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Successfully implementing radical management at Salesforce.com

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 8 November 2011

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.

Keywords

Citation

Denning, S. (2011), "Successfully implementing radical management at Salesforce.com", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 39 No. 6, pp. 4-10. https://doi.org/10.1108/10878571111176574

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited