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Monday, January 10, 2011

A NOTE FROM THE FOUNDER: The Great Divide (or "Of Business and Fish")

The Great Divide (or "Of Business and Fish")

by Adam J. Kovitz

The other day, I had the pleasure of speaking with the former Global Head of Operations Consulting of a well-known International Organization over the phone - man to man.  I wasn't exactly sure how this conversation would go as it was the clash of two worlds:  one of us had experience working with Fortune 100 companies and solving their major problems...the other was me.  Don't get me wrong...I've solved many business problems, but those of small to mid-size enterprises (or "SME's as he called them) - how could I possibly get this person to understand the trials and tribulations of the "little people".

This gentleman admitted to me that Fortune 100 companies had their own way of getting funding that was totally different from that of SMEs and that large business really doesn't understand what SMEs go through.  I proceeded to tell him about the entrepreneurial spirit and what drives most that I have known;  the desire to want to work for one's self, the freedom of not being a number in a large megalithic corporation, and the potential for making large amounts of money (and, perhaps history as well).  I also described the downside as well - working weekends, staying up nights wondering how to put food on the family's table, feeling small, alone and oft times, misunderstood.

I asked him why he left the "Ivory Tower" of such a well-established company.  He responded that it was for many of the reasons I had stated - mainly, to be his own boss.  I told him that I could relate - I've always had a hard time taking direction from someone for whom I had little to no respect.  We had achieved a common ground!

He asked why I do what I do with TNNWC and I responded to him that I respect the fact that he swam with the "big fish" of the sea, but I prefer the "smaller fish".  The reason why is that in a healthy ecosystem, big fish survive be eating smaller ones.

But here's the problem...

Due to an unhealthy ecosystem, the smaller fish are threatened and need help to survive and few have come forward as steward to help;  although some have claimed to help, there are little results to back up their rhetoric.  The smaller fish need a champion and a place where they can congregate and grow.  I told him that TNNWC was on a mission to play the role of steward to such fish.  The allegory helped, and we decided to continue our conversation at another time as we were both subject to time constraints.

While I certainly look forward to speaking with him again - he may have some contacts that would prove helpful to the TNNWC cause (and vice versa), I believe that we both walked away from the conversation with the following in mind:  the more we can encourage such conversation across the divide between large companies and SMEs, the sooner we can change the international business landscape such that we can foster growth, innovation and job creation.

All my best,


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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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