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Successfully implementing radical management at Salesforce.com

Successfully implementing radical management at Salesforce.com Purpose – This case aims to describe the practices of Salesforce.com, one of the most successful examples of a company transitioning from traditional management to radical management. Design/methodology/approach – The article explores the factors that made the implementation successful and identifies the pitfalls that were avoided. Salesforce.com provides on‐demand services for customer‐relationship management. Findings – Salesforce.com has had more spectacular results than most other companies that have adopted the radical management principles of Scrum. Research limitations/implications – Over the past five years Salesforce.com has delivered a 41 percent annual return to shareholders. This extraordinary performance – in fact, an example of an innovation turnaround – occurred after the firm instituted a set of radical practices that make it a model for business seeking to grow though continuous innovation. Practical implications – The leadership at Salesforce.com saw that if a radically different approach to management were to be introduced in one part of the organization, there would be a tension at the interface between the part of the company still doing traditional management and the part managing work in the new way. So they opted to go all out with change right across the whole organization. Originality/value – What made Salesforce.com different is that when it innovativeness was threatened it adopted a radically different way of managing work. It implemented a set of agile, customer‐driven, outcome‐oriented, iterative management practices known in software development as Scrum. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Strategy & Leadership Emerald Publishing

Successfully implementing radical management at Salesforce.com

Strategy & Leadership , Volume 39 (6): 7 – Nov 8, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1087-8572
DOI
10.1108/10878571111176574
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This case aims to describe the practices of Salesforce.com, one of the most successful examples of a company transitioning from traditional management to radical management. Design/methodology/approach – The article explores the factors that made the implementation successful and identifies the pitfalls that were avoided. Salesforce.com provides on‐demand services for customer‐relationship management. Findings – Salesforce.com has had more spectacular results than most other companies that have adopted the radical management principles of Scrum. Research limitations/implications – Over the past five years Salesforce.com has delivered a 41 percent annual return to shareholders. This extraordinary performance – in fact, an example of an innovation turnaround – occurred after the firm instituted a set of radical practices that make it a model for business seeking to grow though continuous innovation. Practical implications – The leadership at Salesforce.com saw that if a radically different approach to management were to be introduced in one part of the organization, there would be a tension at the interface between the part of the company still doing traditional management and the part managing work in the new way. So they opted to go all out with change right across the whole organization. Originality/value – What made Salesforce.com different is that when it innovativeness was threatened it adopted a radically different way of managing work. It implemented a set of agile, customer‐driven, outcome‐oriented, iterative management practices known in software development as Scrum.

Journal

Strategy & LeadershipEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 8, 2011

Keywords: Innovation turnaround; Radical management practices; Dynamic linking; Traditional hierarchical bureaucracy; Cross‐functional team; Change leadership; Training; Coaching; Change management

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