Built to Change: How to Achieve Sustained Organizational Effectiveness

book coverEdward E. Lawler III and Christopher G. Worley (Jossey-Bass, 2006)

In this groundbreaking book, organizational effectiveness experts Edward Lawler and Christopher Worley show how organizations can be “built to change” so they can last and succeed in today’s global economy. Instead of striving to create a highly reliable Swiss watch that consistently produces the same behavior, they argue organizations need to be designed in ways that stimulate and facilitate change.

Built to Change focuses on identifying practices and designs that organizations can adopt so that they are able to change. As Lawler and Worley point out, organizations that foster continuous change:

  • Are closely connected to their environments
  • Reward experimentation
  • Learn about new practices and technologies
  • Commit to continuously improving performance
  • Seek temporary competitive advantages

Built to Change is filled with illustrative examples from companies–Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Limited Brands, and Toyota–that have been able to change time and again to meet changing business demands. The book outlines what it takes to become an organization that continuously and rapidly changes. It includes information about creating strategies, structures, reward systems, communication processes, and human resource management practices that are designed to facilitate the ability of an organization to change.