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It's worse than that, companies mix their metaphors.

I see traditional media companies trying to make money by building oil wells on rivers. I also see plenty of companies building waterwheels in the desert.

I use the metaphor to help CEO types to understand their business model. In my experience, the people advocating flow models aren't necessarily selling waterwheels. Likewise the people selling waterwheels don't necessarily appreciate flow.

Another way to look at it, is that its a lot like computer/software interoperability. The operating system and application have to be compatible. If not they crash.

I find oil wells and water wheels can compete ( though I prefer to work with water wheels) - they go out of business when they try and be both.

On adding value - I like everyone input - But I try to listen to/hear half of it - ( I have a thesis that most people are at least 1/2 right - even the value adders - my job is to figure out which half to listen to.)

Spk soon.

Peter

@Eric - it is a matter of attitude and approach. For some, it's easier to give than it is to take. Not quite sure what it is about the popularity contest that gets people all riled up :) In the end, it takes all kinds.

@Peter - what I wonder is are these metaphors just that Are companies really doing the things they talk about? I still see a huge disconnect with the people at the top. They still want to hoard, amass, and extract from the people they can give orders to do the work. On this point it is starting to show: businesses that are not in the flow will not be able to compete. As for my thesis, yes and no. Some people only think they're adding value, they never bother to figure out if they actually do.

Building on the idea -

Pre 2000 - the dominant metaphor for business was an oil well. Massive organisations designed to "extract" diminishing returns. Winning was about sucking the $ out of customers quicker than the competition.

Post 2010 - the dominant metaphor is becoming waterwheels - build flow ("curating, facilitating, enabling, empowering" others ) to create creeks, streams and mighty rivers that will push the blades of your many and different waterwheels (that convert the momentum of the flow into value). No one owns the flow and is shared by many waterwheels - that move as the course of the river changes over time.

A competitor can't compete if they're are not in the flow.

By the way, at the risk of proving your thesis, "The more value you add, the more you slow the momentum down" - only if someones listening.

Peter

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