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The Soul of the Corporation: How to Manage the Identity of Your Company

Book Description

Understand, Control, and Leverage Your Company’s #1 Asset: Its Unique Identity

We live in a new Age of Identity, in which your employees, customers, investors, and
other stakeholders care about who you really are. More than ever, your company’s identity will shape the results it can achieve. The Soul of the Corporation will help you clearly understand your company’s identity, and then take control of it and leverage
it for long-term adaptation and success.

Drawing on real-life stories from the world’s most prominent companies, the authors show how identity can be an extraordinarily valuable asset—and how, if not properly managed, it can become a huge liability. Discover how your firm’s identity is related to—and different from—its organizational culture, brand positioning, and reputation. Learn how to diagnose and manage the often unconscious shared beliefs that constitute your company’s soul…how to face the enormous identity challenges that arise in mergers, alliances, spin-offs, and the creation of new brands…and above all, how to lead and inspire in this new Age of Identity.

• Master your company’s “I*Dimension”

New tools for leveraging identity for competitive advantage

• Manage the tensions that shape your company’s identity

Convergent vs. divergent, internal vs. external, designed vs. emergent, sameness vs. uniqueness

• Overcome the dark, dysfunctional side of identity

Minimize narcissism, conflict, drift, and fragmentation

• Protect what’s precious, change what needs to change

Managing identity through M&As, spin-offs, alliances, and unrelenting change

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. About the Authors
  4. Introduction: Leadership Challenges in the Age of Identity
    1. Globalization
    2. Mergers and Acquisitions
    3. Spin-Offs
    4. Disruptive Innovation
    5. Deregulation
    6. Strategic Alliances, Organizational Networks, and Boundaryless Organizations
    7. A Society of Organizations
    8. Reputation and Accountability
    9. The Advent of Alternative Social Identities in the Workplace
    10. The Self-Aware, Empowered Consumer
    11. The Pervasiveness of Branding
    12. Endnotes
  5. 1. The I*Dimension
    1. The I*Dimension
    2. Identity Anchors
      1. The Tensions: Identity as Partly Designed and Partly Emergent
      2. The Tensions: Internal and External Identity
      3. The Tensions: Sameness and Uniqueness
      4. The Tensions: Convergence and Divergence
      5. The Tensions: Aggregation and Fragmentation
    3. Balancing Contradictory Tensions in Identity
    4. Endnotes
  6. 2. The Bright Side of the I*Dimension
    1. The Internal Benefits of Clear, Consistent, and Valued Identities
      1. Identification
      2. Loyalty and Commitment
      3. Cooperation
      4. A Guide for Problem Solving and Decision Making
      5. Legitimacy
    2. The External Benefits of Clear, Consistent, and Socially Valued Identities
      1. Recognition
      2. Attractiveness and Loyalty
      3. Trust and Predictability
    3. The Virtuous Cycle
    4. Endnotes
  7. 3. The Dark Side of the I*Dimension
    1. Narcissism
    2. Identity Conflict
    3. Drift
    4. Fragmentation
    5. Endnotes
  8. 4. Casualties of the I*Dimension
    1. Carly Fiorina
    2. Jean-Marie Messier
    3. Thomas Middelhoff
    4. Philip Purcell
    5. Endnotes
  9. 5. To Blend or Not to Blend: Identity Integration in Mergers and Acquisitions
    1. When the Sauce Curdles: The Case of DaimlerChrysler
    2. What Path to Follow?
    3. Colonial Integration
    4. Confederate Integration
    5. Federalist Integration
    6. Symbiotic Integration
    7. The Four Models in Perspective
    8. Endnotes
  10. 6. When Should the Cord Be Cut? Managing Identity in Spin-Offs
    1. The I*Dimension in Spin-Offs
    2. Continuing Connection
    3. Clean Breaks
    4. Paradoxical Patterns
    5. Why Spin Off?
    6. Managing the I*Dimension in Spin-Offs
    7. Endnotes
  11. 7. Identity in Strategic Alliances and Joint Ventures
    1. How Identity Issues Can Put Strategic Alliances at Risk
      1. Airbus: An Industrial Giant with an Infant Identity
      2. Global One: A Short-lived Joint Venture Whose Parents Did Not Allow the Birth of an Autonomous Identity
      3. Philips Consumer Communications: A Defensive Merger Cloaked as an Offensive Alliance
      4. Riverside Health System and Mary Immaculate Hospital: An Attractive Alliance Stalled by Identity Anxieties
    2. A Framework for Handling Identity in Strategic Alliances
    3. Managerial Implications
    4. Endnotes
  12. 8. Managing the I*Dimension at Organizational and Brand Levels
    1. When Tying a Brand’s Identity to an Organization’s Self-Concept Destroys Economic Value
    2. How Much Should Brand Identity Rely on Organization Identity, and Vice Versa?
    3. Assessing the Relationships Between Organizational and Brand Identities
    4. Managing Identity in the Transition from a Single Brand to a Brand Portfolio
    5. Managing Organizational and Brand Identities After Mergers and Acquisitions
    6. Endnotes
  13. 9. Masters of the I*Dimension
    1. Steve Jobs
    2. Peter Saunders
    3. Louis Gerstner
    4. Carlos Ghosn
    5. Endnotes
  14. 10. Diagnosing Your Firm’s Identity
    1. Who Needs an Identity Audit?
    2. Discovering Identity: A Generic Approach
    3. Examples of Identity Audits
      1. Consum Electro Corp. (CES): An Old Lady Who Needs Rejuvenation
      2. Pay TV Corp. (PTC): A Threatened Identity in Need of Conservation
      3. Health-Consumer Co. (HCC): How to Make One Out of Many
    4. A Methodological Guide for Conducting an Identity Audit
    5. Exploiting Secondary Sources
    6. Interviews with Key Constituencies
    7. Survey of Stakeholders
    8. Endnotes
  15. 11. Leading in the Age of Identity
    1. Reinforcing the I*Dimension
    2. Dealing with Identity and Identification at Individual and Group Levels
    3. When the I*Dimension Must Change
    4. Evolutionary Change in the I*Dimension
    5. Revolutionary Change of the I*Dimension
    6. The Benefits and Pitfalls of Evolutionary and Revolutionary Change of the I*Dimension
    7. The Levers for Identity Change
    8. Common Ingredients of Successful Identity Change
    9. Endnotes
  16. Epilogue