“Engineers want to be successful, and that’s worth more than money,” explains Dean Dahnke, a soft-spoken software engineer in his early fifties. His voice is clear and level as he recounts almost thirty years spent inhabiting the cubicles, clean rooms and beer busts of Silicon Valley, a forty mile long swath of California suburban and industrial landscape riding the curves of Highway 101 as it hugs the San Francisco Bay between SJC (San Jose International Airport) and SFO (San Francisco International Airport.)
“Success is defined differently for different kinds of tech products,” Dahnke continues, seated on a green felt ottoman in his Sunnyvale, CA home, located within a triangle formed by Google’s main campus in Mountain View, Intel’s Santa Clara headquarters building and Apple Computer’s Cupertino headquarters, a short distance from SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) and the NASA Ames Research Center as well as the headquarters of eBay, Hewlett-Packard and Facebook. “If I am the guy designing circuit boards for a Mac, my success is based on market share. If I am working on iWork® (an Apple Computer software product similar to Microsoft Office®,) my success is based not necessarily on market share, but certainly on acceptance. I want to read in a Macworld article that a feature I worked on was the coolest thing in a new release.”
It’s an accepted management axiom that “structure should support strategy.” This principle was first popularized in a 1962 book called Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the Industrial Enterprise
by then Harvard Business School Professor, Alfred D. Chandler, Jr.
As Dahnke’s statements reveal, however, strategy determines not only the power with which a company connects to its market, but also the power with which it connects to and engages employees. In this sense, strategy becomes an integral element of organizational design. In other words, Strategy is Structure
. Read More...