-cover and Kindle on Amazon, 448 pages. $28 US

Or contact us to order a signed copy....

This book contains:

  • Case study: A CEO who successfully restructured a company for growth

  • Over 30 case studies of structures designed to fail

  • Seven essential principles of organizational structure

  • The five lines of business that exist within any organization -- the "Building Blocks" of structure

    "This book was such an eye opener! It takes all the best practices I've learned over the decades about designing an organization and packages them up into an elegant structure and step-by-step method. This book can help leaders fix broken organizations -- and most organizations are broken in some way."
    Dr. Nicole Radziwill
    Editor-in-Chief, Software Quality Professional

  • How to look at any organization chart and anticipate its problems

  • How to design an optimal structure for your unique organization

  • How to build high-performance teamwork into your organization

  • Clear explanation of the fundamental trade-offs of decentralization and outsourcing

  • How to build a shared-services organization, and deal with decentralization

  • A step-by-step process for restructuring (including consolidations and acquisition integration)

Table of Contents....

Book: Principle-based Organizational Structure

List of Case Studies....

Book: Principle-based Organizational Structure

"Structure is a science? Structure is more fundamental than processes? Than strategies? Than even people? Every manager is an entrepreneur? Dotted lines/matrix/federated models -- all wrong? Wow, this book blew away the fads and 'common wisdom' (which turns out to be unwise), and opened my eyes to a completely new, refreshing, powerful, and pragmatic understanding of organizations. A great read. Great work."
Chris S. Romano
CIO, Legal Industry

What people have said about the book:

I've been part of the senior leadership of a variety of organizations -- start-ups to large, and medium- to high-growth companies -- and I never looked at organizational design as a science. This book makes tremendous sense to me. It's profound, and at the same time, practical.

Ulrich Pilz, Board Director, multiple companies

Other books I've read on structure present lots of theories, but no clear guidance. This is breakthrough thinking, and yet Dean makes it so practical and accessible that is seems like common sense.

Pat Beach, Director, Corporate IT, SRC Inc.

This is the first book I've read on organizational structure that makes sense in the real world, hangs together, and comes with an instruction manual on how to implement change.

Fred Dewey, CEO and Serial Entrepreneur

In this era of dramatic change fueled by technology, enterprises large and small will inevitably restructure to add new roles and functions, and to create new levels of cross-functional collaboration. Dean Meyer brings a set of principles and practices for organizational structure that every executive, from the CEO down, can use to maximize organizational effectiveness. Every leader with responsibility for structuring any part of the enterprise will profit from the lessons Meyer lays out here.

Richard Hunter, VP and Distinguished Analyst, Gartner

"This outstanding book helps you build organizations to win! I'm recommending it to every client and friend I have."
Max Henry
serial entrepreneur and coach to venture CEOs

Any reader with a management role in a complex organization will quickly understand the flaw(s) in their current organization chart that contribute to dysfunction in the organization. Any reader with a leadership role in a complex organization can apply the book's principles and process to restructure the organization for better performance.

Norman M. Goldfarb, Editor, Journal of Clinical Research Best Practices

This book gives me a transformational approach to redesigning my organization. It's based upon solid engineering and business practices. It tells me how to build really effective enterprise teamwork. And the suggested implementation process ensures success through the engagement of my staff in the design process. As a bonus, it's well written and easily understood, with frequent summaries of key points.

Karan Powell, President, American Public University

Market leadership depends on innovative growth strategies, translated into deployable growth initiatives, and an organization that can execute. Principle-based Organizational Structure lays out how to build that organization.

Michael Treacy, best-selling author, The Discipline of Market Leaders

As the CEO of a global leader in building automation, this book showed me how to better align regional organizations with the corporate strategy.

Lars vander Haegen, CEO, Belimo

I've applied these principles to my entire company, and it has been an engine for our growth.

Sergio Paiz, CEO, PDC

Our multinational chain of fashion and cosmetics retail stores is not a large company; but nonetheless, we had organizational issues. And I had difficulty sorting out individual performance problems from structural problems. Now, thanks to these Principles, my leaders have clear accountabilities; we understand how we team; and we can take on new brands and open new stores without having to make arbitrary assignments or rethink our structure.

Alejandro Arzu, President and CEO, Multinational Brand Management Group

This book systematically transforms the mystique of organizational design into an open, rational engineering science. It explains how to mature an organization without losing its entrepreneurial spirit, a key ingredient of 'crossing the chasm.'

Geoff Moore, best-selling author, Crossing the Chasm

I've applied these principles in organizations as small as 20 people (as well as much bigger ones), and it's always produced powerful insights and practical and effective organization charts that drove real team behavior change.

Gary Rietz, CIO, Blommer Chocolate Company

As a CIO, I've led organizations that ranged from hundreds of employees regionally to thousands globally. And in each case, I've implemented these principles of structure. This powerful, yet pragmatic, approach consistently leads to improved role clarity; better teamwork; customer focus; entrepreneurship; improved performance; and commitment. I use the principles as a forensic tool to give me insights about the structure I've inherited. And they provide a basis for a participative change process that allows my leadership team to contribute their knowledge and build an organization they truly understand and support. Frankly, after studying and applying these principles repeatedly, I can't imagine why other executives would depend on their intuitions, or repeat the mistakes others have made under the guise of 'best practices.' I encourage you to read this book before you make any decisions about organizational structure.

Preston T. Simons, CIO, Aurora Health Care
and former CIO, Abbott Laboratories

The book is a clean, crisp read, distilling more than 30 years of research about organizational design into straightforward recommendations. When I took my first management class, many years ago, I was told: 'The No. 1 problem in American business is lack of clear roles and responsibilities.' If you follow the principles in this book, that won't be a problem.

Mitch Betts, former executive editor of CIO and Computerworld magazines

Easily the best book I have read on structure and teaming.

Troy DuMoulin, VP R&D, Pink Elephant


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