W. L Gore’s relentless pursuit of continuous innovation, in order to keep its products and the company relevant, competitive, and becoming obsolete; has found success in a lattice management style that has empowered its employees and teams. A style that has worked wonders for the company, it has created a structure that have opened the lines of communication between individuals and teams. Furthermore, facilitated a flow of knowledge that has enhanced the skill base.
In the third paragraph of the OD application, it reflects W. L Gore received his inspiration for his management style after reading Douglas McGregor’s management book, The Human Side of Enterprise (Brown, 2011, pg. 225).
His intrigue with Theory Y management and the lattice organization system created a love affair that has blossomed for over 50 years. What exactly is the lattice system and how did Gore use it to empower individuals and teams? In an online article for Chron. com, “How Does a Lattice Organization Work?
” Lisa Magloff, in describing a lattice organization structure, writes A lattice organization allows multiple work and career pathways, and lacks the traditional top-down hierarchy. For example, allowing all workers to participate and contribute to development of new projects and allowing workers to work remotely or on flexible schedules. Lattice organizations also allow employees to move laterally through the organization, changing positions so that they can gain knowledge about all aspects of operations (Magloff, L.
... enable conflicting member to work cooperatively (TW/CH). Unsuccessful Teams Teams that performed poorly in the management exercises provided very useful ... and complementary ways. Leadership in the team Leadership is vital for any organization and team leadership is no exception. To change ... if used effectively (e. g. the contrasting leadership styles of CH and SH). This principle of balance is also ...
, para. 2).
Gore, enlightened by Theory Y thinking, in which produces better performance, results, and allows people to grow and develop; assigned no authority or managers. He minimized job titles, eliminated chains of commands and predetermined channels of communication. The company uses sponsors vice managers and associates rather than employees. Everyone communicates with whomever they need to and are accountable to fellow team members (Brown, 2011, pg. 225).
You may wonder have this model worked for Gore?
I hinted earlier that they have been at this for over 50 years. They have reached $2 billion in annual sales, employs 8,000 associates that is spread out over 45 manufacturing and sales offices around the world (Brown, 2011, pg. 225).
Add to that list of successes, W. L Gore and Associates is featured in Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For in America”; currently ranked at 22, with a 1. 2 percent job growth (Fortune Magazine, 2014).
Companies shifting to a corporate lattice model are redefining meaningful contribution. Orrick provides a good example.
The firm shifted from evaluating attorneys on quantifiables like billable hours—a measure of input—to items like quality, efficiency and client satisfaction – measures of output. And AT&T’s use of “reputation points” to represent people’s level of participation also illustrates the redefinition of contribution (Deloitte Review, 20110. The lattice structure seems to be working pretty well for W. L. Gore, if the numbers presented is any indication of a continued success, and they are; they should be relative, competitive, and around for another 50 years.