What Works. A Decade of Change at Champion International

  • ID: 2217785
  • Book
  • Region: Global
  • 182 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Once upon a time, Champion International, one of the largest players in the highly competitive paper products industry, struggled with a below–average physical plant, a traditionally managed workforce, adversarial union relations, and a reputation for poor financial performance. Over a period of ten years––while another industry player, Scott Paper, was being shred apart by Al "Chainsaw" Dunlap––Champion transformed itself into a Wall Street winner with exemplary employee practices. How did one company survive and thrive where another disintegrated?

Despite the rags–to–riches results, there was no magic behind Champion′s success. Theirs is not a story of one man′s heroic triumph or the application of quick–fixes or fads. Champion prevailed through an unwavering company–wide commitment to sustained, progressive change in the face of considerable criticism and setbacks. In What Works, three change leaders who saw the process through give a candid account of the corporation′s experiences that will help executives and managers everywhere understand the complexities of large–scale change.

Unlike other top–down, executive–led transformations, Champion′s comeback began with reform on the shop floor and grew over time to include every level of the hierarchy and every business activity. It matched major technological investments with a guiding sense of social values for a broad–based transfiguration that remained both profitable and humane.

The authors–writing with the perspective and authority their insider′s positions afford them––detail how Champion managed its sweeping change effort, analyze its enormous success, and provide a set of principles that people at all organizational levels can apply to their own attempts to lead and manage change.

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Foreward: A Remarkable Journey

1. Dogged Persistence And Unjustified Optimism: An Overview

2. Aligning the Organization: Strategy, Technology, and Values

3. Building Capabilities: Competence, Commitment, and Cooperation

4. Letting Go: Style, Structure, and Systems

AppAndix A: Research Methodology

AppAndix B: The Champion Way Statements

AppAndix C: Gainsharing
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"Take a fascinating, decade–long journey to witness the remarkable transformation of a mediocre company into a team–based top competitor. Your guides are a trio of participant/observers, all key players in achieving this systemic change of classic proportions." ––Jerome M. Rosow, president, Work in America Institute, Inc.

"What Works makes a very important contribution by challenging conventional wisdom. The story of Champion International′s decade of change illustrates that a fundamental and permanent transformation in corporate culture and performance depAnds on an evolutionary, bottoms–up organizational learning process led by many managers at all levels." ––Michael Beer, Cahners–Rabb Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Univesity

"Anyone in a leadership position today, union or management, should read this book. It tells the important story of how labor/management partnerships can make a difference and provide workable solutions to complex problems presented by today′s global economy." ––Boyd Young, international president, United Paperworkers International Union
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