It keeps the company moving forward in new and interesting directions. This approach is how they have been able to provide ideas that help people around the world connect, create and accomplish a lot of spectacular things. This has allowed their people who are experts in so many areas be successful. These areas of expertise include marketing, finance, HR, sales, IT infrastructure, personal computing devices, business technology solutions, global services, and imaging and printing. They believe that when you bring great minds together in over 170 countries, each person has a hand in driving the innovations that make the world a better place (Hewlett-Packard, 2009).
The Santa Rosa Systems Division of Hewlett Packard (SRSD) was created in 1992 in order to target a new systems integration opportunity in the ever growing communication business sector. In 1994 SRSD faced many challenges that threatened its success as well as that of its leadership team. Those in the organization saw the following things as major issues:
There were two competing strategies that were threatening to divide the organization
There were problems between two functions that were competing for common engineering resources. This problem was caused by a functional structure that had very poorly designed cross-functional business teams
The cross-functional teams that were not effectively led or managed and did not produce any needed coordination
There was a top team that was not effective.
There was a general manager who was not confronting and resolving key strategic and organizational issues.
There was low trust throughout the organization that prevented organizational problems from being discussed and managed.
There was underperformance in the rate of growth and profitability as well as low morale and turnover of key technical people (Beer, 2002).
In order to help address these issues HP used a technique know as Organizational Fitness Profiling (OFP). This process enabled the leadership team to bring these problems to the surface and make changes that allowed the business unit to capitalize on many market opportunities. The leadership team and many of the key managers in the Santa Rosa division had grown up in Hewlett Packard's traditional business environment. Fitness Profiling enabled the leadership team to have an honest organizational conversation about the behaviors that were silent killers and diagnose the root causes (Beer, 2002).
Another approach that HP has used is that of Sociotechnical system (STS) redesign. This is a process that is used in order to chronicle a process as it actually occurs includes documenting how changes in managers' and employees' beliefs and behaviors as they are produced. STS redesign is not a new management trend but was first detailed by Eric Trist and his associates of the Tavistock Institute in 1963. Central to STS redesign are two principles. The first is that work is comprised of both social and technical components, while the second is that organizations are open systems. The second concept is composed of two important concepts. Organizations are open meaning that they are constantly interacting and negotiating with their environment. Just as significant is the character of their system. Real change occurs only with attention to all aspects of the organization. In order to implement STS redesign, top management must sponsor and demonstrate commitment to the change and the redesign team must be composed of employees from all levels of the organization. This is a change process designed by the workers whose work is being redesigned. Guiding principles include employee involvement, the reallocation of power and authority down the hierarchical ladder, open communications, and system wide transformation. Structurally, the result is an organization composed of self-managing teams (Besser, 1999).
Making sure that their employees are involved in every process that occurs within the company is what has made Hewlett Packard so successful over the years. They value their employees and feel that they should be included as part of the entire team. This employee empowerment is what leads HP to be a leader in organizational practices that highlight productivity and employee satisfaction.
Beer, Michael. (2002). Building Organizational Fitness in the 21st Century. Retrieved December 2, 2009, from Web site: