Saturday, January 08, 2005

What Matters Most in an Inernet Economy?

By Dale Wolf

Leadership matters.

The ability to command people to do something based on line authority still exists, but it does not matter. What matters is the ability to build a cohesive team where the skills of each member are leveraged to produce a solution that is better than any preceding model. Can you imagine any credible CEO now claiming proudly his business is insular, patient and departmentalized because that is the way they have achieved success for the past 30 years?

Internet technology enables a vast restructuring of human resources. Those who learn how technology can capture knowledge and deliver process will have a greater impact on marketing resources. The managers who succeed will be those who learn to lead in this new world of the Internet, where everything is simultaneously explosive and implosive. Those who keep based in truth, values and loyalty will rise above all others.

Strategy matters.


Business strategy is made more important by the Internet because it reaches out further and faster than any other communications tool that leaders have ever had. The Internet already is causing a fusion of business strategy and company operations. On the Internet, in fact, these are becoming one seamless entity. The Internet is the CEO’s strategic power tool. Strategy today must anticipate the impact of Internet technologies internally, in the marketplace and on competition.

Selling matters.


Here, only two metrics matter – return on investment from your marketplace and lifetime value of each of your customers. Somebody wants to buy something and there are barriers to getting it. Conversations must occur to clear these barriers. We call this “sales.” Value creation, simply stated, is selling something at a price greater than the cost of producing it. Profits or a clear path to profitability is required of every business venture – even for so-called “non-profits.”

In the end, economics demands that products, services and ideas need to be sold to someone who finds value in them. While the dotcoms might have failed, the Internet will survive to become the most pervasive sales communications environment ever created – one to be ignored at your own peril.

Context matters. T


he most dramatic effect of Internet technology is connectivity. Everyone is part of a network, and now all of the networks are interconnected. The Internet is global. The economy is global. Our business and personal worlds become a network where everything we do is in context with what we are trying to accomplish – on our own and with others.

Understanding the influence of peer-to-peer and one-to-one contextual relationships will soon become a management obsession. Real-time, one-to-one Internet conversations will allow big companies to behave like small companies, and small companies to behave like big ones. Only companies that harness the power of this contextual edge will thrive.

A sense of possibility matters.


We’re just beginning to glimpse where the Internet will take us. And it makes feasible a world of possibility. That is where ultimate value creation will happen. The Internet is the trajectory to the future. For some analysts to claim that the standards and the leaders have been immutably decided do not understand the power of innovation. The contextual Internet will enable us all to make better decisions – faster, easier and more simply.

Where will it take your company?

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