Mastering the Cube – Inside the Book

Mastering the Cube helps business leaders and change practitioners develop a shared perspective on organization design and achieve positive business results.

Whether the task involves restructuring, consolidations, mergers and acquisitions, or new market growth, the imperative of organizational change need not be daunting or overwhelming. Indeed, this resource provides the guidance modern leaders need to become skilled in the important, real work of strategic organization alignment.

Aligning a Multifaceted Organization

Organizations are Rubik’s Cubes. A leader cannot twist one side of the cube without affecting the others. By identifying 8 Stumbling Blocks and replacing them with 8 key Building Blocks, Mastering the Cube lays out a comprehensive and definitive approach to engaging key leaders in orchestrating complex change and building an organization that works.


Following the metaphor of an organization as a Rubik’s Cube, we have identified 8 common, but misguided moves of organizational change.  These are Stumbling Blocks. But for each of these we offer an alternate move, or Building Block. These are solid principles or methods for leading organization alignment.


8 Stumbling Blocks

  1. Boxology – Concentrating mostly on redrawing the boxes on the organization chart
  2. Off-the-Shelf Organizations – Selecting a new organization structure from a limited set of templates
  3. The Secret Society – Limiting the work of organization design to just a few high-level leaders
  4. Starting with Names – Aligning an organization to top talent
  5. “Real” Work – Hastening through alignment to get on with the real work of leadership
  6. Grow or Cut – Believing that organizations cannot increase revenues and reduce expenses at the same time
  7. The Simplicity Complex – Offering simplicity to customers without adapting the enterprise accordingly
  8. One and Done – Striving for a perfect organization, once and for all

8 Building Blocks

  1. Align All Systems – Vetting all facets of the enterprise for their alignment to strategy
  2. Tailor to Strategy – Creating a unique, customized organization structure
  3. Co-create – Involving key leaders and experts throughout the organization
  4. Staffing Follows Structure – Aligning talent to strategy
  5. Become an Alignment Leader – Recognizing that alignment is among the most crucial work done by leaders
  6. Resource and Reduce – Using alignment as a tool to accomplish both growth and savings goals
  7. Absorb Complexity – Offering simplicity to customers while managing complexity in the enterprise
  8. Design Fluidly – Maintaining alignment in a smooth and ceaseless flow

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