Exactly how new is Cisco's organizational structure?

An article in The Wall Street Journal and a CNBC video are at odds with each other.

Cisco's Q4 FY'09 Observations (Page 7): Exactly how new is Cisco's organizational structure? Why? Well, at approximately the 3:15 time mark in the video below, Cisco CEO John Chambers specifically states that Cisco changed its organizational structure to councils and boards back in 2001:

It's perplexing to me that Chambers' states in the video above that Cisco changed its organizational structure to councils and boards back in 2001. Yet in Cisco's most recent earnings call, Chambers' specifically states:

"Our new organization structure of counsels, boards, working groups, as discussed in the last few calls is operating very effectively. These structures, most important, allow speed, scale, flexibility, and rapid replications. We will continue to move into additional market adjacencies, and are currently at 30."

My question to Cisco CEO John Chambers: How can an 8-year old organizational structure be considered new? Especially since Chambers specifically stated in the video above that Cisco changed its organizational structure to councils and boards in 2001. Also very perplexing to me is that according to The Wall Street Journal on August 5, 2009:

Chambers says the idea for the new management structure came to him while participating in a collaboration exercise at the 2007 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He was on a team with Arianna Huffington, among others, and the group was told to present a vision for life in 2015. Chambers was so impressed by the quality of the answers the group came up with that "by the end of the session I had come to the conclusion that…the future of organizational structure [was] around these councils and boards," he says. In April 2007, Chambers repeated the exercise with Cisco’s operating committee at a meeting in Monterey, Calif. There, three teams of Cisco employees came up with the same answer to a question about the company’s mobile strategy. "What it shows you is you can take your top 40 or 50 [people] and then your top 300 and then your top 3,000" and still arrive at the same decisions, Chambers says.

How can Chambers tell The Wall Street Journal that he came up with the idea of councils and boards in 2007? Yet in the CNBC video above, Chambers specifically states Cisco changed its organizational structure to councils and boards in 2001. Related story: Management vision of Cisco CEO John Chambers under fire


What's your take, when do you think Cisco changed its organizational structure to councils and boards? BradReese.Com Cisco Refurbished - Services that protect, maintain and optimize Cisco hardware Contact: Brad Reese | Twitter: http://twitter.com/BradReese

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