The Connected Company


The future of work is already here.

Customers are adopting disruptive technologies faster than your company can adapt. When your customers are delighted, they can amplify your message in ways that were never before possible. But when your company’s performance runs short of what you’ve promised, customers can seize control of your brand message, spreading their disappointment and frustration faster than you can keep up.

To keep pace with ...

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The Connected Company

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The future of work is already here.

Customers are adopting disruptive technologies faster than your company can adapt. When your customers are delighted, they can amplify your message in ways that were never before possible. But when your company’s performance runs short of what you’ve promised, customers can seize control of your brand message, spreading their disappointment and frustration faster than you can keep up.

To keep pace with today’s connected customers, your company must become a connected company. That means deeply engaging with workers, partners, and customers, changing how work is done, how you measure success, and how performance is rewarded. It requires a new way of thinking about your company: less like a machine to be controlled, and more like a complex, dynamic system that can learn and adapt over time.

Connected companies have the advantage, because they learn and move faster than their competitors. While others work in isolation, they link into rich networks of possibility and expand their influence.

Connected companies around the world are aggressively acquiring customers and disrupting the competition. In The Connected Company, we examine what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and why it works. And we show you how your company can use the same principles to adapt—and thrive—in today’s ever-changing global marketplace.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781491919477
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/13/2014
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 688,106
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Dave Gray, SVP Strategy, Dachis Group, is an author and management consultant who works with the world's leading companies to develop and execute winning strategies. His previous book, Gamestorming (O'Reilly), has sold more than 50,000 copies and has been translated into 14 languages.

Thomas Vander Wal has been working with folksonomies since their darkest origins, and is credited with inventing the terms 'folksonomy'and 'infocloud'. He talks and writes about folksonomies more or less continuously. Thomas is also on the Steering Committee of the Web Standards Project and helped found the Information Architecture Institute. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Table of Contents

