How to make the most of today’s connection economy.


Here’s what we’ll be looking at;

Motivated by competition

What is important?

What happens when you don’t fit in…and don’t want to?

The need to look far and wide

Wrapping up – Doing what is demanded

A welcome from the auto industry

With 1,800 moving parts, the capacity to run at 431.072 km/h and an average weight of 295 kg is the internal combustion engine. A further look would show that the engine has many parts, different uses, and different capacities with more computing power than the first guidance system that took man to the moon.

As any (emergency) medical personnel or car crash investigator would confirm, every part of low quality or operating below par could lead to loss. That is; each part is important and should be treated as though the entire system depended on it – because it does.

Motivated by competition

Initially, the engine was a much simpler contraption, only able to move at a low speeds and that for a short period of time.

But the need to be faster, lighter and more elegant than the competition forced increasing levels of innovation. Entire industries became dedicated to ensuring that the best parts connect in the most efficient ways to give the customer the best driving experience.

This need to give the customer the best experience is the golden thread that weaves the future of an enterprise in combination with expertise, teamwork, and a relentless focus on the customer.

When making purchasing decisions, customers usually consider the elegance of a car alongside engine efficiency, that is, every part must be the right shape, size, quality and fit. Leaders in the auto industry are known to embark on extended media campaigns emphasising product design, comfort, convenience and a unique experience – yet there is never a failure to mention engine strength.

What is important?

Business theory over time has alternated between opinions as to who (or what) are the most important parts of a team. Some have suggested leadership as the all in all, the reason for all progress, deal breaker. The stronger the leader, the farther the team would go.

“Greater is an army of sheep led by a lion, than an army of lions led by a sheep.”                 Daniel Defoe

Other have placed all hopes of enterprise success on followership. As the theory goes, without good followership, there is no one to execute the direction of leadership.

“He that thinketh he leadeth and hath no one following him is only taking a walk.”          John C. Maxwell

Followership could be divided into ‘A’ players, ‘B’ players, square pegs, round pegs, depending on the organisation. There are also age divisions; Baby boomers, Millennials, etc. which make for easier management of followership.

What happens when you don’t fit in…and don’t want to?

Then, there are parts that don’t fit into any of these boxes and are known in some instances for the ability to reinvent existing products and services or create the new and when such parts are in sufficient quantity they create new movements that go on to upend the existing order.

There is yet another camp that insists the customer is King. “If there is no sale, there is no business” and “if the customer didn’t want our products, we wouldn’t be here” are common rallying cries. Doing what the customer wants and then some makes perfect sense to this group.

Without the customer, there is no sale, without which there would be no profit. Where there’s no profit, there is no business.

But then what happens when the customer is given an option they didn’t know they would like so much?

The need to look far and wide

Casting the talent net beyond what qualifies as the ‘right’ part for an engine in today’s enterprise is a road worth talking for organisations that place a premium on innovation. Without a comprehensive talent strategy that places a premium on every hand, organisations are not likely to reach full potential.

This is so in part because suggestions from B players have been known to challenge group direction, causing an important shifts in thinking that irrevocably alter the structure of the firm. Startups are a great example at showing that talent not valued can still do great things.

Maybe the challenge is in managing them all and the usual occurrence is to manage for efficiency and place premium on a few “key” parts. This strategy (80/20 principle) has its merits. However, times have changed and management would do well to change with it.

Wrapping up – Doing what is demanded

In today’s economy, every part has the potential to influence the outcome of the entire enterprise. All parts have a part to play especially in today’s innovation driven culture – where the best ideas are known to come from any part of the enterprise.

Firms owe it to their very survival to look for ideas, wherever they may be found and a good starting point would be to remember that every part is important.

More at

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Taking things personal

Why ideas are important

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Working in teams


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