the connected company

Summary: Customers are now connected and have greater voice than ever. Things are changing faster than ever. As a result, companies have to be more connected than ever so people can get closer to and understand customers better and be able to adapt more quickly.


  • Customers are connecting and sharing information at a far faster rate than the companies that serve them
  • Services (and value) are co-created with customers. The value of a service is in the interactions
  • A company with a service orientation cannot be designed around efficiency
  • Companies must ask themselves where their corporate cultures end. If their cultures end before the community begins, they will have no market. -Cluetrain Manifesto
  • When it comes to language, protocols, culture and values, you don’t want variability, you want consistency. Shared values is one of the best ways to ensure consistent behavior when you lack a formal hierarchy.
  • The bet  on a podular strategy is that the increase in value to customers, paired with increased resiliency in your operations, will more than offset the increases in costs
  • Jeff Bezos:  “What you want to do as a company is maximize the number of experiments you can do per unit of time” (2007 interview with HBR)

Discussion Takeaways:

  • As with the types of problems in Managing a Professional Services Firm, are there client types, based on degree of interest in connecting with you (e.g.: how hands-on, how transparent, etc they want to be)?
  • What about Christensen and disruptive innovation – cant connecting to your customers be harmful?
  • Portfolio management [vs. change mgmt] is not so much about taking big steps as it is about balancing risk with opportunity, planting a lot of seeds and nurturing them until they are big enough to succeed (or fail) on their own