Connections: It’s a Lego World"The assumptions on which most businesses are being run no longer fit reality." Elizabeth Haas Edersheim explains in her new book, The Definitive Drucker, Drucker’s idea of the connectedness of business. Today, connections can be made in more and varied ways than ever before imagined. With his focus on people, he of course, refers here to more than just products and services but more importantly people, their talents and abilities and their ability to create. “In an organization, we can connect individuals' strengths, minimizing their weaknesses. And across organizational boundaries, we can connect the strengths of each corporation and provide the customer with far greater value than can any single enterprise.” She describes the Lego world we live in:
“…The management world is only flat if you take an industrial perspective. If you just want the lowest cost, the capabilities exist virtually everyplace in the world to get the lowest cost. But if cost is not your only concern and you recognize that the industrial world has given way to an information and knowledge driven world, you will see that Indiana and India are not interchangeable.
“In the twenty-first century, businesses exist in a Lego world. Companies are built out of Legos: People Legos, Product Legos, Idea Legos, and Real Estate Legos. And these aren't just ordinary Legos; they pass through walls and geographic boundaries, and they are transparent. Everything is visible to everyone all the time. Designing and connecting the pieces is at least as important as providing them. It's crucial to remember that these aren't simply pieces of plastic or metal—they are not just factories or warehouses. They are also humans who program computers, train newcomers, and think about innovation as they prowl malls, libraries, and parks, coming up with new products. These pieces are constantly being put together, pulled apart, and re-assembled.
“My company's Legos—manufacturing, distribution, skills, and services—cannot be unique unto themselves; they have to connect with your company's Legos. I can build my company, but in a year or two, my CEO and I might have to tear down and rebuild part of it in a totally different configuration, perhaps with fewer American People Legos and more of your company's People Legos in Sweden or South Africa. Leading visionaries in business are expressing the same notion. Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's chief software architect, recently explained: 'What's more important than any one individual Lego is that you know how to build with all the Legos. With everything out there, all those programs and applications and accessories, what's important is the ability to find a way to connect fragmented software pieces rather than simply finding the next piece of software.'
“…There are no competitors. Let me repeat that, because it's something that Peter Drucker loved to say: 'There are no longer competitors, just better solutions and more choices that can be put together in more ways.'”
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