Creating and Leading Sense and Respond Organizations
Stephan H. Haeckel1999
Harvard Business School Press
The book talks about creating Sense and Respond 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.
While the technology theme is very strong in the book, 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. The analogy of obtaining the responsiveness of ‘Fly-by-Wire’ systems works well in this respect
More space might have been given to the approaches required to change the management mindset.
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 developed it into a fully fledged post-industrial managerial model. www.senseandrespond.com
A great read for people who are passionate about creating breakthrough organisations.
Reviewed 2004: Updated September 2005