Building an Agile Organization? Learn about The Connected Company from author @DaveGray


The Interview


In this interview, Dave and I discuss how to manage and organize a company in face of the complexity brought on by rapidly changing mobile, digital and social technologies.

In the content below I’ve added a list of questions & time markers, information about Dave and links to additional topics discussed in this podcast.

You can download a copy of this interview by clicking HERE or use the player below. 

Total Running Time: 1 hour 07 minutes



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Challenges Facing Modern Business


The challenges businesses and leaders face today are complex. Here is a very short list of some of them.

  • The pace of change in business is accelerating faster than our ability to learn.
  • The average life expectancy of a Fortune 500 company is shrinking.
  • The paradox of balancing short-term gains with long-term profits.
  • Predictions and forecasts are quickly outdated.
  • Technology and social networks are enabling customers  and employees to connect and self organize unlike anytime before.
  • In the last 60 years, the service sector has grown to nearly 80% of the US economy.  Yet, most organizations are designed with Frederick Taylor’s assembly line command and control principles made famous by Henry Ford over 100 years ago.

As Albert Einstein suggested, each of these wicked problems demands a different kind of thinking than the type used to create them.

Enter Dave Gray.  If the structure of a company is connected to it’s function, as in the case of division of labour (hierarchical structure) and command and control (functionality),  then Dave has a provocative and compelling solution to these complex business challenges. Dave offers powerful evidence for a successful new model.  The Connected Company.

In this interview, Dave and I explore the processes, systems and characteristics of a connected company.  The interview finishes with a simple game plan for any leader or employee to help their company become more agile and adaptive to the modern marketplace formed by the connected consumer.



Questions and Topics


Who is this book for? 0:47

What is the Connected Consumer and should executives care? 3:24

Can the traditional command and control hierarchy survive? 10:36

How does a company optimize for the front line? 16:25

Balancing short-term gains and long-term returns. 22:03

Commander Intent, Innovation, Intrapreneurship and Apple. 24:49

Is sustainable growth as simple as having the right leadership? 32:04

How can a company create experiments without inefficiency? 34:00

A new way forward; The Podular Organization. 38:38

What other organization have had success as The Connected Company? 47:03

Where and how does a leader start transitioning the change to a connected company? 54:39

What can a front line employee do to help their company become connected? 1:01:28



About Dave Gray


Dave Gray is an innovation and change management consultant.  Dave works with executives to help them communicate complex ideas into visual stories.  These stories are then used to discover opportunities for new products and services and improve the success of change initiatives.

Dave has written two books for organizational design, change and innovation.  His first book, Gamestorming, is a playbook for innovators. His second book, The Connected Company, is a strategic blueprint for companies who want to adapt and survive in a marketplace of socially networked consumers. Both are incredible resources for any person or organization that wants to build agile companies capable of sustainable growth.


The Book


In the last 3 years I’ve read 100 business books.  The Connected Company is my favorite.


The best business book I've ever read

The best business book I’ve ever read



Additional Resources:


These are references to ideas and topics discussed in this interview.

Kyle Kinane vs. Pace Salsa by Huffington Post

It Takes A Network by Ret. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal

Network Centric Warfare by Department of Defence

How Buildings Learn by Stewart Brand

Amazon Letter to Shareholders 1997 by Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos On Leading for the Long Term by HBR Ideacast

Google 2004 Founders IPO letter to shareholders by Larry Page & Sergey Brin

An Owners Manual letter to shareholders: by Warren Buffett

Rules of the Garage by Bill Hewlett and David Packard

Map Corporate Culture by Dave Gray

First, Lets Fire All the Managers by Gary Hamel

Zappos Is Getting Rid of All Titles and Managers by Business Insider


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What is your favorite business book?




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  1. Jeff Nelson says

    I listened to this podcast in the background while managing email. Very good information. I should order the book.

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