Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Why Good to Great is Hard Inside Organizations

« Is LinkedIn Working for you? | Main | Same Cafe', new Media »


Greg -- I like the idea of agreeing on common and external anchor points. Especially if those help the people we're meant to serve: customers. You did a good job at expanding on this concept in your blog.

Peter -- "I wonder if the corporation has outlived its usefulness as a vehicle for the expression of the peak of human potential." And I wonder with you, every day. I will delve a little into risk management this week: can risk be managed? Maybe.

Thanks for the post -

Sorry if I'm off point but I wonder if good is enough when it comes to corporations.

In my experience greatness is wasted on the pursuit of the undifferentiated goal of profit.

I wonder if the corporation has outlived its usefulness as a vehicle for the expression of the peak of human potential.

The Path to greatness expressed as "living it" is at odds with (and risks profitability ):

- a culture of measurement ( CEO what gets measured gets done - Einstein Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted

- risk management ( read lawyers and insurers and shareholders).

The Good of human potential ( expressed as a life "lived" though others ) is great for companies. You'll still make a healthy profit.

But the Great of human potentail ( expressed as life "lived" ) is better for the world ( apologies for the drama).

So yes, Good to Great is hard in companies. And perhaps it even harder in life.

Valeria, you make a wonderful case for CLARITY.

I think sales and marketing often disagree because they don't clarify how they create value for each other, for the customer or for the organization as a whole.

Marketing and sales often play in different time horizons, speak with different voices, come from diverging assumptions about what a customer will respond to or disagree on the dynamics at play within their accounts.

Marketing might conclude from their research that it's time for Sales to have a new kind of conversation with customers. Is Marketing naive or misinterpreting reality? Or is Sales inflexible and blind to changing conditions? Both assume they are right and line up the assumptions, the data and the anecdotes that support their position.

How about experimenting with a few live customers to find out? Let's pull together all the assumptions, decide which are most critical and test them quickly. Create a game about claifying what's real vs. who is right.

I agree with you - start with the customer and clarify what's relevant to them - and figure out how to make and keep big promises. Sometimes the best way to settle an internal debate is to start with an external anchor point.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Conversation Agent

  • Since 2006, Conversation Agent focuses on business, technology, digital culture, and human behavior. At Conversation Agent LLC, I help organizations and brands that want to build better experiences tell a new story.


As seen on

Advisory Boards

Marketing that makes business sense


Book Reviews

  • Conversation Agent participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. It provides a means for Conversation Agent to earn commissions by linking to Amazon.

Comment Policy and Social Guidelines

  • This is my blog and not a public space. Critical discourse is welcomed. However, inappropriate comments will be deleted. See my social guidelines for reference.


  • The opinions blogged herein represent only those of Valeria Maltoni and do not reflect those of her employer, persons or companies mentioned herein, or anyone else.