From Corporate Ladder to Corporate Lattice

February 20, 2012

Cathy Benko, Vice Chairman at Deloitte, believes that the traditional concept of a corporate career ladder is “collapsing.”  In her best-selling book The Corporate Lattice, Benko argues that today’s rapidly evolving, global business environment calls for a lattice model instead of the outdated, inflexible ladder model.  Through this new model, employers become enabled to meet the evolving needs of employees, improving productivity and increasing employee satisfaction.

In an interview with The Personal Branding Blog, Benko explains, “[The] lattice seems a fitting visual for how work gets done, how careers are built, and how participation is fostered today.” The lattice model depicts career paths as multidirectional, recognizing that there is more than one way to “get ahead,” and even multiple ways to define what “get ahead” means.

The model, a holistic, strategic response to the changing corporate landscape, addresses the reality that there are now more options – “there is no longer a single model of engagement.” Employees can now connect “anywhere, anytime” to form virtual, dynamic teams and communities around increasingly project-based work.  In addition, communication is “unconstrained by traditional top-down hierarchy,” fostering greater participation throughout the company regardless of organizational level.

Benko has translated the lattice model into a groundbreaking tool for building personalized career pathways called Mass Career Customization, a signature element of the talent experience at Deloitte. Benko notes, “each of us needs to play an active role in directing our own lattice journey, treating skills, experiences and capabilities as brand-building assets. . . ask yourself: ‘How well do I stay on top of my personal brand and what it says and means to others?'”

See Cathy Benko speak about talent innovation and personal brands at the BRITE ’12 Conference (March 5-6, NYC).

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BY KIM SHIFRIN

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