Rethink (Chapter 5): Make (and Break) Connections

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Pearson Education, Mar 23, 2009 - Business & Economics - 14 pages
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This is the eBook version of the printed book.

Read the following excerpt from Rethink, Chapter 5: Make (and Break) Connections.

 

When you rethink your company and study it using the “what” as your unit of analysis, you can see that, at its core, it is a tightly woven fabric of connections--emotional, financial, technical--that cut across organizational boundaries. Pull on one thread and many others might move. The clerk in accounting is related to the chief dispatcher who went to school with the director of advertising. A glitch in production or a spurt in sales can send shock waves from one end of the company to the other, from design to delivery, and it might well affect the bottom line.

 

So before you act upon your knowledge of which “whats” are high in value and low in performance, before you set in motion a process-improvement program, you need to examine the connections between and among your target “whats.” A failure to do so can wreak havoc with a company’s profits and prospects. Dell Inc. learned that lesson the hard way.

 

Dell was launched in 1984 by a young entrepreneur with a brilliant strategy. He would sell made-to-order computers directly to customers, primarily businesses, without benefit of retail outlets. The brick-and-mortar middlemen were charging too much, Michael Dell concluded, and giving customers ridiculously inadequate technical support to boot. He intended to sidestep both pitfalls. In particular, his company was going to provide outstanding tech support.

 

And it did that famously, until the day it didn’t, infamously. In the early 2000s, in pursuit of lower overhead, Dell began to outsource the resolve Customer-Questions/Problems“what.”

 

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Contents

Beyond the Moat
How to Rethink Your Whats
Other Rethink Electronic Chapters Available
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Ric Merrifield spent nearly 15 years in various consulting roles helping organizations define and achieve their goals. Since joining Microsoft, Merrifield has spent more than 10,000 hours as a business architect and has filed twelve patent applications all with the goal of helping companies rethink their operating models and get out of the “how” trap described in the pages of this book.

 

Merrifield recently coauthored “The Next Revolution in Productivity,” a June 2008 Harvard Business Review article focused on case studies that highlight needs of the organization and the opportunity to rethink business operating models before making major technology changes. Merrifield is an alumnus of Lakeside School in Seattle and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

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