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Stewardship, 2nd Edition by Peter Block

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Offering Choice and Building Capability

The stewardship alternative is to require staff groups to operate as authentic service units. The core work units become their primary customers. As customers, line groups gain more control over the relationship and can obtain a unique response from the staff groups. Staff groups give up power in this process in exchange for the possibility of serving the organization in a more important way. Instead of maintaining consistency and control, their contribution is that of building capability. This needs to happen not out of altruism but in order to survive. In the longer run, it is the core work customers, not top management, who will keep staff groups alive and well.

In organizations under heavy cost pressure, ...

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