A Company is like a Sphere

Where do these great analogy ideas come from? Full credit – I got this one from a speaker at the SAP Research Center in Palo Alto, last spring.

A company is like a sphere.

As it grows, volume increases much faster than surface area, and the larger a company gets, more people get embedded and hidden from the end customer than are on the fringe, in customer-facing roles.

As a general rule, this is a bad thing. Well, maybe a less-than-optimal thing – what percentage of your corporate attention span is customer-focused?

Our Challenge is to poke some pockets into the surface, and get more surface area exposed to the outside air.

  • Will this help a company go farther? It seems to work for golf balls
  • Will this make the company more human? Perhaps, in a self-fulfilling / reverse fractal kind of way …
  • Will rough edges generate incremental profit? Some counterintuitive friction

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James MacLennan

... is the Managing Partner at Maker Turtle LLC, a digital consultancy focused on creating value in ways that align with your strategy and drive engagement with employees, customers, and stakeholders. He is an active creator, providing thought leadership through on-line & print publications, and public speaking / keynotes.