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Escaping the Identity Trap

Organizations, like people, have essential natures defined by their formative experiences, their beliefs, their knowledge bases and their core competences. Attempts at change that are in conflict with this core identity are often doomed to failure. Managers can learn to recognize such conflicts and initiate identity change to make their companies more adaptive.


The Three Challenges of Corporate Consulting

For many product-oriented companies, establishing a corporate consultancy can be a good first step toward a more solutions-based orientation. As Ericsson, Shell and AT&T, among others, illustrate, the consulting unit can take a number of forms dictated by its key knowledge base and its relation to the product businesses‘ value chain. The challenge is to determine how similar the consulting unit should be to the parent company in identity, mission and structure.


The Organizational Identity Trap

What do Kmart, Lucent, Bull, Marks & Spencer, Moulinex, Polaroid and Xerox have in common? All are examples, say the authors of a recent white paper, of once thriving companies that seem unable to reinvent themselves in response to environmental change.

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