(via Bob DuCharme on the Taxocop mailing list; free registration required to read the article on FT.com.)
When you're on the inside of any system, it's hard to see things from other perspectives. But companies and organizations are starting to realize the benefit of making the effort to organize around how customers think of the information domain.
But a couple of years ago Mike Mack, Syngenta’s CEO, took the bold decision to switch tack. He realised that while the previous organisational map made perfect sense to scientists, Syngenta’s customers – ie farmers – looked at the world with a different lens. Most notably, they did not usually wander into an agribusiness store and say: “I need fungicide.” Instead they just said: “I want to grow better rice.”
So Mack reorganised the entire company into eight divisions defined by crops, not chemistry. Thus if you walk around the greenhouses, labs and offices near Windsor today as I recently did you will see chirpy labels saying “rice” – not “fungicide”.
What would it mean to flip the taxonomy at your business? Internally or externally? If we did that where I work, I suspect we'd streamline a lot of processes that we usually struggle with.
UPDATE 9-13-14: Bill Schrier says pretty much the same thing about governments: People Live Horizontally but Government Organizes in Silos