You could call it The Surrender Model. Or The Permeable Proposition. Or A Barrier-Free Guide to Success in the New Millennium.
Whatever you do, don't assume that X-Engineering the Corporation, released this month, is just a warmed-over version of James Champy's earlier work, the fabulously successful Reengineering the Corporation. That seminal business tome, co-written with another noted business strategist, Michael Hammer, inspired an entire generation of executives to put their companies on a low-cost diet, and the five-syllable word reengineering became synonymous with the simpler, but far more blunt term, layoffs.
Nine years later, Champy asserts that X-engineering is the next phase of a process that began with reengineering. Now, he says, managers need to look past the cold, process-driven reengineering for a warmer, fuzzier, but no less effective X-engineering. Managers can't look within for cost-cutting opportunities, he says. Gains will come in companies that reach out. That share. That don't keep secrets. That help their suppliers and partners succeed.
It may sound like a business version of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, but instead it's a recognition that today's corporations aren't self-contained, they're almost amorphous. Nowadays, CEOs are as dependent on their strategic alliances and their suppliers - not to mention customers - as they are on their management teams. And, Champy argues, communicating with all the "inside-outsiders" via the Internet is key to cutting costs and delivering quality to the customer.