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Management article
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Reference no. R0101F
Authors: Rosabeth Kanter
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Business Review", 2001

Abstract

Increasingly, it seems, there are just two types of companies left in the world: dot-coms, born on the Internet, and 'wanna-dots', established organizations that are seeking to incorporate the Internet into their businesses. Some wanna-dots manage the deep mind-shift required to cross the digital divide. These are the pacesetters - the first movers and fast followers that exhibit organizational curiosity and the desire to innovate. But most wanna-dots are laggards; they don't rise to the challenge with the same resolve. In a global research effort involving more than 800 companies, the author uncovered so many wanna-dots making the same kinds of mistakes that it almost seemed they were following a How Not to Change guide. In this article, Kanter creates just such a guide, offering ten pieces of antiadvice that expose the tendency of wanna-dots to make only cosmetic changes when deep transformation is required. Beyond delineating what not to do, Kanter serves up two examples of wanna-dots that got it right: Williams-Sonoma and Honeywell.

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Abstract

Increasingly, it seems, there are just two types of companies left in the world: dot-coms, born on the Internet, and 'wanna-dots', established organizations that are seeking to incorporate the Internet into their businesses. Some wanna-dots manage the deep mind-shift required to cross the digital divide. These are the pacesetters - the first movers and fast followers that exhibit organizational curiosity and the desire to innovate. But most wanna-dots are laggards; they don't rise to the challenge with the same resolve. In a global research effort involving more than 800 companies, the author uncovered so many wanna-dots making the same kinds of mistakes that it almost seemed they were following a How Not to Change guide. In this article, Kanter creates just such a guide, offering ten pieces of antiadvice that expose the tendency of wanna-dots to make only cosmetic changes when deep transformation is required. Beyond delineating what not to do, Kanter serves up two examples of wanna-dots that got it right: Williams-Sonoma and Honeywell.

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