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Invented Here: Maximizing Your Organization's Internal Growth and Profitability Hardcover – May, 1998
The Amazon Book Review
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From Library Journal
Victor and Boynton (management, International Institute for Management Development, Lausane, Switzerland) offer a rare gem among countless "also-ran" management texts. This solid work is filled with insights toward a fundamental understanding of organizations and how best to prepare for the future. Rather than turning to intermittent fads, the authors encourage building on what a firm is already about and explain their concept of a transformation path from craft work through mass production, process enhancement, mass configuration, ultimately to what they term co-configuration. Along this path, the different types of inherent knowledge within companies focusing on these different steps are defined, and practical measures from numerous companies exemplifying these different stages help convey the progression. This excellent work nicely complements John Macdonald's Calling a Halt to Mindless Change (LJ 4/1/98) and John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge's The Witch Doctors (LJ 12/96). Highly recommended for academic libraries supporting a business curriculum.?Dale F. Farris, Groves, TX
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Those who counsel individuals often first advise to "look within yourself" for answers. Similarly, the authors here suggest that most organizations already possess the internal resources necessary to succeed and grow. Victor and Boynton are both professors at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, and at the Kenan-Flagler Business School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They argue that rather than adopt each passing management fad, companies should use the organizational knowledge they already have and should regularly assess their existing knowledge base to discover their own unique patterns of managing growth and satisfying customers. The authors assert that there are four organizational capabilities. These are craft work, mass production, process enhancement, and mass customization. Victor and Boynton detail the "knowledge and value propositions" associated with each of the four, and they explain how, after self-analysis, companies can plot the "right path" for moving from one capability--or type of work--to the next. Their ideas are supported by numerous examples resulting from work with the IBM Consulting Group. David Rouse
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Top customer reviews
The process demands that firms think clearly and carefully about who they are and what business they are in compared to what their customers really want. This analysis helps a firm determine if it should compete on the basis of novelty, commodity, quality, or precision. The choice made suggests that craft work, mass production, process enhancement, or mass customization provides the best strategy to meet those customer demands. Achieving these strategies can only occur as a firm moves from craft work, through mass production and process enhancement to mass customization via the "right path."
In an engaging combination of personal insight and case examples, the authors lead the reader along the "path." They offer numerous stories of organizations around the world that have followed this "path" to organizational success.
Don't let the reletive brevity of their effort mislead you. The ideas they propose should force the thoughful manager into careful and thoughful consideration of the firm's current structure, products, and processes. If the analysis suggests that changes are warranted, then Victor and Boynton's guidebook along the "right path" will prove well worth the initial investment.
A thoughtful, creative tour de force in a field littered with lightweight, feel-good competitors. Enjoy!
The great value of this book lies in 3 areas :
i) Use of illustrating failure as well as success - better to learn from someone else's mistakes so that you can, hopefully, avoid them.
ii) Identifying in meaningful terms where to position your organisation for your product/service e.g. if you need a great mass production machine, that is how you should organize; when your customers need more, don't hide from it - just do it well.
iii) The style is refreshingly alive. You feel you can relate to real people solving real problems. Too often, books like this feel like they belong only in libraries - this one offers genuinely practical insight. It's up to you to apply it.
If I have one (minor) criticism, it is the title. Don't let it mislead you. This book is a very helpful guide to many aspects of organizational design and a better title, in my opinion, would be something like:- "Optimizing Your Organization For Your Customers"