Praise for The Connected Company;
Safari® Books Online;
We’d Like to Hear from You;
Part One: Why change?;
Chapter 1: The connected customer;
1.1 The Balance of Power is Shifting;
1.2 A Wake-up Call at Starbucks;
1.3 Something’s Happening Here;
1.4 The ATM Revolt;
1.5 Power in the Network;
Chapter 2: The service economy;
2.1 The Great Reset;
2.2 An Age of Abundance;
2.3 An Emerging Service Economy;
Chapter 3: Everything is a service;
3.1 The Industrial Model;
3.2 Service-Dominant Logic;
3.3 A Product is a Service Avatar;
3.4 Services are Co-created;
3.5 A Process is Not a Service;
3.6 Service Networks;
Chapter 4: Services are complex;
4.1 Demands on Companies are Increasing in Volume, Velocity, Variety;
4.2 Customers Introduce Complexity and Variability into Operations;
4.3 Why is it So Hard to Keep Your Service Promises?;
4.4 Customers Resist Standardization;
4.5 Customer Support: Efficient for You, Painful for Them;
4.6 Cost and Quality are Not Mutually Exclusive;
4.7 Customer Service Doesn’t Have to be Painful;
4.8 Control at the Edge;
Chapter 5: How companies lose touch;
5.1 Why Do Companies Lose Touch?;
5.2 Over-Expansion;
5.3 Blind Spots;
5.4 Risk-Avoidant Cultures;
5.5 When in Doubt, Get in Touch with Your Customers;
Chapter 6: Structural change is necessary;
6.1 How Did We Get Here?;
6.2 Conflicting Constraints Lead to Rigidity;
Chapter 7: Complexity changes the game;
7.1 Return on Assets is Dwindling;
7.2 Fewer and Fewer Companies are Surviving in the Long Term;
7.3 What is Causing this Increase in Death Rates?;
7.4 The Red Queen Race: If You’re Not Running, You’re Falling Behind;
7.5 What is a Coevolutionary Process?;
7.6 Every Adaptive Move by One Organization Affects Others;
7.7 Adaptive Moves Can be Competitive—and Cooperative;
7.8 Adaptive Moves Can Create Opportunities for Others;
7.9 Coevolutionary Relationships Can be Very Complex;
7.10 Optimization is a Journey that Leads to a Few Fitness Peaks;
7.11 We are Reaching a Complexity Tipping Point;
7.12 The Future is Connectedness;
Part Two: What is a connected company?;
Chapter 8: Connected companies learn;
8.1 The Company as a Machine;
8.2 Closed and Open Systems;
8.3 Complex Adaptive Systems;
8.4 The Long-lived Company;
8.5 Design by Division;
8.6 Design for Connection;
Chapter 9: Connected companies have a purpose;
9.1 Purpose Accelerates and Focuses Learning;
9.2 What is the Purpose of a Company?;
9.3 How Profits Can Destroy Your Company;
9.4 Purpose Sets the Context for Organizations to Learn;
9.5 Purpose is a Moving Target;
Chapter 10: Connected companies get customer feedback;
10.1 Performance is How Well You are Doing;
10.2 The One Judge of Service Quality;
10.3 Balancing Promise, Purpose, and Performance;
10.4 Service Quality is a Moving Target;
10.5 Promoters and Detractors;
10.6 Building Long-Term Relationships with Customers;
10.7 The Net Promoter Score;
10.8 Net Promoter at Enterprise;
10.9 Net Promoter at Apple;
10.10 Net Promoter at Logitech;
Chapter 11: Connected companies experiment;
11.1 Moments of Truth;
11.2 The Problem with Procedures;
11.3 The Front Line is not a Production Line;
11.4 The Law of Requisite Variety;
11.5 Reducing Variety;
11.6 Absorbing Variety;
11.7 Freedom to Experiment;
Part Three: How does a connected company work?;
Chapter 12: Wrangling complexity;
12.1 The Complexity Issue;
12.2 Agile Development;
12.3 Service Orientation;
12.4 Organizing for Agility;
12.5 Most Companies are Not Built for Agility;
Chapter 13: The future is podular;
13.1 The Parable of the Watchmakers;
13.2 The Podular Organization;
13.3 Morning Star’s Self-Organizing Marketplace;
13.4 The Nordstrom Way;
13.5 Self-Organizing Teams at Rational Software;
13.6 Democratic Management at Semco;
13.7 Can Your Company Go Podular?;
Chapter 14: Pods have control of their own fate;
14.1 What is a Pod?;
14.2 What Kinds of Companies have been Successful with a Podular Approach?;
14.3 A Podular System Trades Flexibility for Consistency;
14.4 Why aren’t more Companies Going Podular?;
Chapter 15: Pods need platforms;
15.1 What is a Platform?;
15.2 What is the Value of a Platform?;
15.3 A Platform is a Government;
Chapter 16: How connected companies learn;
16.1 The Growth Spiral;
16.2 Level One: How Entrepreneurs Learn;
16.3 Level Two: How Organizations Learn;
16.4 Level Three: How Platforms Learn;
16.5 Growth Spirals in the Connected Company;
Chapter 17: Power and control in networks;
17.1 Linking Things Changes Them;
17.2 What is a Social Network?;
17.3 Power and Control in Networks;
17.4 Exercising Power in Networks;
Part Four: How do you lead a connected company?;
Chapter 18: Strategy as a Pool of Experiments;
18.1 Strategies Don’t Last Forever;
18.2 Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom;
18.3 A Portfolio of Experiments;
18.4 Be Connectable to Everything;
18.5 Strategy by Discovery;
Chapter 19: Leading the connected company;
19.1 Leading from the Edge;
19.2 Edge Leadership;
19.3 You are a Learning Field;
19.4 Influence—Give Meaning and Moral Authority to the Purpose;
Chapter 20: Managing the connected company;
20.1 Management is a Support System;
20.2 Designing the System;
20.3 Operating the System;
20.4 Tuning the System;
20.5 The Job of Managers;
Part Five: How do you get there from here?;
Chapter 21: The Risks of Connectedness;
21.1 Networks are Neutral;
21.2 Pod Failure;
21.3 Too Much Autonomy;
21.4 Not Enough Autonomy;
21.5 Platform Failure;
21.6 Failure of Purpose;
21.7 Customers First;
Chapter 22: Starting the journey;
22.1 How to Get there from Here;
22.2 The Organic Path;
22.3 Top-Down, Leader-Driven Change;
22.4 Pilot Pods;
22.5 Network Weaving;
22.6 It’s Time to Change;
Discussion Questions;
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