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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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