The Corporate Lattice (Hardcover)

Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work

By Cathleen Benko, Molly Anderson

Harvard Business Review Press, 9781422155165, 205pp.

Publication Date: August 3, 2010

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (2/3/2011)

List Price: 29.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The corporate ladder has been the prevailing model for how companies manage their work and their people since the beginning of the industrial revolution a century ago. The ladder represents an inflexible view in which prestige, rewards, access to information, influence, power, etc. are tied to the rung one occupies. The problem is, the authors argue, we no longer live in the industrial age.

The pace of change is faster. Work is increasingly virtual, collaborative, and dispersed. Organizations are flatter. Companies are much easier to see into. Careers zig and zag. Work is done wherever, whenever. And information flows in all directions. The result? The ladder model -- along with the outdated norms and expectations that defined it -- is collapsing.

In their best-selling book, The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work, author Cathy Benko and co-author Molly Anderson define the emerging Corporate LatticeTM model and argue convincingly that a lattice is better suited for today's global business environment. They describe the shift across three dimensions:

--How careers are built: From straight up to zigzag. Rather than a series of linear career paths, lattice organizations offer customized options for growth and development. Lattice ways to build careers attract and engage the best talent and create versatile employees well suited to respond to change.

--How work gets done: From where you go to what you do. Rather than expecting people to sit at their desks clocking face time from 9 to 5, lattice organizations offer options for when, where, and how people do their work. Lattice ways to work increase productivity and retention while increasing strategic flexibility in business operations.

--How participation is fostered: From top-down to all-in. Instead of directed, top-down communications, lattice organizations nurture transparent cultures, providing multiple ways for people to share ideas, learn, and team. Lattice ways to participate tap the power of an inclusive workplace to drive innovation, growth, and agility.

Offering much more than theory, the authors illustrate the lattice model using rich, in-depth case studies of exemplars including Cisco, Deloitte LLP, and Thomson Reuters. They also explore the changing role each individual plays in directing his or her own lattice journey.

About the Author

Cathleen Benko is Vice Chairman and Chief Talent Officer for Deloitte LLP and co-author of the best-seller Mass Career Customization: Aligning the Workplace with Today's Nontraditional Workforce. Molly Anderson is Director of Talent for Deloitte Services LP, specializing in innovative strategies to engage today's workforce.

Praise For The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work


Cathy Benko and Molly Anderson have produced a landmark book that should be read and reread by anyone who cares about improving corporate performance. It argues persuasively that the old corporate ladder metaphor is dead. What has emerged in its place is the corporate lattice, which is flatter and more collaborative and in tune with the changing workplace and workforce. You will find yourself nodding in agreement with the analysis of this new world and taking notes on what to do about it. This is a book that will have a profound and positive impact. I recommend it highly.”
-- Anne Mulcahy, Chairman, Xerox Corporation

The right model for the times. Lattice takes on worn-out corporate ladder assumptions and convincingly argues that the workplace must adopt more nimble ways to engage its people. This book illuminates a much-needed path forward, showing organizations how to tap into each individual’s performance power to achieve exceptional bottom-line results.”
-- Marshall Goldsmith, world-renowned executive coach and New York Times best-selling author

The war for talent will never end. Victory will go to those organizations that solve the high performance and career-life quagmire. This book, a sequel to Mass Career Customization, moves beyond theory to everyday practice. It describes how the lattice has been made to work in real companies with great success. Anyone responsible for driving results should read this book.”
-- Shelly Lazarus, Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide

Read this book immediately if you want to crack the code on how to build and sustain a truly engaged, diverse workforce. A fascinating read with stunning data; it’s chock full of pragmatic ideas and evocative examples.”
-- John Seely Brown, former Chief Scientist, Xerox Corporation; co-author of The Social Life of Information and The Power of Pull


As a follow up to her book, Mass Career Customization, Cathleen Benko and Molly Anderson have teamed up to present The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work.
As outlined in MCC, the world of work is changing, not only for companies, but also for individuals: personal values, diversity, and skills are being viewed differently than they once were, and it’s changing the structure of people’s lives. Because of these factors, more people aren’t necessarily climbing the ladder” like they once were. They’re working from home and available 24/7 (as opposed to 9 to 5), they’re looking for challenges, and they want to learn new things. Thus, the old corporate model also needs to adjust, and The Corporate Lattice provides the framework to make changes.
As Shelly Lazarus, Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather, states on the back cover: Anyone responsible for driving results should read this book.” It’s true. Whether you’re an employee, looking for ways to advance your skill set and achieve more, read this book. Or, if you’re a manager and want more from your team, read this book. For both, it’s a clear guide on how to find, or provide, an environment that builds engagement and that engagement provides both sides a wealth of value.
-- 800-CEO-READ; The Daily Blog

I highly recommend the landmark and must read book The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work by Cathleen Benko and Molly Anderson, to anyone seeking a more in depth understanding of the transformation of the modern workplace from a traditional, hierarchical ladder concept to that of a more diverse, and multi-directional corporate lattice framework. The book contains the blueprint to guide corporate leaders and employees toward a more participatory and collaborative company where work and life are better balanced, employees are more engaged and productive, and where the corporate bottom line is improved as well.”
-- Blog Business World

Also recommended is Cathleen Benko and Molly Anderson’s THE CORPORATE LATTICE: ACHIEVING HIGH PERFORMANCE IN THE CHANGING WORLD OF WORK. Changes in the definition and strategies of the corporate world are also changing definitions of work and how the corporate ladder may be climbed: this book creates a model for allowing companies to create more cost-effective approaches to work, from managing real estate and technology to engaging high-performing workers. Businesses need this model of success for the new corporate environment.”
-- The Business Book Shelf; Book Review