SINGAPORE, APRIL 9, 2010 — Jones Lang LaSalle’s client focus has been recognized as a key to the company’s adaptability to changing market dynamics in the Harvard Business Press book “Reorganize for Resilience: Putting Customers at the Center of Your Organization.” In this book, Harvard Business School Professor Ranjay Gulati explains how pioneering companies have overcome their built-in institutional obstacles by reorganizing their structure and capabilities to be proactive, flexible and truly customer-centric.
Jones Lang LaSalle is featured prominently for embracing an outside-in perspective that focuses on creatively delivering value to customers instead of pushing its own offerings.
“In good times and bad, successful companies immerse themselves in the business of their clients with a focus on problem solving for the client, rather than selling a suite of services,” said Lauralee Martin, Chief Financial and Operating Officer for Jones Lang LaSalle, who was interviewed for the book.
According to Gulati, this focus on rallying around customer problems results in the resilience that protects businesses from economic storms. In the book, Gulati also highlights Jones Lang LaSalle’s ability to break down barriers and to create a nimble business architecture that enables greater flexibility through increased client service coordination.
“Shaping our business around the needs of our customers has kept us at the forefront of corporate real estate in Asia Pacific for 15 years,” said John Forrest, Chief Executive Officer of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Corporate Solutions business in Asia Pacific. “We are consistently focused on aligning our firm to enable our teams to create the most innovative solutions to our clients’ challenges.”
Mr. Gulati created this book through interviews with more than 500 executives over a decade of boom-and-bust economic cycles. Gulati uncovered five key levers that pry open silos, expand mindsets, build partnerships and help an organization recognize and shift internal barriers to move toward ongoing resilience:
- Coordination: Connect, eradicate, or restructure silos to enable swift responses. Coordination aligns tasks and information around a customer axis.
- Cooperation: Aligns all employees around the shared goal of customer focused-goals.
- Clout: Redistributes power to “bridge builders” and customer champions. Clout enables individuals and divisions to take on meaningful silo-busting roles and ultimately enhance outside-in responsiveness needed in a shifting market.
- Capabilities: Develop employees’ skills at tackling changing customer needs. Capabilities means encouraging the boundary-spanning skills that managers and employees need to develop to cope with changing customer needs. As an example, Gulati cites how Jones Lang LaSalle mandated that account managers spend time within each of the firm’s product and service units to gain greater knowledge of them.
- Connection: Blend your offerings with partners’ to provide unique customer solutions. Connections help companies achieve sustainable, customer-centricity by leveraging the extraordinary value of effective partners.
In “Reorganize for Resilience” Jones Lang LaSalle is featured alongside eight elite companies, whose outside-in perspective has enabled the flexibility to adapt and thrive in changing market conditions, including: Harley-Davidson, Starbucks, Target, The Tribune, Best Buy and Cisco, Lafarge and GE Healthcare. These companies were chosen for their passion and commitment to look for innovative ways to succeed. Gulati notes these diverse companies are poised to emerge from the recession stronger than ever as a result of using the five levers to shape their organizational strategy and structure.
To hear more from Gulati at how to create a customer-centric company, watch this podcast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3tyEsTed4k
About the Author
Ranjay Gulati is Jaime and Josefina Chua Tiampo Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and an expert on strategic and organizational issues in firms. His research has been published in leading journals such as Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, strategy+business, and Academy of Management Journal. The Economist Intelligence Unit recently listed him among the top business school scholars whose work is most relevant to management practice. He appears frequently on CNBC and other networks and lives in the Boston area.
About the book
REORGANIZE FOR RESILIENCE
Putting Customers at the Center of Your Organization
Harvard Business Press
January 19, 2010