Adaptive Enterprise By Stephan H Haeckel. Book Review by Stephen Parry

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Adaptive Enterprise By Stephan H Haeckel. Book Review by Stephen Parry

This review is for: Adaptive Enterprise: Creating and Leading Sense-And-Respond Organizations (Hardcover)

A New Vision

The book talks about creating Sense and Respond 1.0 organisations and adopting operational strategies similar to the approaches taken by the German ‘Mass-Customisation’ school of thought, i.e. using technology to create an information factory then combining it with granular modular production techniques to deliver on-demand services. To my mind this solution falls well short of the Sense and Respond Vision the author expertly outlines. But don’t let the wrong solution prevent you from adopting the right vision. This book and the vision it outlines is very important for the world of work today, where old business models have reached the end of their useful life.

While the technology theme is very strong in the book,(as you would expect from a strategy school based at IBM) its underlying message is the need to deconstruct the very fabric of the organisation and introduce structures that can close the duration between ‘sensing’ and ‘responding’ to a level that establishes a truly on-demand capability. Their analogy of obtaining the responsiveness of ‘Fly-by-Wire’ systems in aircraft works well in this respect

More space might have been given to the approaches required to change the management mindsets and behaviours.

I would caution companies not to think of this solely as a technology solution otherwise they may be in danger of simply creating a more sophisticated form of make and sell with the technology solution providing a disappointing response to sensing the wrong needs.

The book outlines a brilliant strategic case for the adoption of Sense and Respond principles.

Stephan has brought the term ‘Sense and Respond’ to the attention of a very large audience and has since this book developed it into a fully fledged post-industrial managerial model. A great read for people who are passionate about creating breakthrough organisations.

This book was originally published as a concept outlining the case for Sense and Respond type organizations when In Europe we were actually creating organizations who were doing this, the latter work lead on to the book Sense and Respond by Stephen Parry

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