August 2011
Too Big To Care

This phrase came to me today, and I want to play with it here in this space, since I get frequent comments that the Bonsai Model is anti-large.

In the Bonsai Business Model, I am not saying that large size is a bad. Rather, that proportionality in business units needs to be in service to the organization’s capacity to care for its customers, and caring for customers needs to be the first vow of business.

We don’t speak much of vows in business, but that word gets more to the heart of relationship for me. If we first devote ourselves to our customers, we hope and trust that they will remain devoted to us. Devoted derives from the root for “vow.”

Business as an exercise of devotion, of fulfilling a vow. And that means not letting size get in the way of that vow. Otherwise, we can become too big to care.